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Get Outdoors This Holiday Weekend!

There's no need for an excuse to get outdoors and enjoy the sunshine together this long weekend, but these fun activties can help keep the little ones active! There are LOTS of great ideas out there to get the kids in the spirit (and stay enaged) while you grill and party prep. Let the 4th of July snacks, crafts, and reading begin! A little napping in the sun will do, too ;)

Fireworks Craft

All you need is a straw, some child/clothing-safe red and blue finger paint, and paper. You can go two ways: cut one end of the straw into strips to make a firework stamp, or use the strraws as devices for moving the paint around with your breath. Sliced straws can be bent at the cut to make a flat stamp, as seen in the picture above.

If your child is old enough to blow through the straws, just make little droplets of paint and let them practice moving the paint around by pushing air through the straw. Finger paint paper works best for this method- it's glossy and lets the paint slip and slide more easily. Introduce star shaped cookie cutters for a fun initial paint shape, then blow streaks out of the star!

The stamp mehod can work with a fork, or even tinsel blow-toys or streamers. Anything to make the firework bursts!

Storybook Popsicles

Popsicle recipes are all over the food blogosphere right now, and I'm sure you've seen all sorts of adorable 4th of July inspired pops! Just browse Pinterest, Foodgawker, or Weelicious for the fresh, frozen fruit pop how-to. Here are our ingredient ideas for how to turn your Story Time into a Story Time + Food Craft, and end-up with beautiful patriotic pops!

1. Blueberry Pops for Sal

Puree fresh watermelon with lime juice, and a few fresh mint leaves; add honey to taste and, if you like, a touch of powdered ginger. Fill your popsicle mold 3/4 of the way up then let your child drop in whole, fresh or frozen blueberries. You'll end up with a super fresh and slightly tart treat, and a nice red and blue studded finish! Book Pairing: Blueberries for Sal

2. Little Mouse's Red Ripe Juicy Strawberry Pops

Blend your Red, Ripe, Juicy strawberries until you get a good puree. Add a touch of lemon to taste. Fill your popsicle molds and let your child tuck slices of strawberry into the edges, so you'll be able to see the fruit on the outside. Into the freezer quick, before the Big Hungry Bear gets them! Book Pairing: The Little Mouse, the Red Ripe Juicy Strawberry, and the Big Hungry Bear

3. Dr. Seuss Pop

Layers of red and white make this popsicle the perfect Independece Day wekeend treat! You can either use the same strawberry puree used above with greek yogurt, or use store bought lemon and raspberry sorbet to create the layers. If you use the fresh puree+yogurt, be sure to freeze each layer before adding another for a clean striped look. Book Pairing: Cat in the Hat

DIY Activities

Empty soda pop, water, wine, or beer bottles and napkin rings can make the perfect ring toss kit!

Don't have a cornhole game board? Fill spice pouches or plastic baggies with rice or beans, and label plates with varying points. The resulting game is like a mixture of bocce ball and cornhole. So fun!

Have any kids insturments laying around? I'm sure you do! If not, search for some toilet paper role role shakers instructions! Just a big blanket full of music makers makes for a festive and patriotic kids actviity.

Never underestimate the magic of bubbles. Bubbles bring so much joy to any outdoor event! Try these make your own bubble wand ideas, or purchase large wands and use a tear-free kid-safe soap for a bit of messy bubble fun.

Most importantly, spend the holiday together with lots of smiles, and have fun.

H A P P Y 4 T H !

By Samantha, Store Manager

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