July 4th is the day the United States celebrates its independence (becoming a free country). This federal holiday commemorates the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776. The US declared their freedom from Great Britain / United Kingdom. Learn about the revolutionary war and why it’s important to remember what happened.
2. Support our troops.
Our troops continue to fight for our freedom and way of life. Find a way to show your support. You can visit a veteran’s group, support them in a parade or send needed supplies to those who are fighting. If none of these ideas appeal to you, brainstorm your own.
What does freedom mean to you? Gather a group and discuss freedom. Include kids in your discussion.
4. What does America mean to you?
When you look at traditions, how you look at our country supports the crafts you do, the food you make, the activities you participate in and more. You can use this as a theme at a carnival or block party. Brainstorm what America means to you and find or create an activity for each item on your list.
Review historical documents and find readings or quotes to share that inspire you. This might be from the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, Inaugural Addresses, speeches, etc.
6. Local groups and individuals.
Do you have a local reenactment group or historical society that can present information on the revolutionary war? Many people are interested in history and like to keep the traditions, skills and memories of the past alive. See if you can find a group or individual who can make the history of our independence more than just a story.
7. Patriotic songs.
Share the patriotic songs you know with others. You can host a sing-a-long, create a patriotic campfire or even just teach one or two to younger children. Allow time to discuss why you chose the songs and the historical significance of the songs and / or what each means to you.
Museums house many patriotic items. From muskets to clothing to documents, you can find items that have historical meaning. You don’t have to physically go to a museum, either. As part of your independence day traditions, explore museums and collections near to you (or online) that you can share to explain the revolutionary war, other battles fought by us or our country’s traditions.
9. Community celebrations.
Many communities have celebrations planned out years in advance and do the same activities every year. Some examples where I live include the July 4th parade, boat races, drum and bugle corps competition and more. Look at what your community does. Plan to attend one or more of the events.
10. Friends and family celebrations.
Your family may traditionally gather and grill out. They might share community fireworks together. Track those traditional celebrations that you enjoy with your family and friends. Think of ways to improve or add to the traditions you already do.
11. Start your own traditions.
If you really don’t have traditions, but enjoy the day off, consider starting your own. You can do this by yourself or with a group. Be sure to look over the activities in the Enrichment Project badge programs “Independence Day Activities” and “Independence Day Crafts” to include those in your traditions.
Sites to Explore