Toddler-Friendly Fourth of July

fireworksNot all toddlers embrace Independence Day events as enthusiastically as their older siblings.  Late nights, thunderous fireworks displays and way too many sugary snacks can lead to epic meltdowns.

In order to celebrate the holiday without sending your tot over the edge, consider these low-key, yet festive Fourth of July activities:

Fireworks in a Glass   

Fill a tall glass with warm water.  Next, add a little cooking oil to the water.  Depending on the size of your container, one to two tablespoons should suffice.  Then, add a few drops of food coloring to the oil and water.  Gently stir the contents with a fork.  Your goal is to break up the food coloring drops into smaller drops, not to thoroughly mix the liquid.  Finally, pour the entire mixture into a larger glass or a clear vase and watch as the food coloring slowly descends.  Each of the colored droplets will expand as it sinks, mimicking the look of fireworks.

Popsicle Stick Fireworks 

Give your toddler a few Popsicles to suck on pre-Fourth of July, and then keep the sticks to make the following Independence Day-themed craft.


Clean Popsicle sticks


Paint and paintbrush


String or fishing wire

Directions:  Take four Popsicle sticks and glue them together to form an asterisk shape (two sticks to make a cross and two sticks to form an “X;” then glue the “X” shape onto the cross shape).  Allow the glue to dry thoroughly before allowing your children to cover the stick figure with different colors of paint.  Let the paint dry.  Next, add a coat of craft paint to the stick figure.  Finally, pour liberal amounts of glitter onto the glue and let dry for a few hours before shaking off the excess glitter.  When you are done, glue some fishing wire or string to the back of your wooden fireworks and hang them from the ceiling or a window so they look like the real deal.

This entry was posted in Toddler Activities and tagged , , , , by Michele Cheplic. Bookmark the permalink.
Michele Cheplic

About Michele Cheplic

Michele Cheplic was born and raised in Hilo, Hawaii, but now lives in Wisconsin. Michele graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a degree in Journalism. She spent the next ten years as a television anchor and reporter at various stations throughout the country (from the CBS affiliate in Honolulu to the NBC affiliate in Green Bay). She has won numerous honors including an Emmy Award and multiple Edward R. Murrow awards honoring outstanding achievements in broadcast journalism. In addition, she has received awards from the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association for her reports on air travel and the Wisconsin Education Association Council for her stories on education. Michele has since left television to concentrate on being a mom and freelance writer.