U.S. Geography for Kids: American Flag Easel Painting

This “U.S. Geography for Kids” homeschool post is part of a series (An Introduction to U.S. Geography for Little Kids) from our special guest blogger Genny Upton (In Lieu of Preschool and Parent Teach Play.)

This month in our homeschool we are focusing on U.S. Geography. Though my children are young, I feel it’s never too early to start helping them understand the world around them. One item of particular interest to my 5 year old son is flags. As part of our unit, An Introduction to U.S. Geography for Little Kids, we chose to focus on the American flag since it’s a symbol of our country that he recognizes and sees often. The American Flag Easel Painting activity we did was fun, and it turned out even better than expected in terms of learning and final product!

american flag painting

To set up the activity, I put red, white and blue poster paint into paint cups on our easel and added a paint brush to each one. I pulled a fresh piece of paper onto the easel from the paper roll, and clipped a small American Flag onto the top of the easel for Luke to use as an example while he painted.

Before we started, I asked Luke what he saw when he looked at the flag to get him thinking about what it looked like. He told me it had a stem on the side to hold it up. We also discussed the colors, the stripes, and the stars. We talked about the location of each part of the flag and the relative size and number of each part.

american flag

Then he slipped on his art smock and began to paint his masterpiece. Occasionally he’d stop to count the stripes on the model flag and then count his own stripes to be sure he had the right number.

stars and stripes

As he worked, he found out the flag has 7 red stripes and 6 white stripes for a total of 13 stripes. We talked about how those represented the 13 original colonies. He didn’t count all the stars, but I told him there were 50 and those represented the current 50 states that we have now. When it came time to paint the stars, he quickly told me he couldn’t do 50 but that he would add as many as he could. When practicing geography for kids, sometimes as long as the idea “sticks’ it’s ok!

In addition to all the learning, I was pretty impressed with how his flag turned out! All of the talk about the details of the flag we did before starting the activity really caused him to pay close attention to the model as he painted. I think this one is frame worthy!

painting the flag

Extension Ideas:

Choose a few favorite states. Print out a copy of the states’ flags and repeat the easel painting activity for each one.

Make it easier:

See Teach Preschool’s flag-inspired easel painting activity for preschoolers for a way to let younger kids have a turn with flag painting.

Be sure to check out more activities in the Introduction to U.S. Geography for Little Kids series on In Lieu of Preschool.

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Genny Upton is the author of In Lieu of Preschool and Parent Teach Play. She is a former teacher who shares activities she does with her own two children at home. Visit Genny today at InLieuOfPreschool.com and ParentTeachPlay.com, on Facebook at In Lieu of Preschool or Parent Teach Play, and on Google+. Don’t miss her family-friendly Pinterest boards!


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  2. […] Lieu of Preschool) is working on a U.S. Geography unit this month. Earlier today, we shared her American Flag Easel Painting post, which featured creative ways to teach kids about the American Flag using a simple painting […]

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