On the Fourth of July, we try to do a lot of activities that include our family and friends; cooking out, covered dish dinner, making ice cream in the old fashioned crank freezer, or having a watermelon cutting. These activities can be enjoyed by the young and old.
If we choose to make ice cream, those who have freezers bring the ice cream mixture in their freezer container. Those who don't have freezers bring bags of ice, the hostess provides the salt. It is best to have about 5 or 6 freezers, with a different flavor in each. It is so much fun to watch the small kids try to crank the freezer! Most of them have never done this before, and look forward to making ice cream.
Everybody brings lawn chairs, or a quilt. We look for the shade, moving as it changes during the day! It is a good excuse to tell the funny stories about family and friends, and relieve them each year. You know the kids are listening when they beg for the story about when "Great Aunt Nettie sat down on the couch, and sat on a crochet hook and had to go to the ER, and the hook was stuck in her girdle! " Oh my, the kids 3 generations down are still laughing about that story!
When there are a lot of little children, tell them to bring their tricycles, wagons, or bikes with them. Provide crepe paper streamers, flags, horns, whistles, ribbons,cardboard and clothes pins for the bike wheels, and what ever Fourth Decorations you can find at the $ Store. Let them decorate their "vehicles" and have a parade down the street. Oh my how they love to do that. Some of them even decorated the dog last year!
Water balloons are fun for the kids and the dads, too! It is usually so hot in July that it feels good to get wet a little. If you want to, you can get inexpensive squirt guns at the $ stores, too.
As for the watermelon feast. You know there has to be a seed spitting contest, too! Give small prizes, or find Medals at the $ Store for the winner. Who says that fun has to be expensive?
By Barb in Knoxville, TN
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The 4th of July is Sunday! Not much time to prepare for this special holiday but I have put together some tips to help you along.
Be very careful and have a safe holiday- visit this website for Fireworks Safety
Help the kids make this edible firecracker:
Give each child an unwrapped Twinkie style snack cake and a piece of red shoestring licorice a few inches long. Have red, white and blue cake icing and sprinkles available. Have the children stick the licorice in the end of the snack cake for the fuse and then let them decorate the snack cakes with the sprinkles and icing. Enjoy!
Have red and blue koolades or fruit punches to go with the theme.
Put red, white and blue pinwheels in a pot or vase for a great centerpiece.
Pretzel Sticks: Cover with melted white chocolate and add red, white and blue star sprinkles.
Colorful Ice Cubes- Freeze red and blue juices/koolades in ice trays to make colorful additions to your drinks.
Say the Pledge of Allegiance, sing patriotic songs and be a proud American!
Come up with your own ideas- simply add some red, white and blue!
Another fun idea my kids love is red, white and blue popcorn! You separate the popcorn into 2 bowls. make 2 bowls of melted butter and add red food color to one bowl of butter, and blue to the other. Pour one over each bowl. Some will stay white in each bowl. Toss, then combine! Or if you make popcorn, as my kids call it, "the old fashioned way", on the stove, you can make 2 separate pots and add red food coloring to your oil in one pot, then blue to the second! (07/03/2004)