The Fourth of July typically is the first holiday of kids’ summer vacation. And by now, they’re bored.
Here are three simple crafts that can involve them in preparations for the holiday’s fireworks and picnics. Not only do you keep them busy, but you get decorations to reuse year after year.
“There’s so much enthusiasm around this holiday,” says Amanda Kingloff of New York City, the author of Project Kid: 100 Ingenious Crafts for Family Fun, who appreciates the inflexible color palette: It’s red, white and blue – or nothing.
For Independence Day, she recommends two simple crafts: firework flowers and stars and stripes bunting. The flowers take minutes to make, and the essential supplies are just cupcake liners and straws. Directions follow.
“Once a kid can use scissors they can do this project,” says Kingloff.
The bunting requires no measuring: Cut out triangles from paper or fabric; Kingloff cuts 5-by-6-inch triangles from canvas drop cloth. Punch large or small stars out of thick, plastic-coated freezer paper, and either iron them on or the freezer-paper stencil to the fabric. Then paint it. Use painter’s tape to mark out and paint thick and thin stripes. After the paint has dried, glue string or cord to the top back edge of each triangle, leaving at least 2 inches of string on either end for hanging.
The freezer paper provides crisper lines than a store-bought stencil, Kingloff says.
Cristin Drewes of Provo, Utah, recommends a simple flag craft that she’s done with all six of her children: Use little kids’ hands to paint blue “stars” and their feet to paint red stripes, using acrylic paint and white craft paper.
Drewes recalls making her first flag with friends in the early 1990s. She wanted to make a memorable gift for her parents; the framed painting still hangs in their home. She also has her own flag, which she hangs over her fireplace.
“It was really just a matter of holding the little foot out and stepping it down,” Drewes says. “I’ve cherished these a long time.”