family fun

Remembering Independence Day with Sand Box Wars

family funfamily fun-traditions

Fourth of July—The Fourth of July is the epitome of summer. It’s one of those days that brings you back to your childhood with timeless traditions. A parade in the morning with salt water taffy for breakfast starts the typical American celebration. Then you spend the day outdoors with neighbors on bikes decorated in red, white, and blue streamers. Kids sport face painted flags and dated flag t-shirts. Barbeques grill All-American hotdogs and the day is tied up with oohs, ahhs, and licorice as you watch fireworks burst in the night sky.

But of course, every family has their quirk to mix it up a little bit, whether it’s cousin Jo with illegal fireworks or Aunt Lucy with her seven dogs to prevent them from tearing apart the house while she’s away. In our family, the boys plan and prepare for an afternoon sand box war. Certainly the girls can participate, as well, they just don’t have the desire or available attention to blowing things up. We ladies tend to simply enjoy and support the final product.

4th of July with Sand Box Wars

Boys far and near gather together at a sand box or mound of dirt with their collection of fireworks ready for destruction. They begin to build forts, caves, rivers, castles, barricades, dug outs, trenches, lakes, ditches ... you name it, the create their war scene.

Fireworks are hid or disguised, half-way buried in the ground, and hung from overhangs to swing across the front line. Plastic army men are placed strategically throughout the battlefield, vulnerable to bombs waiting to be lit.

After the combat zone is complete, the damage begins as the plastic figures are blown to smithereens.

You can see why the preparation for this appeals more to the boys than the girls, but the actual event, I must admit, can be entertaining and a great time to consider why we celebrate this holiday.

If there is any holiday that has forgotten meaning, this one is nearing the top. Take time during this momentous day to talk about what it took for our country to gain independence and what independence means. Talk about what it means to be free and why we should have pride for our country.

How do you teach your children about the true meaning of the Fourth of July?

Feature image courtesy of Flickr.


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Cambria VandeMerwe

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