What is Independence Day in America? Ever wondered how to explain 4th of July to a child? Check out our fun and educational Fourth of July activities for kids, starting with some July 4th facts and history!
WHAT IS INDEPENDENCE DAY USA? How To Explain Fourth Of July To Your Kids
Need fun United States Independence Day ideas, patriotic crafts, or red white blue activities for kids to celebrate 4th of July? Add these to your summer holidays for kids ideas — from younger children to older kids and family activity ideas, you’ll find something on this list of fun activities about our day of independence!
What can you do on 4th of July at home?
Things To Do On Independence Day With Kids:
- Put an American flag out
- Discuss when was the first Independence Day
- Have your own July 4 picnic
- Do July 4th Independence Day crafts
- Wear red white and blue clothes
- Make patriotic punch
- Sing patriotic songs or listen to the Star-Spangled Banner
- Fly a patriotic flag kite
- Make red white and blue layered drinks
- Enjoy sparklers (be safe!)
- Review some Declaration of Independence printables
- Read Fourth of July books
- Have a red, white and blue Happy Birthday nation party as a fun activity
- Watch movies and documentaries on Independence Day
- Make a patriotic wreath from red white & blue tissue paper
- Read a Fourth of July story
- Shoot off your own fireworks (if allowed in your area)
- Watch Declaration of Independence song Schoolhouse Rock (great Independence Day video for kids of all ages!)
- Make layered red white blue desserts
- Have a backyard campout as part of your outdoor July 4th celebrations
- Search July 4th fireworks display near me or independence day festivities near me and go to one for a great way to celebrate our country’s independence
KEEP SCROLLING for the full Independence day lesson plan ideas, national holiday crafts, July fourth crafts, red white and blue foods and more fun ideas for kids and family for this summer holiday celebration and federal holiday to celebrate the United States of America.
Independence Day History For Kids
Before we get to the activities, let’s learn about Independence Day (Independence Day meaning) and some American history — great additions to your lessons of Independence Day and USA independence activities!
Why do we celebrate Independence Day?
On July 4, 1776, during the American Revolution, the Declaration of Independence was signed and approved by the Continental Congress, proclaiming the legal separation of the original thirteen colonies from Great Britain – making them free and independent states.
How To Explain Independence Day to Preschoolers
The best way to explain Independence Day to preschoolers is to use something visual like an American flag or 4th of July preschool crafts like making an American flag craft. Discuss that the flag is a symbol, or something that stands for something else. The stripes on the flag represent the 13 colonies that declared independence and the stars represent our 50 united states.
PRESCHOOL GREAT BOOK RECOMMENDATION: Read What Is America?
Don’t miss our Independence Day printables and Fourth of July lesson plans for preschool and up below!
4th of July Facts and History for Kids (American Independence Day Facts For Kids)
4th of July fun facts and trivia:
- Independence Day is also called July 4th because that’s the date the Declaration of Independence was signed
- The 13 colonies founded by the British were: Virginia, New York, Massachusetts, Maryland, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Delaware, North Carolina, South Carolina, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Georgia.
- Great Britain is now called United Kingdom
- The Continental Congress was made up of representatives from each colony
- The Declaration of Independence was written by a committee who was led by Thomas Jefferson, who later became the third president of the United States
- John Hancock, the President of the Congress during the Declaration of Independence signing, has the largest and most centered signature
- There’s a saying “Put your John Hancock” that people say when they want you to sign something
- The Declaration of Independence was voted on July 2nd, but was dated July 4th
- The Liberty Bell in Philadelphia, PA, rings 13 times every July 4th to mark the independence of the 13 original colonies
What interesting facts would you add for children of all ages?
Questions To Ask Your Children About America For July 4th
Getting kids involved and thinking with patriotic activities and questions can help with the concept of 4th of July explained. Here are ways to help you discuss the meaning of Independence Day with children…
4th of July for Kids Prompts:
- Finish this sentence: Independence Day is…
- Why do we celebrate July 4th / Independence Day each year?
- What does freedom mean to you?
- Who were our founding fathers?
- What are the colors of the American flag?
- What are some of the freedoms we have in America?
- What would you do if you were President?
- What does the government do for us?
- What are the “Stars and Stripes”?
- Who were American colonists?
- What were the first American colonies?
- Can you sing Yankee Doodle Dandy?
- What was the Declaration of Independence? (Or our independence declaration)
- Who were the signers of the Declaration Of Independence?
- What do the stars represent on the American flag?
- What is our national bird and what does it have to do with freedom?
- What was the second continental congress?
- Can you imagine what it would be like if the July 4th Declaration of Independence had not been signed?
- Can you sing the National Anthem?
- What was the American Revolutionary War?
These make great fourth of July writing prompts for kids as part of your Independence Day activity ideas and July 4 1776 studies! If you have more fun fourth of July facts for kids to explain history of Independence Day, let us know and we’ll add them to our July 4 list!
