The 4th of July always sneaks up on us. School gets out, we get in our summer routine, and then BAM! it’s already time for fireworks. We drove past a fireworks tent being set up this week and my four-year-olds shrieked with glee. Immediately upon returning home my older son counted his hard-earned chore cash to see what he wanted to budget for explosives. While the fireworks are definitely a family favorite of ours, the 4th always brings so much more than just the nighttime explosions. Sadly, with social distancing being so important right now, the 4th might look a little different this year.
To keep things festive, and no less entertaining, I’ve created a compilation of some fun family ideas you can do that will be sure to create some fantastic memories together.
- Summer treats. Never underestimate the power of family time and summer foods. For our family, the 4th means family time, togetherness, and food. We prepare summer foods that kind of signify this particular holiday to all of us. A few of our 4th of July favorites include Jello cake, watermelon, and homemade ice cream. We get out the blender and make Orange Julius and Root Beer floats. All the fun summer foods get to make their big debut on 4th of July. We prepare them together as a family and that makes the preparation just as enjoyable as the consumption.
2. A Family Art Project. This is the time of year I like to break out my hefty supply of sidewalk chalk so our whole family can sit around on the driveway and utilize the creative parts of our brains together. Last year our neighbors would walk by and comment how they looked forward to our “mural” driveway each 4th of July. Here we were making memories together as a family and never even realized that we were contributing to our neighborhood as well! The fun part of this is it doesn’t matter if you’re three years old or fifty years old – you can still sit in the driveway and color.
3. Family backyard campout. I love my bed and get a little emotional over even one night elsewhere. However, the joy in my kids faces when they hear we are camping out in the backyard is more than worth the restless night of sleep. You can make your backyard campout simple by just sleeping on the deck or the patio, or you can go all out with a fire pit, a tent, and late night ghost stories. Our dog always joins us for our backyard campout and I’m pretty sure he enjoys it just as much as the rest of us.
4. Water fun. It’s July so it’s dang hot outside. I wouldn’t survive hot Kansas summers without some waterworks on a daily basis. An annual favorite past time of ours is a big old fashioned water balloon fight. We never know when it will start, or who will start it, but not one single 4th of July has passed that we didn’t get completely drenched with our family water balloon war. We like to keep hidden water guns stashed around the yard and deck for a water emergency when we are caught off guard with no water balloons nearby.
5. Homemade decorations. What is a holiday without decorations? We love to bring out the red, white, and blue this time of year. A few cheap rolls of crepe paper and some construction paper go a long way for little kids excited to help celebrate. We let them decorate their bikes, the deck, our front porch and anything else they think needs a patriotic flair. You can purchase tiny little American flags at any party store this time of year also. The kids love to stick these in plants and out of their bicycle handles to really rev things up.
Here’s to everyone having a safe, happy, and healthy 4th of July. Enjoy your friends and family. Cheers!