Whether or not you can fit in a family field trip to the 12-foot-wide Liberty Bell, you can teach your preschooler’s active mind about its history and significance. Although the bell’s 44-pound clapper cracked the exterior within its first use, the Liberty Bell found its home in the Independence Hall in 1753 and has proclaimed freedom's message to its visitors for two and a half centuries. Words from Leviticus 25:10 are engraved onto its side: “Proclaim Liberty throughout all the Land unto all the Inhabitants thereof.” (See References 1 and 2) Use these famous words about freedom to introduce your youngster to its history with a choice of crafts from a variety of household items.
Use a leftover lightweight cardboard box as a base for this craft. Cut one side out of the box, and trace a bell and clapper shape with a pencil. If the cardboard is thin enough, your preschooler can practice cutting along your traced lines with his safety scissors. Otherwise, use craft scissors or a craft knife to cut out the shape while your little one watches from a distance. Next, tear out a large sheet of foil and show your eager helper how to fold it around the edges of the bell shape. Don’t worry about the crinkles around the corners; it will make the bell look more realistic.
Copper Sheet Engraving
Draw a simple bell shape on a piece of paper or print a Liberty Bell coloring picture for your preschooler to trace. Layer a pad of art paper under a sheet of copper foil, turning the darker bronze side down toward the pad for cushioning. Tape the coloring page on top of the foil to keep it secure, and show your munchkin how to use a wooden chopstick or craft tool to trace along the lines of the drawing. When she is finished, turn the copper sheet over so she can see the completed Liberty Bell.
Egg Cup Bell
Create a miniature version of the Liberty Bell that your preschooler can hang in his room. Cut one egg cup out of an empty egg carton, leaving a lip around the edge to resemble a bell. After your preschooler covers his clothes with an apron, pour some non-toxic silver or gray paint into a paper plate. Place the egg cup upside down on a newspaper and let him paint the egg cup with a wide paintbrush. Wait until the paint dries to draw on a crack with a marker. While your child watches, poke two holes in the top of the bell, and string gardening wire or a ribbon through for hanging.
Paper Plate Bell
Paper plates offer an endless supply of craft ideas for the creative mommy, and constructing a Liberty Bell is no exception. Cut the top two corners and sides out of a dinner-sized paper plate to create a bell shape. Cover your preschooler’s work surface with newspaper or a washable tablecloth. After your industrious munchkin is covered with an art smock, let her paint the bell with gray and brown water colors. Once the bell is dry, let your child draw on the wiggly crack before you add the quote from Leviticus.
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