Wednesday, July 4, 2012

**Fourth of July Spirit!**

The spirit of the 4th of July is contagious!  Who doesn't like a day off to barbeque, eat delicious food, spend time with family, and watch the parades and fireworks?? I know I do!

To kick off our 4th of July themed playgroup, we read Firefighter Ted by Andrea Beaty and Pascal Lemaitre.  This book we read was especially important for those of us who live in Utah.  We have had many wildfires this season, and we wanted to educate our little friends on fire safety.  It is very important to teach our own children to: not play with matches, to let an adult light the fireworks, to not light fireworks near a lot of dry grass and brush, to have a fire escape plan within your home, etc.

This book was great because it opened up the discussion on fire safety. Shockingly enough, there were kids that didn't know that playing with matches and lighters is dangerous!  It's never too early to start this discussion.  According to the U.S. Fire Administration, children under age 5 are twice as likely to die in a fire than the rest of us. In fact, toddlers age 3 to 4 actually cause a large number of home fires by playing with lighters and matches. And when fire breaks out, babies and toddlers can't escape without your help. Help keep children in your care safe.

Our craft project was so fun.  The kids got to make their own fancy 4th of July hat to show off their holiday spirit!  They can wear these hats while they watch the parades and at night when they are watching the fireworks.

For the hat, we used red (you can use any festive color) poster board paper, and cut it into 5-6 inch strips.  For younger children, cutting it width-wise should be sufficient.  For older kids and adults, you may need to cut it length-wise depending on the circumference of your noggin! Some of us have big heads!

Measure the strip around your head, then staple the paper where it overlaps.  After you have your "hat", you can decorate it any way you like.  We used paper punches to make holes, then fed sparkly red, white, and blue pipe cleaners through it.  We also put silver and blue wire star garland (found at party stores) through the holes too.

On the front, we glued shiny silver stars, and also had some red and blue cut-out stars too that really added the festive touch!

We really wanted to incorporate a flag on our hats, so we found inexpensive plastic flags that were light-weight.  We punched two holes, one top--one bottom, and fed the stick through it.  You can put it in the back, or the side of your head--whatever your child prefers.  Make sure you let your child do most of the work themselves.  They need to explore their creativity and use their imagination.

Thing you need for your spectacular 4th of July hat:
  • Poster Board
  • Scizzors
  • Hole punch
  • Stars (we used star confetti, stickers, and paper stars)
  • Sparkly red, white, and blue pipe cleaners
  • Star garland (found at most party stores)
  • Small flag
  • Glue 
  • Markers 


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