The sun shines, the smell of sizzling burgers and hot dogs fills the air, the sound of children laughing, running and playing in the background, as parents and people of all ages gather to celebrate. That’s right people! We are talking about the 4th of July! What better holiday to bring together family, old friends and new, neighbors, and acquaintances to celebrate The Red, White, and Blue?!
Every year, on Independence Day, we gather to celebrate our independence from the rule of Great Britain – “let freedom ring!” – and the Declaration of Independence. But we also celebrate our core beliefs as Americans: “that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” For many, on this day, the pursuit of happiness comes in the shape of a party or a backyard Barbecue, surrounded by loved ones. This year, unlike any other, our celebration will be a bit different due to COVID-19 and social distancing requirements. It is important to remain far from any type of risk of exposure, but that doesn’t mean we can’t still be festive. It just means we need to do it differently. Since Americans are never short on resilience and ingenuity, that is exactly what we will do.
Planning a celebration under less than perfect circumstances can be stressful, but it doesn’t have to be. These simple ideas can provide some inspiration and help you find different ways to observe this amazing holiday for both adults and children, here are some ideas on how to make this Independence Day both patriotic and fun:
Patriotic Art with Sidewalk Chalk
Using sidewalk chalk you and your little one can have a blast displaying both your artistic talents and your patriotism. This activity will keep the kids busy and is easy to clean up after. Incorporating yourself or your children to your art will also make for some pretty awesome pictures to commemorate the 4th.
Play with Sparklers
Sparklers are a family loved tradition enjoyed by people of all ages. If you have a backyard, front yard, or any small area outside of your home where you can be outside and remain distant, this is the perfect pastime for your children. To ensure safety for smaller children you can protect their hands by using a plastic cup.
Drive-By Independence Day Parade
Sure, it’s not the same as being right next to your friends and family, but it can still be fun! Adults and young children can parade in cars and older children can ride behind in decorated bicycles. Driving by your friends and family’s homes with red, white and blue pom-poms, or small handheld American flags, or playfully honking your parked car, while your children make some cheerful noise through the window or the sunroof is not only a blast but safe social engagement.
Sometimes driving around or even being outside isn’t an option. That’s ok. You can also host your very own virtual Independence Day party! Connecting with friends and family to celebrate via any of the many platforms, like for example Zoom, FaceTime, Skype, is easy and lots of fun! You can keep it festive by dressing the part! Wear red, white and blue colors, use the 4th of July celebration hats or sunglasses and decorate with balloons to demonstrate your celebratory spirit!
You may be celebrating in person with close family or friends. Handing out individual packages of snacks instead of shared food can help keep the party safe. A fun way to practice safe fun, besides wearing red, white, and blue face masks, is to have disposable cups available (cue in the red, white and blue solo cups) and mark them with each guest’s name.
So, there you have it! This wonderful day of celebration and American custom can be shared in a variety of different ways. Although the current pandemic has made life more challenging for us all, that doesn’t mean that it has to defeat our way of life! There are plenty of fun ways to celebrate safely and I am sure that you can come up with some of your ideas as well! So, a shout out to all of you super moms out there, Happy 4th of July!