The Fourth of July is synonymous with parades by day and fireworks by nights, but for some families with small children, being in large crowds, with lots of noise isn’t so appealing.
While the fireworks may be fun to watch, to catch them requires keeping children up way past their bedtime, which inevitably involves overtired children who meltdown at the drop of a hat.
This Independence day, as you celebrate the liberty and freedom we have in the United States, get the children involved with family friendly festivities.
Having a birthday party for America.
Gather the family together and decorate with flags and red, white and blue streamers. Use food coloring to make a three layered red, white and blue cake. Sing patriotic songs like America the Beautiful and read an age-appropriate book, like the board book The Story of America’s Birthday by Patricia Pingry. Play games like “I Spy” and look for patriotic themed items or make your own Bingo cards, using flags, hotdogs and other all American type images.
Catching a concert.
While many local fireworks displays have live concert music to accompany the show, many communities have more laid back concert events during the day on the town green. Check your city or town’s local calendar events to see what’s happening in your area. If you’re looking for a great concert to watch on TV, consider celebrating with the East Coast and catching the Boston Pops perform during Boston’s July fourth celebration.
Serving a red, white and blue lunch.
Serve up cream cheese and strawberry jam sandwiches cut into the shapes of stars, with vanilla yogurt, blueberry and strawberry parfaits. Slice up red peppers and a side salad with sliced strawberries, crumbled feta cheese blueberries.
Making a flag for your front door.
Give the children a piece of blue construction paper and white chalk. Ask them to draw stars on it. Hang it high on the left-hand side of your front. Use red and white streamers to make the flag stripes. The streamers can be taped at both the top and bottom to keep them in place. If you are worried about leaving sticky tape residue behind, use blue painter’s tape for a no mess, family friendly project.
Making a care package for our troops.
The Fourth of July lends itself to teaching children about America’s history and how our freedom was won. Share with children the role of our troops in keeping America safe and free and prepare a care package to send to our troops. Through OperationShoebox families can send a onetime care package or even adopt a troop.
Young and old, American’s have lots to celebrate this Fourth of July. Get the children involved in the festivities by teaching them about America’s history and providing them with opportunities to honor the red, white and blue.