Get crafty this Fourth of July and create some fun crafts, games and yummy recipes to celebrate the patriotic holiday. Also don’t miss our list of Fourth of July Parades, Fireworks and Events.
You will need: white t-shirt; cardboard; masking tape; blue and red fabric paint and small star stickers. Place a piece of cardboard in between the two layers of the t-shirt; this will prevent the paint from leaking to the back of the shirt. Use masking tape to section off the star portion of the flag and to make the white stripes. Dab with blue paint (make sure to dab enough paint around the stars so that the star shapes can be recognized). Wait until dry and remove star stickers.
Hand Print Flag
You will need: acrylic red, white and blue paint; paintbrushes; light blue and red paper and a white paint marker. Paint a blue square on the palm of hand and then paint white and red stripes down the fingers. Press down on light blue paper to make the print and once dry, mount on larger red paper for a frame.
4th of July Noise Maker
You will need: plastic water bottle; red, white, or blue spray paint and half-inch electrical tape; beans, gravel, or beads (any small objects); newspaper. Lay out the newspaper and then spray water bottles with one of the colors you choose (remove lid). Let dry completely then add beans, gravel or beads inside. Put the top on the bottle and decorate with red, white and blue tape. Shake it up when attending 4th of July parades!
You will need: heavy card stock or construction paper; liquid tempera paints; sponges (shaped like stars); straws; plastic pot scrubbers; stamps and cookie cutters. Use the sponges, stamps, scrubbers and cookie cutters to press designs onto your paper. Drop dabs of paint and blow on them with a straw for a wonderful fireworks design. (Safety tip: To prevent kids from accidentally sucking up the paint, put a small slit in the straw near the top). Use black paper to make white fireworks. Add glitter to make your fireworks sparkle.
Patriotic Wands or Torches
You will need: toilet paper or paper towel tubes, rolled up newspapers or dowel rods will all create a great wand or torch. Paint the tubes red, white and blue and then cut out paper strips or use streamers and tape them to the end of the rolls. Use red paper to look like fire.
Patriotic Flower Pot
You will need: a flower pot; painter’s tape; foam brushes; sealer and ¼” vinyl lettering stars. First, paint the whole pot white. Once dry, add painter’s tape, starting at the top, to create stripes. Paint the stripes red. Add the stars around the rim of the top then paint it blue. When dry, pick off the stars. Seal it with a fast drying sealer.
You will need: plastic water bottles with the labels removed; red, blue and silver star confetti; glycerin; water; glitter and ribbon. Fill ¾ of the water bottle with water. Add as much glitter and confetti as you want. Fill the rest of the bottle with glycerin. Replace lid and shake to mix together. Red confetti may cause the water to turn slightly pink. You can also tie a patriotic themed ribbon to the bottle for a fun finishing touch.
Easy Jar Candle Craft
You will need: glass jars; glue; a paint brush and festive decorations. Cover the jars with glue that’s been thinned with a little bit of water. The kids can decorate the jars with sequins, glitter, buttons and more. Let them dry before placing a tea light inside.
You will need: a pool noodle; garland strands; popsicle sticks and paint. Make a wreath from the pool noodle by making it a circle and taping it together with duct tape. Wrap the garland around the wreath. Glue the sticks together with hot glue, and paint an American flag with red, white and blue on the sticks. Using old boxes, you can cut out a four for the center of the wreath.
You will need: 1 c. blueberries; 1 c. white chocolate; 1 tsp. vegetable oil; 2 tbsp. red and blue sprinkles and bamboo skewers. Spear eight blueberries onto each skewer. Melt chocolate chips and oil in the microwave for 30 seconds, stir and continue in 30 second increments until melted. Transfer chocolate into a plastic resealable bag, snip a corner of the bag and then drizzle chocolate over the blueberries and roll into the sprinkles.
Patriotic Oreo Pops
You will need: Wilton Candy Melts in Red, White and Royal Blue; Oreo Cookies; 4-inch; Lollipop sticks; assorted sprinkles (small or large stars); 3 Microwave-safe cups and Snack Size resealable plastic bags (optional – for drizzle decorations). Separate Oreos into two halves. Melt a small amount of white candy melts in the Microwave in 20-second increments, stirring well after each. Dip the end of a lollipop stick into the melted candy, and sandwich it between both halves of the Oreo. Allow the candy to cool and firm completely. Repeat this process half in the red and half in the blue melts. Decorate with sprinkles.
