The Fourth of July may be entwined with thoughts of summer, grilling and fireworks, but the celebration itself has much more meaning. This year is a chance to capture that meaning with some fun, Independence-Day inspired activities.
The Fourth of July, Independence Day and July Fourth are all names for the day we celebrate an intense moment in our nation’s history. It dates back to 1776 when the delegates from the thirteen colonies adopted the historic document, the Declaration of Independence, in a move to establish their own government separate from Great Britain.
In that summer of 1776, the colonists held mock funerals for the king, and anytime the Declaration of Independence was read publicly, it was accompanied by festivities like concerts, bonfires, parades and the firing of cannons and muskets. Sounds like a good time, right?
At least nowadays, we don’t need mock funerals of monarchies that are in control. However, the pandemic that the world recently experienced has led to changes in the way we celebrate. As a result, this Fourth of July might not involve the large crowds and gatherings that sometimes coincide with this holiday.
Change doesn’t have to be bad, though. It is important to be adaptable and make the best of things. If you change how you celebrate, you may find it is more fun to get together with a small group of close family and friends versus a crowd of strangers.
So why not gather and make something to commemorate this special day? We have some easy Fourth of July crafts and activities to make your Independence Day gathering even more fun and meaningful. You might even start a whole new tradition for this holiday.
These crafts and activities are fun for adults and children. Take a look at these activities and decide which of these crafts jive, so you can get all the necessary supplies to make the Fourth of July come alive!
For a fun experiment that is quick and easy enough for kids, you can create rocket launchers with cups and rubber bands.
Place two rubber bands lengthwise, crossing one another across the cup opening. Place a third rubber band around the cup, to secure the two rubber bands in place. This creation is the "rocket.” Place a second cup upside down on a flat surface. Put the "rocket" over the second cup. Holding the lip of the rocket cup, pull down and release to launch your rocket.
You can make several of these and compete once you launch to see whose rocket goes the furthest. This is a safe way to launch something into the air.
Patriotic Bracelets or Necklaces
What could be better than creating a piece of patriotic, decorative jewelry for the holiday? With the simple materials of string or thin yarn, scissors, scotch tape, blue pony beads and red straws, you can make a cute necklace or bracelet.
Start by cutting the straws into one-inch pieces and set them up with some of the blue pony beads. Cut the string the appropriate length for either a necklace or a bracelet, leaving a little extra for tying the ends together.
Tie a pony bead to one end to prevent the other straws and beads from slipping off, and on the other end, wrap the scotch tape to keep the string or yarn together and make it easier to bead.
Arrange the beads and straws by simply sliding them on the string in any pattern. Tie the ends once the creation is complete. Cut off the ends with the pony bead, tape and discard. Everyone can show off their patriotic designs.
Flowers for the Fourth
There are many beautiful flower arrangements featuring red, white and blue flowers for the Fourth of July. Flower arrangements are a great way to decorate for the occasion. In keeping with the spirit of this year’s Fourth of July crafts, you can also incorporate these fresh-cut flowers into a craft for your guests.
During the party, have guests decorate mason jars with stars, sequins, glitter, paint and watered-down glue. Once the party is over, let your guests take the fresh-cut flowers from arrangements home in the mason jars they decorated. Guests are certain to remember this activity and surprise party favor fondly.
If you think you would like to add some patriotic arrangements to your Fourth of July gathering, contact our florists at Bernie's Flower Shop Inc. in Verona, PA .
Let’s make some noise! That phrase should ignite some excitement. We can tell you how to make even more noise.
All you need is a hammer, a nail, metal cans, metal lids from glass jars or bottles, string or twine and either patriotic paper or a patriotic scene drawn or painted on some paper and tape.
With the hammer and nail, punch a hole through the top center of the metal can and metal jar lid. Thread both ends of twine or string through the hole in the can. Tie the string ends to the metal lid. This creates the ringer. Then knot the string a few inches above the lid to keep it hanging inside the can.
Tie another knot outside the can to keep the string from getting pulled all the way through. Make a third knot at the top end of the twine to create the handle for the bell. Finish your firecracker noisemaker by taping patriotic or decorated paper around the can.
Patriotic Tie-Dye Shirts
Summer is the best time for tie-dye. It can be quite messy, so it is best done outside with some garbage bags or plastic sheeting underneath where you plan to have your workspace. If you want to have your guests all participate, either have them bring a plain white shirt or order some cheap white shirts in approximated sizes for guests who want to participate.
There are tie-dye kits available, or you can make your own. Choose pre-washed, 100 percent cotton shirts, and if you soak the shirt for several minutes in soda ash (sodium carbonate) mixed with warm water, the color will absorb better.
Begin by gathering in a diagonal from the edge you want to start on. You can start at the shoulder or the bottom corner. Zip-tie the first tie about 4 inches or so from the shoulder or bottom edge then every two inches until the end.
The big section by the shoulder/collar is blue. Then alternate red and leave white for the rest of the sections. Wear gloves. Work over the plastic on a drying rack. Gently squeeze out the dye in each zip-tied section of the shirt.
Using the baking rack will keep the dye from puddling and running together underneath. Wrap your creation in a grocery bag and place it in a warm area for 6-8 hours. Next, remove the shirt from the bag and rinse out with warm water. Rinse, ring, rinse, ring, rinse and ring. Clip off the zip-ties carefully. Rinse and ring until the water runs clear. Throw the shirt in the washing machine with your preferred cleaner. Dry it in the sun or the dryer, and it is ready to wear.
For a much faster alternative, consider tie-dyeing your shirt using watered down acrylic paint. The shirt will need to dry, but once you heat-set it by tossing it into the drier, it will be ready to wear. This method is similar to the traditional tie-dying method, but it does not require hot water or as much preparation as the above, traditional method. This quick method can be accomplished in a much shorter amount of time.
Patriotic Flag Shirts
Another way to take a white shirt and make it a patriotic masterpiece is easily attained with white shirts, blue and red fabric paint, a paint sponge or brush, freezer paper, cardboard and an iron.
Cut out stripes and stars from the freezer paper. Freezer paper is plastic coated on one side, which allows it to stick to fabric if heated with an iron. Iron the freezer paper stars and stripes on the shirt. Insert cardboard inside the shirt, so the paint won’t bleed through. Use the fabric paint to color the shirt. Let it dry, and once it is dry, let your patriotic flag fly!
Patriotic Neighborhood Parade
Once you have finished your Fourth of July activities, a great way to conclude an awesome day is with a parade. Granted, we may all still need to keep some distance, but if we spread out, we can still have a parade with bicycles, wagons, golf carts and whatever else you may have to decorate.
Don’t forget that you will be decked out, too. What better way to show it off than in an impromptu parade?
Without the Declaration of Independence, our country might be completely different. It is worth celebrating our independence and the bravery that lead to it this Fourth of July. Even if celebrations are a little different, the meaning behind them is what counts!