Since becoming a mom, learning to embrace crafts for kids as a teaching tool has been pivotal to my parenting. While their little fingers are busy painting, gluing and cutting, I chat about the lesson I planned. I find that when they’re focused on fine motor skills, they’re able to adsorb information much better.
With the Fourth of July quickly approaching, creating a craft for kids that also teaches the symbolism behind our nation’s flag was something I wanted to do with my preschooler. I know that much of what we learned will be beyond her 4-year-old head, but we also worked on recognizing letters, reading, pattern making and, of course, fine motor skills. If she actually remembers a few tidbits of factual historical information, that’s great too!
My daughter loves to paint, so for this craft, we used an inexpensive canvas to create a craft that can double as a festive addition to our holiday decor.
AMERICAN FLAG CRAFT FOR KIDS
Materials You’ll Need
– A canvas
– Red, white and blue paint
– Star foam stickers (we found them in yellow and painted them white)
– Paint brushes, pencil and a ruler
– Hemp rope and a standard stapler (for displaying your craft)
Using a pencil and ruler, I drew the American flag to create an outline for my preschooler to paint. My daughter then traced over my lines, but depending on the age of your child, she might be able to do this step alone. Draw a rectangle, on the left-hand side, about two-thirds of the length of your canvas.
The American flag has 13 horizontal stripes, of which the first seven are adjacent to the square that you’ll paint blue. The remaining six stripes will fill up the bottom half of the canvas. For a preschooler who is working on number and letter recognition, as well as pre-reading skills, noting the color and number of each stripe will add another element of learning to this kids’ craft.
The American flag has 50 five-pointed, white stars in the rectangular field. They are arranged in a unique pattern, providing a great opportunity for learning. The stars are arranged in nine offset horizontal rows of six stars, alternating with rows of five stars. My daughter and I counted and drew dots where we would place each star before we began painting.
Flag Facts to Share with Your Kids
— There are 13 strips for the 13 original colonies of our nation. We talked about how old our country is and that the Fourth of July is America’s birthday — the day we became independent of Great Britain.
— There are 50 stars on our flag because there are now 50 states. We talked about the state in which we live — and the ones we’ve visited. Hawaii was the last star added to our flag in 1960. We can’t wait to go there!
— At the time it was designed, way back in 1777, the colors of the flag did not have specific meaning. However, the Great Seal does and those values are often applied to the American flag as well. White signifies purity and innocence, red signifies bravery and valor, while blue signifies vigilance, perseverance and justice.
— Stars are considered a symbol of the heaven.
— The American flag is flown from sunrise to sunset and is cared for in the utmost respect. If two flags are flown on the same flag pole, the American flag must be on top.
This craft was a great addition to the learning we did during our Passport to Culture: Philadelphia Party. The American flag is rich in history and tells the story of how our country became the global influence that it is now.
While I teach and value cultural appreciation with my children, I also want them to know how lucky we are to be Americans. Teaching them the symbolism behind our American flag in celebration of the Fourth of July is just another way to do that.