5 Things Kids Like to Do on the 4th of July

I should have titled this “5 Things Kids Like to Do on the 4th of July That Won’t Blow Their Hands Off” because, let’s be honest, the first three things on any normal kid’s to-do list would be mortars, roman candles and fire bombs (not necessarily in that order).

And while it’s fun to have some fireworks to set off on the most patriotic day of the year, they are by no means necessary – and boy do those suckers put a dent in your monthly budget. The best part of having a few little ones running around on the 4th is that they are so easily swept away in the festivity of it all. Here are a few of my festive favorites that are as cheap as they are fantastic:

1. Bake a Flag Cake

A plain sheet cake swathed in creamy white frosting is made all the better with fresh strawberries and blueberries. It’s a yummy treat that will taste about as patriotic as it looks. Slice and dice the strawberries until they will lie flat in rows. Space ‘em out and fill in the top left corner with blueberries. Take a picture, then lick the spoon.

2. Sparkler Pictures

This show-stopping activity is one that they will be able to hold onto for awhile! If your kids are old enough, give them a lighted sparkler after nightfall. Keep your camera’s flash off as they carefully wave the sparkler through the air; you’ll be able to capture the fire’s path in each picture. For extra artsy fun, have a whole group spell out some letters and make a 4th of July message you’ll be hanging on the wall all year long.

3. Build Some Can Stilts

Arts and crafts at their finest. It may feel old-fashioned to fashion a pair of walk-able stilts out of tomato sauce cans, but this is one tradition that defies time. Save some cans (the bigger the better – I’m talkin’ 29 ounces) and steam off their labels. Let your kids decorate them with paint, stickers and glitter, then punch holes evenly and straight through. String durable rope, like clothes line, through the holes and time them in big loops; the top of the loop should be about hip level of your kid if they were to stand on each can. Climb aboard and join the parade, even if it’s just through the backyard.

4. Have Them Help the BBQ

Sure, flipping burgers may be Dad’s deal, but if your little ones want to help out manning the feast, there are some burn-proof and safe ways to let the budding chef bloom. Line up a bunch of foods: veggies, meats, some potatoes, maybe a couple of sauces. Let the kids at the picnic fill up a sheet of tinfoil with their perfect meal and throw it in the fire pit or on the grill. The perfect meal they created: I don’t foresee any left overs!

5. Decorate Them

Even in the presence of fireworks, there’s no reason your little ones shouldn’t shine. They are the canvas for glitter, face paint, ribbons – you name it! Help them paint flag tattoos on their biceps and sprinkle silver glitter in their hair. It may be in their sheets for days to come, but they are going to love the way they look. Guaranteed.

So now it’s your turn! If you have any fun suggestions please share them in the comments below and don’t forget to “like” it if you liked the post and share it with your friends!

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