My eldest grandson turned seven this week and we celebrated his birthday today. His mother, my daughter-in-law, plans the most creative birthday parties, combining craft activities with games. We’ve attended events with themes of butterflies (my grand-daughter’s 4th) and dragons. (This grandson’s 5th.) We were away last year for his 6th, an Angry Birds party; and I vowed to not miss any more if I can.
Our grandson has been fixated on the American Revolution. He loves the idea of wearing wigs and three-cornered hats, carrying muskets, and fighting for rights.
We began making our own three- cornered hats. It’s always helpful to have a few adults assist with cutting, measuring, and taping. Then we sat in a circle and were each given a cup with five gold (chocolate) coins so we could experience taxation on a personal level. My son acted as the tax collector, and my DIL was King George, informing us that if we’d made more than $5 we had to give one to the coffers. So everyone lost one coin. Then the reasons for taxation become more specific: if we’d eaten breakfast that day, we had to pay a tax. Similarly if we had brown hair and brown eyes or were wearing socks.
Of course this lead to people being very unhappy and charges of “no taxation without representation” resulting in a snowball fight (indoors using wadded up paper). We took a short break to make headbands to disguise the colonists as Native Americans and re-enacted the Boston Tea Party, dumping boxes of tea “overboard,” in this case, down the basement stairs.
After a red, white, and blue cake adorned with soldiers and cannons, we all signed the Declaration of Independence, using a “quill” pen, adding our names to those already penned in 1776.
It’s never too early to instill American history and the importance of freedom in children.