On July 2nd, 1776, a group of rascally American renegades, otherwise known as the Continental Congress, approved The Lee Resolution, choosing total independence from the British Empire. Two days later, the 13 original colonies accepted the Declaration of Independence, and our official nation was birthed. July 4th is the official birthday of the United States, and it’s a time for celebration!

This post includes some playful Fourth of July activities for preschoolers to help you teach the importance of Independence Day in a fun and creative way! Bust out the red ribbon and dig out those packets of star stickers. Let’s do some arts and crafts folks!

15 Fun Fourth of July Activities for Preschoolers

When designing a learning experience for toddlers and preschoolers, we need to keep a few key components in mind. Activities for preschoolers need to be interactive or hands-on, require a short attention span, and allow them to move and participate in the process. While some young children respond well to verbal teaching, a good deal learn kinetically and visually. These 15 fun crafts should fit the bill!

As you peruse this list, think about the simple lessons you can incorporate with each project or craft. They range from basic chemical reactions to color theory to historical and civic lessons. As you experiment, feed them information in short bits. Allow them to ask questions. You’ll be surprised how much their little mind absorbs even when you think they’re not listening!

1. Mason Jar Fireworks


  • Mason Jar
  • Kitchen oil
  • Food coloring
  • Medine dropper (a small spoon or straw works too).

Small children get very excited with any project that includes food coloring. It’s such an easy way to teach basic chemical reactions, color theory, and what mixing colors does. Plus, it’s mesmerizing to their little minds and ours. Fill a Mason jar 2/3 full with warm water. Teach your little one to use a medicine dropper (working on those fine motor skills).

Mix red, yellow, and blue food coloring with your preferred kitchen oil in a separate bowl. Let them use the dropper to transfer the mixture into their Mason jar of water and watch the colors slowly sink out of the oil into the water, creating a mesmerizing pattern that resembles fireworks.

2. American Flag Collage


  • Safety scissors
  • Red, white, and blue paper products
  • A rectangular piece of cardboard or poster board
  • School glue and foam brush

Another easy Fourth of July craft is to make an American flag out of paper products you find around the house. Older preschoolers are learning to use safety scissors, which is another fantastic fine motor exercise. Help them collect red streamers, July theme photos from magazines, or cut-up construction paper. Get creative. Any red, white, or blue paper you can find will work. Treat it like a scavenger hunt.

Once you’ve gathered your paper products, assemble them into an American flag, talking about the meaning of the 13 stripes and the fifty stars on a blue background.

3. Uncle Sam Mentos Marvel


  • 3 Pack of Mentos
  • 3 bottles of Diet 7-UP
  • Red and blue food coloring
  • Fast-drying glue
  • Safety goggles

The Mentos and Diet Coke experiment is as old as…well… Mentos and Diet Coke, but your three-year-old doesn’t know that! To add some patriotic flair to this classic science experiment, use food coloring to dye one of your 7-UP bottles red and one blue. Replace the lids quickly, and set them up on the table outside.

Open your three packs of Mentos and use a small dot of glue to stick them together into a straight line (This will help with the drop process and produce a larger reaction). You could also use glue dots if giving your toddler super glue sounds like a nightmare to you.

Put on some safety goggles and open your three soda bottles. On the count of three, you drop in two of the Mentos sticks while your toddler drops the third. Watch the magic happen. P.S. You might want to set up your phone to record their precious reaction!

4. July Celebration Rockets


  • Markers, crayons, or red and blue paint
  • Stickers
  • Red and Blue streamers
  • Toilet paper rolls
  • Glue stick
  • Dowel rod
  • Safety scissors
  • Construction paper

Most kids (and adults) are fascinated with space and with rockets. Thankfully, there are plenty of rocket-based activities you can add to your July lesson plans. This simple art project is easily accomplished by most preschoolers with a bit of help with the scissors and glue.

Cut a blue rectangle from your construction paper and fold it into a cone for the top of your rocket. Let your preschooler decorate an empty toilet paper or paper towel roll with paint, stickers, etc. Use the glue stick to attack the top and the streamers to the bottom. Attach a wooden dowel rod if you want to help them fly the finished product!

5. Flag Body Painting


  • Red and blue non-toxic paint
  • A roll of white paper or poster board

One of our favorite toddler Fourth activities is really messy but so much fun! Find a place in the yard that you don’t mind making a mess in. Allow your kiddos to dip their hands and feet into the paint and either create a firework display on their paper or use their feet to make the red lines of the flag and their hands to make the blue and white star section.

6. American Flag Toast


  • Toast
  • Marshmallow spread
  • Blueberries
  • Raspberries or strawberries

The best learning experiences involve food…am I right? I know an edible craft is certainly my favorite, and I’m fairly sure your preschooler will agree. Help them toast a piece to perfection. Work on fine motor skills by spreading the marshmallow fluff and strategically placing the berries to create an American flag. After you’ve learned all about the symbolism of Old Glory, enjoy your tasty treat!

7. Fireworks Splat Painting


  • Craft pom poms, yarn balls, or rubber hedgehog balls
  • Large piece of paper
  • Blue, yellow, and red paint

This fun Independence Day activity for preschoolers involving paint transfer is slightly less messy than the body painting. Use tempera paint or watered-down acrylic paint to coat your July trinkets. Hang up your white paper as a sort of target. Obviously, you want to do this in a place where paint splatter doesn’t matter. (Although, both of these paints will wash off with the water hose as long as you don’t let them dry).

