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July 4th Activities for Kids

july 4th kids activities water fun

In addition to commemorating America’s Day of Independence, July 4th is a holiday that often epitomizes the summer season. This typically means picnics, parades, and pool parties, among other activities. However, for families that prefer less hectic and crowded ways to celebrate, there are still plenty of things to do together to make special 4th of July memories.

Here are some simple, safe, and fun July 4th activities that you can share with your kids to celebrate Independence Day and the joys of summer.

Neighborhood Scavenger Hunt

One way for kids and parents to get some fresh air, exercise, and fun on July 4th is to set up a neighborhood scavenger hunt. There are several ways to do this, and you can make it as challenging or simple as you wish. Some appropriate themes for this scavenger hunt are “Red, White, and Blue” or “The Number Four.”

For example, you and your kids can walk through the neighborhood in search of things that are red, white, and blue, and either take pictures with your phone or make note of them on a list. Then you can compare your findings at home. Another strategy is to find 4 of certain items listed, such as flags, mailboxes, trees, stop signs, etc. You can time how long it takes to complete the list or how far you had to walk.

Band Together

People often forget the impact of patriotism on American music. The 4th of July is an excellent day to explore and learn about the genre of military marches and other classical compositions such as “The Stars and Stripes Forever.” These musical pieces are easily found online, giving kids (and even parents) the opportunity to march to the rhythm and form their own musical parade.

Star Spangles

The colors and symbols of Independence Day can inspire many fun craft projects for parents and kids. You can start by gathering various materials from around the house to use such as ribbon, construction paper, tissue paper, popsicle sticks, pipe-cleaners, markers, crayons, and more. Then you can create 4th of July-inspired pictures, collages, etc., featuring fireworks, American flags, stars, and balloons. Be sure to display everyone’s artwork for all to enjoy.

Water Fun

Kids enjoy water play at pretty much any time of the year, but the warm weather typically associated with July 4th makes it even more fun. Some families decide to go to a public pool or beach for the holiday. However, if you prefer to avoid potentially crowded public areas or if your kids are not strong swimmers, there are plenty of ways to have water fun at home.

Here are a few ideas for your kids to have some water play in their own backyard:

  • Run through the sprinklers
  • Fill and play with water balloons
  • Make bubble solution and use different wands
  • Use food coloring to experiment with colors in water
  • Splash in a plastic wading pool
  • “Paint” with water on the sidewalk using different brushes and even sidewalk chalk
  • Create a water-toss game with old sponges

Of course, it’s essential for parents to supervise their children at all times when playing with water to ensure their safety.

Red, White, and Blue on the Menu

Another fun July 4th activity for kids is to plan a dessert menu based on the colors red, white, and blue. This can be as simple as decorating a scoop of vanilla ice cream with red and blue sprinkles or an even healthier treat made up of fruit such as strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, and whipped cream.

Fireworks…Maybe?

Of course, most Americans associate fireworks with the 4th of July holiday. Many local parks and recreation organizations schedule a fireworks show for the public on or near the evening of July 4th. Whether or not fireworks are legal in your area, experts warn against personal use of these materials—especially when children are present. Any form of fireworks can cause property damage as well as severe injury and even death, so they are best left to the professionals.

It's important to consider that not all children enjoy attending a fireworks display due to the loud noises, crowds of unfamiliar people, being in the dark, etc. If you feel that your child is too young and/or sensitive to watch a fireworks show in person, there are several excellent national displays that are broadcast each year to watch from the comfort of your home. You can make it a family event with pillows and blankets, watching with the lights off or dimmed to get the full effect.

No matter how you decide to spend the day, holidays such as July 4th allow families to create meaningful memories together. At Cognisprings, we support parents looking for educational toys and materials that inspire children to explore who they are as community, national, and global citizens through stories, imagination, and critical thinking. That’s why we provide books, puzzles, games, and toys that are thoughtfully designed for creativity, curiosity, and inspiration for the entire family. In addition, Cognisprings prioritizes fun and educational activities that are screen-free, promote healthy cognitive development, and encourage personal growth through independent play and learning.