Fourth of July Crafts for Kids and the Whole Family
If you're hosting guests for a Fourth of July celebration, it's never too early to start planning the day's activities—especially if you plan to host kids. Spending time with your family and friends outside is a must, as is hosting a great cookout filled with summertime favorites, and setting up a stellar fireworks viewing party to finish out the day. But if you're looking to pack your schedule to keep the little ones busy, why not turn to your crafting closet?
The following crafts are perfect for July 4th celebrations, keeping children entertained while parents and family members play amongst themselves. Some are patriotic themed and will make for heartfelt decorations that are anything but ordinary after they're finished. Others are everyday crafts designed to provide fun for kids wherever they may be; the city, the beach, at the park, on the lawn, or hanging by the lake. These crafts are more than just decorative, too—our most enjoyable games can be made by hand and enjoyed under the summer sun all day long. The DIY tin can toss game is a great way to let little ones flex their creativity before getting active; the same can be said for our sponge ball game, which can be made in advance of July 4 and reused all summer long as an eco-friendly alternative to water balloon fights.
Worried about rainy weather? We're walking you through the best art projects that any child of any skill set can complete while sitting indoors. Using popsicle molds to create watercolor "paintsicles" is a unique way to beat the heat and keep youngsters in the event that they can't head outdoors. That project, plus the others in this roundup, will make any Fourth of July celebration that much more special for those young at heart, too.
Patriotic Hair Bow
Nothing says "holiday party" like a big bow on a little girl's head. Go extra-wide with the ribbon, loop and tie it, and hot-glue it onto a plain metal barrette.
Vintage Ribbon Trims Wide Vintage Stripe Millinery Grosgrain Ribbon Trim, 2.125", in Red-White-Blue (similar to shown), $9 yd., vinageribbontrims.etsy.com
Fourth of July Pom-Poms
Let little ones get hands-on with the Fourth of July fun: Make festive "sparklers" they can wave, shake, and twirl safely. They're fashioned from fringed tissue paper, with a few silvery mylar strips for added flair. To make them, layer fringed segments of paper and roll them up on end of dowel, as pictured, applying tape repeatedly along unfringed edge of tissue paper as you roll. Cut a cone of card stock and wrap it around the base of the pom-pom, taping to secure.
Paper Presentation Tissue Paper, in Red and Turquoise, 20" x 30", $3 for 12, paperpresentation.com
. Wood Round Dowel, 1/4" x 48", 84¢,
Fourth of July Bike Clip-Art
To make basket banner, cut patterned ribbons into "flags," then glue them onto a long strip. Weave a few wider ribbons through the spokes, and knot more onto the handlebars. (You can also opt to download our printable clip-art for large medallions, spoke covers, pennants, and a bike shield.) Now, all that's left is for your family to join in on your hometown's Fourth of July parade.
Ribbon Factory Red/White/Royal Blue Ribbon (#GRWB; on handlebars), 5/8", $4 for 20 yd., ribbonfactory.com
. Mood Designer Fabrics Heart Ribbon (#118805), $4 yd., 212-730-5003. Linus Lil' Dutchi Girls' Bicycle, 20", in Coral, $299,
Send your guests to the moon with these lively rockets. They make playful favor packages for an Independence Day bash or a child's summer birthday. And constructing them is a snap—no rocket science required. To make them, print our clip-art onto 8 1/2-by-11-inch heavyweight matte paper, affix it to 8-by-5 1/2-inch tissue paper with double-tape, roll it into a tube, cinch the tissue at the bottom of the rocket, and tie it with twine. Roll the fan-shaped clip-art into a cone for on top.
Fourth of July Candy Container
This candy container—a nod to Uncle Sam's top hat—is emblazoned with a calligraphed eagle. Inside, a bag of gumdrops (ours are champagne gumdrops from the Sweet Life) makes for a parting treat. Print the hat templates onto red card stock. Print blue eagle clip-art onto regular paper. Bend the tabbed rectangle into a cylinder with a 1/3-inch overlap, securing with hot glue and affix the eagle clip-art around the cylinder. Tie a bow with waxed twine.
Flag Cake Toppers
These mini ever-waving flags make any treat—be it a cake, cupcake, or cocktail—fit for the Fourth. Brush ribbon with fabric stiffener (such as Aleene's), then lay them on top of pencils to form the ripples. To create bigger waves, place thicker tools—like markers—under the ribbon as it dries. (Prevent sticking by placing plastic wrap between the ribbon and the tools.) Let them set overnight. Snip wooden skewers at various lengths, then hot-glue the flags to wooden skewers and display your dessert with pride.
Portable Game Board
Heading to the beach for the Fourth? For a portable version of classic board games, try making a roll-up board from a placemat. Stamp one side with a checkerboard and the other with a tic-tac-toe grid. When the games are over, shake off the sand—and leave stone and shell game pieces behind—and toss it into your beach bag.
Sidewalk Chalk Paint
It's easy to make your own wash-off nontoxic pigments using just a few household items. This is a great hands-on activity to keep the kids happily occupied at your upcoming block party, barbecue, or any ordinary summer day.
Easy Sand Candles
Red, white, and blue bands of sand dress up votive candles to make flickering lights that are cheerful and fun. Make several of these, and create a patriotic centerpiece to coordinate with china or linens for outdoor dining.
So pretty they'll make you dizzy, these patriotic whirligigs spin in the wind. They're tacked to clothespins so you can clip them to anything—like a bicycle basket. To make one, cut two 5-inch squares in different colors from patterned paper, glue them back-to-back, and let dry. Draw diagonal lines from corner to corner, and make a 3-inch cut along each line. Fold every other point toward the center and glue together. Affix to a clothespin with a map tack.