I am not an American citizen ( although I think I am going to take the plunge soon) but after living here for 12 years I love the 4th of July, it’s one of my very favorite holidays. My town kicks off the holiday with a street dance on the 3rd followed by a 5k race ( my favorite part) and, of course, a huge candy filled parade ( my kids’s favorite). I love making patriotic 4th of July crafts in anticipation and we will be making some fun ones this week. I thought I’d share my favorite American flag crafts with you today!
I keep getting reminders about my town’s 4th of July Fun Run so today I decided it was time to dust of the red, white, and blue craft supplies and get busy. I have too many craft supplies in my house and this giant 4th of July American Flag Suncatcher did a great job of using up odds and ends and turning them into something amazing! I think this flag is amazing. My kids are 5 ( today!) and 8 and they loved this but even toddlers will love this 4th of July craft.
Gather your materials. You will need some contact paper, some washi tape or painter’s tape, some markers, and a BUNCH of fun red white and blue collage materials. We have sparkly foam, popsicle sticks, pom poms, foam hearts, paper circles, and more.
Peel the backing off the contact paper and tape it to the wall / window sticky side out. Draw an outline of the flag on the sticky side of the if needed. Pop the tray full of collage materials next to the contact paper.
My kids watch too much TV. Technically it’s Netflix on the iPad but it’s the same problem. Working from home during the summer is a tricky place for many parents, myself included, we need to get stuff done, but we can only use screens so much each day, and hopefully none at all some days. I needed a cheat sheet for SIMPLE activities I can set up or gather the materials for in a pinch. I need things that I can have my kids do while I take a quick business call, things we can squeak in after a trip to the beach, or after dinner when it’s still light out. I don’t ban screens at all, but I don’t want school being out to be used as an excuse for MORE TV. These 99 TV Free Summer Activities are a huge mix of outdoor, indoor, quiet and boisterous play ideas. I hope you find something your kids LOVE.
Collect and Sort Shells
Connect The Dots
Cook In The Sink
Decorate Your Driveway with Sidewalk Chalk
Do A Little Kitchen Science
Do A Word Search
Draw with the help of some catalogs
Play with Water Balloons
Pretend Play Camping
Print Out Our Summer Reading Bucket List and Read!
Read A Banned Book
Read & Draw Picnic
Read In A Blanket Fort
Run Through A Sprinkler
Shaving Cream Fireworks!
Stir Up Some Bubbles!
Trim Your Grass with Scissors
Use a squirt gun for some science!
Use Kitchen Whisks To Make Bubbles
Use Sidewalk Chalk To Play With Letters
Walk Your Dog ( or your neighbor’s dog )
We live on an island and going to the beach is a pretty common outing for my kids, but learning all about the ocean is still exciting. The creatures, the sand, finding beach glass… it’s a new discovery every time we go. When we can’t go to the beach we can still explore it with fun at home activities. I have gathered our favorite ocean activities for kids in one spot for you to find some fun too!
Beach Glass Sensory Play ( safe for little hands)
We are in the MIDDLE of learning all about bugs in my class and by FAR the favorites have been caterpillars and butterflies. They’re my daughter’s favorites too. I think that the fact that you can learn all about the lifecycle at such a young age has something to do with this. I like that as a teacher of really young children I can connect science, literacy, art, music, and movement into one theme so easily.
Here are my favorite caterpillar and butterfly activities for preschool.
Books About Caterpillars and Butterflies For Kids
The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle is a classic, that most preschool teachers like myself can recite from memory. It really is a fantastic book, not only does it explain the life cycle of a butterfly it also is useful for a lesson about the days of the week and healthy eating. Children love relating to the caterpillar who eats too many treats and ends up with a belly ache before eating one more healthy leaf and spinning a chrysalis.
Bob and Otto by Robert O. Bruel is a lovely story about 2 friends who must part ways , in this case because one is a caterpillar who needs to build a chrysalis and the other an earthworm who needs to dig deep into the ground. What I like about this book is that it goes on to explain that the earth worm’s digging is vital for the trees to grow so that the caterpillar can eat the leaves and turn into a butterfly. I like the lesson about how we all play a part!
The Crunching Munching Caterpillar by Sheridan Cain is another story about a caterpillar who is not happy with his lot in life. There is a fair bit of language that some parents would object to. This caterpillar is often reminded that he is too fat to fly- so that poses a few challenges to parents like myself who are trying to instill healthy body images as well as using respectful words with others in our children. I have dealt with this book in two ways, first by saying that the caterpillar is getting fat but it’s a good thing because he will be sleeping for a long time in his chrysalis and needs that fat to live. Also, I have simply replaced fat with big, a word that is much less ugly to many people’s ears.
From Caterpillar to Butterfly by Deborah Heligiman is part of my favorite non-fiction for kids series ” Let’s Read and Find Out Science”. I always grab these books at garage sales and thrift stores. In this edition, you follow a classroom of students observing a caterpillar as it metamorphosis into a butterfly. A classic spring activity for preschool age children to discover and learn about life cycles. Also a perfect match for your own Insect Lore Live Butterfly Garden which I highly recommend and will be doing this year with my son. Reading non-fiction with your preschoolers is important as it teaches them seamlessly that writing and reading are not just for stories but for information too.
Butterfly Butterfly: A Book of Colors by Petr Horaeck is such a wonderful book! I love the simple text and engaging story about a little girl who is trying to find the butterfly that she saw the day before. In her attempts, she finds many other colorful bugs in her garden. At the end of the book is a beautiful pop-up butterfly that will delight your little readers. I read this to a class of 2 and 3-year-olds who were glued to every page and both my kids who are 3 and 7 loved it as well. Great book!