Firecracker Friends {A year of creative playdates} | Tuesdays with Jacob

Firecracker Friends {A year of creative playdates}

June 27, 2016

Get your sparklers ready, we've got exactly one week until the 4th of July! I've got plenty of red, white, and blue fun for you, so round up your little ones and their favorite friends for a patriotic good time!

If you've read my other playdate posts, you know my play dates generally follow a simple formula:

1. Craft Time
2. Lunch
3. Activity/Game Time
4. Snack

We started out our Playdate making Washington's Wands - ribbon wands to wave and fly at our local 4th of July Parade.

To prepare I bought a pack of wooden dowels that are 12" long and 3/8" across. I spray painted them blue and then screwed a medium screw eye into the end of each one. I gathered around 10 different ribbons in red, white, and shades of blue, and cut them to varying lengths between 15' and 30' long.

We gave each kid a dowel and a tray full of ribbons. All they need to do is thread each ribbon halfway through the eye screw. As more and more ribbons fill the hole the space will get smaller and smaller and the ribbons will get tighter.

Depending on age they may need help getting the last few in. If you completely fill the eye screw the ribbons will be packed in tight enough that they won't fall out when your kiddo is waving around their wand.

Toddlers may need help with threading even the beginning ribbons through. Mine did anyways.

Once the wands are completed they are ready for cheering and waving at your local parade, or just to play anytime!

These make a really fun toy, even if you don't plan on attending any parades!

I don't like to give little tummy's a chance to get hungry and grumble so Polk's Picnic was up next, before anyone could even think about getting hangry.

We went as all-American as possible with hot dogs, chips, and fruit skewers.

I made our fruit skewers by threading blueberries, strawberries, and marshmallows onto a skewer in a red, white, and blue pattern.

Every good lunch needs a special drink to wash it down and Lincoln's Layered Punch did the trick!

Layered drinks are so fun, and this red, white, and blue variation fit right in!

The most important 2 things to remember when making layered drinks are:
1. Ice, Ice, Ice
2. Sugar content

When you are shopping for your juices or sodas make sure their sugar contents are VERY different. My drinks had 47g sugar, 15g sugar, and 0g sugar respectively.

Fill your glasses completely full of ice to act as a buffer. If you are going to use a straw add the straw next before the soda. Then slowly and directly onto an ice cube pour your drink with the HIGHEST sugar concentration. (For me it was my white Jones soda with 47g of sugar.) Then (again slowly and directly onto an ice cube) pour in your next highest sugar concentration (15g sugar blue Hawaiian punch for me) and so on until you've used all your drinks. I added 0g sugar vitaminwater on top.

The kids loved these, even if they did give them a sugar rush!!

Games are perfect to get out all that energy from the sugar so next we set up Roosevelt's Ring Toss.
I had picked up three American flags from the dollar store and I used a metal stake to make three holes in the ground, then sat the flags down in the holes.

Each player took a turn tossing the three rings and attempting to get them around the flags. Depending on the age of your kids, pick a challenging, yet not impossible distance for them to throw from.

My toddler was happy enough just trying to place each ring around a flag without tossing them.

He also really enjoyed fetching the thrown rings and returning them to his older friend.

We finished off our playdate with a cool, sweet treat perfect for the hot month of July:
Carter's Cookie Sundaes!

Each treat cup was filled with two scoops of ice cream then drizzled with strawberry syrup and sprinkled with red, white, and blue sprinkles. Then I topped each one with a dab of whipped cream and M&M cookies made with red, white, and blue chocolates.

They were adorable AND delicious!

The kids absolutely loved them and it was the perfect way to cool down after game time.

Do you have fun plans for Independence Day? I'd love to hear about them, leave me a comment below! 

Here's a handy pin so you can save these ideas! 

8 comments on "Firecracker Friends {A year of creative playdates}"
  1. Wow, great ideas! I'm originally from Canada so I need help in this department!

  2. these are all so CUTE! Such a fun playdate and you are so talented!

  3. I love this playdate! We're going to have to steal some of these ideas for the 4th!

  4. Best play date ever! I want to make some of those wands for our parade. So cute!

  5. Wow this is amazing! LOVE all the pictures! I'm going to try this with my kids. Thanks for sharing!

  6. This is so cute! We made ribbon wands for our wedding ceremony recessional, so I really just love them.

  7. I'm desperate to have a playdate with you!! This looks phenomenal!!