Photo: Thanyapat meunklad via 123RF

One of the summer’s most significant holidays—the Fourth of July—is here.

Kids always look forward to the fireworks, barbecues, and parades. You can also take advantage of their enthusiasm by making time for some family-friendly activities that help celebrate the holiday all week long. These activities are perfect for kids to do alone or with adults, and they all reinforce the meaning and excitement behind the holiday.

Have Fun with Science

Summer fun should include easy, fun, and messy science experiments! Have your kids make fireworks in a jar for a fun Fourth of July-themed project. You can use oil, water, and food coloring to help them learn about the different properties of oil and water and watch an exciting explosion of color. For a holiday-worthy twist on the typical baking soda and vinegar experiments, let your kids make glitter fireworks that are just as pretty as the ones outside—but without all the usual noise!

If you’re brave enough to head outside for some explosive fun, these film canister rocket fireworks are excellent for learning about chemical reactions. If your kids are a bit older, let them learn about the properties of water by making an American flag through two fun experiments!

Get Crafty and Make Some Art

No holiday is complete without arts and crafts to mark the occasion. Have the whole family create their masterpieces early in the week so that you can display them at the neighborhood party on the Fourth! These chalk stars are an easy craft for kids of all ages, and they use the sidewalk chalk you likely already have on hand. Kids can also complete this project with other summer-themed image and color combinations.

Shaving cream art is another outdoor favorite since the kids can get messy while creating a masterpiece. Use red and blue paint for a festive piece. A giant flag mosaic is a project that the whole family can complete together using scraps from old projects, magazines, and the recycling bin. It also makes a great backdrop for the food table at summer parties!

Photo: liudmilachernetska via 123RF

Celebrate History and Independence

The Fourth of July celebrates our nation’s independence, and kids can start learning about their own history and independence this week, too. Have them create a Fourth of July acrostic poem that uses adjectives for each letter of their name. They can reflect on what makes them unique, important, and powerful as a member of your family and community.

Making a family tree is an excellent way to emphasize the importance of learning about our past as we grow as people in the present. Use a simple template or get creative and include pictures of ancestors, anecdotes, and drawings. You can also reinforce just how long ago our founding fathers signed the Declaration of Independence by looking at how many generations have passed since then!

You can also celebrate this week by teaching your kids about the importance of flags and having them design their own to hang on their bedroom door. Let them be creative and use whatever materials they can find for their flag prototype. Have a family presentation of flags to recognize their creations. If you want to make learning about history interactive and fun, play this patriotic Bingo game as a family and take the opportunity to talk about the significance of each symbol as they pop up throughout the game.

These activities will help your Fourth of July celebration last the whole week and beyond for plenty of family fun!