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Building Family Traditions: Fun Activities for the 4th of July

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Sadie's family has had a 4th of July tradition since she was a teenager, and now her own children celebrate that same tradition.

Independence Day activities for families

Independence Day activities for families

4th of July Family Traditions

Holidays are a special time, especially for kids. Parents have opportunities to create memories for their children that will last a lifetime. These traditions are an important part of childhood because they help to bond families closer together and create a sense of belonging within the family. The shared experiences that are produced by these traditions help to instill values and identity within the family that will be carried on to future generations.

Fun on the Fourth

I am going to share some activities you might add to your 4th of July holiday each year to build traditions within your own family:

  1. Make Fun Red, White, and Blue Food
  2. Make Patriotic Crafts
  3. Make the Holiday Your Own
Red, white, and blue fruit and marshmallow kebabs

Red, white, and blue fruit and marshmallow kebabs

Red, white, and blue popsicles

Red, white, and blue popsicles

Make Fun Red, White, and Blue Food

Let's face it, food and holidays tend to go hand and hand here in America. So when you are heading out to the lake, mountains, or on a picnic this 4th of July, take along some patriotic foods!

Fruit Kebabs

Get strawberries, blueberries and marshmallows and some skewers and have fun making patterned red, white, and blue kebabs.


Make a patriotic cake using white icing and more berries.


Cool off with red, white, and blue popsicles. These can be made using many different ingredients, but with all of them you will have to work in layers, freezing one color at a time. You can make these using:

  • Kool-Aid—use blue raspberry, cherry/strawberry, and mystery for the colors.
  • Yogurt—strawberry, blueberry, and vanilla flavored
  • Fruit Purees—For a more healthy alternative, simply puree fresh strawberries and blueberries for your red and blue sections.

Your kids will love these treats! They will remember how much fun they were to make and eat and ask to make them again next year!

Stamping crafts

Stamping crafts

Fun flag shirts

Fun flag shirts

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Make Patriotic Crafts

Don't forget the paint! Holiday crafts are fun for kids of any age, and they produce a great token to remember the time by. Here are some fun crafts for the 4th:

Stamped Stars

Get out your red, white, and blue paint and a few star cookie cutters, and let the kids go to town stamping stars on paper.

Flag Hand Print

Make a patriotic flag hand print to remember your child's size this year.


Tie red, white and blue streamers to a wire shape to hang in the breeze and decorate for the holiday.

Flag Shirts

  1. Get a few plain white shirts and some acrylic paint.
  2. Cut a star stamp from a sponge.
  3. Use masking tape to create lines.
  4. Make some fun flag shirts to wear this summer! Make sure to set the paint before washing: Just hang them in the sun to dry and throw them in the dryer for 30 min or so to set the paint.

Candle Holders

Make candle holders using red, white, and blue tissue paper, recycled glass jars, and Mod Podge (or you can use watered-down glue).

A huge watermelon is part of our tradition.

A huge watermelon is part of our tradition.

Make the Holiday Your Own

This is the most important part of traditions: making it your own. Many times, traditions naturally occur because of the family's identity, values, and previous traditions.

My Family's Tradition

I have spent every 4th of July since I was 16 in Townsend, TN, at a camper belonging to my husband's grandmother. When it was just the 2 of us, we would fish, eat, swim, and just be together. When our first child was born, we saw no reason to change our tradition. And soon it became his tradition as well.

Now we are a family of 7, and we still go to Townsend every 4th of July. We fish, we swim, and we eat. My husband's grandmother always brings the same food—and my kids know that there will be a huge watermelon to eat. They look forward to swimming in the pool and catching fish late into the night. It's part of their memory. It's part of us as a family. It's a tradition.

What traditions does your family have this 4th of July? What memories will you make?


Better Yourself from North Carolina on July 04, 2013:

Nice hub - I love having family traditions and these are some great ideas to incorporate when kids come along. Love the make your own popsicles and t-shirts!

Sara Duggan from California on July 03, 2012:

Lovely ideas for developing family traditions around this holiday. Tomorrow we'll be having a bbq - the first in a long time.

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