Plan your day around the main event: the picnic! Prepping most of your food the night before will help you relax and enjoy a full day of fun with the entire family.
Sub in rotisserie chicken if you're short on time. For a patriotic presentation, wrap each sandwich in a strip of red, white, or blue paper and tie with colorful twine.
Toss together a healthy mixture that keeps well all day long.
Transport this salad -- a fresh update on macaroni -- to your picnic in a cooler and bring to room temperature a half hour before serving.
This festive dessert is durable enough for travel and, even better, can be made a day ahead. You can make it all from scratch or use a cake mix.
Recipe by Stephana Bottom
Keep the lemon mixture chilled until picnic time. Don't forget the ice!
What You'll Need:
Can (rinsed clean and label removed)
Drill and 1/4" drill bit (or hammer and 1/4"-diameter nail)
Colored duct tape
1/4"-diameter threaded rod (20" to 36" long)
1/4" locking nut
Two 1/4" washers
1/4" wing nut
Spike cans into ground and mark a line for throwers to stand behind. Give each player an equal number of balls on their turn. Award one point for each ball they get into a large can, two for medium-size ones, and three for the smallest (and most challenging) cans.
Three cupcake-liner sizes form these patriotic badges: candy cup, mini cupcake, and full-size. Use scissors to fringe the ruffled sides; flatten and stack a variety of papers to form each. Secure with double-stick tape. Stick a bar pin to the back with duct or electrical tape.
These DIY wands will entertain your kids twice: first as they create them, later as they play with them. To make, cut wooden dowels to 14 inches and screw a small eye hook into one end. Kids can decorate with washi tape and knot on ribbons for the streamers.
Originally published in the July 2015 issue of Parents magazine.