I love the 4th of July... because of the extra day we get to spend with family and friends, grilling out, playing and watching fireworks. It's probably one of my favorite days of the summer (when the weather cooperates)!
Now that the kids are older and can understand the meaning of the 4th of July, I feel like it's my duty to make sure they learn a little something about it too. So as usual, we hit up the library. They have lots of book options about America and celebrating it's birthday (the signing of the Declaration of Independence). Did you know there wasn't any kind of celebration when it was signed? It was very top secret - there are no records of the happenings behind the closed doors. There's your history lesson for the day, ha!
We thought of all sorts of crafts to do, so we ventured out to our local craft store and the boys filled their baskets with everything glitter. Do you know how much I despise glitter? I hate it! It gets everywhere and on everything and before you know it you leave the house with glitter all over your face! I even had to pick it off my husband's eye lids before work one day, ha!
At any rate, the boys were excited about it and were very persuasive, so I bought all the darn glitter paper, tulle, pom poms and stars. Our 4th of July projects were tie-dye shirts, a wreath, and wind socks.
Of course, I couldn't find a "kit" with just blue and red dye, so I opted to buy the actual, old-fashioned dye that you have to mix with salt and hot water. I haven't tie dyed anything since girl scout camp, so I was a little rusty on how to actually do it. Thank goodness for the internet and www.ilovetocreate.com for their video instructions.
We tried 2 different techniques to see how they'd each turn out. I used 4-5 rubber bands on each shirt (a couple broke because my youngest thought it'd be fun to wrap the rubber bands around his arms and legs - he learned quickly that was NOT A GOOD IDEA!)
After this step, the boys wanted nothing to do with actual dying of the shirts. I'm not going to lie, I didn't really mind because the clean up process what much easier since there was no mess :) The first shirt that is in a circle I had to use a spoon and pour the die on each of the triangles, doing a red/blue/red/blue pattern. The other shirt I just dunked each bunch in the dye.
After taking the rubber bands off and showing the boys, they were elated with the results. I, on the other hand, was not impressed at all. It looks like I just threw paint balls at the kids! Apparently, I need a lesson on how to master this art - or maybe next time, I'll just go buy the tie-dye shirts!!
The boys loved making wind socks and they have enjoyed hanging them in their bedrooms. I wouldn't recommend using this glitter paper though because it's very hard to work with - I had to use a stapler to keep everything together (you can see the staples if you look closely). Not to mention, glitter paper is 10 times more expensive than regular construction paper. But the end result is actually pretty cute.
4th of July Wreath
To make this wreath, I bought a styrofoam wreath and 5 rolls of tulle, glitter tulle of course. All I did was cut the tulle in strips, about 15 inches long and just tied them around the styrofoam. My oldest was able to do most of it, but it took awhile! After about 2 hours of cutting and tying we were finally done and the amount glitter that was on the table and floor was INSANE! But... it does looks awesome!
We were proud to hang it by our front door and show it off to the neighbors. Well, about an hour later, the wind blew it off and it broke into 2 pieces :( I put it back together with paperclips and then tied it to the nail outside. Another hour later, it blew off and broke again - UGH!! Every time I fixed it, that just meant more glitter everywhere and I was officially over this darn wreath.
So now, it hangs INSIDE the house in our front window. And the boys know it is VERY fragile and not to touch it, ha!
Let's hope that my 4th of July recipes turn out much better than my crafting attempts!!
Melissa Ash - mom of 2 energetic boys, wife, and business woman. Just trying to "do it all".