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Stars & Stripes! Summer Camp with the Grands!

Tuesday, June 27, 2023

Oh, summer! We love you so!

We hope that you all are enjoying the sweet simple joys that summer brings…

BBQs, flip-flops, watermelon and early morning walks!

Road trips, outdoor dining, pontoon rides and farmers markets!

And of course, seeing summer through the eyes of our Littles

is indeed one of those most precious gifts!


It’s hard to believe that the month of June will soon come to an end

and right around the corner is the

Soon we will all be celebrating and we can’t wait!

Look at our sweet Littles from last year’s celebrations! ❤️

What are you and your family planning to do this 4th of July?

Do you have any 4th of July traditions that you look forward to each year?

This week our post is filled with red, white and blue inspiration!

Perhaps you will be spending time with family and friends over the 4th of July


your Little(s) need an activity or two

to keep them entertained then or even as you prepare!

In any case, we’ve got 4th of July creations, fun and eats

that will add a sparkling touch to time spent together!

Get ready to set the stage for a festive celebration!

Here are some fun ideas for you and your Littles to do together

to create the perfect setting!

🇺🇸 Firework Crowns!

This headpiece is a great craft for Littles to make ahead of time or even during your celebration! The materials are simple - red, white and blue construction paper, glue and scissors are all that’s needed! We had some 4th of July decorations (table scatters, stickers) that we used for fun OR you could cut out some stars, too. The final step was to roll the strips and then glue them to the base (to represent the “fireworks”) - Check out the photo to see how we put ours together!

🇺🇸 Luminary Jars!

Buy some glow bracelets or necklaces at the store. Have your Little help snap them and insert them in mason jars!

🇺🇸 Pom Pom Flag Paintings!

This would be a fun project to make as a decoration for the holiday… in your home OR on a bike for a bike parade! All you need is some paper, some paint, 2-3 clothespins and pom-poms (or cotton balls) and possibly, a Q-tip! We used small amounts of paint we’d put in small cups and painted a flag with pom poms/cotton balls attached to clothespins (we actually used a Q tip to paint on the white stars once the blue paint had dried)! We also added some crepe paper streamers, too! (See the photos below for further details.)

For older Littles (usually second grade and up), have them look at the flag - the stripes and the star pattern to see how many stripes (13) and stars (50) there are and how they are placed on the flag. Challenge them to recreate the flag pattern as best they can and, at the same time, share the significance of each number with your Littles!

🇺🇸 Patriotic Noisemakers!

What Little doesn’t love a lot of noise… especially on the 4th of July? Again, this activity can be created by Littles ahead of time OR during the family gathering. All you need are white paper plates, art supplies (paints, crayons, markers, stamps, stickers and ribbon, etc) to decorate each plate, a stapler and some noisemakers… large noodles work really well and are safer options for younger Littles! We folded the paper plate(s) in half first and then unfolded. We only decorated one side of the plate and we used the same painting technique as described above! (Feel free to decorate the noisemaker however your Little would like... markers, crayons and stickers work well, too!) Once the paint had dried (or the decorations are completed) we partially stapled around the edges of the paper plate folded in half, added some dry pasta inside (we used penne) and then finished stapling around the edges. Noisemaker done!

Laura added a ribbon so Little L can carry the noisemaker like a purse (she’s at the stage where she absolutely loves carrying anything)!

🇺🇸 Paint Those Toes!

This is a great activity for tweens! Buy some red, white and blue nail polish and get creative!

Do you need some ideas to keep your Littles entertained

during a Fourth of July gathering?

If so, look no further! We’ve got you covered!

🎆 Firecracker Tag!

Here’s a hilarious version of this classic game… While your Littles will love it, so will everyone involved! You’ll need some balloons (we used red, white and blue ones, of course) and some string. Blow up enough balloons so that each person playing has one. Cut one piece of string for each balloon that is at least 2 feet long, too.

A Grand Tip or Two - (1). You may want to prep a few extra balloons/pieces of string ahead of time, just in case you have unplanned “pops” (2). We always wait to attach the strings to the balloons until we are ready to begin the game… this avoids a lot of tangling issues!)

