How is it possible that the 4th of July is just around the corner? If you’re scrambling like me to add a quick and easy kid’s craft to your family celebration with minimal prep and materials that you probably already have in the house, you’re in luck! This simple patriotic hat serves as a great activity and makes for a fun and festive accessory for the 4th of July.
This patriotic hat craft was always a favorite activity in my kindergarten classroom. My students made colorful red, white, and blue hats as a fun Constitution Day activity in mid-September. I loved the project for that time of year because it was unbelievably simple and didn’t require a high level of skill from my kindergarten students that were still developing those fine motor skills. Little did I know that this would also serve as a perfect at-home activity for my preschooler and toddler.
- 4×24″ of red construction paper headbands* (1 per child)
- 4×1.5″ strips of white construction paper (6-8 per child)
- 9×12″ sheets of blue construction paper
- Paper cutter (optional, but it makes the prep so much easier!)
- Glue sticks and scissors (these blunt end scissors are perfect for children who know how to cut independently and these plastic scissors were clutch for my toddler who wanted to be just like his big sister.)
*One quick note about the headbands:
I always had 12×18″ sheets of construction paper on-hand in my classroom and I still love having the extra large paper size on-hand in my home, especially Tru-Ray construction paper because it’s extra durable and the colors are so vibrant. For this project, I stapled a 18×4″ and a 6×4″ paper strip together to create a band long enough to wrap around a child’s head. If you only have 9×12″ sheets of paper on-hand, it’s totally ok and you can still do this craft. You can just staple two 4×12″ pieces of red paper together to create the headband.
Preparing for this project is super simple and will literally require 5 minutes (or less) of your time. Even though it’s quick work, I highly recommend doing these few steps ahead of time without your kids underfoot because everything is more stressful and time-consuming if you’re trying to scramble to get ready for a craft project with little ones around.
All you need to do to get started is create a 4×24″ strip of red paper by stapling two smaller strips together, cut several 1.5×4″ strips of white paper that will serve as stripes, and print a sheet of stars for each child onto blue construction paper. (Most at-home printers can handle construction paper without any issues – just make sure you trim the sheet to standard 8.5×11″ size before you load it in the printer.)
You can download a template and a set of printable instructions for a Patriotic Headband for FREE! Enter your email below to have the craft sent right to your inbox!
Creating the Patriotic Hat
Once the papers are prepped, you are ready to go! My daughter Dessa is a few weeks shy of her 4th birthday and she’s been working with scissors for over a year. She has cut complicated shapes from paper in the past, but I wasn’t sure what to expect when she worked on cutting out her stars. I encouraged her (as I always do) to begin by separating all of the star pieces, then to cut each star individually. I was mentally prepared for her stars to be unrecognizable, but she did an amazing job.
Please don’t stress if your child’s cutting skills have a long way to go. Give him or her an experience with cutting the stars if they’re ready, or you can cut the stars for your child as I did for Harvey. He had a lot of fun just holding his pre-cut stars and plastic scissors. I gave him a few scraps to play with, which he held next to his scissors and proudly exclaimed “cutting!” Even if you do all of the work, simply providing your child with an experience while they interact with the supplies is good and meaningful activity for him or her.
Once the stars were prepped, it was time to work on the hat! Use the glue stick to glue the white paper strips onto the red headband. I spoke with Dessa about giving her strips “good space” and not squeezing them together and she did a beautiful job.
After a minute or two, the stripes were all glued into place and it was time to add blue stars to our patriotic hats. I once again reminded Dessa to “give her stars good space” and she quickly went to work.
Harvey, meanwhile, insisted on having a glue stick of his own to work with. This certainly wasn’t an activity that he could handle independently, so I guided his hand as he placed glue on the back of blue stars and white paper strips. He felt so proud to be using glue like his big sister.
Once the stars were glued, the kids’ work was complete! I wrapped a paper band around each child’s head, held the two ends together while I slipped it off their heads, and stapled the hat closed. My kids were so excited about their new 4th of July hats, it was hard to get them to sit still for a photo!
Eventually, the excitement calmed down enough for us to head outside, set up the tripod, and snap a quick group photo. This was such a fun project and I’m sure your kids will love it too!