Celebrate with a Special
Dinner or Picnic
Traditionally, Fourth of July Independence
Day celebrations include a picnic of some sort. Choose from a variety of
picnic foods and include some of the favorites like watermelon, fresh
cherries or berries. There are some photos of Americana-style desserts
below and in the right-hand column.
Add a little pizzazz with some decorations
and party games. A water balloon toss or wet sponge tossing game can
help keep everyone cool on a hot summer day. Let children play in the
sprinklers. If you have a pool and plenty of adult supervision for
children, you can cover a watermelon with oil and see who can get it out
of the pool. (It's like trying to catch a greased pig--or so I've
heard--never tried to catch a pig, so I'm not an authority on that
part.) Let kids play with drums and other musical instruments--anything
that makes a good noise will do--strike up a kid's band and celebrate.
Decorate trikes or bikes with red, white and blue crepe paper and
balloons and have your own parade.
Get a copy of the Declaration of
Independence and actually READ IT. Take advantage of the holiday to
teach a little history. Did you know that Thomas Jefferson was just 33
years old when he wrote the Declaration? Find interesting facts about
the founding fathers. It can be fun!
Of course, after the picnic, find a great
place to watch some fireworks! Then take some time to pray for those who
are currently in harm's way and defending your freedom. It matters.
The Glow-Lite Entrepreneur
This was something that our youngest son did
for two years in a row. It turned out to be fun and he made about $80,
which isn't bad for a kid of 7 or 8. He ordered glow-in-the dark
products in red, white and blue from Oriental Trading Company. (See the
link at the top of the column to the far right). Because he bought
them in bulk, he was able to mark up the price enough to make a profit.
Then he sold them in the parking lot where people had gathered to watch
fireworks for the Fourth of July. We had a business license at the time,
but if you decided to do this, you can often get a one-day or event
license or permit for such a project. Check with your local city/state
for information. Depending on the location, you might also need a local
permit or permission of some sort to sell things. It really was fun. Of
course, don't let a child out of your sight while they are going around
to sell anything. Keep them safe, but let them have a good time if it's
an experience that is of interest to them.
Patriotic Face Painting
Paint red, white and blue designs on everyone's face. Use washable
paints, clown greasepaint or a little of mom's make-up. Usually, kids of
all ages are fond of face painting. A simple red or blue star will do
for a youngster, while an order child might want to experiment with a
more dramatic look. Get in the holiday spirit with some stars and
stripes in patriotic colors.
Start with a
red, white or blue plain T-shirt. Add fabric pieces that can be
ironed-on, stitched or held in place with fabric glue. Sew on colorful
buttons, bows, stars or other items. Use fabric paint to decorate. If
you are handy with a computer, you can make your own iron-on print and
iron it directly onto a T-shirt. Have fun dressing in red, white and
Have an Island Picnic
Have an Island
picnic. make a creative centerpiece from fruits and vegetables. (This
example was made by a 10 year old girl who used carrots and bell peppers
to make the palm trees, a hollowed-out piece of pineapple for a hut and
a slice of orange for a canoe with a carrot lice for a paddle and a
cucumber shark in the water. The water is made from blue Jell-O™
and the white sand is sugar.)
For a simple picnic, focus on fruit salad
with some grilled meats and tropical beverages.
Check out this Caribbean Children's
Jonah, the Mouse and the Goat
Caribbean tale for children
by Fangette Willet
This is a great day to invite a teddy bear or two to lunch. Younger
children really do enjoy this activity. Have a simple picnic with
sandwiches and fruit in the back yard or take a fast food lunch or
dinner to the park and enjoy it there with the bears. If you have a
small, child-size, table, give each bear a seat and a place setting. If
you can find a good teddy bear story, read it today. If you happen to
remember the song about the Teddy Bear Picnic, by all means, sing
it out loud!
Click for Teddy Bear Books and Gifts for Teddy Bear
Lovers of All Ages!
Go West Day
a Rattlesnake Puppet using a Paper Plate
Celebrate the West by making a paper plate rattlesnake puppet. Start by
drawing the head in the center of the plate and then make a spiral
(about 1 1/2" wide) from the neck around the plate to the tail. If the
plate has ridges, those work well for the rattles. Cut it out and color
it any way you choose. Of course, diamondback rattlers have diamond
shapes on them! Then to operate it, cut a piece of index card the same
size and shape as the head. Staple it underneath the head and that gives
you a place for your finger to operation the puppet. For an actual, full
scale pattern for this puppet and other Southwestern Animal puppets, we
carry a book by Linda Brittain, titled
Southwest Animal Paper Plate Puppets. Take a look:
Watch something fly! Go to an air show, or just find a place to park
where you can watch the planes take off and land at a local airport. See
how many you can identify. Take a walk in the evening and count the
planes you see flying overhead. (Watch for the moving lights.)
Make your own things to fly: paper airplanes; rockets; gliders;
cardboard tubes; or parachute fliers made with a handkerchief or small
piece of fabric, string and a clothespin or a small plastic toy figure.
Play with toy planes or rockets. Celebrate flying in whatever way
appeals to you and spend a little time discussing the life and
accomplishments of Amelia.
A tribute to Firefighters, who are heroes all year long, and a message of
safety about fireworks.
Franny the Fireplug
by Mitch Townley
a U.S. Military Serviceman now,
let our Heroes know we care.
Spirit of America
victims of 911 with traditional American recipes included
Put the FUN in Parenting!
Ultimate Collection of Ideas for Keeping Kids Busy
Ideas for Tots through Teens
By Kas Winters
Some decorations and desserts from our family Independence Day