A Mural To Remember
Bring out the artistic side of your celebrants by setting out colored chalk and inviting them to draw a 4th of July sidewalk mural. Get all the children involved. They might try their hand at a colorful fireworks display, or as a team, create a giant American flag. If you have a sunny dry July, your sidewalk show of patriotism could keep the spirit of the Fourth alive for weeks. If a quick cleanup is necessary—a little soap and the garden hose will do the job well.
Everybody Loves a Parade
Hold a star-spangled parade to get the kids and spectators in the patriotic spirit. The children can decorate bicycles, tricycles, wagons, and even toddler push toys to merrily march down the block. Use streamers (crepe paper or ribbons), flags, and balloons to show off America's colors. Why not decorate the baby stroller and let your little one participate too? As a group project, older kids can thread red, white, and blue streamers through a chain link fence to make a flag. What a great way to get outdoors and mingle with your neighbors!
Happy Birthday USA
Discuss with your child that the 4th of July is the day when we celebrate the birthday of our country. Ask him/her to tell you his birthday and how the family celebrates this milestone. Build upon the idea that a birthday cake is a major part of this celebration, so provide the kids with vanilla frosted cupcakes. Set out shakers of red and blue sugar crystals so they can decorate a cupcake for America's birthday party. Make sure you sing "Happy Birthday" to the U.S.A. before eating this treat. Here's a cute poem to recite together:
Whose Birthday Is It?
Some birthdays come in winter, some birthdays come in spring. On birthdays there are games to play and lots of songs to sing.
My favorite birthday is in July, and it doesn't belong to me. It's the birthday that lights up the sky for all the world to see.
Rockets glare, trumpets blare, and bands begin to play. Happy Birthday America—It's Independence Day!
Patriotic Fruit Parfaits
Help the children layer vanilla yogurt and fruit inside a clear plastic cup. Place a layer of blueberries in the bottom of the cup. Next place a few scoops of yogurt. Now, a layer of sliced strawberries. Then, one more scoop of yogurt. Keep layering until you get to the top. A slice of "star fruit" on top would be grand.
"Pop, Bang, Boom" Cupcakes
Bake cupcakes according to your favorite recipe or box mix. Purchase a candy called "Pop Rocks" (they can be found in packages in specialty candy stores). Gently fold these into the frosting. Frost the cupcakes. When the pop rocks hit your tongue, they start popping. What a fun surprise for "kids of all ages!"
Make your favorite sandwich spread—tuna, ham, or egg salad. Place a slice of bread on a work surface and roll it flat with a rolling pin. Spread the sandwich mixture on the slice and start rolling up the bread—jellyroll fashion. Wrap each rolled sandwich in colored plastic wrap (red or blue would be nice) twisting ends with twist ties or tying with colorful ribbons to resemble firecrackers. Make a bunch and place them in a basket to serve at a July Fourth picnic. Your kids will love this new presentation of an old time lunch!