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A Family 4th
Photo: Linda DuBose
I love spending time with my family on Fourth of July. Every year on July 3rd, our now teenage daughter and my husband make a trip to our local fireworks booth. When they get home she lines up her treasures on the living room floor for display.

On the afternoon of the fourth, we go to our local park that has family centered entertainment and booths. And in the evening, I make the famous potato salad handed down for generations on my husband’s side, as well as all the usual picnic food. After watching the local fireworks show, we come home and have our own—everyone in the neighborhood is welcomed! Then we go to bed with the smell of sulfur in our hair and memories of another holiday gone by.

Because I love to celebrate, I Google for new ideas every year. Here are some I found this year that you might want to try with your family.


Cookies with a Bang. This is a fun variation from the usual star shaped cookies that the whole family can decorate.

Star-spangled Dessert. If you’re looking for a healthy and simple dessert, this one’s for you.

Uncle Sam Ice Cream Cones. These ice cream cones may take a little more time to prepare, but they are very cute and will be a hit with kids!

Dandy Candy. If you are very brave, involve the whole family in the making of red, white, and blue saltwater taffy.


Star Wreath. This simple craft uses what you probably already have at home, or can easily buy. If you want it to last until next year, use craft foam.

T-Shirt Painting. The whole family should love this one. White T-shirts can be inexpensively bought in packets.

American Angel Paper Craft. We actually made this when our daughter was little. We used craft foam instead of paper and still have it.

Tiny Title Booklet. For a reflective project, print and cut out this booklet and have kids write what July 4th means to them. It may become a keepsake.


Flag Tag Relay. A fun variation of a relay race with a patriotic theme.

Bicycle Decorating. Decorate everyone’s bike and take a family ride around the neighborhood, or enter in your town’s parade.

Sidewalk Chalk with Patriotic Themes. Even older kids will like this one.

Rocket Balloons. Use patriotic colors for a fun way to have a balloon toss or play hot potato.

These are just some of the many ideas available. We have also found that some of the best times for our family have been playing games that my husband and I enjoyed when we were kids. Three-legged races, red light-green light, freeze tag, and running through the sprinkler don’t cost a dime. But they can build a memory.

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By Nancy Canwell. Copyright © 2009 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines.

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