Red, White and Blue Fruit Skewers
You will need: 14-oz. angel food cake (cut about 1-inch cubes); 72-84 medium strawberries (about 3.5 lbs.) stems removed; 1 pint blueberries and 24 to 28 skewers. Thread 3 strawberries and 2 cubes of cake onto each skewer, alternating between strawberries and cake. Finish each skewers with 3 blueberries.
Cupcakes in a Jar
You will need: ½ pint canning jars; 1 vanilla cake mix; red and blue gel coloring and vanilla frosting. Prepare the vanilla cake batter, then divide equally into three bowls. Color one bowl red and one blue (using concentrated gel coloring). Leave the third bowl uncolored. Prepare three 9-inch cake pans by greasing lightly and lining with parchment paper. Fill each pan with a single color of batter and bake according to package instructions. Once baked, allow cakes to cool, then carefully remove cakes from pans and level as needed. Use a 2-inch round cookie cutter to cut out circles of cake. Fill a piping bag with frosting. In each jar, layer blue cake, a little frosting, white cake, a little frosting, red cake, a nice swirl of frosting. Top with red, white and blue sprinkles.
Banana Wafer Sandwiches
You will need: mini vanilla wafers; Nutella or peanut butter; bananas and sprinkles. Spread Nutella or peanut butter over two mini vanilla wafers. Add a banana slice in between the two vanilla wafers to make it into a mini sandwich. Roll the edges in red, white and blue sprinkles for a 4th of July twist.
4th of July Edible Flag
You will need: strawberries; blueberries; whipped topping or white frosting and graham cracker. Frost the graham cracker with frosting or whipped topping, slice the strawberries long ways and let kids decorate the graham cracker with blueberries and strawberries following the pattern of the American Flag.
NESTLÉ® TOLL HOUSE® Stars and Stripes Cookies
You will need: NESTLÉ® TOLL HOUSE® Refrigerated Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough; 1 pkg. of light cream cheese at room temperature; ⅓ c. granulated sugar; 24 fresh strawberries; ¾ c. of fresh blueberries; 2 tbsp. of NESTLÉ® TOLL HOUSE® Semi-Sweet Chocolate Mini Morsels. Roll cookie dough to ¼-inch thickness between two pieces of wax paper. Remove top piece of paper. Cut cookie dough into stars with 3-inch star cookie cutter. Transfer cookies to ungreased baking sheet(s). Roll remaining dough to ¼-inch thickness; cut out additional stars. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until light brown. While hot, reshape and pat edges of each star back into shape with knife. Cool on baking sheet(s) for 2 minutes; remove to wire rack(s) to cool completely. Beat cream cheese and sugar in small mixer bowl until fluffy. Spread onto cookies. Place strawberry slices onto each cookie pointing outward. Place 5 to 6 blueberries in center of each cookie. Top each cookie with morsels.
Fireworks Sugar Cookie Cake
You will need: ¾ c. unsalted butter, softened; ¾ c. granulated sugar; 1 large egg; 1 tbsp. vanilla extract; ½ tsp. baking soda; ½ tsp. salt; ½ tsp. cream of tartar; 2 c. all-purpose flour; 1 c. red, white and blue M&Ms; ½ c. red, white and blue “jimmie” sprinkles; Frosting: 3 tbsp. unsalted butter, softened; 1½ c. powdered sugar; 1 tsp. vanilla extract; ½ tsp. salt; 2 tbsp. heavy whipping cream or milk. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a 9-inch round cake pan with foil and spray with nonstick cooking spray. Make the cookie cake: Beat butter and sugar with a hand or a stand mixer until creamy. Beat in egg and vanilla, then mix in baking soda, salt and cream of tartar. Slowly mix in flour. Stir in M&Ms and sprinkles. Press batter into prepared pan, pressing more M&Ms onto the top as desired. Bake for 19-22 minutes or until the edges are just turning a light golden brown. It’s better to under bake this dough than over bake. The cake will continue cooking a bit as it cools, so err on the side of underdone. Let it cool completely. Make the frosting: Beat butter until smooth, then slowly beat in powdered sugar until crumbly. Add salt and vanilla, then add 1 tsp. of heavy whipping cream. Beat until smooth, adding another tsp. of heavy whipping cream to get a spreadable texture. Use a 1M tip and a Ziploc or piping bag to decorate the cookie cake. Top with more sprinkles and M&Ms.
Hooray for America Parade
Organize a holiday parade for your neighborhood. Children can decorate their bikes, scooters, wagons, strollers or themselves. Crepe paper, balloons, small flags and bells are perfect accessories for homemade floats. Offer prizes in different categories, such as most original decorations or most colorful costume. Blast patriotic music and invite everyone in the neighborhood to come and cheer.
