The Fourth of July is such a fun holiday, isn’t it? (Unless you work early the next morning and can’t sleep because of the fireworks, but that’s another story…) Parades, barbecues, fireworks… it’s a blast all around! Here are six easy ideas to have a “blast” with your kids this Fourth of July.
Let’s start this list off with a bang. Honestly, I have mixed feelings about guns as toys, but these are really cute! The classic pop gun: makes a fun noise, but does not have any projectiles. With this vintage rifle design, you can talk about Independence Day history during playtime. Patriotic and kid-friendly “fireworks”… double win!
Firework Oreos with “popping candy”
I can’t even believe this is a thing! My husband I both loved them. They bring back great 90s flashbacks of tingly post-Pop Rocks tongues. I couldn’t wait to let my 3-year-old try one, and I recorded his reaction. What a dud! Don’t mind him. Head to your nearest supermarket and try them. (Please excuse the screaming baby in the background. He was furious that his brother was eating something that he wasn’t.) I didn’t realize until I was writing the post that I actually purchased my store’s generic brand, so you’ll see vanilla instead of chocolate…
The Bottle Blaster
That’s what my 3-year-old calls it. Better known as a “Soda Geyser,” this is the classic mentos and soda experiment. I had never done this before! Check out the footage– it was so fun! But those kids… still unfazed. I’ll have to keep upping my game with these two. If you want a great explanation of the method and ways to experiment, check out this article. I used a paper roll contraption to slide all of the Mentos in at once, but it wasn’t quite foolproof, and definitely one-time use. If you want to get fancy, they actually make a device for this very purpose. Who thinks of these things? (Sciencey tips: I warmed the soda by leaving it outside in 90 degree temperatures for a couple of hours. Also, they say to use diet soda for easier cleanup and a better blast.)
Who remembers when Halley’s Comet passed by in 1986? I was about 8, and it was all we talked about for a while. These comet superballs were everywhere and so much fun to shoot through the air. I bet your kids will love these as much as I did, even though Halley’s Comet won’t be back around until 2061.
What’s the Fourth of July without sparklers? My first favorite kind as a kid was the traditional matchstick-style sparklers. They’re cheap, they are relatively safe, and they are so much fun to use as a drawing tool in the night sky. I also LOVED the morning glory sparklers. Not as much fun to draw with, but these sparklers go through a variety of colors and spark patterns as they burn down. (PLEASE use adult supervision and be aware any fire hazards in the area, especially if the weather is hot and dry.)
If your littles are little, and they are a bit concerned about all of the loud “blasts” of this holiday, go to the expert– Daniel Tiger. DT is the resident shrink in our home for all kid emotions. In this book, he explores experiencing new things, and he helps his baby sister become more comfortable with attending her first fireworks show.
For the bigger kids, crack open the joke book and share some silly laughs!
Whatever you do, I hope you can kick back, relax, and have a blast with the people you call “family.” Have a happy and safe Fourth of July!
July 4th can be a beating for toddler parents: large crowds and super late fireworks do not make happy memories, but these ideas are great. I am more excited now.
You are right about that! We are lucky that we can see the city fireworks from our deck. Last year, my 2yo watched the first one and said, “I’m going inside now.” And that was it! Glad we didn’t schlepp him across town for that.
Cute ideas! We’ve always lived outside city limits so my parents have always bought several types of fireworks. The last few years the kids have gotten to help set them off and had so much fun.
I bet they did! Fireworks were always banned where I grew up. Sparklers and the big town fireworks show were my 4th of July. Kids have so many more options these days. 🙂