Get ready for Fourth of July by creating pipe cleaner fireworks. You can use these fireworks for fine motor development, counting activities, and process art! So many July 4th preschool activities from just a few materials you already have on hand.
Fine Motor, Counting & 4th of July Process Art
Last week I was helping the boys pick up their playroom. With three boys under 4, you could imagine the amount of creativity that exploded onto the floor. Paper, hole punchers, pipe cleaners. It was an endless amount of “stuff” and mess.
And we all know preschoolers.
One minute they are putting things away, and the next they have discovered how pipe cleaners can be twisted together to make a design. As frustrating as this can be, it also sparked the most wonderful idea!
Did you know that when you twist multiple pipe cleaners together it begins to look like a firework? May I also add that the twisting is fabulous for fine motor development? Boom. With Fourth of July on the horizon, we had something fun to look forward to.
FAQ About Teaching About the 4th of July in Preschool
Simply put, the Fourth of July is the United States’s birthday. We celebrate becoming a free nation on July 4th. But a 4th of July celebration may not look like other birthday parties preschooler have attended.
Here are some common 4th of July traditions preschoolers might be familiar with:
~ backyard barbecues
~ wearing red, white and blue
~ pie baking contests
~ waving mini flags
Like all thematic lesson plans for preschoolers, Independence Day lesson plans should include a balance of math and literacy activities, crafts and sensory activities.
Try this 4th of July craft that is a music shaker, and this stars and stripes 4th of July sensory bin. Or, make this famous playdough recipe in red, white and blue and set up a playdough invitation to play.
Pipe Cleaner Firework Process Art for the 4th of July
My preschool aged son loaves a good firework display, so it makes sense to create a process art activity where he can make some firework paintings himself.
Add this activity to your 4th of July preschool lesson plans, because every set of Independence Day lesson plans needs a fireworks art activity for preschoolers.
- washable tempera paint in red, white, and blue
- large butcher paper sheet
- pipe cleaner
- paper plates (to use as a paint pallet)
The Set Up
Lay out a large sheet of butcher paper. This will be the canvas. You can do this at a preschool table or on the floor. We did the activity outside on our back patio to make for easy cleaning with the hose.
Take 3-4 pieces of pipe cleaner and twist the centers together to create what looks like a spider. This will turn into fireworks when we make our preschool craft for the 4th of July.
Squirt some paint onto the paper plates. Now, invite your preschooler to join you in doing a little math and lost of painting fun!
How to Make This into a Counting Activity
Practice counting with a Fourth of July math game. After twisting multiple red and blue pipe cleaners together, place them aside. On a large poster board, write different corresponding numbers. We used fireworks with 6, 8, and 10 sparks. Have your preschooler count the edges and match on your board.
Alternatively, you can also offer a large foam dice and invite your preschooler to roll the dice and then add the corresponding number of pipe cleaner fireworks to the butcher paper.
This can be done multiple times as just a counting activity, or turn it into a 4th of July craft for kids by having your preschooler dip the fireworks in paint first. By the end, the butcher paper will be covered in a patriotic display of painted fireworks!
How to Make this into a Process Art Activity
Use your pipe cleaner fireworks to make stamps!
Here, it is more the process than the product. My three-year-old and four-year-old loved making a fireworks poster. They began by placing the pipe cleaner firework in the red and blue paint and ended with color mixing the two.
The boys had fun smooshing the fireworks on the paper, making various designs in different colors. They twisted and turned the pipe cleaner fireworks, which worked their motor skills. But most importantly, they were allowed to just explore and create, which is the exact purpose of process art. It got a little messy, but that is part of the fun.
Once we made these pipe cleaners fireworks, we just couldn’t stop finding ways to use them in our fine motor, counting, and process art play. We know you will love these as much as we do. Which of these 4th of July preschool activities will you try first?
More Process Art Activities for Preschoolers
Don’t stop with the stars and stripes on the American flag. Try some of these other process art activities for preschoolers that are kid friendly all year round!
I’m Sarah, an educator turned stay-at-home-mama of five! I’m the owner and creator of Stay At Home Educator, a website about intentional teaching and purposeful learning in the early childhood years. I’ve taught a range of levels, from preschool to college and a little bit of everything in between. Right now my focus is teaching my children and running a preschool from my home. Credentials include: Bachelors in Art, Masters in Curriculum and Instruction.