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Young children celebrate the birth of the United States of America with these fun preschool learning activities. You'll find lots of ideas for Flag Day and Memorial Day along with patriotic activities for Independence Day.
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Preschool Independence Day Activities
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Marble Paint Fireworks
Leanne suggests this art idea for 4th of July classroom decorations. Remember that marbles should only be used with close adult supervision.

Materials: Construction paper ( I find black works best), red, white and blue poster paint, 2 or 3 marbles (you can use various sizes), glitter (silver) & a shallow cardboard box.

Description:
1.  Cut the construction paper into circles (about the size of a cereal bowl).
2.  Put the circles into shallow box.
3.  Put a drop of each color on the circle.
3.  Drop marbles onto the circles, or just in the box.
4.  Let the child move the box around so that the marbles roll through the paint 
     and make a pretty design.
5.  Sprinkle glitter on the finished painting and let dry.
6.  POP, BOOM, BANG!  You have fireworks!
 

Science: Fourth of July Fireworks
Cheyenna shares this activity saying, "Children love to see the colors swirl as they learn what causes this reaction in a science experiment."

Materials: A shallow pan, milk, food coloring, and liquid dish soap.

Description: Let the children participate in this activity or do it yourself as they watch. Place the milk in the shallow pan. Next, add the food coloring, of various colors, a few drops at a time. Then place a small amount of dish soap into the pan.
The colors will begin to swirl making them take on the effect of fireworks.
The liquid dish soap is what causes the colors to swirl. If the colors slow down too much, just add a bit more dish soap.

Comments: This activity also makes a good lesson for colors. You can create 
different colors by mixing the colors of food coloring. Kids love to give you 
different colors to mix. They enjoy watching as you add the colors.  

4th of July Fireworks4th of July Fireworks
Jamie B. offers this Independence Day activity saying, "Help discuss family traditions and cultural awareness, increase fine  motor skills (pinching and releasing the sock) and gross motor skills (aiming the sock so that it falls in the box on the paper).  Color mixing can be introduced by looking at the new color created when two colors overlap."

Materials: Various bright colored paints in separate bowls (slightly watered down),
socks filled with sand or rice and tied closed, a deep box with the top cut off and large enough to accommodate a sheet of construction paper, a  drop cloth under the box for any miss hits, glitter (optional).

Description: One filled sock is placed in one color of paint.  The child's 
construction paper (I think black works great) is placed in the bottom of the box 
with the opening facing up.  I bring in a small stool for them to stand on but you could do this while standing on the floor. The child selects the color paint they would like to start with.  Using the end of the sock not in the paint the child holds it high over the box and then drops it. The result is a star burst which can vary in size if you vary the amount of sand in the sock. This can be repeated as often as the child wants.  When finished glitter can be added to create a real shimmering effect.

Comments: Children love this activity and ask to do it again and again. I slightly water the paint to get a more effective star burst pattern. To help the younger ones get the paint on different areas of their paper I move the box slightly.  Having extra socks will help keep the colors clean for each child as they tend to get muddied after several uses.  Another great effect is to put 2 colors in each container but not to mix them.  Again you will need to replenish with fresh colors for each child to get the same effect.

Flag Day American Flag
Patti Jo R. encourages each child to make their own version of the flag during this 
Independence Day and Flag Day activity.

Materials: Red, white, and blue paper also glue, markers, popcorn and child safety scissors.

Description: Give the children a white piece of paper and a piece of blue paper cut into the shape needed for the flag. Next, give children scissors, glue, and red paper.
They can cut their own stripes and arrange and glue them any way they want!  Use the popcorn for stars on the blue paper.

Comments: It is surprising that many of the flags will look very much like an
American Flag, even with allowing for the children's creativity!  The process is the important part in this activity!
 

United States Flag American Flag Idea
Here's another American Flag preschool activity from Patti Jo R.

Materials: Use large mural paper, newsprint, or even an old white sheet.  You will need some blue paper for the corner of the flag and some red and white finger paint.

Description: Have the children use their hand prints across the paper to represent the stripes on the flag.  Have some of them use the white paint to make hand prints 
on the blue paper to represent the stars.  I have used this idea many times for the 4th of July.  This is a project that all the children can have a "hand " in.

Cooking: Patriotic Popcorn
Use this popcorn activity by Annie E. as a patriotic cooking experience for older children and to help younger children learn to recognize the colors red, white and blue.

Materials:
Popped Popcorn
White, Red, & Blue Candy Melts
Red, Blue & White Bowls and Spoons
LARGE any colored bowl
3 extra bowls

Description: Pop a few batches of popcorn and separate into the Red, White & 
Blue bowls.  Melt the candy melts in the extra three bowls.  This can be done in 
the microwave.  Pour the Red candy melts onto the popcorn in the Red bowl.  Have 
the children stir until the popcorn is well coated.  Pour the Blue candy melts onto 
the popcorn in the Blue bowl. Have the child stir until well coated.  Pour the 
White candy melts onto the popcorn in the White bowl.  Stir until coated.  Let 
these sit for a few minutes to cool and harden.  Then scoop the different colors 
of popcorn into the LARGE bowl.  Toss to mix up (don't stir them together or you 
might get purple) and then serve! 

Comments: The children really like having the different colored bowls and spoons to coordinate with that color of popcorn.  This makes a wonderful treat and it's simple.  The kids that did it with me were amazed at how good they were at cooking.
 

American Flag with Feet
Barbara M. offers this infant sensory activity for Independence or Flag Day.

