FourthLooking for more to do with your little ones this holiday weekend?  I’m not sure if there’s a repressed teacher lurking inside of me (or if I’m really just weird), but I love combining books with kid-friendly arts and crafts whenever I can.  Which means this week it’s all about the Fourth of July in our house!

We’re currently reading:

  • How to Make a Cherry Pie and See the U.S.A. by Marjorie Pricemanbooks
  • Red, White, and BOOM by Lee Wardlaw
  • Our 50 States: A Family Adventure Across America by Lynne Cheney
  • America the Beautiful by Katharine Lee Bates, Illustrated by Neil Waldman
  • Happy Birthday, America! by Mary Pope Osborne
  • Celebrate the 50States! by Loreen Leedy
  • Wow! America! by Robert Neubecker
  • Sweet Land of Liberty by Callista Gingrich
  • America the Beautiful by Katharine Lee Bates, Illustrated by Chris Gall
  • T is for Tar Heel: A North Carolina Alphabet by Carol Crane
  • A is for America by Devin Scillian
  • Apple Pie Fourth of July by Janet S. Wong

And this week we’re doing a little Fourth of July inspired play time – making tissue paper fireworks, coloring in some easy DIY coloring pages, plus a little something for the baby.

Just a disclaimer before we begin: I’ve learned that the amount of time I spend assembling an art project or game for my two year old is inversely proportional to the amount of time he spends “playing” with it.  Meaning, if I spend twenty minutes putting everything together for our “fun” activity (oh yes, I’ve done it before), you can guarantee he’ll spend approximately five minutes entertained by it before he is so OVER IT.

What I’m getting at is that my art projects with my kids aren’t the most amazing, elaborate things ever.  But they’re quick to assemble and they usually hold my toddler’s attention for at least ten minutes, which is a major win in my book.

fourth crafts

Tissue Paper Fireworks

These are really simple and easy to pull together.  All you need is: tissue paper (we went with red, white and blue in honor of the Fourth), construction paper, and Elmer’s glue.

Have your little one rip the tissue paper up to their hearts content.  Then, spread the glue onto the construction paper to resemble a firework; let them stick the tissue paper to the glue however they want to – our guy had a lot of fun dropping the balls of tissue onto the paper.  This activity is a great way too to work on motor skills and to review basic colors.

DIY Coloring Pages

Always a favorite of mine when the coloring books we have in our house don’t quite match the “theme” I’m going for.  Simply do an online search for outlines of different states (I used ones where our family members live) and inserted the images into PowerPoint, where I labeled the cities where everyone is located.  Give your kiddos some crayons, markers, whatever, and have them go crazy.

Baby Noise Maker

This one was for our little guy (7 months); all you need is a container (I used a plastic water bottle because of the added perk of the fact it makes noise too just by being touched), and some things that can rattle around inside.  I added blue and white rice (leftover from an earlier sensory activity I did with our older son) and some red and white cotton poms, but really, anything that makes noise and fits inside can work – dried pasta or beans, beads, etc.

What fun stuff are you doing with your family this weekend?  Don’t forget to enter to win a $25 gift card to The Baby Grocery Store!  All you need to do is “Like” us on Facebook through the link in our post (if you’re already a fan but didn’t click on the link, make sure you do so so your “like” counts as an entry!)