4th of July…on the fly

If you’re like me, you have the best intentions of making every holiday extra special and fun with decorations, crafts, foods, and activities.  But before you know it, it’s the night before and you’ve done nothing and have no plans {and you’re not all that crafty to begin with}.  And if you’re like me, your kids are not babies anymore and you can no longer use the excuses of “they don’t even know what a holiday is” or “they totally won’t remember this.”  So, this 4th of July, I decided to change my tune and actually make it extra special and fun.  I scoured Pinterest for ideas that were quick, cheap, and easy- you know, stuff I could throw together in a pinch with things already around the house – in hopes of finding something worthy of sharing with y’all.  I narrowed it down to 1 craft, 2 desserts, and 1 beverage.  Not all winners, but definitely all worth sharing!

Decorate Your Own Fireworks

My kiddos are little and go to bed before fireworks begin.  And they’re kinda scared of the loud noises.  So, this activity was perfect for them!  But what’s great about it is you can tailor it to any age.  To get started all you need is ::

  • Construction paper
  • Coffee filters /cupcake liners
  • Scissors
  • Glue stick
  • Crayons / markers / glitter / paint /etc.

craft materials

I cut slits in the coffee filters and glued them on the paper myself, but if you trust your kids with such items, they could do that part themselves and get creative with it.  Here’s what mine looked like…

craft prep

That’s all the prep needed!  I got this activity completely ready to go while my kids ate a quick snack.  Then, I passed out the supplies and let them go to town.

 craft action

They colored away for 30 minutes!  For 5 toddlers, that’s a success in my book.  And the end products were quite impressive, if I do say so myself.

 finished product

Red, White, and Blue Trifle

I love this dessert.  It’s simple, pretty, so yummy, and won’t ruin your diet!  Here’s what you need ::

  • 1 box angel food cake mix
  • 1 box sugar free / fat free instant pudding {any white colored flavor – vanilla, white chocolate, cheesecake}
  • 1/2 container lite Cool Whip
  • 1 pint blueberries
  • 1 pint strawberries {halved}

Prepare the cake according to the package instructions.  After it’s cool, cut into cubes.  While the cake bakes, prepare the pudding according to the package instructions.  Fold the Cool Whip into the pudding and refrigerate the mixture until layering time. When you’re ready to layer, your ingredients should look like this…

 trifle stuff

Layer in any order you like.  I did 1/2 the cake, 1/2 the pudding mixture, 1/2 the berries, then repeat.  I decided to get a little festive and make a design with the top layer of berries.

 trifle

That’s it!  You’re done!  If you want to make this recipe even easier, you could buy a pre-made angel food cake and layer with only Cool Whip and berries.  And if you need to use up any leftover strawberries…

Patriotic Chocolate Covered Strawberries

SO. EASY.  You only need strawberries, white chocolate / almond bark, and blue sprinkles.  Melt the bark in the microwave. Dip the strawberry into the melted bark, then the blue sprinkles, and set on wax paper to harden.  And you get this…

 strawberries

It was hard not to eat them all myself.

Red, White, and Blue Beverage

Now – not every Pinterest idea is created equal, and we can’t get them all right every time.  At this point, I’ve shared the ideas that I loved and enjoyed and absolutely think should be repeated.  However, I racked up my first Pinterest FAIL doing my little 4th of July fun.  I was supposed to make this beautifully festive red, white, and blue layered beverage using cranberry juice, sprite, and blue gatorade.  But what I got was this…

pinterest fail

Kind of red and blue?  Not sure what happened to that white layer.  I tried multiple times to no avail.  Fortunately, my husband thought it tasted great, so he guzzled down several glasses in one night!  Maybe y’all will have better luck than I did.

Despite my big Pinterest fail, I really enjoyed testing out these ideas.  I was able to create a festive and fun atmosphere with little effort – so no excuses for me in the future!  And whether you’re trying out my list or you have a quick and easy 4th of July list of you own, I’d love to hear about it!

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