It’s the Fourth, and this year you’d really like a few me-minutes to scarf down that awesome burger, have an adult conversation and maybe even enjoy a cocktail, right? We know the kids will be quick to complain of boredom, and that margarita will be lousy once we can actually get to it.
It can be challenging to keep children busy while they impatiently wait for the traditional evening festivities to begin. That said, here are five fun outdoor activity ideas to keep the kids busy and happy until it’s time for poppers, sparklers and fireworks at this year’s Fourth of July celebration:
1. It’s hot and children love to play with water, in any form. Give ice cube painting a try. It’s a wonderful group activity—just cover a picnic table with cheap paper table covers from the party store and let your little artists get busy.
To make the paint cubes, grab some old ice cube trays and fill them with water. Some like to use food color, but I prefer adding a bit of washable paint to the water for easier cleanup. Stir it up and freeze. This is a messy activity, but you can make it just a bit less of a mess by putting Popsicle, ice cream or craft sticks in each cube after they’re partially frozen. This allows the kids to paint holding the stick rather than holding the cubes in their hands.
*Full credit for this idea goes to my daughter’s fabulous preschool teacher. She rocks.
2. During the summer months, my patio concrete is usually full of my daughter’s artwork. Give the kids a bucket of sidewalk chalk, turn them loose on the patio, driveway or sidewalks and you’ll be able to enjoy that conversation for a change. Next day clean up with the hose is easy and totally worth it, but most often I leave the artwork on display until the rain comes.
3. Dodge balloon is as much fun for the adults as it is for the kids. Split up into two teams so kids can take turns throwing the water balloons at the opposing side. When you’re hit, you’re out. It’s fun, and it’s wet.
4. Don’t have a pool? Blow up two or three cheap baby pools. Set up one to use exclusively as a filling station for squirt guns or silly soakers so bigger kids can join the fun and cool down, too.
5. Can’t get to a fireworks show this year? Have your own balloon fireworks. Launch some red, white and blue balloons. Let the kids decorate and write Independence Day messages on the balloons before the sendoff.
Do you have easy ideas to keep the kids busy at this year’s celebration? Share it with us. We want to hear it!