July 4th is just around the corner! For holiday fun, here are four simple Independence Day activities for middle school kids. (There’s a good chance your other children will enjoy them too!) This week, why not try one or two on for size?
1. Make a “Freedoms” Chain
In many countries, people don’t enjoy the same liberties as most Americans. This activity will help you reflect on the many freedoms and choices you have as a citizen of the United States.
- Cut red, white, and blue construction paper into strips approximately 1” x 8”. On each strip, write one freedom you’re thankful for, such as: I’m free to read books of my choice.
- Roll one strip of paper into a circle and tape or staple the ends together.
- Loop the next strip of paper through the circle to form the next link in your chain.
- Keep going until your chain is as long as you want. (If you want a longer chain, but you’ve run out of word strips, you may add plain paper strips to your chain.)
- Hang up your chain. Each day, read one of your freedoms—and be thankful!
2. Write Your Own Adventure
Write a story about an unexpected 4th of July adventure. Use at least six of the following words:
baseball, home run, disappeared, fireworks, hot dog, foul ball, surprise, famous, explosion, stadium, mistake, sister
3. Design a Family Flag
Did you know that flag colors have special meanings?
Red can mean courage, change, strength, or heroism
Yellow can represent honor, loyalty, or humility
Green can be symbolic of hope, growth, or fruitfulness
Blue can mean freedom, justice, wisdom, good fortune, or patriotism
Black can mean determination, grief, or sorrow
White often represents peace, purity, harmony, or faith
Purple isn’t often found in national flags, but it is known as the color of royalty or sacrifice
Take some time to learn about the meaning of the colors and symbols in the American flag, and then make a flag of your own!
- On a sheet of white paper, design and color a flag that represents your family.
- Include shapes and images that have special meaning. You can use traditional shapes such as a cross, stars, or stripes; objects from nature such as leaves, trees, or mountains; animals; vehicles; outline of your state; or other symbols.
- Using separate lined paper, explain what each symbol and color says about your family.
4. Plan a Celebration!
For many families, July 4th means celebrating our nation’s independence at backyard barbecues, patriotic parades, or picnics at the lake. Some gather on front lawns at dusk to eat homemade ice cream and twirl sparklers, while others take in baseball games and fireworks shows.
If it were up to you to plan this year’s Independence Day festivities, where would you have your party? Whom would you invite? What foods would you eat? Would you plan activities?
Either jot your ideas in list form or write a one-page sensory description of your holiday celebration. This Independence Day word bank will help!