July 2015: Holiday History & Craft

July Holiday History and Craft Patriotic PinwheelsFourth of July is next weekend, and if I delayed this post ’til next Monday, the holiday we’re celebrating will have come and gone. So here’s the post a few days early!

Today, we’ll explore the history of Fourth of July and make a new craft! (This article and craft is designed for children and is written accordingly.)

History

The_Declaration_of_Independence_July_4_1776_by_John_TrumbullLet’s play trivia.

We celebrate Fourth of July because:

A) George Washington became president

B) The Civil War ended

C) The Declaration of Independence was approved

If you guessed C, you’re correct! Now, here’s a little more history you should know. It was actually on July 2, 1776,  when the Continental Congress voted to separate America from Great Britain. (You see, back then, England was in charge of America and could tell us what to do…we didn’t like that very much and voted to be independent.)

Thomas Jeffeson

Thomas Jeffeson

After the vote to become a separate nation, the Founding Fathers decided they needed to put it in writing. (Smart men!) So Thomas Jefferson (who would later be our third president) drafted The Declaration of Independence, declaring the reasons America would be its own country. Jefferson’s document was approved and read on July Fourth, and there was a BIG celebration.

Through the years, Americans have always had a “national birthday party” on July Fourth to celebration our country’s independence. Many cities have parades; there are barbeques and fireworks. What’s your favorite thing about Fourth of July?

The colors of the American flag are red, white, and blue, and these are the most popular colors for this holiday. Let’s make a pinwheel garland to decorate and celebrate Independence Day!

Craft

July Holiday History and Craft Patriotic PinwheelsWhat You’ll Need:

Red, White, and Blue Paper (don’t use cardstock)

Ruler

Pencil

Scissors

Tape

Two Prong Paper Fasteners

String

July Holiday History and Craft Patriotic PinwheelsWith the ruler and pencil, measure and mark 5″ squares on the paper. (You can make as many pinwheels as you want and each square makes one pinwheel.) Cut out the squares.

 

 

July Holiday History and Craft Patriotic PinwheelsUse the ruler and pencil to mark diagonal lines from corner to corner on your paper square. Cut on the lines, coming toward the center and stopping about 1/4″ from where the lines cross (intersect). Cut carefully…oh, and remember scissors are SHARP!

 

 

July Holiday History and Craft Patriotic PinwheelsNow, see the photographs. Fold two opposite diagonals to the center and secure with a little tape. Fold the remaining diagonals and secure with a little piece of tape. Now, take the paper fastener and carefully push it through the center; turn over, and open the back prongs to secure it in place. Finished!

Follow the marking, cutting, and folding directions with all your paper squares.

July Holiday History and Craft Patriotic PinwheelsJuly Holiday History and Craft Patriotic Pinwheels

July Holiday History and Craft Patriotic PinwheelsTake all your pinwheels and arrange them in your preferred pattern. (I used R,W,B,R,W,B)

Now, turn them upside down. Cut string the length of your garland and leave a little extra. Thread the string under the open prongs and tape in place.

 

When you hang your garland, you may need to secure some of the pinwheels to the surface you’re hanging against. Some of my pinwheels wanted to turn the wrong way, so I just used a little piece of tape to hold them where I wanted. 🙂

July Holiday History and Craft Patriotic PinwheelsHappy Fourth of July! Have a great week celebrating America’s independence.

About Sarah Kay Bierle

I’m Sarah Kay Bierle, historian, living history enthusiast, and historical fiction writer. When sharing history, I try to keep the facts interesting and understandable. History is about real people, real actions, real effects and it should inspire us today.
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