hand holding a sparkler

Party Planning For July 4th: Get Your Child Involved & Make The Day Great

There is no bigger blowout party weekend than the Fourth of July when Americans all across the country put on their dancing shoes and celebrate Independence Day.

It is a holiday weekend filled with backyard barbecues, picnics, parades, and neighborhood get-togethers. It’s when everyone bursts with patriotic pride and celebrates all that is wonderful about this country.

In this post, we offer some ideas for making this year’s July 4th celebrations memorable. The last two years have been toned down, canceled, or curtailed because of the pandemic. So, this year, it’s time to pull out all the stops! Ask your family to help with the food prep and decorations, and have fun making themed everything at your arts and crafts table. Fourth of July party, here we come!

family hanging American flag

1) Let your child do a sidewalk chalk painting of the Stars & Stripes.

This is a fun project for any child. Let them get creative in front of the house with red, white, and blue chalk, and give them a photo of the flag. This is a great “welcome mat” for your guests attending any July 4th event you’re hosting.

2) Create decor that is Independence Day themed.

Hang red, white, and blue balloons in the backyard. String up lights in the same colors, so when the party goes late your guests can find their footing in the backyard. Choose paper plates, plastic cutlery, and paper napkins in the same hues, and soon your festive occasion will look devoted to the red, white, and blue!

patriotic table spread with berries and set pieces

3) Set up tables for different food groups.

Using different tables for foodstuffs isn’t just good organization – it’s sanitary, too. It’s best that meats for the barbecue, for example, are kept in the fridge until it’s time to fire up the grill. Then put the platters of meat on a table, away from other menu items. Use card tables or TV tables to hold desserts, salads, condiments, and other foods separately. And remember that virtually no food, even salads, should sit in the hot sun for long! Carry everything out of the cold storage about 10 minutes before the barbecue cook shouts “ready!” That way, when you serve the burgers and hot dogs, the green salads won’t be wilted and the potato salad won’t be mushy.

4) Ask guests to bring something specific.

One easy way to ensure you don’t get five caesar salads and no potato salad is by assigning menu items to your guests. Most people want to contribute to a big backyard party and are happy to be asked to bring something in particular. Or if you want to handle the menu yourself, ask your guests to bring beer, soda, water bottles and wine, and juice for the children. Do the same with desserts, especially if you know someone who is excellent at baking. There can never be too many pies at a Fourth of July barbecue!

family enjoying picnic

5) Come up with games for the children.

While you and your guests are chatting, it’s important to have lots for the children to do to keep busy. Consider renting a bouncy castle for the young ones. Set up an arts and crafts table in one corner of the yard, and put out watercolors, construction paper, and any other supplies the children need. Ask them to make posters and drawings that celebrate a moment in American history. What they draw doesn’t really matter, as long as they have fun doing it.

kids swimming in pool with floaties

6) If you have a pool, designate adult lifeguards for the day.

Access to water is a terrific activity for kids on the Fourth of July. However, it’s vital that an adult always has a close eye on them. No one should imbibe when they’re on lifeguard duty, so ask two or three grownups to each take a shift. Children should never be left unsupervised in water, not even a shallow pool. A child can drown in just a few inches of water, so leaving them alone, even briefly, is unwise.

7) Make sure your fireworks are safe and kid friendly.

Check with local officials to learn what is legal in your area. Once dusk falls, it is time to get out the sparklers and other fireworks! Be at the fireworks station to supervise the children, so that everything is handled safely and carefully.8)

American Flag on flag pole against blue sky

8) Who’s on clean up duty?

You might be the kind of host who prefers doing it all yourself. However, most guests are anxious to contribute to cleaning up, at least by putting trash in the garbage and taking dishes into the kitchen. Let them! You’ll likely be happily tired out, so letting guests carry food into the house and put away plates and desserts is a huge help.

9) Remember that safety should always come first.

Whenever you’re hosting a big bash with lots of people it’s hard to have your eyes on everything. This year, make sure your Fourth of July party is memorable for all the right reasons. Use plastic for everything – why risk broken glass? Keep a supply of sunscreen close at hand for those who forget to bring it. These are the items that should be on your checklist before the party. Supervise the children but encourage them to have a lot of independent fun. Most importantly, let your long weekend unfold with a little spare time just for you and the family.

4th of July cookout

This year, the Fourth of July may be even more special for the country than ever. After two years of social isolation and health concerns, everyone is ready to party! And rightly so, but as the host, it’s your responsibility to make certain your guests are going home with only good memories, no skinned knees or bumps. Take lots of photos and post them to your social media accounts, saying “Happy Independence Day, America! We love you!”