4th of July [Educational] Fun

After taking a break from official “academic” homeschool activities – though I believe kids learn best through simply living – it felt weird preparing some themed activities for the 4th of July.  It felt good to sit down and do the activities with them, though, so maybe it won’t be so bad when we resume in the fall. *fingers crossed*

I was trying to figure out a simple way to convey the meaning of the holiday for the kiddos.  There weren’t many 4th of July books at the library but I did find The Flag We Love, by Pam Munoz Ryan.  Each page has a beautiful flag illustration of some sort with a short poem explaining the significance portrayed in the picture.  For older kids, there’s a box of extra text on the bottom of each page further explaining the dates and history of each tidbit. 

Over the Big Moon shared a 4th of July Pre-K pack, some of the elements of which I printed out for the kiddos.  We did cutting practice, pattern sequencing, a do-a-dot page, Gwen used star stickers to mark the uppercase and lowercase F letters, figuring out which item is different, pre-writer tracing and clothespin counting cards. 


I’ve had these confetti rockets pinned for a while (and let’s face it – I always have toilet paper tubes lying around), but figured these might be too involved a craft for the kids, so I settled on popsicle stick flags


These were perfect!  I had just the right amount of popsicle sticks and we painted them red and white, with a box of blue (Josiah had a bit of trouble following these directions) and star stickers.  I hot glued the popsicle sticks onto bigger tongue depressors for the flag pole, which made it easy to display them on the table.


I felt like I was in the kitchen all day!  For breakfast the kids had flag sandwiches – an open-faced PB&J with banana slices and blueberries. 

For lunch we had veggie dogs with my homemade ketchup, corn on the cob and a yummy new BLT salad recipe I tried.  I also made the Star-Spangled Berry Pie so it would be ready for dessert in the evening – it was sooo good!  I don’t like those syrupy sweet fruit pie fillings, but the majority of this was fresh fruit with a fresh fruit sauce to fill in the gaps.  I made a whole wheat crust, substituted dark chocolate for the white and cherries for the raspberries.  Oh, and homemade whipped cream to top it off – heavenly!

Every year I’ve wanted to take the kids to see fireworks, but every year there was some excuse.  This year, thunderstorms threatened to invade, but at the last minute the forecast changed.  We had the grandparents over to share the pie, then loaded the vehicles up and headed over to the outdoor concert and fireworks.  I was so excited to see how the kids would react!  They were really enthusiastic at first, but the exhaustion set in and pretty soon they were just sitting there, looking highly unimpressed.  Phil said Josiah didn’t even jump at the noise.  I felt giddy, like a kid again, joy bubbling up as the grande finale of fireworks lit up the sky.  What a fun evening!