No matter which country you live in, kids love Independence Day! What’s not to love? Between the fireworks, the delicious treats and all the family fun, celebrating the birth of your nation is truly a special day! However, many kids don’t fully understand the meaning of Independence Day. Thankfully, there are some things you can do to teach your kids the meaning of Independence Day for your nation.
Teaching Kids the Meaning of Independence Day
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Tell your kids what Independence Day really means– This is the first thing you want to do with your kids. Talk to them about what the 4th of July, Canada Day or your country’s particular celebration is all about. They have more than likely learned some things in school so find out what they already know. Talk to them about how important the holiday is and what the history is behind it.
Also, teach them about the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence (or your country’s different proclamations of independence and laws guaranteeing freedom). While fireworks, parades, barbecues and picnics are all fun things to do on the 4th of July, it is truly important that kids know why we celebrate the holiday.
Find age-appropriate books for your kids– There are a wide array of books that are designed for all age groups that will help them better understand exactly what Independence Day is all about. Some popular books include “The Fourth of July Story” by Alice Dalgliesh (ages 4-8), “The Story of the Star Spangled Banner” by Patricia Pingry (ages 4-8), “What is the 4th of July” by Elaine Landau (ages 8 and up) and “Happy 4th of July, Jenny Sweeney” by Leslie Kimmelman (ages 3-6).
Take time to honor our soldiers with your children– Take some time for you and your family to visit a local cemetery. Bring along some flowers or flags to place on the graves of soldiers. While at the cemetery, talk to your kids about who our soldiers are and the sacrifices that they made for our freedom.
Take your kids to some historical sites– If you live in a place that contains historical sites, these are great places to take your children to visit. It will help them better understand what the real meaning is behind the 4th of July. In the US, much of the Northeast coast is full of areas that were involved in the Revolutionary War. In Canada, you could take your kids to one of the original provinces that started the nation! These include Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Quebec and Ontario. Fun fact, the last two were originally just called “The Canada province,” but they later split.
Talk to your kids about the flag and its meaning– Just about every single country in the world has its own flag, and that flag has a story behind it. In the US, our story is about Betsy Ross! While some say she didn’t really make the flag, it’s still part of our flag’s history. Learn about your nation’s flag, then share that knowledge with your kids!
These are a few easy ways to teach kids the meaning of Independence Day. Other ways include renting movies about the times leading up to your nation’s declaration of Independence, visiting museums (for those who don’t live near historical landmarks) and even making different fun patriotic crafts! Knowing the meaning of Independence Day makes the day even more special, don’t you think?
Do you have any other parenting tips for teaching kids the meaning of Independence day? Share in the comments!