Share Some History And Make Some Memories With These Fun Fourth Of July Ideas

Our nation is divided like never before, and the freedoms we hold so dear are in jeopardy.

We live in a nation with a rich and proud heritage of fighting for liberty and working to preserve our values for future generations.

As we celebrate Independence Day this year, we have some fun family ideas that will help your kids understand the special meaning of this day – and have some fun along the way!

The Fourth of July is often a day focused on family, and appropriately so, since our founders and early American citizens fought so hard to create a country where we could raise our families without fear or threat from an overreaching government.

Nothing is more American than having a backyard barbecue, watching a parade with the kids, and ending the evening with a fireworks display that lights up the night.

And we’ve got some great ideas to get the kids involved in the celebration, while giving them a little history lesson in the process.

Are you hosting a backyard party for friends and family this year to celebrate the Fourth?  Well, with a few items you have around the house and our special free printables, every kid in the neighborhood will  join the fun!

Start the day off with a parade around the yard or neighborhood that the kiddos put together themselves and create a memory that will last a lifetime.  This is no ordinary parade – the kids can make their own costumes of the most famous symbols of American freedom.

And while you spend the morning making fun crafts for the holiday, little ones can color our free printable U.S.A. map with the Stars and Stripes that symbolize our flag.

Lady Liberty:  Does your little girl love to dress up?  Mommy Underground has a free printable liberty crown that she can decorate!  Let her paint or color the crown pattern on heavy paper like cardstock and cut it out with a little help from mom and dad.  Print out our Lady Liberty crown here.

While she’s creating her costume, you can provide a little background on the history of one of America’s most famous symbols – one that is a landmark to this day.

Lady Liberty was a gift of friendship from the people of France and was dedicated in 1886.  This lady is no shrinking violet, standing over 300 feet tall!  Show your kids some photos of the famous statue online and explain how when our nation worked to gain her independence during the Revolutionary War, France was an ally that helped us to fight against an oppressive British government.

The statue’s famous green patina can be the inspiration for the colors of this costume (and you can even give a little science lesson on how copper ages when exposed to the elements and turns this beautiful color)!

You’ve got her famous pointed crown – how about the rest of the costume?  Have the kids cut out some “flame” shapes from red, yellow, and orange construction paper and tape or glue them inside the end of a paper towel tube.  The tube can be decorated any way your child chooses as well, and now your Lady Liberty has her torch that lights the way for people seeking freedom and liberty!

If you’re like us, you’ve probably got some old mismatched sheets in the linen closet.  Complete the costume by using a sheet (and you can even paint or dye it that famous green color if you’re super creative!) to make the lady’s famous “gown.”  Grab an old book to carry in one hand, your homemade torch in the other, and she’s on her way!

Uncle Sam:  Perhaps the most famous figurehead of American freedom, your child can be Uncle Sam for a day.  He’s a staple of any Fourth of July parade and we’ve got you covered with this free Uncle Sam hat printable.

Our pattern can be traced onto red, white, and blue construction paper, or your child can paint or color the pattern on heavy paper and get creative.

Just like with Lady Liberty, you can show your child some pictures online to give them some inspiration to decorate their costume.  Show them some examples of old war posters, teaching them that in both times of war and peace, Uncle Sam symbolizes a father figure gathering people to stand with him and protect our freedoms.

Find some red, white, and blue clothes in your son’s closet – even one of Dad’s old suit jackets that can be covered with paper stars – and your costume is complete.

You can print out as many copies of these free printables as needed for all the kids in the family or neighbors who are coming over for a backyard party.  And to really make it fun for the kids, why not make yourself an Uncle Sam hat or Lady Liberty crown to wear as well?

The kids can also decorate the yard or the handlebars of their bikes (just like we did as kids) with red, white, and blue crepe paper streamers, or long strips of the crepe paper can be tied together on one end and taped to a paper towel tube or wooden dowel to make a “wand” to carry along with them in the parade.

They can also make their own mini flags out of construction paper to carry with them or you can purchase several at your local dollar store.

And we’ve got another special gift in store for the kids – a free printable pattern to make a patriotic pinwheel to carry in the parade.  Decorate and cut out the pattern, fold, and attach to a plastic straw with a paper fastener and you’re all set with a classic summertime toy!

Don’t forget to get some photos of all the kids (and adults) in their patriotic parade gear!  These are the special memories that kids will cherish as they get older.  (And later, you can embarrass them by showing their future spouses pictures of them in their cute costumes!)

Want to really make an impact with your parade?  Find some patriotic song lyrics online and print them out so everyone can gather in a rendition of the Star Spangled Banner or America the Beautiful.  Read through the lyrics with your child and tell them to really think about the meaning behind the words.

After the parade and lots of great backyard food, your kids can help make a special sweet treat to share before your neighborhood fireworks display.

With store-bought or homemade sugar cookie dough, use a star-shaped cookie cutter and bake as directed.  The kids can use red, white, and blue frosting or sprinkles to decorate their cookies to share.  Or make a batch of cupcakes and let each child decorate their own.  Craft stores and even most grocery stores have all sorts of Fourth of July decorations for baking this time of year.

Or grab some popsicle molds – or even small paper cups (fill and cover with plastic wrap and poke a popsicle stick through the top) – and fill with juice, strawberries, and blueberries and then freeze overnight for a healthy, cold treat on what is usually a hot mid-summer day.

Get creative, have fun, and let the kids help to make your family celebration a special one they will always remember.

Give them a sense of how important our independence is – teaching the little ones that these symbols are a special part of our nation’s history and mean that we work together to protect each other and the things we believe in.

And don’t forget to grab your copies of our free Fourth of July printables — the Lady Liberty crown, Uncle Sam’s hat, fun pinwheel, or U.S.A. coloring sheet!  They are a gift from us to you in the hopes that you have a safe and wonderful Fourth of July surrounded by family and friends.

Do you have any special Fourth of July family traditions?  Share your ideas in the comments.