Patriotic Web Sites Your Kids Will Love

You say that you’re a Yankee Doodle Dandy? Pull on your Uncle Sam hats, grab ol’ Glory and prepare for Independence Day. If it is loads of red, white and blue fun, arts, crafts, recipes, cards, coloring pages, flag or firework history you are looking for to spice up your Fourth, why not turn to the Web? To help weed through the plethora of July 4 activities online, check out these parent- (and kid-) tested sites for wholesome fun.

Independence Day on the Net — Chock full of history to read, patriotic music to enjoy, a fireworks display to amaze you and apple pie recipes to bake, this eclectic site has much to offer. Look for the story of the America’s independence and the Declaration of Independence, info on flag etiquette, a listing of presidents, barbecue and pie recipes, a July 4 movie download, music files, patriotic greeting cards and more.

Pyrotechnics, the Art of Fire — This site is maintained by a Finnish chemist with a fondness for fireworks. If you don’t know the difference between flitter stars, starmines or snowball comets, get an education here. A suitable site for older children and science buffs, it delves into an explanation of the physics of colored fireworks and also offers some super pyrotechnical links.

July 4 Desktop Goodies – Where else on the Web can you find quality computer screensavers featuring a U. S. flag, firework explosions or fireworks in outer space? Download free Independence Day themed desktops, screensavers, wallpaper, animated cursors, sounds and music (anyone need the 1913 lyrics to America the Beautiful?) at this popular site. It’s guaranteed to get your and yours in a patriotic mood.

Kaboom! — Can you say “wow”? This super site for kids features beautiful graphics. Explore the anatomy of a firework (launch tube, fuse, break)

The “Hot Science” section delves into how the whiz, bang, pop and color are all possible by combining the most basic substances of which we know: periodic elements.

Betsy Ross Homepage — Need a virtual tour of the famous flag maker’s home? Want to know what the red, white and blue really represent? Need a picture of a flag or Ms. Ross herself? This is a wonderfully comprehensive Web stop about Betsy Ross and how she has become one of the most cherished figures in American history. A perfect site for research projects or just fabulous flag trivia.

DLTK’s Fourth of July — The younger set will appreciate the variety of July 4th coloring pages you can download here as well as the simple patriotic crafts – bookmarks, door hangers, treat bags and American “candles” using toilet paper rolls. Parents will like the July 4th-themed math worksheets to slow summer brain drain. Loads of fun.

Woman’s Day Fourth of July – One of mom’s favorite magazines offers a super link with 25 red, white and blue ideas for July 4 fun. Find instructions for whipping up an Uncle Sam’s cake, making barbecue bibs, a patriotic puppet or a stars and stripes dessert tray. Parents can download high-quality coloring pages to keep little hands busy while moms and dads plan a holiday grill-out.

The Star-Spangled Banner — A beautiful, well-organized site that is maintained by the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History, which houses an American treasure—the Star-Spangled Banner. At this cyber stop, discover the history of the Star-Spangled Banner, consider the flag’s symbolism, learn about the conservation process and explore the museum’s educational offerings.

The Activity Idea Place-July 4 — This site is intended as a resource for early childhood educators but is a parent’s dream come true. Scope out the unique craft projects that include flag art on butcher paper, torn paper flags using construction paper, Fourth of July wands using dowels and streamers, or creating red or blue “goop” using cornstarch, floor and food coloring in . . . you guessed it: red or blue.