ALSO CHECK OUT MORE FUN JULY KIDS ACTIVITIES:
About Independence Day for Children
What Is Independence Day: Beyond the Stars and Stripes for America’s Independence Day
Every time kids see red, white, and blue together – they may think “America colors.”
Pretty much everything about Fourth of July celebrations are filled with excitement for a young child.
Hot dogs, popsicles, parades, swimming, baseball games, parties with friends and family, fireworks – what more could you ask for when you’re little?!
But as my children get older, and the idea of patriotism becomes muddled in an ever-changing political climate, it is important to me that they know more about why we celebrate Independence Day and what it means to be an American.
Independence Day is a wonderful time to show gratitude for our freedom and to model civic responsibilities to our children and learn about the importance of 4th of July history and 4th July meaning.
We can reinforce the ideas that good citizenship includes learning about your country’s history, obeying the law, practicing kindness and tolerance, and being active in your community.
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36+ July 4 Lesson Plans, Independence Day Kids Activities, and Fun Recipes for 4th of July
These are great independence day activities for elementary students and middle school, independence day for kindergarten, or even a Fourth of July preschool theme.
Independence Day Lesson Plans and Activities
- Discuss the importance of 4 of July 1776
- Visit the National Archives website and view the Declaration of Independence and other important founding documents.
- Read the Presidential biography of Thomas Jefferson, the author of the Declaration of Independence.
- Download this printable pdf on Independence Day from PBS Learning Media.
- Review this lesson plan from Center for Civic Education on Independence Day, which includes important terms, discussion questions, and additional class activities (good for Declaration of Independence lesson plans middle school and elementary).
- Education.com has an assortment of various Fourth of July worksheets and 4th of July printables for kindergarten through middle school aged children.
- Play 4th of July Bingo for fun Fourth of July games for all ages
- View a live feed from the U.S. Capitol on July 4th, read about July 4th history, and more on PBS.org.
- The Library of Congress website has classroom resources which could be adapted for a smaller group setting involving key concepts of the Declaration of Independence.
- Teach children the symbolism and importance of the U.S. Flag with this “Stars and Stripes Forever: Flag Facts for Flag Day” lesson plan.
- Review the Declaration of Independence and other supporting documents, letters, and printings in a comprehensive collection available through the University of Virginia Library.
- Have a patriotic sack race!
- If you cannot visit the Nation’s capital on July 4th, do the next best thing and virtually join in on the festivities on the National Archives website page dedicated to the Fourth of July. You can even follow along on the day of by using #ArchivesJuly4 on social media.
- Learn all about the science behind fireworks from Everyday Mysteries: Fun Science Facts from the Library of Congress.
- Cool off and make a red, white, and blue ice melt science experiment in little bins for little hands and fine motor skills.
- Have a little one who is afraid of the loud noise of fireworks? Why not make some fireworks in a jar?
- Children will love discovering the secret patriotic mystery picture using the coordinates in this graph from Teachers Pay Teachers.
- Inspire your child to ponder America’s history with these patriotic writing prompts.
Fourth of July Inspired Crafts and Projects
- Enjoy this simple, yet adorable firework craft using only Q-Tips!
- Create fun designs and work on those fine motor skills with 4th of July Play Dough Kit.
- Entertain children and with this colorful and patriotic sensory bin.
- Make an Uncle Sam Paper Plate mask.
- Keep little hands occupied with some Star-Spangled Slime.
- Create some patriotic fidget spinner art with this fast and fun project!
Books about Independence Day and America’s History For Kids
These are great preschool books, kindergarten July 4th books, or for Independence Day lesson plans 1st grade and up!
America The Beautiful
It’s Not About You, Mrs. Firecracker
More Children’s Books for Independence Day:
- Read Magic Tree House “Revolutionary War on Wednesday” and accompanying non-fiction companion Fact Tracker “American Revolution” by Mary Pope Osbourne
- The Night Before the Fourth of July by Natasha Wing
- The 4th of July Story by Alice Dalgliesh
- The Story of America’s Birthday by Patricia Pingry
- Hello, Fourth of July! By Martha Zschock
- Blue Sky, White Stars by Sarvinder Naberhaus
- Curious George Parade Day by H. A. Rey
- What is America? By Michelle Medlock Adams
4th of July Recipes For Kids
With all this learning and crafting, your little one is certain to work up an appetite. Here are a few of our favorites for some truly patriotic recipes!
- Patriotic Popcorn
- Layered Red White and Blue Drink (Patriotic Punch)
- Red White Blue Drink for Kids
- Red, White , and Blue Rice Krispie Bites from Two Sisters Crafting
- Fruit Sparklers from Tastes Better From Scratch
- 4th of July Firecracker Dogs by Handmade in the Heartland
- Spinach Berry Salad from Modern Honey
- Patriotic Deviled Eggs from Plain Chicken
CHECK THIS OUT NEXT: More Patriotic Crafts and Activities for Kids
Wherever you find yourself this Independence Day, “from the lakes of Minnesota to the hills of Tennessee,” we wish you and yours a blessed, safe, and very Happy Fourth of July!
Happy Independence Day!