Having the Best 4th of July with your Kids


*This article is a re-print, previously shared on 6/22/16

July 04, 2016 will be the United States of America’s 240th birthday! We all know the best way to celebrate a birthday is with a party, and there are many ways to celebrate on Independence Day. Kids love the 4th of July because they get to watch fireworks, go to parades, dress up in fun colors, and go to barbecues.

Make sure your family has the best Independence Day ever with these great tips on activities, crafts, foods, and more.


Fireworks

Most municipalities have fireworks on the weekend of Independence Day. If you have little kids, be prepared for them to be afraid of fireworks. Many kids are fine with fireworks, loving the bright colors in the sky. If you think your child might be afraid of fireworks, bring along a pair of over the ear headphones to block out the big booms. You may also be able to avoid the crowds by parking farther away where you can still see, but the explosions are softer and quieter.

As kids get older, they will of course want to start getting involved with family fireworks. Safety around fireworks of all kinds is critical. On average, 240 people are treated in the emergency room with fireworks related injuries every year around Independence Day. There are some ways that you can ensure that your family uses fireworks safely.

Sparklers are a childhood favorite, but experts say they are not safe for children under 7. For preschoolers, snaps or poppers are safe and don’t injure the skin. As children get older, try using bamboo sparklers as they don’t get as hot as the metal kind. Poke a hole in a solo cup and stick the sparkler through as an extra safety measure.

When lighting fireworks at home, make sure to have a bucket of water nearby. Make sure there is no yard waste or dry grass nearby the flames. A clean, flat driveway is a good surface for fireworks. If a firework doesn’t go off after it has been lit, wait 30-60 seconds and dunk it in the water. All fireworks should be dunked in water before being thrown away. Only sober adults should light fireworks and all fireworks should be the safe and sane kind. Safe and sane fireworks don’t fly, explode, and are not illegal.


Independence Day Food

The 4th of July is a great time for food. Since it is during summer, many fresh fruits and vegetables are in season. It is a great way to make a colorful meal. You could plan a barbecue with your kids with some fun outdoor activities. Hamburgers and hot dogs are fun and traditional American foods.

A fun snack to make with kids are red, white, and blue jello cups. Using cups layer red jello, whipped cream, and blue jello for tasty and patriotic treats. Top with strawberries or blueberries. Try making a festive fruit salad with watermelon, blueberries, black berries, and bananas. Let your little one use a cookie cutter to cut star shapes out of the watermelon for a refreshing holiday treat. Firecracker dogs are sure to be your child’s favorite! Skewer the hot dogs long ways and wrap hot dogs in crescent roll dough. Bake the wrapped dogs at 350 until the dough is golden brown. While the dogs are cooking, cut out a piece of your child’s favorite cheese in a star shape. After the dogs come out of the oven, stick the cheese star on the top of the skewer to serve.


Crafts

Independence Day crafts are fun and easy! All you need is any kind of art supplies in red, white, and blue! They can be construction paper, crayons, paints, fabrics, and glitter, literally anything! One of our favorite Independence Day crafts is painting your child’s hand with red and white stripes. Paint a blue square on the palm and place a star sticker in the print after the paint dries.

Use tie-dye to make colorful shirts or dresses for the whole family. Get some red and blue clothing dye at any craft store, follow the directions on the box to mix the dye in two separate containers. Since dye stains, it might be a good idea to do this craft outside. Use rubber bands to wrap the shirt up in a pattern you like. It doesn’t have to be perfect, it’s just fun. Dip sections of the tied up shirt into the dies, leaving it in for darker colors. When you are satisfied, cut off the rubber bands and rinse in cold water. Then wash and dry separately from other clothes.


Have a very Fun Independence Day with your Kids

Have a happy and fun Independence Day with your kids with these great recipes, crafts, and tips.

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