With the Fourth of July falling on a Wednesday, many of you have already celebrated over the weekend. But that doesn’t have to mean the day has to be a total waste. My goal is to throw together a day off, full of family fun, but not leave myself with a huge mess to clean up.
Last year, I suggested a lot of elaborate desserts, crafts, and pie eating contests. Well, I don’t know about you, but the thought of cleaning cherry pie out of my patio before heading back to work on Thursday isn’t on the top of my list.
So, here are a few simple ideas that will keep you in the Independence Day spirit:
1) Slip and Slide. Not recommended for adults—oh yes, it’s so fun when you’re sliding, but the next morning yields some mega pain—but your kids will be able to stay cool and for some reason, their little bodies don’t feel the pain. Toy’s R Us has plenty of options available ranging from $9-$45. Boogie boards are a great addition because you can slide faster, and it helps eliminate some of the uneven territory of your backyard.
2) Water Balloons. This is quickly becoming a family tradition for our Fourth of July holiday. And it’s going to be so hot this week, water is going to be essential to keep cool. Join the kids and battle it out with some water balloons. And now it’s easier than ever to fill up buckets of balloons for the kids. For less than $20 at Walmart, you can get a Pumponator and then buy some extra red, white and blue balloons. A simple, fun activity that can keep everyone cool, and laughter is sure to follow when your Grandma grabs one to join in the fun!
3) Finger Painting. OK, so this might sound like a baby project, but for some reason everyone loves to finger paint. IKEA sells rolls of drawing paper for $5. Spread a long piece out across your yard. Take paper plates and fill them with red, white and blue paint. Then let the kids get messy. Create a masterpiece that you can then hang up on your fence as a decoration. It’s best to anchor the paper with some large rocks on each corner. You can also give the kids sponges, paint brushes or other art supplies to help them be creative—especially for kids who don’t like to be covered in paint. But you’d be surprised how cute little foot print and hand prints look all over these long sheets of paper, so encourage them to just get messy. Then squirt them off and let them back on the slip and slide.
4) Food. Of course you need to think red, white and blue when it comes to your food. So, be sure to check out Pinterest for creative ideas for food, desserts and of course festive beverages. I found adorable star-shaped ravioli at Costco. They were red, white and blue. I cooked them, tossed them in my favorite Italian dressing and served it chilled at a party over the weekend. It was a hit. The kids especially loved the colorful, star-shaped pasta.
Regardless how you spend your holiday, I hope you have a safe, family-filled day. Enjoy your Fourth of July, Perry Hall.