Easy Art Project: Patriotic Pinwheels for July Fourth
July Fourth is when it really starts to feel like summer around here. We head out to my in-laws’ place where there are actually more adults than kids and the kids enjoy summer vacation the way it was meant to be: running around barefoot, swimming in the surf, riding bikes, and kayaking. There are picnics and barbecues with fresh local corn, watermelon, ice pops, and ice cream topped with cherries. Then, comes the best part: the parade, carnival, and fireworks courtesy of the famous Grucci Brothers, hometown Long Island boys who provide displays for presidential inaugurations, the Olympic Games, and World's Fairs.
Of course, Independence Day is about more than brass bands and sparklers! The reason for the celebration is the birth of our country, a glorious and messy experiment in self-determination and democracy. The Fourth of July is a great time to introduce the symbols of our country to young children and get older kids thinking about concepts like freedom and justice. Although the U.S. flag's colors were not assigned specific meaning, later red, white, and blue came to have meaning for our founding fathers. According to Charles Thompson, Secretary of the Continental Congress: "White signifies purity and innocence, red, hardiness & valour, and Blue...signifies vigilance, perseverance & justice."
We made these patriotic-themed pinwheels as decorations for our barbecue and also as a way to start a conversation about what we are celebrating on July Fourth. They are fun toys or festive decorations!
- one 4"x4" square of white paper
- red and blue markers
- one straw or pencil with an eraser
- one push pin / tack (or a brass fastener if it is a decoration and not a toy)
- a little bit of model magic or blue adhesive putty
1. If your paper is not square, just fold one corner towards the opposite side and snip off the extra. Then fold on the opposite diagonal.
2. Decorate each quadrant of the paper on both sides.
3. Cut from each corner on the folds towards the center. stopping about a half inch before the center.
4. Fold one corner towards the center to overlap. Do not crease.
5. Working clock-wise, fold one corner of each quadrant towards the center.
6. Pierce the center with a push pin. Push the pinwheel through a straw (or through the eraser of a pencil). If the tack point sticks out, put a little bit of model magic or blue adhesive putty on the end.
Celebrate! Happy Fourth of July!