Thursday, July 1, 2010

Fireworks and Yankee Doodle: 4th of July Crafts for Toddlers

For the first craft we made fireworks! Well, at least the non-explosive kind :) I found the idea for that here. It was really easy. We just took 4 baking cups (the kind you bake cupcakes in) and flattened them out then used different colored markers to make them colorful. Then we glued the cups onto a black piece of construction paper. After that we took glitter glue and spread it around with our fingers so the fireworks would be sparkly.

The next craft was a little more mommy involved. In my attempt to be festive, I've been singing the boys "Yankee Doodle". Scientist thinks the part about the macaroni is just hilarious, and asks me to sing it to him over and over. So I thought it would be fun to do a Yankee Doodle craft. I had Aaron make both boys a paper hat out of newspaper. (I don't know how, but you could probably Google search for instructions.) Then the boys painted their hats. In order for this to be festive, I only gave them the option of using the red, white, and blue paint. :) When that was dry, I put a line of glue around the bottom of each hat and the boys (Sponge had a lot of help from me) stuck macaroni all around the bottom. Then we glued some feathers to the top.

I was really happy with how the hats turned out. It was kind of a stop and go project. We painted one side of the hats, then had to let that dry so we could flip them over to paint the other side. Then we let that dry, glued one side of macaroni, let that dry, then the other side. And finally the feathers. But it was worth it, and it took a good part of the morning, so in my mind it was a success. We'll see how long the hats last, and how long I find random macaroni noodles strewn about my house. :)

Here are some things we (but probably mostly I) have learned about Yankee Doodle the last couple days.

Yankee Doodle went to town

A-riding on a pony
Stuck a feather in his cap
And called it macaroni.

Yankee Doodle, keep it up
Yankee Doodle dandy
Mind the music and the step
And with the girls be handy.

Father and I went down to camp
Along with Captain Gooding
And there we saw the men and boys
As thick as hasty pudding.


There was Captain Washington
Upon a slapping stallion
A-giving orders to his men
I guess there were a million.


Also a few interesting things from Wikipedia:

"Yankee Doodle" is a well-known Anglo-American song, the origin of which dates back to the Seven Years' War. It is often sung patriotically in the United States today and is the state anthem of Connecticut.

The song's origin is unclear. Traditions place its origin in a pre-Revolutionary War song originally by British military officers to mock the disheveled, disorganized colonial "Yankees" with whom they served in the French and Indian War. It is believed that the tune comes from the nursery rhyme Lucy Locket. One version of the Yankee Doodle lyrics is "generally attributed" to Doctor Richard Shuckburgh, a British Army surgeon. According to one story, Shuckburgh wrote the song after seeing the appearance of Colonial troops under Colonel Thomas Fitch, Jr., the son of Connecticut Governor Thomas Fitch.

As a term Doodle first appeared in the early seventeenth century, and is thought to derive from the Low German dudel or dödel, meaning "fool" or "simpleton". The Macaroni wig was an extreme fashion in the 1770s and became contemporary slang for foppishness. The implication of the verse was therefore probably that the Yankees were so unsophisticated that they thought simply sticking a feather in a cap would make them the height of fashion.

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