From candy rocket kebabs to a patriotic ring toss game, you'll find everything you need here to throw a fun Independence Day party with kids.

This July 4th, celebrate our country’s birthday in style...and keep the kids entertained until the sunset fireworks show sparkles overhead. With a little do-ahead prep work, you can make rad crafts, fun games, and sweet treats for the big night—and plenty of family memories too.

Patriotic Bingo

Let the kids gather shells and rocks to use as markers!

Fourth of July Patriotic Bingo
Credit: Don Diaz

What You'll Need: Templates, 8.5x11-inch cardstock, game pieces (we used shells)

What To Do: 

1. Before you leave, print templates onto cardstock, trim, and cut out the symbols. Place in a zip-top bag.

2. Pass out the cards and call out the winning pattern (straight, diagonal, four corners, coverall, etc.). Pull out the symbols one at a time till someone gets Bingo!

Candy Rocket Kabobs

Enjoy a sweet send-off during fireworks with gummy kabobs.

Fourth of July Candy Rocket Kabobs
Credit: Don Diaz

What You'll Need: Assorted red, white, and blue soft gummy candies, and some skewers

What To Do: 

1. Poke skewer through candy, and slide each piece down. Snip off pointy tip, and finish with a small candy on top.

2. Fold over a length of sour belt, and thread to form a base.

Fireworks Favors

Friends can enjoy a bundle of treats long after the finale.

Fourth of July Fireworks Favors
Credit: Don Diaz

What You'll Need:  Toilet-paper tubes, plastic wrap, clear tape, 20-inch-wide crepe paper, glue, small toys or candy, twine, crepe streamers (optional)

What To Do: 

1. Cover one end of the tube with plastic wrap. Tape in place.

2. Cut a piece of crepe paper to about 8x11 inches.

3. Roll the paper around the tube so about 3/4 inch extends below the plastic-covered bottom. Glue along the seam.

4. Fold down overhang to cover plastic; apply dots of glue to the paper flaps only and secure.

5. Fill with favors; cinch the top closed with twine. Snip the crepe-paper ends into thin strips, and curl them around the dull side of the scissors.

6. Glue on more crepe paper or streamers to create stripes.

Star Towel

Dry off, snooze, or catch up on those beach reads in star-spangled style with this easy towel tutorial. Have the kids draw a big star to use as a template. (If doing this activity with more than two kids, iron on the stencils ahead of time.)

Fourth of July Star Towel
Credit: Don Diaz

What You'll Need: Star template (4 to 6 inches tall), freezer paper , plain beach towel, masking tape, large towel, iron and ironing board, drop cloth, fabric spray paint (such as Tulip Color Shot)

What To Do: 

1. Cut out as many stars as desired from freezer paper.

2. Arrange stars on the towel, shiny-side down. Secure with tape.

3. Heat iron on high (without steam). Hold one star in place; iron for about 10 seconds or until the star adheres to the towel. Repeat with each star.

4. Lay down a drop cloth in a very well-ventilated area. Shake the paint can for at least a minute, and test paint on scrap paper. Spray a pattern over the stars. Allow the paint to dry, peel off the stars, and discard. Wash according to paint directions before using. 

Ring Toss

Whoever has the most ringers wins big—or at least bragging rights for the day!

Fourth of July Ring Toss
Credit: Don Diaz

What You'll Need: Acrylic craft paint, paper cup or clean yogurt container, empty clear soda bottles (cleaned, dried, and with labels removed), cardboard six-pack container, ruler, craft knife, decorative paper, double-stick tape, glue, or spray adhesive, 1 yard of thick rope, hot glue, small embroidery hoop (inside hoops only)

What To Do: 

1. Set a few paper towels over a garbage bag. Squeeze about an inch of paint into the cup and add a few drops of water at a time, as needed, to make the paint pourable. Mix well with a paintbrush.

2. Pour the paint into the bottle, swirl around to coat, and allow to settle at the bottom. Swirl again and turn upside down to drain onto the prepared paper towels.

3. Flatten the six-pack container; use a ruler and a craft knife to neatly cut off the handle. Cut a piece of decorative paper large enough to cover. Cover the container with adhesive, then paper over it.

4. Mark two centered spots on each side of the container for the handle holes. Using scissors, poke holes in the spots; twist to enlarge.

5. Tightly wrap clear tape around the center of the rope to prevent fraying; cut rope in half. Thread the two ends of one piece from the inside of the box; knot at your desired handle length outside. Tape and trim rope ends. (Add a dot of hot glue to the inside of knots for extra security.) Repeat on other side.

6. Place the bottles in the container, toss the rings, and see who scores the most ringers!

Flag Cake

Avoid the heat of the oven and use donut holes to make quick work of this festive dessert. Look for candy melts in the decorating aisle of a craft or big-box store.

Makes: 8 to 10 servings

What You'll Need: 10x12-inch foam board, wax or parchment paper, powdered sugar, bright white prepared fondant, mini star cookie cutter, red, bright white, and blue candy melts (about 1/2 bag each), 35 plain donut holes, toothpicks

What To Do: 

1. Cover the foam board with wax or parchment paper, taping in place on the back. (If the tape doesn’t stick, use cut toothpicks as tacks.)

2. Coat a rolling pin with powdered sugar, and roll out a small ball of fondant to about 1/8 inch thick. Use a mini star punch to cut out stars.

3. Melt the blue candy melts. Place 9 donut holes on toothpicks and dip each one, letting the candy slightly set before inserting it into the upper-left corner of the board (this will prevent the donuts from sticking). Make three rows of three; add stars before the candy sets completely.

4. Dip 15 donut holes in melted red candy and 11 in melted white candy; place as shown to finish the flag. Keep this treat in the cooler until you’re ready to serve!

Family Fun