Fourth of July: Patriotic Celebrations and Lessons in Independence
I am a total sucker for the Fourth of July. I love patriotic fanfare, I adore fireworks, and my favorite kind of celebration includes hot dogs and hamburgers on the grill with my family and friends. I do all sorts of things for the Fourth that I would never otherwise do. I buy my kids coordinating outfits. I decorate cakes with strawberries and blueberries to look like the American flag. I might try this cheesecake version this year. I even put aside my battle with crafts to decorate my daughter’s bike and my son’s stroller or a wagon for the annual Fourth of July Bike Parade at Goose Rocks Beach in Maine.
But as a student of political science with a special place in my heart for the history of our nation’s founding, I cannot let the Fourth of July pass without a lesson in Independence Day for my pre-k kid. So I break out my favorite kids book on the subject: John, Paul, George and Ben by Lane Smith. It’s hysterical — for parents and kids, has a nod to the Beatles, but also teaches real lessons about John Hancock, Paul Revere, George Washington, Ben Franklin, Thomas Jefferson and the founding of the United States of America. However you enjoy Independence Day, try to get a history lesson or two in there. It’s a great education for the kids and a good reminder for all of us about what a young, and bold, and brave nation we are.