This 2020 Independence Day is like none other that I can recall. Most of us will not be celebrating the 4th of July with other citizens in a crowd - social distancing prevents that. Nor will we be attending a 4th of July parade. But, most of us will be at home (yet again) trying to create some fun for our kids. I share with you three simple crafts you can do with you kids with a short lesson on freedom.
Physical freedom is not free. As a military spouse for twenty-three years, I know the sacrifice that is involved in serving your country. In the past two weeks, there have been two deaths involving downed airplanes of fighter pilots. THIS HITS HOME. Not only was my husband a fighter pilot in the United States Air Force, but many of the cadets I have discipled over the past three years are now serving or soon will be serving their country as Air Force pilots. I love my country. But, I also know that the freedoms we enjoy do NOT come free. Families sacrifice for those freedoms - they move WAY more frequently than they would like. The military members deploys and leaves their family for a long period of time. They miss out on births of children, birthdays, holidays, and memories. The service members serve in an extremely dangerous profession - from pilots, to special forces, to soldiers of all kinds - they stand in harms way almost every day of their life. However, through it all, they are proud to serve their country and defend our nation and the cause of liberty.
Spiritual freedom is also not free. As much as my military man sacrificed for me, it was nothing compared to what my Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ, sacrificed for me. Yes, salvation is a free gift to me, but it was not free to Jesus. Jesus lived a perfect life. But, He still had to endure great suffering when he was beaten with thirty-nine lashes. Then, He was crucified, the most painful and brutal form of torture and death in history. In addition to the physical pain that He endured, He also faced extreme emotional pain as every one of His followers denied Him or betrayed Him over His final twenty-four hours living as a man. Spiritually, it was also painful as He bore the wrath of God which was poured out on Him because Jesus took the penalty for sin (Romans 5:9). Yes, the gift of salvation is a free gift to me, but it was not without cost to Jesus. It was physically, emotionally, and spiritually painful to Jesus. We cannot earn the gift of heaven; it is only produced by placing your faith in Jesus. So, yes, it is free to YOU, but it was not free to Jesus. He suffered and died on your behalf; it was grace.
I am sharing some easy crafts that you should be able to do with supplies you already have at home. As you perform the 4th of July crafts with your kids, talk about freedom - physical and spiritual. Talk about how our nation’s founders sacrifice for our freedom and how our military now sacrifices for our freedom. And, talk about the freedom that is found in placing your faith in Jesus. You may also take this opportunity to ask your child if he or she have firmly placed their faith in Jesus Christ. If they have not, what a fantastic opportunity to offer them the chance - July 4th!
Cookie Cutter Painting
Gather paints and star cookie cutters. Allow your kids to dip the star cookie-cutters in the paint and decorate paper.
Fireworks in Jar -
You may not be able to attend a fireworks show, but you can still create your own fireworks and learn a bit about science. Gather a jar, 3-4 Tbsp of oil, a jar, and 2-3 food coloring drops
Fill a jar with warm water, about 3/4 of the way full. Add 3-4 TBSP of oil to a small saucer. Then drop 3 drops of one color of the food coloring to the oil. Pour the oil into the jar of water. Begin to observe the color dropping to the bottom of the jar while the oil floats on top.
Add 3 more drops of food coloring to the top of the jar and witness this color drop down. Once the food coloring drops into the water (out of the oil) it will form a little explosion as it hits and water and begins to dissolve. Note: Explain to your child that oil and water cannot mix because water is made up of polar molecules and oil is made up of non-polar molecules. Oil is less dense than water so will float above the more dense water. Food coloring is unable to mix with oil and is heavier than the oil so will drop from the oil into the water. When it does, the food coloring will make what looks like little explosions as it hits the water and begins to dissolve.
Paper Tube Fireworks
Gather two empty toilet paper rolls, or a paper towel roll cut in half, paper plates, red and blue paint, construction paper or yardstick, and scissors.
Cut one end of the toilet paper roll about 2/3 of the way down. Press the cardboard pieces out so that they look like a firework.
Dip the tube into the paint. It may be a good idea to do one color first and then switch to another color. It usually looks better to layer the colors on top of one another.