Happy Birthday, America! You look good for your age - keep it up!

Happy Birthday, USA!

What does the 4th of July mean to you?
To me, the Fourth of July means freedom, and the right to be free – not in sense of city/state rule, but more in the sense that we celebrate this day because there was a great fight for this freedom. This fight is something I want our son to know about, but when? I incorporate learning in everything, and history is definitely one of those subjects that get included in almost every conversation we share.

Teaching our son about the minute details of our nation's independence may be a bit too early for an almost three year old to comprehend. However, there are plenty of things you can do with your curious toddler to evoke patriotism and love for your country. From patriotic-themed arts and crafts to fun songs like "Yankee Doodle" can evoke patriotism in the smallest of kids. In my latest video, I used Captain America as a tool to teach the history of our nation’s independence in order to associate a relatable figure along with the juxtaposition of historical references throughout the patriotic surprise egg unboxing. Captain America, yes, is a Marvel superhero, and Captain America is in no way a true American hero, but it’s a face that kids recognize. Captain America is a symbol of strength and perseverance, and I feel his background often mimics that of the strength and perseverance of the soon-to-be American people before the Declaration was signed.

My husband and I were discussing our next vacation, and we decided we would do a history trip! It sounds like a blast to go back in time while on vacation and really "see" what our country is made of, and what makes it tick. We made a list of places we wanted to go. The best part about a historical vacation in the US is that there is history and culture at every turn. We're just hours away from Washington, DC, and minutes away from the epicenter of the financial capital of the world. History is in everything, and I feel it is important to instill that thirst for knowledge in our children in order to facilitate a stronger sense of wonder as they get older. If we show interest in things like history, reading, math – the fundamentals of learning and the root of all educational tools – we, as parents, are strengthening and nurturing our kids’ desires to grow academically. Even the smallest of kids will get a kick out of hearing your words, as far away as your kid may seem while you’re teaching and preaching, they’re listening, and digesting each part. In our son, the progression of learning from age one to two was overwhelming, his brain was on overload – talking, asking questions, debating with us at just 18 months old. I am running on a tangent here, but I do have a point – it’s our job as parents to instill, provide, nurture, and cultivate the need to learn, especially our nation’s history – through your eyes.

Another fun method to instill learning history with kids is through your family itself. Much of what you may find in a history book (or, cough, Wikipedia) you can get from your own forefathers. I was able to go back at far as the 1400’s tracing back my ancestry, and what a story I am able to tell once our son understands what ancestry means. What I do now is incorporate his family history into his everyday life. For example, if my ancestor, let’s just say, invented electricity, I would use that bit of family background to elude that electricity came from XYZ, and how it works, etc. Again, another wild tangent, but my point is that kids will just start to get it, and if your kid is anything like mine, they will repeat it until it becomes second nature. You see the money here, well this guy Abraham Lincoln was really honest, not like Pinocchio before he became a real boy, this guy was so honest that they called him Honest Abe and put his face on a $5 bill, and was our 16th President and he also abolished slavery and was a gifted speaker and speechwriter.

Well, that’s my take on history and instilling the historical value and using every day things to turn into changes to educate.
What do you do with your children? Give me some ideas on patriotic crafts in the comments below!


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