Independence Day is just around the corner, and most kids are on summer break from school. A lot of us still have to work, which often leaves kids itching for fun activities to keep them busy. Crafts are a great indoor and outdoor activity, and focusing the theme around July 4 will not only give them something to do, but it’ll also help them show off their patriotic side.

Here are a few fun and easy crafts for young children that can be made from items found around the house.

American Flag Hand Wreath

All you need is red, white and blue construction paper, a pencil, safety scissors and a glue stick to make this adorable, patriotic wreath for the front door.

Sit down with kids and trace their hand in several places with a pencil on the different colored construction paper. Once you have between nine and twelve hands, use the safety scissors to cut them out. Arrange the hands in a circle and glue them together to make a circle of waving red, white and blue hands. Allow the glue to dry, then hang your child’s wreath on the front door so all your guests can admire it when they visit during the holiday.

Patriotic Pinwheels

You will need red, white or blue card stock paper (8 in x 8 in), patriotic stickers, safety scissors, a thumb tack and an unsharpened pencil with an eraser.

Have children decorate the card stock with colorful patriotic stickers. Use a straight edge to lightly mark an X in the center of the card stock. Using safety scissors, cut from each corner toward the center about 3/4s of the way down each side of the paper.

Bend one of the corners inward, but don’t crease it as you want it to loop. secure it in place by poking the thumb tack through center. Bend the opposite side of the next corner, and repeat until all four corners are loosely folded and secured in place with the thumb tack.

Push the end of the thumb tack into the side of the eraser and blow on the pinwheel.

These patriotic pinwheels are a fun and colorful way to celebrate in daylight hours, keeping kids occupied before the fireworks displays.

Fireworks Crowns

Whether you’re having a backyard barbecue, or heading out to a local Independence Day parade, sporting one of these colorful, handmade crowns will have everyone buzzing. I got this idea from Disney Family Fun, and put one of these together with my five-year-old niece because she loves to do crafts. It was simple to make and fun to wear, but you may need to pop over to the local craft store for some supplies for this one.

You will need red and white craft foam, golden craft foam stars, silver pipe cleaners, blue electrical tape, craft glue and scissors.

Begin by cutting the red and white craft foam into 2 inch by 6 inch strips. Apply a strip of blue electrical tape in a straight line across the bottom, leaving about one inch of craft foam below the tape line. Take your scissors and cut each strip carefully into smaller, fringed strips.

Attach yellow craft foam stars to the tops of eight silver pipe cleaners with craft glue. Once the glue on your pipe cleaners dries, carefully flip the red and white strips over and lay the pipe cleaners on the inner-eight strips of the crown. Secure them in place with a second layer of blue tape. You may even want to use pipe cleaners of different sizes for a staggering effect.

The crown can be held in place with a paper clip, or by stapling it to size with the edges of the staples facing the outside of the crown to avoid injury. Once flipped upright, the fringe will flop about in a fury of red and white, while the pipe cleaners stand like shimmering fireworks atop the head.

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