A Fashionable Fourth
Gather up family and friends for a Fourth of July fashion show! Use red, white and blue nail polish to add instant stars and stripes to solid-colored accessories such as socks, hats, barrettes, shoelaces and sunglasses. Kids may also enjoy having their faces decorated with fireworks and flags. You can make your own face paint by blending one teaspoon cornstarch with half teaspoon cold cream, then adding half teaspoon water and a couple drops of food coloring. The paint is safe for the skin and washes off with soap and water!
Raise the Flag
If You Have a Flag: Break out the stars and stripes and assemble the family for a flag ceremony. Let everyone place the flag in a holder or raise it on a flagpole together, then have your kids lead a recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance.
Don’t Own a Flag? Lead the kids in a rousing rendition of George M. Cohan’s “You’re a Grand Old Flag.” Cohan also wrote “I’m a Yankee Doodle Dandy,” another fun, patriotic song. (And put buying a flag on you to-do list for next year’s celebration—you can find one for as little as $15).
Make a Flag: Help your kids make their own flags out of construction paper, then glue the flags to sticks and wave them as you celebrate the day.
Red, White and Blue Water Blob
You will need: Extra heavy duty plastic drop cloths (two 9′ x 12′ plastic drop cloths); Extra sticky duct tape (a mix between Gorilla tape and Clear Duck tape); red, white and blue spray paint to add the flag (Krylon Fusion, which is fast-drying and made for painting plastic). Spread out and layer both drop clops on top of each other outside (on grass or soft ground). Spray paint stars and stripes onto the plastic sheet. Then carefully tape the edges together with at least three layers of tape, making sure to leave one open hole about 6 inches in one corner. Fill the hole with a water hose until the blob is filled and tape off the corner.
Note: There will be occasional holes while kids are jumping on the blob, so wear swimsuits and embrace the water!
For a fun craft with the kids make Fireworks from GoGo squeeZ. You’ll need push-up cake pop molds or empty ice cream push-pop containers (which you can reuse after eating or find online), construction paper, markers, glitter, pipe cleaners, confetti, other decorative items and tape. Line the bottom of the container with a round piece of construction paper, leaving it a little larger than the bottom circle, so none of the glitter will fall out. Cover the outside of the container with construction paper, and let your kids color and decorate the paper with markers. Fill the inside with glitter, pipe cleaners and other decorative items. Finally, tape another circular piece of construction paper over the top. To activate, remove construction paper, and push the glitter or confetti out quickly. It’s recommended that you release them somewhere where the glitter won’t be a hassle to clean up afterward.
Festive Yard Decor
Get festive in your yard by decorating and hanging up posters, streamers, stars and other patriotic items from your fence, porch or windows. Hang Toilet Paper Roll Fireworks from All Kids Network on the porch. You’ll use toilet paper rolls, white paint, red and blue glitter glue, paint brush, red and blue streamers, yarn or string, scissors and tape. Paint the toilet paper roll white. Once dry, use glitter glue to decorate, and set aside to dry. Cut streamers into 10-1″ lengths, and then cut vertically down the center. Tape the streamers to the inside of the roll. Punch a hole to the top of the roll to string yarn through to hang it up.
Celebrate with These Products
All American Edition of Bean Bag Bucketz: Take the fun outdoors with this family-friendly game where teams try to get their bean bags in the bucketz, and it comes with a carry bag, making it easily portable.
FWsim: Watch virtual fireworks or create your own display with music with FWsim’s software. You can get a free one hour trial.
Oliver Doodle Dandy: This cute book by Todd M. Zimmerman and illustrated by Kyle Hernandez focuses on U.S. history and explains national holidays, such as Flag Day, Independence Day and Labor Day. A companion activity book is also available.
Watch a Movie
Enjoy a patriotic movie night with one of these movies celebrating the American spirit.
- The musical “Hamilton” tells the story of Founding Father Alexander Hamilton.
- In “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington,” watch political drama and democracy in action.
- “National Treasure” imagines a world where America has hidden treasure with a map on the Declaration of Independence.
- “The Sandlot” explores the national phenomenon of baseball, featuring a Fourth of July baseball game.
- Watch the American hero and super soldier in “Captain America: The First Avenger.”
- If your kids are older, watch the eponymous “Independence Day” for an action battle between Americans and alien forces.
- For a look at history with older kids, watch “Lincoln” for an inside, although fictional, look at the Civil War.
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