Anyone who knows me knows that I love the Fourth of July and I LOVE fireworks. I have great memories of lying in the grass at my grandparents house watching the fireworks overhead from the neighborhood display. We would make homemade ice cream, grill and then get to stay up late celebrating with the adults. Now that I have my own little one I want to pass along my love of the Fourth in the hopes that I can make it memorable and fun for him. He’s a little guy now so he likely won’t stay awake until the fireworks start so I came up with some fun firework alternatives for our Fourth of July celebration together.
If you are looking for the sound of firecrackers without the fire or the need to wait until dark, then this is the perfect idea. Lay out some sheets of bubble wrap on the street, the big or the little bubbles work well for this and have you child jump on their bike and ride/stride on top of the bubble wrap. The popping noise is loud enough to simulate the exciting of popping firecrackers but you can do it at any hour of the day, without introducing your kids to fire and there is very little clean up. If your kiddos don’t have any interest in riding their bikes on top of the bubble wrap, walking, running or jumping on top of it provides the same results.
This idea requires a little more prep and some clean up but I’m really looking forward to doing with my son and his friends this year! I am going to buy some balloons from either Amazon or a party store and fill them with biodegradable confetti. In order to fill the balloons I will use a kitchen funnel to help me fill the balloons with the confetti and once they are full I will blow them up. The pieces of confetti need to be small enough to fit through the funnel and into the balloon so make sure you don’t buy too large of pieces. When children (or the parents) pop the balloons it will make a loud pop and shower the confetti around us!
If you want to take the confetti balloons up a notch, you can also find light up balloons. These would be great on their own or filled with confetti. Amazon sells helium tanks or you can take the balloons to your local party store but if you want to avoid helium, you can blow them up yourself and attach them to a balloon stick so they can be carried around.
This is a childhood favorite and still something that makes me smile! My sister and I went to a local lacrosse game (Colorado Mammoth) and the mascot came to our seats and went through 2 cans of silly string spraying us and the people around us. At that game it reminded me that I would be buying silly string for our Fourth of July celebrations. I do remember seeing Silly String at Target (3 cans for $7.50) or if you’re having a large party, Amazon sells a brand for $1 a can. This will include a little cleaning up but watching the kids run around and try to spray each other and the parents will definitely be worth it.
Who doesn’t love Pop Rocks?! These are a great treat that is perfect for 4 of July celebrations! I love just eating these out of the package and feeling them explode in my mouth but they are also fun to be used as a decoration. If you are going to make drinks for the kids, or adults, decorate the rim with Pop Rocks. Amazon has a lot of Pop Rock options! If you’re looking for more Pop Rock recipes, Foodbeast has some great ideas!
- Pour the Pop Rocks onto a plate
- Wet the rim of the glass. Water works but the Pop Rocks stick better with lemon or lime juice, something sticky
- Roll the rim of the glass in the Pop Rocks
- Fill the cup with your favorite drink (lemon or limeade with cherry Pop Rocks is delicious!)
Flashlights projector with shapes
When I was at the dollar store a few weeks ago I found some very simple and cheap flashlights. I bought a few and went home and found some cardstock/heavy paper and traced the top of the flashlight onto the paper (after cutting the circles out you’ll want to make sure they paper can cover the light area). Once the circles are cut out, cut shapes into them to change the flashlight projection shapes. Use a hole punch to create a lot of little circles, use a nail to create lots of little dots/stars, cut actual stars into the circles (exacto knives work well). If you have a Cricut, this would be the perfect use! Once all your circles have the patterns that you would like, tape them to the top of the flashlight. Tapes works best for changing/removing the patterns but if you’d like the on their going forward, hot glue works well. These projector flashlights are great for the Fourth of July but will also be fun for camping, flashlight tag or use during power outages.
Last year my son was only 10 months old at Fourth of July so some of these ideas were a little too big for him so we bought some glow sticks and let him wave them around. This year we’ll be buying glow sticks again (Amazon has a great selection, that we also used for our wedding, or Target often has them in the dollar bin area) and letting him deck himself out with glowing bracelets and necklaces. These are perfect for indoors or outdoors at dusk as the colors start to really show.
Ribbon wands are the perfect no mesh entertainment for little ones. My Frugal Adventures has a great article on how simple they are to make yourself. To make them patriotic definitely use red, white and blue ribbon. Our local craft store has a ton of fun ribbons that has stars or stripes. If you don’t have the time or desire to make your own ribbon wands, the local toy store generally has some good options, or of course, Amazon.