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!?!
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:
Another Uncle Sam and Lady Liberty:
And this gem that my mother had for years and finally handed over to moi!
Love this bowl!
And, don’t forget Jonathan Adler’s George collection for some revolutionary chic:
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.
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.
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.
Wheel out wagons, and set out wooden crates & galvanized pails lined with kitchen towels to display food and drink for a fabulous Americana presentation:
For the kids table…
I used a simple blue and white striped tablecloth from Terrain:
The little graphic print tin cups are Macbeth Collection:
Load up kids’ trucks with sparklers (supervised, of course!), tattoos and small treasures to help them get into the spirit of things.
Love these little bracelets from Claire’s — they would be so cute as napkin rings on the kids table!
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:
and this year my kids and I made this simple little cake:
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:
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.
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!
Paper Source has a unique selection of retro party favors and patriotic beach or yard games like this festive smash ball set:
Whatever you decide to play, don’t forget the rock and roll:
Cue up your play list with (mostly) old favorites like:
David Bowie’s “Young Americans”
Lenny Kravitz’s “American Woman”
Tom Petty’s “American Girl”
Katy Perry’s “Firework”
And, of course, Bruce!
Let the good times roll! Happy Fourth of July everyone. God Bless America.
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