Happy 4th of July! Here are 9 Retro Ways to Celebrate With the Grands


By Michele D. Baker 

The 4th of July is the peak of the summer, perfect for enjoying being out in the sun with family and friends. There are plenty of grown-up ways to celebrate, but there are also ways to (safely) include the grandkids. Unleash your inner 6-year-old with these fun ideas! 

Watermelon Seed-Spitting Contest 

Few other fruits say “Fourth of July” like watermelon. It’s present at almost every picnic, and it’s a cool sweet treat on a hot summer day. But there’s the matter of those pesky seeds to contend with. Why not have a game with the grandkids to see who can spit theirs the furthest? (Careful with those seeds!) 

Chalk Art 

The Fourth of July is a great time for being outdoors. Keep grandkids entertained by having them express their creativity with chalk art. You and the grands can have fun for hours drawing pictures or boards for tic-tac-toe or hopscotch. 

Related: Book Review: Star-Spangled Banner

Bring Out the Sprinklers 

If you don’t want to head to the swimming pool, there’s still a way to beat the heat. Set up sprinklers, slip on your bathing suit, and everybody can have fun playing water tag in the grass! 

Fruit Pizza 

Celebrate all the fresh summer bounty by making a patriotic fruit pizza. Use delicious seasonal fruits like strawberries, blueberries and star fruit to make an easy and patriotic-themed dessert “pizza.” Get the grandkids involved, too — there’s nothing that tastes as good as something you helped to make. (Here’s a fun recipe from my own grandma.)

Scavenger Hunt 

Let your grandkids put on their sleuthing caps and search for treasure in the hedges. Hide a random assortment of things in your yard and send them on their way. (Try bubbles, coloring books, puzzles, action figures, and toy race cars.) 

Backyard Campout 

Let your grandkids have all the fun of camping, right in your backyard. Set up a tent and get ready for the excitement of sleeping under the stars. You could join them; it’s probably been too long since you slept outside! Make it just like any other camping experience: bring hot dogs to roast and marshmallows for s’mores. 

Have a Kiddie Parade 

What’s the Fourth of July without a parade? Have your grandkids gather all their friends or visiting cousins and let them march in their own parade through your neighborhood. Get some noisemakers, flags to wave, and the little red wagon. Have the little ones dress in adorable patriotic red, white, and blue clothing. Give them their marching orders and follow them out the door for their very own parade. 

Red, White and Blue Cookies 

You didn’t think the Fourth of July was just about hot dogs and watermelon, did you? Cookies are always welcome! Bake patriotic red, white and blue cookies or festive American flag cookies. Many recipes are fun and easy enough to allow the grandkids into the kitchen to help. 

Make an American Flag 

The American flag is one of the symbols of freedom we celebrate most on the Fourth of July. You can pick one up at your local big-box home store or get crafty and paint or color your own. Either way, celebrate your American pride with the ultimate symbol. (Bonus: tape handmade flags to a chopstick to wave in the kiddie parade!) 

Happy Fourth of July!