The Fourth of July holds some of my best childhood memories. I always felt like my parents had some unique power to fill the day with over-the-top fun, but as I’ve grown, I’ve realized that it was all the small things that made the holiday feel like pure bliss. My mom would make haystacks, my dad barbecued, and my sister and I always had friends over to swim. There wasn’t a ton of prep or purchases that went into making the day special, it was just being around the people I loved that made it so much fun.
After you become a parent, it’s exciting to share your favorite holiday traditions with your kids, and create new ones too. Sure, backyard parties and firework shows might be limited this year, but there are still ways you can fill the day with special memories.
Keep in mind that, although this Fourth might look different than you anticipated, it’s truly the small things that make kids the happiest. Here are some fresh—and summer 2020-appropriate—ideas for celebrating Independence Day.
All you need to make these fringe fireworks is a pair of scissors, card stock, glue, and a few straws. Place them in a vase on your kitchen table to serve as a poppin’ centerpiece.
Silly headbands and hats can be found at party supply stores, but there’s something special about customizing your own. Plus, they make the perfect accessories for family photo opps.
Decorate your front porch or back patio with these shiny, DIY windsocks. Another great idea: Make them for neighbors, relatives, and friends.
Simple summer recipes with a patriotic twist.
There are a few things that say food on the Fourth like grilling, and these BBQ chicken burgers happen to be a hit for parents and kids alike.
Chilled fruit and granola layered with creamy yogurt make for a refreshing mid-day snack.
These star-shaped watermelon bites are an easy alternative to sugary sweets.
These star-shaped fruit skewers, shimmering haystacks, and patriotic pretzels are all no-bake! Find the tasty recipes here.
Small decor upgrades and simple ways to spend the day—social distancing approved!
Haeley, a mom of two and blogger at Design Improvised, created these sweet Fourth of July surprise buckets to leave on her neighbors’ porches. You and your kids can recreate the idea by filling buckets with patriotic goodies (like American flags, sunglasses, and stickers) along with an invitation to a socially-distanced neighborhood parade. Find a free printable invite here.
Go all out by drawing stars and stripes on the sidewalks with chalk, lining your lawn with patriotic pinwheels, and encouraging the kids in your neighborhood to decorate their bikes for the parade.
Beat the summer heat old-school style and enjoy the simple pleasure of running through the sprinklers. This patriotic water-play pick from Funboy has four water sprayers that provide 360 degrees of water fun. Find four more unique water toys here.
Play a Game
There are several family-friendly outdoor activities that are ideal for the summer, but this firework ring toss game hits home with the patriotic theme. Whoever scores the most points after tossing the red and blue rings onto this inflatable firework display, wins!