Friday, July 04, 2008

Fourth of July Celebrations and Activities for the Montessori Classroom

NAMC montessori classroom activities fourth of july kids in wagon
In the United States, Independence Day, also known as the Fourth of July, is a federal holiday commemorating the adoption of the Declaration of Independence. This was officially adopted on July 4, 1776, declaring independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain. Independence Day is commonly celebrated with fireworks, parades, barbecues, picnics, and various summer activities.

This summer marks the 232nd birthday of the United States of America and as the summer heat encroaches and a presidential election looms ahead, I reflect back on my childhood where outdoor picnics and sparklers brought so much joy. Why not try a little old fashioned fun at your Montessori Classroom Fourth of July celebration?

Fourth of July Celebrations and Activities for the Montessori Classroom

The Fourth of July conjures up many fond memories. Growing up, we had barbeques at my grandparents with hand churned homemade ice cream. Then, we’d pile into the car and head for the big fireworks celebrations where we’d spread picnic blankets on the ground, eagerly anticipating the spectacular bursts of color and the chorus of the “oooooohhhhh’s” and “ahhhhhhhhhh’s” around us. I remember celebrating the bicentennial in 1976, when my sister and I proudly wore matching patriotic outfits that my grandmother had stitched for us. I felt like we were making history, celebrating the 200th birthday of our country. Another year, my family went camping in Utah for the Fourth. We spent that afternoon watching the most wondrous lightning storm, thinking even nature was taking part in the celebration.

This homemade lemonade recipe is one that children of all ages can help prepare; younger children can slice strawberries and juice lemons using a hand juicer, and older children can make the simple syrup.

Homemade Strawberry Lemonade

What You Need:
  • Simple Syrup (see recipe below)
  • Juice of 6 freshly-squeezed lemons (1 cup)
  • 1 pint of strawberries, hulled and halved
  • 4 cups cold water
  • 1 sliced lemon, for garnish
  • Ice cubes
What You Do:
  • Prepare Simple Syrup in advance and refrigerate.
  • Puree sliced strawberries in a blender.
  • In a large pitcher, combine lemon juice, strawberries and sugar and cold Simple Syrup. 
  • Add water, lemon slices, and ice cubes; stir until well blended.
  • Serve in tall glasses over ice. Yields approximately 6 cups.
Simple Syrup
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup water
In a medium saucepan, combine sugar and water. Boil for 5 minutes, without stirring. Remove from heat and let cool before using. Store in the refrigerator.

NAMC montessori classroom activities fourth of july family barbeque
Here are some ideas for familiar activities children and adults alike will enjoy playing. Make it truly Montessori; it’s not about who wins, but how much fun you have playing the game:
  • Egg and Spoon Race
  • Three Legged Race
  • Sack Race
  • Scavenger Hunt (include items related to 4th of July, such as mini flag)
Include some decorating at your celebration with a Patriotic Wind Sock.

Patriotic Wind Sock

What You Need:
  • A cylindrical cardboard oatmeal container
  • Construction paper (blue and white)
  • Red and white crepe paper streamers
  • Glue
  • String
  • Scissors
  • Hole punch
What You Do:
  • Cut the bottom off a cylindrical cardboard oatmeal container. Cover the container with blue construction paper and then glue on white construction paper stars.
  • Cut some red and white crepe paper streamers and glue or staple them to one end of the wind sock.
  • Punch four holes along the top of the wind sock.
  • Cut two pieces of string about a foot long. Tie the strings to the wind sock (tie the opposite ends of a string to holes on opposite sides of the cylinder).
  • Tie a longer piece of string to the smaller pieces - you'll hang the wind sock from this piece of string.
  • Hang your patriotic wind sock from your window or porch.
Visit the Enchanted Learning website for more Fourth of July craft ideas.

For Fourth of July lesson plans and crafts, visit the American Montessori Consulting website .

Whatever your plans for the 4th of July, it’s a day to celebrate being together as a family. Create some memories together and be ready to laugh and play. It’s going to be a great day!
As much as possible, NAMC’s web blog reflects the Montessori curriculum as provided in its teacher training programs. We realize and respect that Montessori schools are unique and may vary their schedules and offerings in accordance with the needs of their individual communities. We hope that our readers will find our articles useful and inspiring as a contribution to the global Montessori community.
© North American Montessori Center - originally posted in its entirety at Montessori Teacher Training on Friday, July 4, 2008.

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