Patriotic Activities: Crafts and Play Dough Mats for Learning and Play!

The crafts and activities below are fun for Patriotic holidays or other special events that need a little extra “sparkle!”

Collage Fireworks 

Set out different materials for students to use to make “firework” prints.   Place white and blue paint in shallow containers or on paper plate.  Have the children make different prints and marks of paint on a red background (other background colors that fit the occasion).  For extra sparkle, sprinkle glitter on the paint before allow the print to thoroughly dry!

Suggested materials to paint with include: pipe cleaners, Wikki Stix, shower poof, baby bottle brush, paper towel wadded and secured with a rubber band, bunch of cut string pieces rubber banded together, natural sponges, etc.


Play Dough Stars and Numbers –Numbered Playdough Mats

Materials needed:   Numbered Play dough Mats.pdf, star shaped cookie cutter(s), homemade or commercial play dough.
Print off the numbered play dough mats.  Laminate for durability.  Have students use a small star shaped cookie cutter to cut out star shapes. Place the required number of stars on the mat next to the numeral.  For younger children:  have them try to roll small bits of dough into a ball (demonstrate first) then place one ball on each of the orange balls on the work pages.  Count out loud and have the children pick up each ball as they count.

Extension for older students: Have students try to read the number words on each line (pages 5-6 of the pdf) and place that many stars in each row.

Extension for older students #2: Use the addition or subtraction equations (pages 7-8 of the pdf) to figure out how many stars are needed in each row.


Firecracker Rubbings –Firecracker Template

Print the Firecracker Template.pdf  on heavy paper such as cardstock.  Outline the shape(s) with glue.  Let dry and then cut around the firecracker leaving about ½ inch or more edge.  Place the outlined firecracker under a piece of construction paper or printer paper.  Have the children use the side of a crayon (you may need to remove the crayon wrapper) to color in and around the paper.  As they color, the print from the glue outline will leave behind a “rubbing” of the image.

Extension activity: You can also do this activity with basic outlines of other 4th of July themed items:   flags, fireworks, stars, the letters “USA”, etc.


Textured Firecrackers 

Print out the Firecracker Template.pdf (see link above) onto heavy paper such as cardstock.  Cut out the shape if desired.  Have the child outline the shape with glue and spread it along the inside so it is completely covered with glue.  You can now have the student decorate the firecracker shape with any desired collage materials as they desire.

Suggested materials  include:  Sand, Tissue Paper Squares, Wall Paper Scraps, Feathers, Pom-Poms, Cornmeal, Dried noodles or Beans, Glitter, Pipe Cleaners, Wikki Stix, or Rice.

Extension activity: Create the firecrackers by making each one with a different texture.  Place the firecrackers under a large blanket or towel and have students feel each fire cracker one at a time and try to guess what each one is covered with.  Students should only use their sense of touch for this activity and not try to peek under the cover.  For younger children, you may want to have samples of each of the materials that were used so they can point to and pick out which material they are feeling.

See The Preschool Toolblox Blog for Preschool and Kindergarten Themes for Active Learning and Play!

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