Independence Day is a celebration of American freedoms. There are fireworks, cookouts, community events, and accidents every year. Here are some fun and safe ways to celebrate the 4th of July.
Fun 4th of July Snack Ideas
- Accessories for the 4th of July: Set up a table covered with inexpensive patriotic fun. Large red, white, and blue sunglasses, Uncle Sam hats, headbands, hair bows, noise makers, necklaces, stick-on mustaches, and buttons can become silly dress-up fun. Guests can put them on when they arrive. Hold a contest later for the best patriotic accessorizer. Free templates can be found online. Print, decorate, and accessorize!
- S’mores Station: Lay out traditional and other ingredients for guest to explore s’more varieties. Some ideas for non-traditional s’mores: Blueberries, strawberries, rhubarb, white chocolate, dark chocolate, mini colored marshmallows, and raspberry marshmallow topping are just a few ideas.
- Make red, white, and blue popsicles. These can be made with Kool-Aid, fruit drinks, Gatorade, flavored iced teas, sodas, and food coloring can be added to any favorite drink. Another idea is to blend fresh fruit with some water for a patriotic pulpy popsicle. Pour in red layer and freeze for two hours. Add popsicle stick and white layer, then freeze for another two hours. Add blue layer and freeze overnight.
- Uncle Sam’s Popcorn: Drizzle melted white chocolate over popcorn. Add red, white, and blue M&Ms, mini marshmallows, and red and blue sprinkles. Stir and serve.
- Pretzel Sparklers: Dip pretzel rods in melted white chocolate, no more than halfway. Cover with red and blue sprinkles.
- Liberty Lemonade: Pour four bottles of club soda into a punch bowl. Add two packets of blue-raspberry Kool-Aid and a cup of sugar. Stir and add ice.
4th of July Game Ideas
- Glow-in-the-Dark Ring Toss: Place bottles in a shallow crate. Use bracelet-size glow sticks to make the rings.
- DIY Photo Booth: If outside, hang a sheet for the backdrop. A white sheet can be decorated temporarily by using tape or hanging the décor connected to a string. Cardstock stars can be purchased or made and strung across the sheet for the backdrop. Props for fun 4th of July photos can be made from free online templates: Star sunglasses, mustaches, hats, and headbands, to name a few ideas. These are inexpensive and can be glued to straws for photo props.
- Blow It Off: Line 15 plastic cups an inch from the edge of the table. The person has 60 seconds to blow up a balloon and use the air to knock as many cups off the table as possible.
- Face the Cookie: This can be a head-to-head game or include multiple players. While sitting, contestants have one minute to move the cookie from their foreheads to their mouths without using their hands. If the cookie drops, grab another and start over.
- Junk in the Trunk: Fill an empty rectangular tissue box with items of varying sizes and attach to a belt or rope to tie around contestants’ waists. Each player should have the tissue box in the back. Make sure the box is securely around the waist and items do not easily fall out. Players have 60 seconds to shake their booties and empty their boxes.
The L.A. Times reported, in 2014 that the 4th of July was the most dangerous holiday weekend. The National Safety Council estimated 385 deaths and 41,200 injuries on Independence Day that same year.
In 2016, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety/Highway Loss Data Institute reported an average of 118.4 lives were lost to vehicular crashes on the 4th of July over the previous five years. This is 28 more deaths than the national daily average. Additionally, there is an average of 26 motorcycle deaths compared to 12 averaged daily. Forty-seven percent of these deaths involve alcohol.
If 4th of July party-goers choose to drink alcohol, they should plan ahead of time. Designate a sober driver or plan a place to stay. No one should drive if they have been drinking on the 4th of July or any other day.
By Jeanette Smith
Insurance Institute for Highway Safety: Independence Day ranks highest in average daily crash deaths
YouTube: Cassie Diamond; Fun 4th of July Activities! Treats, DIY’s, Outfits + More!
YouTube: Stephanie Carina; DIY Fourth of July Party! Easy Food + Treats, Fun Games, & Decor:July 4th Ideas!
Featured Image Courtesy of Thomas Hawk’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License
Top Image Courtesy of Bill Dickinson’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License