When you are ready to play, tie one end of the string to a balloon and the other end to each person’s ankle so that everyone has a balloon attached to them. Yell out, “Ready, Set, Go!” and watch as everyone runs around, trying to tag each other by popping the balloons (the firecracker sound)! The last one to have an unpopped balloon wins the game!

Don’t have enough people to play? Try these options!: (1) If you don’t have enough people to play the game, give this challenge a try! Have your Little try to pop the balloon that’s attached to his/her own ankle.OR (2) Instead of tying balloons to ankles, give your Littles the challenge of creating that firecracker pop with another body part - their bottoms, a hand, their tummies or their knees are all possibilities! POP! POP! POP!

CAUTION: Keep your eyes on your Littles and the balloons, especially when they pop! Uninflated balloons and pieces of broken ones are particularly dangerous because of the way they can stretch and mold to a child’s throat, making it impossible to breathe. When you are done playing the above game, turn the clean up into a quick contest by having everyone clean up the area as fast as they can!

🎆 Watermelon Contests!

Ah, watermelon! The perfect summer fruit! It can also be used for two classic contests… a Watermelon Eating contest (hands behind your back!) and/or a Watermelon Seed Spitting one! These activities would be especially meaningful if you have your own childhood memories of either to share with your Littles!

🎆 Jump Rope Challenge!

Do you remember how fun it was to jump rope with friends? Littles love it, especially when jumping between two turners! You will need a long jump rope and 2 “rope turners”. Give everyone who wants to participate a Dixie cup full of water. Take turns jumping rope while holding the cup of water for a set amount of time (ex. 30 seconds to 1 minute). When all are done, compare the cups and see who kept the most water in their cup!

🎆 Let Freedom Ring!

BRRR! This game will provide relief from a hot summer day and your tween and teen Littles will love it, too! The ice will undoubtedly melt so it’s best to play outside, if possible! It also requires a bit of prep time but then you’ll be all set when you want to play!

To Prep - Fill small (3 oz) paper cups halfway with water for each person playing and freeze for 2-3 hours. Pull the cups out of the freezer and add a bell to each cup. Fill the cups with water to cover the bells. Freeze until the water is solid.

NOTE: Why a bell? For the Liberty Bell, of course! If you don’t have bells to use, you could also freeze nickels and/or quarters in the cups. Why? George Washington (the face on the quarter) was our first US president and Thomas Jefferson (the face on the nickel) signed the Declaration of Independence. If you have one bell available and you are using coins, the first person to reach theirs can then ring the bell to signal a win!

A Grand Tip: When you are ready to play, pull the cups out of the freezer and add about ½" of warm water to the bottom of the tray they are in. Within a few minutes, you will be able to easily take the ice out of the cups!

To Play - The goal of the game is to be the first person to get the bell out of the frozen cup of water and then ring it! Players can do all they can to get the bell out… However, they cannot throw the ice on the ground or use any tools to break it!

No Fourth of July gathering would be complete

without a few sweets and treats!

Below you will find a few suggestions

that are easy to put together…

simple enough that most Littles could help!

😋 Fruit & Cheese Sparklers!

A tray of these skewers would be a lovely addition to any 4th of July spread! Your Littles can help you thread the fruit and cheese onto the skewers as shown. You can use just fruit or you can add mini marshmallows or, as we did, white cheese for a savory touch! We even used a star cookie cutter to make things even more festive!

😋 Fourth of July Strawberries!

Littles of all ages can help with this simple treat! Take clean whole strawberries and dip them about half way in melted white chocolate. Then dip the tip in blue colored sprinkles or sugar.

😋 Firecracker Popcorn!

This snack strikes the perfect balance of sweet, salt and spark… the perfect treat to enjoy during evening fireworks or anytime!

You’ll Need: 1 bag of microwave popcorn, popped (or the equivalent), 1 cup of white chocolate baking chips, 1 package of strawberry Pop Rocks and red, white and blue sprinkles

To Make: (1). Be sure your popcorn is cooled - we put ours on a cookie sheet lined with foil once it’s been popped. (2). Melt the white baking chips in the microwave. Check after each 30 second interval and stir, until melted. (3). Pour the melted chocolate over the popcorn and mix… we used our hands! 😉 (4). Sprinkle the Pop Rocks over the popcorn. Then add sprinkles for added fun! (5). Let the mixture cool completely!

