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4th of July Fun Ideas

The 4th of July is a great time to show our patriotic spirit while celebrating with family and friends. So what does that mean?   There are plenty of things that you can do to make your barbecue festive.

Fun things to do with your kids for the 4th of July are listed below:


 Patriotic Punch

Simply fill an ice cube tray with a red fruit flavored beverage and let the cubes freeze solid.  Drop three or four of the colored cubes into a clear glass.  Add your favorite CLEAR colored seltzer water or soda.  As the cubes melt you will see colored bubbles swirl through the seltzer.  Be sure to add red or blue straws to the glass for effect.


Create a 4th of July Tee Shirt


Materials Needed

  • cotton or cotton-blend T-shirt
  • red and blue fabric paints
  • paint brush
  • stiff paper or light cardboard for star templates
  • heavy aluminum foil or shirt size cardboard
  • pencil
  • scissors
  • masking tape - 2 inch wide

Prewash and iron the T-shirt. Fold the T-shirt in half lengthwise to find the center; mark with tape. Place foil or cardboard inside the shirt to stiffen the fabric and protect the back from paint leaking. Smooth the front of the shirt flat.

Cut off a strip of masking tape a little wider then the width of the shirt. Place it across the front of the shirt so the bottom of the tape meets the bottom of both sleeves. Place another strip of tape down the center front of the shirt between the previous tape and the bottom of the shirt. Measure 2-inches on each side of the center tape and mark lightly with a pencil. Place two more strips of tape with the edges along your marks so all strips of tape are 2-inches away from each other. Continue placing strips of tape in this manner across the shirt. These will be your guidelines for painting the stripes.

Cut a star out of a piece of light cardboard. Use this star template to trace a star in the center of the shirt above the stripes. Trace two more stars on each side and slightly above the center star. Paint the stars with blue fabric paint. Paint the stripes between the strips of tape red. Let dry for several hours. Remove the tape and the foil or cardboard from inside the shirt.



 Red, White and Blue Popsicles

Ingredients Needed


1 Bottle each of Red, Blue and White juice.

Red string licorice for fuse

3 oz. paper cups

Popsicle Sticks

baking sheet

Juice Suggestions:

Red juice (red raspberry, cherry, cranberry)
Blue juice (blue Kool Aid, Gatorade, blue raspberry)
White juice (lemonade, coconut juice drink)

Line up several 3 oz. paper cups on a baking sheet. Pour 2 tablespoons of red juice into each cup. Freeze 2-3 hours until firm-slushy.

Remove from freezer and poke a popsicle stick into the center of each cup of juice. Add 2 tablespoons of white juice and freeze 2-3 hours.

Remove from freezer. Top off with blue juice and freeze 1-2 hours until slushy.

Remove from freezer and insert a 2 or 3-inch string of licorice into each popsicle. Freeze until hard. Peel off paper cups to serve.

Flag Cake


2 pints of strawberries
1 box of white or yellow cake mix
1 1/3 C of blueberries
1 tub of whipped topping


Mix up and bake cake mix according to directions. Let cool.

Slice 1 cup of strawberries, set aside. Halve remaining strawberries, set aside.

Keep the cake in the pan and top with the 1 cup of sliced strawberries and 1 cup of blueberries.  Spread all of the whipped topping over the strawberies and blueberries.   Then arrange  the remaining strawberry halves and blueberries  to create a flag design.  Use the blueberries for stars and line up the strawberry halves to make stripes.Refrigerate until ready to serve. 


Fun Games

Water Bottle Relay Race: Give each team a bucket of water, Dixie cups and a large, empty soda bottle.  One "lucky" person sits on a lawn chair, opposite end from the water bucket, holding the soda bottle between their legs.  The rest of the group proceeds to fill their Dixie cups with water, run to the other end and pour the water into the bottle.  The first team to completely fill the bottle wins.

Water Balloon Toss: Fill balloons with water.  Have everyone form two lines facing each other about three feet apart.  Each pair is given a water balloon. On GO  they carefully throw their balloon to their partner. If the catch is successful they take a large step backwards so they gap between them gets greater and they throw the balloon again.  The winner is the last group left with an unbroken water balloon.

Play Hose LimboFollow the rules for Limbo only use your hose instead of a stick.

Water Balloon BaseballGet a collection of water balloons and tennis balls that are the same color.  The pitcher selects either a balloon or ball and pitches to the batter.  The batter decides whether to swing or not.  If it is a balloon he/she may get very wet!!  Be sure to switch positions to make it fun for all..

Squirt the BallUsing soaker-type squirt guns and beach balls have your kids fight or squirt to the finish line.  The first to blast their beach ball over their opponents finish line wins.

Sneaker Relay:  Everyone must be wearing slip on footwear or shoes without ties.  Divide the group into 2 or 3 equal teams and have them line up.  Set a box or bin across from each team at the far end of a level area.  On cue, the first person in each line races to his team's box, removes his shoes and deposits them into the box.  He then runs back and tags the next person.  The games continues until everyone has deposited their shoes and is back at the starting line.  The first person must then run and retrieve their shoes from the team bucket, put them on, run back and tag the next person and the play continues. The winning team will be the one to first complete both parts of the relay.

Face Paint

Have fun with the kids and show their patriotic side at this year's Fourth of July celebration.   Use red, white and blue face paint to make bold designs on their face.  They will love sporting the stars and stripes look this year. You can either purchase water base face paint or try making your own.

Face Paint Recipe
1 tsp. cornstarch
1/2 tsp. water
1/2 tsp. cold cream
2 drops food coloring

In a small mixing bowl, combine all ingredients, mix well.


Party Planning Tips


Create a patriotic theme by asking everyone to wear red, white and blue.

Purchase tablecloths, plates, cups and napkins in red, white and blue. Remember to mix and match.

Play patriotic music, such as "Yankee Doodle Dandy," "America the Beautiful" etc...

Serve "all-American" foods such as hamburgers, hot dogs, potato salad, deviled eggs, corn on the cob, watermelon or fruit salad, lemonade, cake, and desserts made in patriotic colors.

Play games with teams comprised of adults and kids. Give small party favors (such as mini-American flags) to the team members who win.

Have your barbecue early in the afternoon so that you can go as a group to enjoy the fireworks.


Fabulous Watermelons

Carving a watermelon and filling it with fruit salad is a wonderful display on your food table.  To learn how to carve a watermelon into a heart basket click here: Watermelon Carving

Watermelon "look-a-like" Dessert

Refrigerate a ripe honeydew melon for a few hours.  Cut the cold melon in half and scoop out the seeds.  Pack the center of each half with raspberry sherbert.  Slice each of the filled halves into 4 wedges.  Press chocolate chip "watermelon seeds" into the sherbert portion of each slice and serve immediately.