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Safe Fourth of July Activities for Kids

Updated on June 28, 2016
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Marissa is the writer of ThePracticalMommy and the blog Mommy Knows What's Best. She is a stay-at-home mom to four and was a teacher.

Safe 4th of July Activities for Kids

List of fun and safe 4th of July activities for kids.
List of fun and safe 4th of July activities for kids. | Source

Safe Fourth of July Activities for Kids

We want kids to have fun on the 4th of July, right? On the other hand, we also want them to be safe.

Who in their right mind thinks “It’s perfectly okay for little Timmy to play with matches all by himself”? Or who says “Here Emma Lou, see what happens when you make these rockets explode!”?

No one may say it or think it, but it happens.

Every year on the 4th of July and during other celebrations of the same nature, hundreds of people are injured in firework related accidents, including children. Fireworks, while tons of fun to watch and enjoy, are not meant as playthings for children.

Did you know that sparklers, a very common firework given to children, burn at temperatures between 1500-2000 degrees? These are clearly not meant for little kids or toddlers to play with, even though they seem like so much fun. And what about firecrackers, bottle rockets or fountains? These can each cause serious skin burns, eye injuries, limb injuries and even possibly death.

Who wants to wish that on their kids?

Below you are going to find some safe and fun activities for young children on the Fourth of July that don't involve actual fireworks.

Use Glowsticks instead of Sparklers!

Use glowsticks instead of sparklers this 4th of July!
Use glowsticks instead of sparklers this 4th of July! | Source

Fireworks Safety Video

Safe Activities for Kids on the 4th of July

What can kids do then to mimic the fun the adults can have without becoming injured? Below is a list of activities for kids of all ages to enjoy on the 4th of July that don’t require real fireworks—just fun pretend ones!

1. Freeze Firework—Freeze firework is very similar to freeze dancing. With kids’ music playing in the background, kids can dance around to their hearts content. When the music stops, they need to jump in the air and do their best firework impression before freezing. When the music starts again, dancing resumes. This could be fun for adults to join in as well!

2. Colored Bubbles—What else can fly up in the sky and make pretty colors? Colored bubbles! Crayola has created bubbles that contain washable colored dyes. There are also bubbles called Zubbles that are non-staining. (Warning: Some parents claim that colored bubbles are not washable. Be careful of the clothing the kids wear and where they are standing…read all labels carefully!)

3. Sidewalk Chalk Fireworks—Kids can create and draw their own fireworks on the sidewalk or patio with sidewalk chalk. My son even likes to decorate his crab sandbox with chalk (washes right off). What would make it even more fun? Glow in the dark chalk! By day they are simple colored firework drawings, and by night they are alive with a glowing light!

4. Finger Paint Flags—Kids can have fun creating their own patriotic flags using finger paint and paper or fabric. Once the flags are finished drying, the flags could be displayed for all to see, perhaps on a clothesline or on the railing of a deck. Make sure not to hang them where any adults might be using fireworks, though…

5. Glow-in-the-Dark Shirts—Kids can make glow-in-the-dark shirts using glow-in-the-dark fabric paint and plain t-shirts, which can be found at any arts and crafts store. Once night has fallen, kids can have fun running around, allowing their shirts to glow like fireworks!

6. Firework Cookies—All this requires is a simple recipe for sugar cookies (or knowing where to buy them), colored icing and sprinkles. Kids can decorate their sugar cookies, making different kinds of fireworks on them. Best part of this? These are ‘fireworks’ that can be eaten! Plus, the sugar from the cookie and icing will make any kid go bopping around, which can be just as fun as watching fireworks!


Kids and Fireworks

Do your kids play with fireworks?

See results

Celebrate 4th of July and Be Safe!

Bottom line, be safe with your kids this 4th of July. If there are going to be fireworks in your backyard, be sure to take all precautions to ensure that no one is injured.

For a list of injury prevention from fireworks, visit the Consumer Product Safety Commission site.

Have a happy AND safe 4th of July!

©ThePracticalMommy


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    • ThePracticalMommy profile imageAUTHOR

      Marissa 

      5 years ago from United States

      FlourishAnyway I agree: we should leave fireworks to the pros!

