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Get Crafty This Fourth of July

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Looking for something fun to do with your little patriots over the holiday weekend? This easy American flag art project will keep them entertained with only a few basic materials.

Guest blogger Toni Gallagher offers step-by-step instructions for this creative flag art project:

Materials: White paper, blue paper, children's scissors, red and white poster paint, a paper plate, glue stick, potatoes and a sharp knife (which should be used only by an adult).

Instructions: First, find a space outside to set up all the materials. (This project may get a little messy, and red paint on your coffee table is never good.)

1) Have your kids cut (with safe scissors) the blue paper into random shapes. Leftover scraps will always do. Place them in a plastic cup as they're being cut to keep them from blowing away.
2) Cut the potato in half with a sharp knife. Carefully cut a star on one half of the potato and a rectangle on the other half.
3) Draw a box in the top left corner of the white piece of paper (so your child can fill in the square/rectangle with the blue cut pieces of paper, sticking them down with a glue stick). This does not have to be neat; layering is good.
4) Put the red paint in a tray or on a paper plate. Then take the rectangular-shaped potato and dip it in the paint. This will be used to make the red stripes on your flag.
5) Put the white paint in a tray and dip the star-shaped potato into it. Let your child print as many stars as they'd like in the blue box. This is a representation of the American flag and does not need to be totally realistic.

When I stepped back and stopped guiding my 5-year-old, it unleashed a whole new layer of creativity. She carried on with this picture and added glitter and some magazine cuttings. I love doing arts and crafts with children. I find they are far less structured in their approach and come up with some really inspiring creations. Remember: There is no right or wrong; just have fun!

next: Keep Kids Away from Fireworks!
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