Materials: Red, white and blue paint, light blue construction paper and liquid paper.

Description: With the infant's foot paint one toe red one toe white stating with red at the top. Extend the colors down the foot into the arch making sure the colors don't mix and not to get it on the heel. Paint the heel blue, meeting but not mixing with the other colors. Put the babies footprint horizontally, toes facing to the right on the construction paper. When the footprint dries dab small white dots (liquid paper) on the blue section. Draw a flag pole next to the foot and there you have a USA flag. 

Comments: This is a great sensory tool plus a great memory piece for mom and dad
 

American Flag Toddler Style
Introduce colors and the American Flag along with a brief explanation
of it's symbolism during this activity for toddlers and older preschoolers from Barbara M.

Materials: Red, white and blue paint, light blue construction paper and liquid paper.

Description: Using the child's left hand (thumb on the bottom) extend all the 
fingers with hand at a horizontal position. Starting with the thumb paint it red, next finger white, next red, next white and so forth until all the fingers are painted. Extend each color of paint into the middle section of the hand not painting the ball of their hand with red or white. Next paint the ball of the hand blue, make sure all the colors meet but do not run together. Quickly, before the paint dries, turn hand sideways with fingers pointing to the right and make the hand print.

After the hand print dries, using liquid paper, dot the blue section of print for the stars. Either draw a flag pole attached to the flag or cut one out and glue next to flag. 

Comments: I teach 1-2 year olds and don't seem to have too much of a problem . It works best if you have a helper but this is not a project you could not do alone. 
This is a big hit with the entire school but especially with the parents.

4th of July Fun
Preschool children just have fun during this activity by Janie R.

Materials: Red, white and blue silly string.

Description: Since the preschool age children are not able to use firecrackers 
we like to have a silly string war and parents are more than happy to donate the dollar it costs to purchase the silly string from the local craft store.
 

4th of July TeddyUnited States Flag
Michele E. encourages patriotism during this preschool activity.

Materials: A large piece of butcher paper, a piece of blue butcher paper, red paint and 50 white stars (about 4-5 inches in diameter).

Description: Glue the blue sheet on the upper left corner of the white sheet.  Let 
children help glue the white stars on the blue area.  Paint both of each child's hands with red paint and let them put their hand prints in rows on the white paper to form red stripes.

Comments: Talk to the children about our country, show them a map, let them know 
what our flag represents.  After hanging our flag up in our district office we
invited our local National Guard to our room and presented it to them.

Fireworks Display
Preschool children use fine motor skills as they create these displays by Belinda F.

Materials: 1 fur cone, glue, 1 piece of paper, different colored paint and a teacher 
drawn picture of fireworks or rockets.

Description: Glue or draw a picture of fireworks onto paper. Ask each child to paint a fur cone various colors. Then roll the cone over the paper creating a firework display
 

Paper Chain Flag
This is the way Leslie makes a large flag with the children in her preschool class.

Materials: Cut one inch by 9 inch strips of red blue and white construction 
paper. Cut out white stars using the ellison die cut.

Description: The children need to make paper chains with the red strips. The length will depend on how big you need your flag. About 16 strips in a chain makes a nice flag.  Count the number of white strips and red strips on the American flag for your flag. The blue field with the stars will be connected to red and white chains depending on the stripe. Add the stars to the blue chain after the flag is complete.

Comments: Hang by fish line on a dowel stick or yard stick.
 

Patriotic Activity
Rosemarie P. shares this activity which can be extended to create a bulletin board.

Materials: Red, and blue paint, star stickers.

 Description: We say the pledge of allegiance in our classroom every morning.  I 
 painted one child's hand red and the other blue and put them side by side on a 
 piece of white paper.  I then put gold star stickers above each finger.  I then 
 printed across the top I Pledge Allegiance To The flag.  During the recent 
 terrorist attack, this reinforced teaching the children the importance of the flag.
 

United States Flag The Pledge of Allegiance
In Ann's classroom she teaches respect for our country each morning.

Materials: Flag and Children

Description: Explain the meaning of the flag to the children. Have children stand in a circle, place their right hand over their heart, and have them  repeat after the teacher the Pledge of Allegiance. A different child should hold the flag each day and lead in the pledge once he or she learns the words.

Comments: This is a favorite time of the morning for our preschoolers!
 

Holiday Windsocks
This preschool craft activity by Diana M. can be use to celebrate a variety of holidays.

Materials: Glue, glitter, construction paper, brushes, streamers, and a stapler.

Description: This activity can be done all year long, for example, Memorial Day 
or 4th of July. This is what we did in my classroom. Cut out lots of white star 
shapes and ask children to glue them onto dark blue construction paper.  When dry 
fold till it becomes in oval shape then staple the sides together.  Cut a smaller piece for the top and staple to the sides. Then cut out long pieces of red, white, and blue streamers stapling them from the bottom. Now get some string and hang your windsock high in the sky (ceiling).

Comments: It looks really pretty hanging up high from something up on the ceiling. When parents walk in the classroom they can see art displayed in a different way.

Fireworks Fireworks
Melissa encourages the use of small motor skills during this easy 4th of July activity.

Materials: Red, white and blue construction paper cut in to thin strips, glue, a stapler and red, white and blue yarn.

Description: Ask the children to criss cross the different colors of paper strips 
and glue them together. They should do this over and over in different ways. After 
have the children pick a colored string to staple in the middle of their fireworks. 
Let dry and hang.

Comments: Children have a lot of fun and we talk about the United States and the
colors red, white and blue.


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

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