Celebrating the Fourth of July pre-parenthood a pretty easy affair — figure out what you want to do and go do it. Now that there's a baby in your family, it's slightly more complicated. In many ways, this is the most portable your baby will be and you can modify your old holiday favorites as well as create some new baby-centric ones pretty easily, especially with these Fourth of July baby-friendly activities.
Your baby probably has no idea July 4th is any different than any other day, but that doesn't mean you can't engage them in the fun. This year, because the actual holiday is on Wednesday, there's an entire week that can be considered part of the July 4th celebration. Some will do their usual celebrations the weekend before or the weekend after the fourth. Keep an eye out for holiday events in your neighborhood and touch base with friends and family to see what your social network is doing.
If you are having a barbecue or heading to one, there are many festive red, white, and blue drinks you can create — both in cocktail and mocktail form – and even older babies can get in on the red juice fun. Sometimes entertaining the little ones at these gatherings is as simple as letting them watch or tag along with the big ones. Planning to head to the parade or somewhere with your stroller? Ask the bigger kids to help you decorate.
This is one of those "whole family" holidays and there are so many different ways you can keep your baby busy to add to the festivities. Here are just a few.
1. Finger Paint
Your little one might not understand exactly what they are creating, but finger painting is good, tactile fun. Grab some paper, lay down some newspaper on your table (because babies are nothing if not unpredictable and messy), squirt the red and blue paint on the paper, and let them loose.
2. Play Dress Up
Before they have a fashion opinion, you can put them in almost anything you want. Find a cute flag t-shirt or get a red or blue diaper cover. If they'll tolerate a headband, hat, or sunglasses, you can find some really fun patriotic ones, even if they only wear it long enough for you to snap a pic.
3. Star In A Photo Shoot
Buy an little American flag on a stick and then find places all over town (the parade, the library, the supermarket's 4th of July display) where you can pose the baby with the flag. They love holding things at this age. Be creative and silly and don't be afraid to ask other people to hop into the photos.
4. Make Confetti
Since babies love tearing up paper (which is usually really frustrating), turn it around and make the tearing itself the project. Give them sheets of red, white, and blue paper and let them have at it.
5. Enjoy A Fruit Bowl
Let your baby dine on a patriotic fruit plate of blueberries, strawberries and bananas (cut in tiny pieces). Give them a bowl of whipped cream and let them dip the fruit into it. Messy, but yummy.
6. Go To An Outdoor Concert
Babies love music, so try to find an outdoor concert, grab a blanket, and head over.
7. Play With S'more Blocks
What sounds to you like ingredients for the perfect summer dessert, feels like toys to your baby. They can stack the graham crackers, chocolate bars, and uncooked jumbo marshmallows.
8. Arts & Crafts
Set up a craft corner with July 4th themed coloring book pages, crayons, and red, white, and blue art supplies (pom poms, stickers), and if you are really brave, glue and glitter. Help them create their own Fourth of July masterpieces to hang up on the fridge.
9. Join A Parade
Decorate their "ride" (okay, their stroller), and head downtown. Baby will be able to appreciate all the excitement, enjoy the music, and people watch. If you expect bigger crowds, consider putting your little one in a backpack or front carrier so they can see the sights better.