What symbols do Americans think about when they think about Independence Day?
The Declaration of Indepence?
The Statue of Liberty?
The American Flag?
“The Star-Spangled Banner,” the national anthem of the United States.
BBQ, Parades, and Fireworks?
What do you think about? Why is this 4th of July important to you and your family? For me, it is a time spent with family. There are always fireworks, barbecue, iced tea, and memories. But what does Freedom actually mean to the United States of America? How do we teach our children about this holiday? Here are some ways to teach your kids about Independence Day:
1. What is Independence Day? The Fourth of July is our country’s birthday. The founders of our country declared independence from Great Britain on the day in 1776. This meant they would no longer follow the orders of Britain’s king. To do this was extremely dangerous. At the time, Britain had one of the world’s strongest armies, and to go against the king was a crime punishable by death. But the king’s laws were unfair, so our founders decided it was worth the risk of war to win the freedom to govern themselves.
2. Why does the flag have stars on it? Explain to your children that each part of the flag stands for something. It is symbolic. The 50 stars represent the 50 States. The 13 stripes stand for the 13 British colonies, which declared their independence on July 4, 1776. Tell the children that the flag is a symbol — a way to show the world what we stand for. It also shows that we are connected to one another — that we’re on the same team. And because the flag is special, we treat it with respect.
3. What makes our country special? We have certain freedoms that we use every day. We can pray and practice religion in our homes (Freedom of Religion). We can say anything that we choose to say (Freedom of Speech). We can go anywhere we want without permission from the Government. We can work to earn as much money as we choose to work for and we can spend it any way we want (besides taxes – that’s another topic for another day – LOL).
4. What can we do for our country? To continue to enjoy these freedoms, we have men and women in the military that fight world wide for us. They sacrifice their lives so that we can continue to be FREE. When there is a disaster such as a tornado or hurricane, men and women volunteer their time to make sure that their fellow Americans are safe, have food and a place to go. You can volunteer, pick up trash, help someone in need. Every little act of kindness helps towards the greater goal of keeping our country FREE.
Now remind your children, “When you are laying in the lawn, looking up at the night sky that is lit up by beautiful fireworks, remember why we are celebrating.”
May you celebrate the hope, peace, and freedom of our great nation with your family this holiday.
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