Frugal Fourth

Has the outrageous cost of gas grounded your Fourth of July travel plans? There’s no reason your holiday budget has to be as blown up as a firecracker. Here’s some kid friendly low-cost ideas for a celebration that will still make your family and your wallet “oooh,” “aaaahh,” and smile.

Festive Food: Make the most important meal of the day patriotic! Here I’ve taken plain Greek yogurt and added honey, cinnamon, and vanilla extract. Then I mixed in a dash of blue food coloring and topped it off with some Swedish Fish candies (available at Five Below) for a patriotic ocean effect. A healthier option would be topping the white yogurt with strawberries and blueberries. You could also top with red or blue sprinkles. Or you can experiment with using these decorating techniques on any breakfast item: waffles, pancakes, French toast. Be creative and have fun!

Patriotic Greek Yogurt fun!

Kid’s Workouts: Now that your tummies are full it’s time to work out those wiggles with some Fourth of July/Summer themed workouts. Check them out by clicking on the links below. (Taz Kids Fitness Fourth of July workout) (PE with Mr. G Fourth of July Games: Would You Rather workout) (Brain Break: Escape into Summer workout) (This or That Summer Brain Break workout) (Summer Chase workout) (Cosmic Kids Beach Yoga) (Cosmic Kids Yoga for Independence Day)

Sing it out with Jack Hartmann: Give your bodies a rest while you exercise your lungs and get all your nois-ies out while learning all about America and the month of July. (Jack Hartmann America to Me Song) (Jack Hartmann July Calander Song)

PBS Kids: Time to exercise those brains next! Learn what the Fourth of July is and why we celebrate it with this quick little clip by PBS Kids or learn about what fireworks are and their history with this fun clip by the Muppets. (PBS kids What is Fourth of July) (learn about fireworks with the Muppets)

Get Crafty: Keep little hands busy with this ‘American Flag’ craft. Start with a blank piece of white construction paper. Draw a box in the upper left-hand corner of the page, then add lines to make the stripes. Have your kids use dot painters, finger paint, markers, or crayons to color the red stripes and blue ‘star’ background. Wait till everything dries and use star stickers to add the ‘fifty’ states.

Cookie Baking Fun:

Roll out some quick and easy sugar cookie dough and use star or flag shaped cookie cutters to make some patriotic cookies for dessert. Then use red, white, and blue frosting or sprinkles to decorate. Pro tip: freeze the cutout cookies for ten minutes before baking them to maintain their shape. (Patriotic cookie cutters available at JoAnn Fabrics) (Easy sugar cookie recipe) (Easy icing recipe)

Free Coloring Pages: Check out all the coloring pages that Crayola has to offer for Fourth of July! Just click, print, and color! (Crayola free coloring pages)

Read Alouds: Time to wind down for naptime so we can stay up late and watch the fireworks later with these free read alouds on YouTube.

Image courtesy of

Apple Pie Fourth of July by: Janet S. Wong tells of the plight of a young girl whose parents are originally from China. They run a Chinese food restaurant that is open even on the Fourth of July despite her assurances that Americans only eat apple pie and not Chinese food to celebrate the holiday. She is proved wrong when the dinner rush comes hungry for Chinese food take out! Later that night she celebrates with her family by eating apple pie and watching fireworks. (Apple Pie Fourth of July read aloud)

Image courtesy of

My Fourth of July by: Jerry Spinelli chronicals the quintisential fourth of july experience of a little boy. the parade, the picnic, the cherry pie, and the fireworks. At the end of the day he falls asleep in the wagon. Delightfully illustrated. (My Fourth of July read aloud)

Image courtesy of Thrift Books

We all know what human beings like to do to celebrate the Fourth of July, but have you ever wondered how mice celebrate the holiday? Well, you’ll find out in Bethany Roberts’ adorably illustrated book Fourth of July Mice. (Fourth of July Mice read aloud)

Image courtesy of

Red, White, and Boom by: Lee Wardlaw was perfect for beginning readers with its short, concise rhyming sentences. Whether you celebrate the Fourth of July with a parade, a picnic, at the beach, or by watching the fireworks you will enjoy this story! (Red, White, and Boom read aloud)

Safety Fireworks: Kiddos too little for sparklers and drop pops? No worries! Let them celebrate safely with good old fashioned glow sticks (available at Walmart, Dollar Tree, and Walgreens). Or make fireworks in your mouth with Pop Rocks candy (available at Walmart, Party City, Oriental Trading Company, or our very own Rocket Fizz here in St. Charles! Check out these fireworks Orea cookies too! They have Pop Rocks imbedded in the cream to make them crackle in your mouth (Available at Target and Walmart)!

Or check out this link for some excellent firework inspired craft ideas. (Safe Fireworks themed craft ideas)

Fourth of July Bath: End the day by rinsing off all that sunblock and bug spray with some themed bath products!

Red/Blue Crayola bath paint (available at The Dollar Tree). Mr. Bubble marshmallow scented bath foam (available at Walmart). Patriotic rubber duckies (available at Oriental Trading Company).
Patriotic bath bomb available at Walmart.

Have an affordable, safe, healthy, and happy Fourth of July!





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