“Free Falling Freedom Towers” 4th of July Game
Freedom is precious. It’s important. And it’s often taken for granted. Most of us enjoy freedom without having to sacrifice for it. There are many individuals and families who have made sacrifices to maintain our freedom, though, and there are those who continue to sacrifice for the rest of us. This 4th of July game was created for that reason–to help us illustrate to our children the importance of appreciating and valuing the freedoms we have and to understand that freedom really isn’t free. (Yes, it’s a cliché, but it’s absolutely true! And our children need to know it.)
This 4th of July game gives adults a way to illustrate to our children how precious our freedom is and how easily it can be toppled without faith, care, and appreciation.
Children will compete in teams to see who has enough patience and strength to collapse all of the cups as smoothly as possible.
Have each child (or each team) build a tower out of index cards and plastic cups. They’ll need to build their towers at least five feet apart to prevent accidentally knocking over the opposing child’s/team’s tower. The following illustrations show how to build the tower.
Start by placing a plastic cup rim-side down onto a sturdy table. Place an index card on the cup after the cup is in place.
Repeat that step until you have two towers. Each tower should consist of five cups and four index cards.
You can see in the picture above that there is not an index card on the top of the stack. Index cards should only be placed between cups.
Explain to your children that we are celebrating another year of America’s independence and that we want to remember how, many years ago, we had to earn our independence through hard battles and sacrifices. You might want to explain that we still have people who give their lives to make sure America remains free.
Today we’re going to play a game that will show us how important it is to value our freedom and treat it with care because, if we don’t, it is possible for our freedom to topple just like our towers of cups and cards.
1. If possible, divide the children into two even teams (or have two children serve as opposing teams).
2. Have teams form a line behind each stack of cups and index cards.
3. When you say, “Go!” the first child will have to remove the top index card in the stack.
4. If the whole stack tumbles down, he or she must rebuild it and go to the end of the line.
5. If he or she is able to remove the card without toppling the tower (The top cup should collapse onto the next cup in the stack.), the child moves to the end of the line.
6. The game continues until one team has successfully collapsed its stack.
Discuss the fact that, as they played the game, the children had to be very careful when they pulled the index cards out from between the cups. Ask them questions prompting them to explain what happened when they weren’t careful. (The tower toppled.) What happened if they didn’t take their responsibility seriously and tried to work too fast or without paying careful attention? (The tower toppled.)
Talk about the fact that each tower represented our freedoms both as a country and as Christians. If we aren’t careful and don’t treat our freedoms with dignity and defend them with care, the whole thing could topple.
What does it mean to treat our freedoms with care and dignity? (Let your children answer and give guidance as needed.) We should value our freedom and take it seriously. We should stand up for our rights and freedoms and support others who do the same. We should be willing to make sacrifices to remain free because freedom is important!
What does it mean to treat other people with care and dignity? (Again, let them answer and give guidance as needed.) We need to follow the laws of love. We should not hurt each other. We should treat each other with love and care. You may even want to discuss that bad health habits can lead to health problems that impede our freedom of movement and personal independence.
If we don’t value our independence, fail to recognize its worth, and treat it with carelessness, our freedom can topple just like our towers toppled. Leave your children with a sense of hope, though, by explaining that we each have the choice to value our freedom and to value others. If we make the right choice, our freedoms can remain strong and we can stand like tall towers or beacons of hope for others and for our country.
For more 4th of July information and activities, check out these articles!