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Fourth of July Activities

 (Mostly) sugarless crafting for Katy kids

 This year, our big annual family vacation starts quickly after the Fourth of July. Preparations are in full swing and keeping us very busy, so we are not planning a major party or event for Independence Day. A low-key barbeque, sparklers, and a few crafts are plenty to keep our 2 and 4 year olds busy and happy.

 Cutting back on the sugary treats in our house means no red, white, and blue jell-o or sugar cookies. Homemade ice cream, made with reduced fat ingredients, may still make it to the table, but we are proudly bidding farewell to the majority of our patriotic sweets. Instead, the children will help me make fruit-and-lowfat vanilla yogurt parfaits. We may make it extra fun and throw a little red and blue food coloring into our yogurt.

One major change this year is that both of my girls are old enough to participate in family crafts. We will be making a large banner for our home on butcher paper. We’ll take the paper outdoors (to the grass) and soak cotton balls in washable paint. The children will throw the cotton balls onto the paper so that they will land with a splat and give a fireworks appearance.

We also plan to make sparklers out of wired star garland (found at the local craft stores) and the cardboard portion of coat hangers. We will stick some garland out of the end of the coat hanger tube and then tape it into place with blue painter’s tape. Follow up with some painting on the cardboard, and we’ve got fireless sparklers.

Our last family craft is making our place mats. If they turn out, I plan to laminate them and use them year after year. My four year old loves to tear paper, so we will make torn-paper American flags. We’ll rip the paper and then glue it in lines across the paper to mimic an American flag.

What about you? How are you celebrating the Fourth of July? Post a comment below!