Barbecues, apple pies, swimming and fireworks are just a few of the things that many of us enjoy on the Fourth of July. These are all fun ways to celebrate America’s Independence Day, but it’s important to reflect on the true meaning of the holiday. As parents, it’s important to teach our children about the birth of our nation and the significance of our country’s history.

Reading age-appropriate books that focus on American history is a great family activity. In addition, it’s good to revisit our own patriotism and remind ourselves of the rich history and traditions and that Christianity and faith played a significant role in establishing our freedoms.

We should never take our freedoms for granted. Part of our freedom is the ability to attend the church of our choice and practice our religion; this is certainly something to celebrate. While we look back to our founding fathers with gratitude on this Independence Day, we can also look to the future with renewed faith and assurance.

“Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord,” – Psalm 33:12.

The Story of America’s Birthday
By Patricia A. Pingry

This engaging book introduces little ones to the story of the origins of America. Colorful illustrations paired with the toddler-friendly text help to explain the connection between the Declaration of Independence, American Revolution as well as Fourth of July festivities. Thoroughly researched, historically accurate and accessible for even the youngest of children, this book helps kids understand the reasons we celebrate the birthday of our country every year.

America: A Patriotic Primer
By Lynne Cheney

Teach your kids the ABCs of American history and reinforce the godly values, ideals, people and events that make our country great. This fun book features delightful illustrations, draws on a lifetime of learning about the American past as well as the inspiration that comes from witnessing recent history firsthand and teaches history by celebrating the diversity, tenacity and faith of the American people.

The Star-Spangled Banner
By Peter Spier

With a historic note at the end, this is an excellent way to introduce children not only to the words of our country’s national anthem, but also to the background it was born out of, and the meaning of the lyrics. This magnificent tribute takes readers from our anthem’s turbulent origins at the Battle of Baltimore through the flag’s significance in modern-day America. It’s a must-have for every American family’s library.

We the Kids: A Preamble to the Constitution of the United States
By David Catrow

A long time ago, some smart guys had some smart ideas, and they wrote them down in the Preamble to the Constitution. You have probably read it before, but do you know what it means? And did it ever make you laugh? Now it will! In this book’s great illustrations, this fun-filled look at the Preamble provides an accessible look at America’s founding ideal for citizens of all ages.

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Kelly Wise Valdes
Kelly Wise Valdes has been writing for the Osprey Observer since 2008. She graduated in 1989 from Florida Southern College with a B.S. in Communications and enjoys writing and traveling. She currently resides in northern Hillsborough County with her husband, David. When not traveling and writing, Kelly and her husband enjoy spending time with their five grown children (as well as their grandchildren) that still keep them very busy.