😋 Patriotic Charcuterie Board!

Fill up a tray or platter with some red, white and blue food... sweet and/or savory! Your Littles could have lots of fun checking out the fridge and pantry, looking for foods that fit the bill!!

😋 Flag Cupcake Cake!

Made by Laurie’s Daughter-in-Law M for last year’s fun! Frost cupcakes and arrange them as a flag!

😋 And Now for the Middles & Grands…

How about a gin and tonic tasting bar???


When Laura’s Daughter A was in third grade,

her class had an assignment to make a box filled with items

that represented her favorite holiday.

Daughter A chose the 4th of July!

Her reasoning was that it took place in the summer,

it’s a festive holiday filled with LOTS of family time and traditions

AND it’s loads of fun!

We certainly agree!

And a 4th of July parade is best of all!

Can you tell from these past family photos?

Laura’s girls with their cousins at a local town parade near the family cabin

(photo taken in the early 1990’s).

Now, the Littles above are all grown up,

but, as our family grows, we still look forward to the parade each year!

🇺🇲 ♥️ 🇺🇲

While many communities have annual 4th of July parades to attend,

you can always take part in your own family one in your driveway or street,

as Laurie’s family did many years ago!

(Neighborhood bike parades are a fun option, too1)

In recent years, the Middles in Laura’s family

have participated in the annual bed races that take place before the parade!

In honor of Laura’s mom, this particular entry (2019)

was called, “Betty’s Bed Bugs!” and they even captured second place

out of eight entries!

The bed races are a hoot and definitely a fave!

And, of course, no Fourth of July celebration is complete without

an evening filled with the magic of sparklers

and fireworks!

We love the 4th of July and the opportunity it brings

to recall sweet moments from the past


to make new memories with loved ones!

We hope your Fourth of July is filled with both!

🇺🇲 ♥️ 🇺🇲

If you still need more inspiration for the holiday ahead,

feel free to check out our recent post,

Next week, we will be taking time away from the blog

but we will return on Tuesday, July 11, with our next post,

Splish! Splash! Summer Camp with the Grands!

In the meantime, keep up to date with us

on our Facebook page and/or our Instagram site!

There’s lots of extras taking place there!

And you can also find us on Pinterest where we’ve linked

many of the activities featured here!

We wish you all a

❤️ We are delighted to join these link up parties and blog hops this week:


15 hours ago

So many fun ideas and yummy treats!


Jul 11, 2023

What a great stars and stripes summer camp. Can I join in? Lol. What fun.

Thank you bunches for sharing this fun theme with Sweet Tea & Friends this month.


Our Grand Lives
Jul 13, 2023
Replying to

Thank YOU, Paula, for providing the fun opportunity to share and to learn from others! We love participating each month!


Niki Kline
Niki Kline
Jul 05, 2023

I hope you had a blessed 4th! Thanks for sharing on Crafty Creators! Hope to see you there tomorrow!

Niki | Life as a LEO Wife

Our Grand Lives
Jul 13, 2023
Replying to

Thank you, Niki, for your continued support! We took some time away last week to enjoy our families but we'll be stopping by soon!


Jennifer's Memory-Keeping
Jennifer's Memory-Keeping
Jul 03, 2023

I just love these ideas! Some of them make me wish my Bigs were Littles again. So much fun. Pinning, for sure. :) Visiting from Dare to Share.

Jul 05, 2023
Replying to

Thanks so much for stopping by and for taking the time to comment! It means so much! We are each cherishing these fun moments with our Littles... our grandbabies! Such special times! ❤️


Niki Kline
Niki Kline
Jul 01, 2023

What fun ideas! I found you over on Ducks 'n a Row's link party. I'd love to have you come over & share on Crafty Creators Link Party on Life as a LEO Wife (open Thurs-Mon). My other party, Happiness is Homemade also opens on Sunday, so we'd love to see you there too! I hope you have a blessed 4th of July & a fun summer with your grands!

Niki | Life as a LEO Wife

Jul 02, 2023
Replying to

Hi Niki! Thanks so much for stopping by and for taking the time to comment and support us! We will definitely stop by the link parties! Such fun learning from others, too!

Have a wonderful holiday! ❤️🇺🇸❤️

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