The American Flag is awesome for learning!
I grabbed our American Flag as it got taken down off our porch last year because of the way we had it hung (flat against the side of our house) the wind took it too much and we were afraid it would rip.
So I hung it up in the house. I tied a piece of yarn up as tight as I could (a heavier piece of string would actually work better, or twine, because the flag is quite heavy) and hung the flag with clothespins. If you have a clothesline, it would be awesome to do this outside to have it blow in the wind!
I pulled out the step stool for Henry to get a closer look.
I just left it as that for a bit as Henry observed it. Counting the stars (as best he could) and overall just being excited seeing it in the house.
Then, we made our own American Flag. Using the real one as a guide and inspiration.
(You don’t actually need a real American Flag for this activity, a printed image of one would work just as well for reference!)
Materials we used to make our flag:
- Red and white crepe paper (affiliate link)
- A blue piece of scrapbook (12×12) paper
- A white piece of paper (for the star)
Note: Absolutely no damage was done to the American Flag in this activity!
I struggled with what to make the stripes with. I didn’t have crepe paper on hand and I really (really) didn’t want to go buy some just for this simple activity. While I thought of a great small flag craft on construction paper, I really wanted to make something big with the kids so they’d get more into it (and not think of it as a craft).
While I could have used toilet paper or ripped strips of paper from our roll or art paper for the white stripes, I had nothing for the red stripes. We could’ve taken the time to color or paint the paper red, but I thought that would have drug the activity on for too long. Maybe another day.
So, I did give in and run to the dollar store and bought crepe paper, for $1 each. Not the end of the world, I guess.
With newly-boughten crepe paper on hand, Henry got to work making his very own American Flag.
He clothespinned the end of the crepe paper at the top to the flag and string. Matching colors as he went along. He let the crepe paper hang loosely to the floor where he cut it at the bottom.
(This is where I thought measuring could have come into play by pre-measuring his strip of crepe paper, but Henry outsmarted me with his way of dangling the crepe paper to the floor, so I let that go.)
He worked his way across the flag. One stripe at a time. Each time going over what came next. Red or white and repeating the pattern.
He was doing awesome. Once we got the the block of blue we started getting into some confusion. He did well. He still got the red and white pattern right, but his spacing of the stripes got way off. When he had only one stripe left to do, he showed that there were three left. So I had him recount both the flag stripes and the crepe paper stripes.
This really confused him because they were hung on top of each other.
After a minor meltdown, we started up again, but first I separated the real American Flag with our made one. Hanging them side by side.
I had Henry count the stripes again to find that the real American Flag had thirteen stripes and we had made twelve already, so we only had how many left? One! Phew. That drama was over.
But what color came next? Could he figure it out without the crepe paper on top of the flag?
No problem! Of course, red came after white!
That’s the hard part. Now, just have to add the blue square with a piece of paper (with more clothespins, I did this so the crepe paper wouldn’t fall).
And adding a star (or as many as you like)!
I drew a few stars on a piece of paper for Henry to cut out. I told him he could cut as many as he liked for his flag. He decided one was all he wanted. (I don’t blame him, cutting stars is a pain!)
Since I already had the blue paper hung up, we just used a glue stick quick to slap the star on it.
There you have it.
Your own American Flag that you and your child just made together! Awesome.
Now run and play in it until the 4th of July!