Holidays are always more fun with kids, who bring joy, excitement and wonder to special events. July 4th is one of the best holidays for families; not only do kids enjoy learning about the important history behind the day, but they tend to thrive in backyard barbecues, neighborhood block parties and other gatherings to celebrate America’s independence.
Kids can make their own fun — especially if there are plenty of other children around the same age. However, to ensure that any little ones at your July 4th party are engaged, entertained and safe, you might consider planning any of the following games and activities, which your adult guests are also sure to love.
Perfect for kids of all ages, fireworks shows always delight and astound. In addition to any public fireworks displays planned for the evening, you should have a few consumer fireworks to set off from your home. Bottle rockets, helicopters and fountains are popular amongst older kids, and littler ones will find joy in snakes and sparklers. If you don’t have time to visit a fireworks store before July 4th, you can peruse and buy fireworks online.
Kids love to help in the kitchen, so you might make preparing the evening’s sweet treats an exciting activity. There are all sorts of patriotic desserts that little ones can help prepare; almost any desert can be dyed red, white and blue, decorated with colored chocolate or sprinkles or adorned with strawberries and blueberries for patriotic flair. You should consider each kid’s age when assigning them tasks: Older kids can measure and cut, while younger kids should stick to mixing or decorating. An especially easy sweet that is perfect for hot summer days is popsicles, and with different colored juices, even the youngest kid can make a patriotic ice pop.
A science experiment and a July 4th activity all in one, you can spend time teaching kids about density while making patriotic drinks for everyone at the party. This activity requires three different types of beverages, ideally colored in red, white and blue — like cherry soda, blue sports drink and clear fizzy water. By pouring the drinks slowly into cups filled with ice, you should be able to create distinct layers, showcasing America’s bold and brave colors.
Kids love to dance, and a choreographed dance could help keep the adults entertained, too. To find moves, you might look to trending TikTok songs or dance numbers in patriotic musicals (like “Hamilton” or “1776”). You should try to stay flexible with your choreography and allow the little ones to integrate moves that they like, as it will keep them smiling and participating in the activity.
What’s better than an activity that the kids can take home? Tie-dying a shirt — or any other textile, like a towel or bandana — is easy to set up and clean up, and it gives kids an opportunity to use their creativity. You should restrict their color palette to red and blue to keep the activity on theme, and you should be careful to keep the tie dying station outside, where stray dye won’t cause harm. You might show older kids how to dye their shirts to look like the American flag, but you shouldn’t be surprised if little ones end up with shirts that are a muddled purple.
Red, White and Blue Crafts
Besides tie-dye, there are all manner of patriotic crafts that can keep kids entertained. Some ideas for your 4th of July party include:
Fork fireworks. Using a plastic fork, kids can apply stripes of red and blue paint to paper to create patriotic fireworks.
Tissue paper sparklers. With red, white and blue tissue paper cut into strips and a plastic straw, kids can make sparklers that last more than a few seconds.
Fabric flag. By attaching lengths of red and white trim, lace and ribbon to a dowel, kids can make a beautiful American flag decoration.
Patriotic parade stick. Colored duct tape wrapped around a tinfoil tube creates a lightweight stick perfect for waving during July 4th parades.
Whether you will have one kid or 100 at your 4th of July party, you need to have something planned to keep them entertained and engaged. Any of the above activities are sure to bring a smile to little faces on this most American of holidays.