Fire up the grill and wave the American flag because this week we’re celebrating Independence Day! Between parades, parties and fireworks there are so many great ways to celebrate the adoption of the Declaration of Independence in 1776. Here are some facts and ideas to share with your children as you celebrate our nation’s day:

There were 2.5 million people living in the newly formed United States in 1776. Today that number has grown to 313.9 million!

Iowa has the most towns in the country with the word “Liberty” in their name. See if your kids can spot any roads or stores with the word “Liberty” in them while driving on July 4th.

Get creative with your bbq this year and try veggie burgers and hotdogs rather than the usual meat variety. Grilled vegetables also taste delicious!

Explain to your kids why the Fourth of July is so important. It was on this day that our forefathers put pen to paper and signed the Declaration of Independence that put the wheels in motion for us to break with England. There’s plenty of kid friendly websites that talk about this special day.

Look at an American flag and talk about what the stars and stripes mean. See how many states your kids can list!

Support our troops on the 4th and send a care package or letters through one of the many organizations that connect people to our soldiers.

As always take extra precaution with your kids around fireworks, grills and campfires. Make sure to always keep an eye on them when swimming or out on a boat. A safe holiday is a great holiday!