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Volume 3, Issue 13
June 27, 2005


Celebrate Our Country

WELCOME! to Education World's Early Childhood Newsletter. Every other week, I'll share some ideas on a familiar teaching theme. Hopefully you will find a new activity idea or two -- or a new twist on one of your old favorites! Since I know you are very busy, I'll be short and sweet -- like most of activities I suggest.

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It’s birthday time! As our country celebrates its freedom help your young children understand the meaning of Independence Day and the (long ago) birth of a new country. Although the historical importance of the holiday will most likely evade many of your children, the concepts of “birthday” and “celebrate” surely will not. Try some of our activities, recipes, and games as you wish America “Happy Birthday” and enjoy a fun-filled Fourth!

Susan LaBella
Editor, Early Childhood Education Newsletter


Children will love making these crowns and torches for a special parade.
--- Crowns: Cut strips of white construction about 2-inches wide and give one to each child. Next provide children with stars cut from red, white, and blue paper. Invite children to glue stars onto their paper strips. Children might also add patriotic stickers if available. Fit each child’s strip to his or her head and staple.
--- Torches: Roll old newspapers into cone shapes and tape them. Give each child a cone. Invite children to paint their cones. When the cones are dry, stuff red and yellow tissue paper (flames) into the open top of the cones. Encourage children to join the parade as you have them proceed around the room or school grounds on foot or on decorated tricycles or wagons.

First, gather loads of Queen Anne’s lace (a wildflower with a white blossom). Next give each child a piece of dark blue or black construction paper. Pour various light-colored tempura paints into shallow plates. Invite children to gently dip the blossoms face down into the paint, then use those blossoms to “stamp” fireworks onto the paper. Children can also gently brush their blossoms on the paper to create streaming fireworks.

Using refrigerated cookie dough, prepare star-shaped cookies. Cut a ¼-inch hole in the center of each cookie and bake. When the cookies are still warm, sprinkle them with red and blue sugar crystals. Tie a cooled cookie to the end of a long piece of string and hang from your ceiling or from a tree branch outdoors. Invite each child to stand in front of a cookie and to try eating it without using his or her hands. Note: For older children you may want include blindfolds!

Help children roll a piece of red, white, or blue construction paper lengthwise and tape it. Add a piece of colorful yarn to one end of the roll for a handle. Let children glue red, white, and blue crepe paper streamers to the other end of their windsocks.

These cool treats will be a favorite! Gather three types of juice -- red, white, and blue. (Suggestions: Cranberry or raspberry juice can be used for the red juice; white grape juice or lemonade can be used for the white juice; and, for the blue juice, you might use a bright-blue thirst quencher drink [e.g., Gatorade] or add food coloring to a light-colored juice such as lemonade or white grape juice.) Pour 2 tablespoons of the red juice into 3-ounce paper cups and freeze for 2 to 3 hours. Remove from freezer and insert wooden pop sticks. Repeat with white juice, adding 2 tablespoons and freezing for 2 to 3 hours. Add 2 tablespoons blue juice and freeze for 1 to 2 hours until slushy. Insert a string of red licorice into each pop and freeze until hard. Peel off the paper cups and serve.



Check out the following Web sites for more background and activities.

Print out some great coloring pages of our flag, the Statue of Liberty, and other symbols of our country.

Look for some neat Fourth of July craft ideas, and pick up tips for a bulletin board display that celebrates the day.

Youngsters can practice math skills from printable activity sheets -- all with a Fourth of July theme.

Here’s a large selection of songs for your kids to sing and celebrate Independence Day!