Looking for educational 4th of July holiday arts and crafts for kids? Here are patriotic American history craft activities for all ages, children to grown-ups. Make these free printable, budget-friendly, recycled, homemade crafts and watch history come alive!
* Homemade dough, putty, paint. In history, kids typically had few toys, so they made fun with found materials. Turn the back yard into an old-school chemistry lab. Here are my recipes for silly putty, moon sand, play dough and other mixables. If you have a natural clay deposit, mine your own. My kids had a heyday with clay discovered in the St. Mary’s River in Michigan’s upper peninsula. Make clay pots or marbles (a favorite old-times game). Concoct homemade fabric paint mixing tempera and Elmer’s School Glue or powdered milk. Teach chemistry, experimenting with these homemade paint recipes from NateandRachel.com (safe enough for toddler crafts).
* Decorate tote bags. In times past, kids learned home arts and resourcefulness. Teach simple sewing, math and life skills lesson. Repurpose fabric tablecloths, sheets, blankets, pillow cases, towels. Have kids measure and cut two matching squares. Sew three sides of squares together by machine or with needle and thread. Turn inside out. Fold and sew a hem around the top edge. Braid scrap yarn, rope, twine, into handles. Attach. Decorate with homemade paint.
* Family tablecloth. Family was important, elders respected and everyone worked together in older times. Hand print a clean plain-colored flat sheet or polar fleece blanket with fabric paint (see recipe above). Everyone–grandma, grandpa, grouchy Aunt Mildred, the baby, the cat–dips a palm (paw) in paint and hand prints. Then, they sign names in permanent marker near their print. Give as a keepsake to an elderly relative.
* Flag pencils. Cut white sheets or plain fabric scraps into 4×6 squares. Show world flags–play a free printable flag bingo game from Suitcases and Sippy Cups. Then let kids create a personal flag that represents their interests. Color with markers or crayons. Hot glue to new pencils.
* Personal logo T-shirts. Famous Americans–Paul Revere, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson–are known by their mottoes. FoundingFathers.info explains that the “Don’t Tread on Me” Gadsden flag was an American revolution symbol, Universities typically have Latin mottoes. Have kids create their own slogan and logo to reflect their ideals. Then transfer images to T-shirts with fabric paints or permanent markers. Recycle old shirts. Buy packaged T-shirts. Check dollar stores.
Have a parade. Sing patriotic songs, wave flags, wear shirts. History leaps off boring textbook pages and comes to life with these educational connections crafts.