    • ThePracticalMommy profile imageAUTHOR

      Marissa 

      5 years ago from United States

      Careermommy, I hope you had fun with the kids!

    • ThePracticalMommy profile imageAUTHOR

      Marissa 

      5 years ago from United States

      RTalloni thanks for sharing!

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 

      5 years ago from USA

      I like these ideas. Fireworks can be so dangerous, they are noisy when set off in neighborhoods where they terrorize pets and people who are trying to sleep, and quite often they are against the law. It's best to leave fireworks to the pros and watch large displays from the bleachers in a public setting. Thanks for providing alternatives for kids.

    • Careermommy profile image

      Tirralan Watkins 

      5 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

      What great ideas for the 4th. This is right on time since I'm trying to find activities for my kids for tomorrow.

    • RTalloni profile image

      RTalloni 

      5 years ago from the short journey

      Revisited and pinning to my Patriotic Holidays/... board. Glad to see this highlighted again!

    • ThePracticalMommy profile imageAUTHOR

      Marissa 

      6 years ago from United States

      momaoak, these are definitely fun ideas to enjoy all summer! Thanks for reading and commenting. :)

    • momaoak profile image

      momaoak 

      6 years ago from Greenwood, AR

      I am going to have to try some of these ideas. I know the 4th has already passed, but I think my son would enjoy these activities all summer.

    • ThePracticalMommy profile imageAUTHOR

      Marissa 

      6 years ago from United States

      ComfortB, thank you for reading and commenting!

    • ThePracticalMommy profile imageAUTHOR

      Marissa 

      6 years ago from United States

      angela_michelle, thank you very much!

    • ComfortB profile image

      Comfort Babatola 

      6 years ago from Bonaire, GA, USA

      These are truly safe 4th of July activities that would put any mother of young ones at ease knowing they won't get hurt. Thanks for sharing.

      Voted Up and Useful.

    • angela_michelle profile image

      Angela Michelle Schultz 

      6 years ago from United States

      These are all really great ideas!

    • ThePracticalMommy profile imageAUTHOR

      Marissa 

      6 years ago from United States

      Ardie, my son would be the same way: swinging the sparklers around like a lasso. Yikes! He loves to draw all over the place with the chalk though. Your girls will have a ball making their own scene! :) Thanks for reading and commenting!

    • Ardie profile image

      Sondra 

      6 years ago from Neverland

      I love your cute ideas! I know Im a boring mommy but I just dont see sparklers as being safe for small kids. Especially when your small kids are all girls with long hair and the same kids like to swing these sparkles around like a lasso! I love the sidewalk chalk fireworks...Im gonna work on some of those tomorrow :)

    • Janine Huldie profile image

      Janine Huldie 

      6 years ago from New York, New York

      No problem and hope u do too!

    • ThePracticalMommy profile imageAUTHOR

      Marissa 

      6 years ago from United States

      Janine Huldie, thank you very much! I hope you have a great 4th!

    • Janine Huldie profile image

      Janine Huldie 

      6 years ago from New York, New York

      Another great hub ThePracticalMommy. Will definitely use some of these for this 4th my girls. Shared and voted up!

    • ThePracticalMommy profile imageAUTHOR

      Marissa 

      6 years ago from United States

      Sunshine625, we have a casino in the area that in the summer sets off a fireworks display every Friday. It's nice because we can see it from our house, but it does drive the dog crazy. On the 4th, we have crazy neighbors letting their little kids set them off in the street.... :O Thanks for reading! :)

    • Sunshine625 profile image

      Linda Bilyeu 

      6 years ago from Orlando, FL

      Our neighborhood has a huge fireworks display New Years and on the 4th and it drives the dogs crazy BUT the fireworks are beautiful. I like sparklers, but I still burn myself with those too. UP!

    • ThePracticalMommy profile imageAUTHOR

      Marissa 

      6 years ago from United States

      Silver Poet, thanks for reading and commenting! Fun and creativity make every celebration a great time. :)

    • Silver Poet profile image

      Silver Poet 

      6 years ago from the computer of a midwestern American writer

      Fun and creativity are always desirable in any celebration. A good hub, voted up!

