YOUNG AMERICANS



What child (or child at heart!) doesn’t LOVE the Fourth of July?  BBQs with friends and family, melting popsicles, fireflies, sparklers and staying up late to watch fireworks are hallmarks of the holiday and childhood rites of passage.  In the final countdown to July 4th, I am offering up some simple ideas on how to make this year’s celebration even more exciting and memorable for the little ones in your life.

First up:  Decorations!  How’s this for inspiration!?!

 

my_cottage_content

Pinterest, My Cottage of Content

 

Go with gusto to Michael’s and raid the flags and bunting.  When it comes to the red, white and blue — more is MORE!  Trot out your Fourth of July ephemera or start your inaugural collection with a stop at your favorite local gift store.  In Fairfield County, Hoagland’s, Good Food Good Things and Juliska all have great selections of patriotic decor.  Here, Uncle Sam:

 

Uncle_Sam_table

 

Another Uncle Sam and Lady Liberty:

 

Lady_liberty

 

And this gem that my mother had for years and finally handed over to moi!

 

uncle_sam

 

Love this bowl!

 

flag_bowl

 

And, don’t forget Jonathan Adler’s George collection for some revolutionary chic:

 

 

needlepoint_george_img

 

Although the kids are the stars of the show, the adults still need a perch to keep a watchful eye over their little firecrackers.  Here, I found a gauzy, red and white striped tablecloth at Anthropologie in Westport and the red carnations are from Greenwich Orchids.

table_no_forks_2

 

Primarily to amuse myself, I dubbed this a “Founding Father’s” dinner party and tied up napkins with placecards for some key figures in U.S. History.

 

George_best

 

martha_best

 

I picked up this set of die cut paper stars and some coordinating patriotic twine at the Paper Source and I have been using them for gift tags, notes in camp lunches, garland, etc.

 

 

stars

 

 

Have fun with the table and keep it simple with bandanas, flags and fresh cut flowers.  I like hydrangeas from my garden tucked in mason jars & topped off with Old Glory.

 

hydrangeas_flags

 

Wheel out wagons, and set out wooden crates & galvanized pails lined with kitchen towels to display food and drink for a fabulous Americana presentation:

 

wagon

Southern Living

 

For the kids table…

 

pinwheels

 

I used a simple blue and white striped tablecloth from Terrain:

 

parisian_table_cloth

and layered on these festive red and white checked placemats that I picked up at Juliska.

kitchen_paper

 

The little graphic print tin cups are Macbeth Collection:

 

kids_close_better

 

I filled them with groovy glasses from Party City and these fun numbers from Urban:

 

sunglasses

 

Load up kids’ trucks with sparklers (supervised, of course!), tattoos and small treasures to help them get into the spirit of things.

 

sparklers_close_use

 

Love these little bracelets from Claire’s — they would be so cute as napkin rings on the kids table!

 

 

bracelet_2

 

I also left out little cups of red, white & blue M&M’s (available at Party City).  I always have fun with the seasonal selection of this classic candy and love the brilliant pop of color that they lend.  Last year, I layered them for this pinwheel display:

 

pinwheels_M&Ms

 

and this year my kids and I made this simple little cake:

 

flag_cake_on_kitchen_table

 

Grocery stores and Michael’s are well stocked with patriotic sprinkles and -of course- Pinterest offers up a bevy of sweet concoctions that you can render in red, white & blue.  Here are just a few of my favorites:

 

pinterest

Pinterest, I’m Simply Me

 

 

To make things even easier, this cute cupcake set by Meri Meri is still floating around at gift stores and the Container Store.

 

 

cupcake_kit

 

As for entertainment, backyard BBQs and Fourth of July celebrations are always more lively with some fun and games thrown into the mix.  Be sure to drag out the croquet set, horseshoes, sprinkler and fill up those water balloons.  We are having a ball with this rustic yard dice set that I found at Juliska.  And, after you’re done playing with the oversized dice you can put them in a glass jar on your bookshelf for some game room decor.

 

 

yard_dice

 

 

As for “the rockets red glare”…you may have a stomp rocket but do you have a GLOW IN THE DARK stomp rocket?  I don’t now but thanks to Amazon I will have one in time for the Fourth!

 

glow_stomp

 

 

Paper Source has a unique selection of retro party favors and patriotic beach or yard games like this festive smash ball set:
paddle

 

 

 

Whatever you decide to play, don’t forget the rock and roll:

 

Ukulele

Paper Source: Striped Ukulele

 

 

Cue up your play list with (mostly) old favorites like:

 

David Bowie’s “Young Americans

David_bowie

 

Lenny Kravitz’s “American Woman

lenny

 

Tom Petty’s “American Girl

tom_petty

 

Katy Perry’s “Firework

katy_perry

 

And, of course, Bruce!

Bruce

 

Let the good times roll!  Happy Fourth of July everyone.  God Bless America.

xo,

Cath

 

 



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Comments to “YOUNG AMERICANS”


  1. Nice job, Happy Fourth to all.
    God Bless America and those who gave so much for our freedom.