Start your 4th of July weekend off with a bang with our patriotic LEGO® inspired S.T.E.A.M activity! Enjoy building LEGO® with your family all while learning about our country's Flag and applying mathematical principles involving pattern recognition and counting!
- Bulk LEGO® pieces in red, white, and blue
- Baseplate if desired to keep things steady, especially when building in 2-D vs. 3-D
Grab your band of kiddos, LEGO® supplies and find a cozy corner and you're all set! (We do recommend reading through the "Let's Play section" to make sure that as the teacher and facilitator of this activity, you feel confident in the history & discussion aspect of this activity.)
After you have gathered some basic supplies start out by sharing a brief history of our Flag! There are many different ways that you can share this information depending on your children's age range and interest. For example, with an older audience you might consider having them research information about our Flag and Independence Day themselves and then present it to the group rather than presenting this information up front yourself.) With a younger audience you may include videos or photos to help them visualize and digest the information. Either way, we have included some brief bullet points to consider covering at the bottom of this activity under the section titled, "Our Flag's History".
After you have discussed the historical significance of our flag, it's time to put that knowledge to the test with a simple building activity! This LEGO® challenge is easy for all ages and can be adapted according to your kiddos needs. Simply instruct them to create a replica of the American Flag by:
- Creating a blue section in the top left corner
- Alternating red and white stripes to create 13 rows
During this time take advantage of the opportunities you have to apply mathematical principles where applicable. For example, some terminology that goes naturally with this activity are colors, pattern, repetition, larger, smaller, counting, etc. Once everyone has finished building encourage all participants to share their creations and discuss what they've learned!
We hope you enjoyed this activity as much as we did! Don't forget to check out our "Consider This" section for ways to extend this activity or adapt it to different learning levels and styles!
- Completing a K.W.L "Know, Want to Know, and Learn" Chart about the history of our flag.
- Starting this activity with a simple pattern build first to introduce the concept prior to diving into the history of Independence Day and building out country's flag. (This may be especially helpful to audiences of a younger age range.)
- Choosing another country to learn about and completing this activity again based on what was learned, incorporating that country's history, Independence Day, and Flag!
- Finding an educational book or episode that teaches about our country and Flag!
- Discussing big strides our country has made since its foundation and some of the things each person in your family is personally grateful for.
- Discussing some things you would like to see change, or policies you can better advocate for and look for ways in your community to serve or take action.
- Discussing the changes that have been made to the American Flag over the years.
- Continuing to practice the skill of sorting, recognition, and pattern building by:
- Introducing other block varieties and patterns
- Having your child build patterns first with bricks and then drawn out on paper
- Challenging your participants to build patterns that include a variety of elements in one pattern. For example, different colors, sizes, and shapes of LEGO®
- Letting your kiddos create the beginning of patterns for one another and then swap to complete each others pattern
- Adding a little competition into the mix by timing children to see how quickly they can identify and source the missing pattern pieces.
Our Flag's History:
- Our first flag, called the Stars and Stripes, was approved June 14th, 1777.
- June 14th is now marked as Flag Day because of it.
- It originally only had 13 stars at the time.
- There were several different versions- more than 26 before we settled on 13 stripes and one star for every state.
- The 13 stripes represent the original 13 colonies when America was founded.
- The red, white, and blue coloring is also symbolic.
- Blue represents vigilance, perseverance, and justice
- White represents purity and innocence
- Red represents heartiness and valor
We can't wait to see everything that you do with this activity! Share your experiences on social media, tag us, and use the hashtag #LEGOsteamwithBAM so we can all the fun that you had!