4 Educational Fourth of July Activities

July is the heart of summer vacation, filled with warm weather and quality family time. This month is also marked by the nation’s biggest holiday: the Fourth of July, or Independence Day. This holiday signifies the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776 and the creation of the United States. Aside from celebrating the birth of the nation, the Fourth of July is a great opportunity for the whole family to learn more about the United States through educational activities, such as visiting a historic site, participating in a parade, or cooking a traditional colonial meal.

Looking to make the most of Independence Day? Here are four educational Fourth of July activities that are both patriotic and educational.  

Educational Fourth of July activity #1: visit a historic American city

If you would like to visit a historic American city, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. are two great places to explore on the Fourth of July. You can schedule an organized tour around these cities or explore on your own. Philadelphia is home to many pieces of U.S. history, including:

  • The Liberty Bell

  • The Betsy Ross House.

As the nation’s capitol, Washington, D.C. is home to many historic monuments, such as:

  • The Thomas Jefferson Memorial

  • The Washington Monument.

Even if you’re unable to visit Philadelphia or Washington, D.C. this Fourth of July, there are many other historic American cities. Check with your city’s historical society to discover what local sites you can take advantage of this Independence Day.

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Educational Fourth of July activity #2: attend a parade

Cities and small towns all across the country host Fourth of July parades. These parades are inclusive, with people of all ages participating. They may include educational activities and speeches that tell stories about the founding of the United States. Check your local events directory to see whether there’s a parade happening near you and how you can get involved.

Educational Fourth of July activity #3: learn songs of independence

Singing songs of independence can be both fun and educational. Many of these songs tell stories about the founding and creation of the United States. This can be a great activity to illustrate to young children the history of America. Search for an existing playlist online, or compile your own to share with your family. Popular favorites include The Star-Spangled Banner and America the Beautiful.

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Educational Fourth of July activity #4: eat like a colonist

Colonists’ diets in early America were quite different than what’s seen today. Give the whole family a taste of early American cooking by trying some classic recipes this Fourth of July.

The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation publishes a list of 18th century recipes every two weeks. They offer a full menu of colonial dishes, from shepherd’s pie to tidewater chili. This is a great way for students to learn more about colonists’ eating habits and to gain a deeper appreciation for the lives of early Americans.

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