    • ThePracticalMommy profile imageAUTHOR

      Marissa 

      7 years ago from United States

      RTalloni, I never thought about summer-long fireworks. I guess up here in the north we only use them during the holidays. Thanks for making that point! :)

    • RTalloni profile image

      RTalloni 

      7 years ago from the short journey

      The Fourth is an important day to keep fireworks safety in mind, but in the South, at least, fireworks are used throughout the summer. As well, other patriotic holidays are peak days for people to use fireworks. Thanks again!

    • ThePracticalMommy profile imageAUTHOR

      Marissa 

      7 years ago from United States

      RTalloni, thanks for the comment! I hope I was able to keep at least a few children safe on the 4th. :)

    • RTalloni profile image

      RTalloni 

      7 years ago from the short journey

      Reports of people, particularly children, injured by fireworks are so sad. So glad you posted a heads up with great options.

    • ThePracticalMommy profile imageAUTHOR

      Marissa 

      7 years ago from United States

      Sinea Pies, I'm glad you liked the ideas and are sharing them with the preschool. I hope the kids like the activities! Thanks for the vote! :)

    • Sinea Pies profile image

      Sinea Pies 

      7 years ago from Northeastern United States

      Great article. I work at a preschool and your suggestions of fun can be used with our little ones this summer! I am sending them the link. Voted up and useful. Enjoy the holiday!

    • ThePracticalMommy profile imageAUTHOR

      Marissa 

      7 years ago from United States

      frugalfamily, so sorry to hear that your city's fireworks were cancelled. I heard that many cities and states were affected by the drought and heat and had to cancel. Such a sad thing on the 4th! I hope you and your family can find ways to have fun, including the glow-in-the-dark fun! Happy 4th of July! :)

    • frugalfamily profile image

      Brenda Trott, M.Ed 

      7 years ago from Houston, TX

      I like the glow in the dark idea for my tweens. The city fireworks were canceled here because of the drought, so I'm really glad you posted these things to help keep the fun from being banned too!

    • ThePracticalMommy profile imageAUTHOR

      Marissa 

      7 years ago from United States

      Miss Mellie, thanks so much for reminding me about glow sticks! I'll have to go pick some up for our family gatherings as well. What a great idea! Thanks for reading and sharing :)

    • Miss Mellie profile image

      M.S. Ross 

      7 years ago

      Thank you for sharing this great list of alternatives for safe and smart celebrations. Another option that kids love is another favorite glow-in-the-dark item: glow sticks! Readily available in dollar stores, these plastic tubes begin their magic glow simply by pressing along the tubes, which cracks and releases the activated liquid inside. Available as bracelets, necklaces, wands, and even in the forms of giant oversized glasses or hats, these neon-like glowing tubes light up the night with vivid orange, yellow, red, blue, green or purple light. Taking one of those long tubes and swinging it around in the dark allows kids (and firework-avoiding grown-ups!) to create colorful displays and special effects for the picnic crowd to enjoy before the big show in the sky begins. Glow sticks are an annual "must" in our family's Independence Day arsenal! Voted useful and up.

    • ThePracticalMommy profile imageAUTHOR

      Marissa 

      7 years ago from United States

      Danette Watt, I too played with fireworks as kid, but as a mom, it's a whole new ball game! Thanks for reading and commenting! :)

    • Danette Watt profile image

      Danette Watt 

      7 years ago from Illinois

      Sparklers are the one fireworks we feel is safe for toddlers to have b/c they don't explode yet most people don't realize they are as hot as they are. When I was growing up, we shot off firecrackers, cherry bombs, etc. We were probably lucky that no one blew off a finger. Thanks for the neat safe ideas for little ones, although I don't have any around any more!

    • ThePracticalMommy profile imageAUTHOR

      Marissa 

      7 years ago from United States

      Thank you very much, janices7! Have a nice 4th of July!

    • janices7 profile image

      Janice S 

      7 years ago

      Great suggestions and advice!

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