Let your preschooler chunk and hurl their paint-covered objects at the paper target, creating giant firework splats!

8. Independence Slime


  • 11 teaspoons of borax powder
  • 1.5 cups of water divided
  • 4 oz 1/2 cup of Elmer’s glue, clear or white
  • Patriotic food coloring

Dissolve the borax in one cup of warm water. In a separate bowl, mix your glue and food coloring. Then, combine the two mixtures and watch the magic happen. Use your fingers to knead the mixture until the liquid is absorbed and you’ve got a blob. Lastly, mix in your glitter and Independence Day pizazz!

9. Fourth of July Sensory Bins


  • Assorted water beads
  • Large container
  • Small Fourth of July-themed objects

When it comes to July STEM activities, we’ve mostly done guided projects so far, but you can also incorporate some simple sensory play. Pull out a large bin and fill it with red, clear, and blue water beads. Hide July-themed trinkets within the beads, and let your little one go crazy.

10. Magic Marble Dip Art


  • Magic Marble paint in red and blue
  • Large container
  • Lukewarm water
  • Dip object
  • Popsicle stick

Hydro-dipping is a fun and easy project for little ones. It’s one of our favorite transfer activities on the list because it’s purely magical! Magic Marble paint is a special formulation that floats on water and easily adheres to any object that’s dipped into it. It creates an incredible marbling effect in just seconds. These paints are available in most craft stores and online.

Fill your tub with lukewarm water. Pour a few drops of the paint and use your popsicle stick to create an interesting design. Quickly dip your vase, ball, or other chosen object into the water at a 45-degree angle and pull out. You’ll be amazed at the incredible pieces you can create in seconds.

11. Patriotic Pizza


  • Your choice of crescent roll dough or sugar cookie dough
  • Sweetened yogurt or icing
  • Assorted red and blue berries
  • Mini marshmallows

Some preschoolers have a texture issue with toast. If that’s the case, go for a bigger and better option by decorating a patriotic pizza! Roll out the dough together and give it a quick bake following the directions on the package. Once it has cooled, decorate it as an American flag or in any patriotic scheme you choose. Enjoy!

Cooking is a basic life skill that helps children grasp a litany of other skills. Cooking incorporates major and fine motor skills, time management, preparation and planning skills, minor chemistry lessons, and healthy eating habits. For more basic life skills to incorporate into your at-home lessons, take a look at “Basic Life Skills for Kids and Fun Ways to Teach Them!”

12. Alka Seltzer Rocket


  • Pack of Alka Seltzer Tablets
  • Small clear containers with a lid
  • Water
  • Food coloring

Baking soda science comes in many forms. You can blow up just about anything by mixing vinegar and baking soda and watching it work. However, one of the easiest ways to perform this experiment is with Alka Seltzer tablets. The gastric medication includes citric acid and sodium bicarbonate. When mixed in a liquid substrate, a visible chemical reaction occurs.

Fill your tiny container with water and food coloring. Drop in a tablet, secure the lid, flip the container upside down, and stand back. The reaction will cause a gas buildup within the container, eventually blowing off the lid and sending the container flying into the air with gusto!

13. Tea Bag Rockets


  • Single-use tea bags of any kind
  • Lighter
  • Food coloring

Did you know you can make flying objects with simple teabags? Start by cutting the top off of a few teabags. You’ll want to do several as your preschooler will demand to do it again and again. Empty the contents and use the food coloring to die the teabag. Let it dry. Form the dry teabags into cylinders and stand one up on a plate. Light tea bag. As it burns, the cylinder will fill with hot air and when it nears the end, the teabag will lift into the air like a slow-moving rocket. You have plenty of time to burn a few at once for a bigger effect!

14. Red White and Blue Bouncy Balls

I recently discovered that you can make your own bouncy balls at home. For some odd reason, my nephews are obsessed with the simple bouncy ball. They find it hilarious. This one takes a few more ingredients than the homemade crafts we’ve discussed thus far, but all the ingredients are likely in your cupboard already. Kidsactivities.com has an excellent tutorial for this one, check it out and make your own 4th of July-themed fun!

15. Liberated Lava Lamp


  • Clear glass cylinder (Hobby Lobby has great options, but a Mason jar works too)
  • Vegetable oil (any kitchen oil will work)
  • Food coloring

Mix your food coloring and oil in a measuring cup (preferably one with a handle and pour lip). Fill the clear vessel 3/4 with warm water. Allow your preschooler to transfer the colored oil into the water and watch the reaction happen. When it settles, put on the lid, turn the mixture, or shake it, and watch it work again. It’s hours of fun!

Fourth of July Activities for Preschoolers – Final Thoughts

boy wearing American flag print eyeglasses with mouth open an example of Fourth of July activities for preschoolers
Photo by Frank McKenna

Whether a science project or fabulous food creation, we hope you’ve found a craft on this list that you and your preschooler can enjoy together! When incorporating these Fourth of July activities for preschoolers, remember to have fun with it. If you’re excited about the idea, they will be too. It’s kind of the best thing about preschool-aged learners. They are typically easily engaged and love to be included in a project.

Use the holiday to remind yourself of the details of the American Independence story, as you pass it along to your little. It’s a time for remembrance, learning, and celebrations!

For more fun summer activities, check out our ultimate guide to the best Arkansas amusement parks!

Happy 4th folks!

Get Our Monthly Educational Activity Guides to Traveling Arkansas
Get our Monthly Educational Activity Guides to Traveling Arkansas