Craft With the Kids for the Fourth

Do-it-yourself crafts are the perfect option to dress up your home for the Independence Day holiday while keeping kids’ idle hands away from the fireworks. With a selection of craft supplies such as crepe paper, glue, popsicle sticks and paint, you can create festive accents such as tin-can luminaries, flag-themed wreaths, windsocks and suncatchers, the Prudent Penny Pincher suggests. Hosting a party with lots of kids? Try making your own Fourth of July piñata to keep them entertained and excited until night falls and the big fireworks display begins.

Recipes for the Red, White & Blue

Be true to the red, white and blue when you’re assembling dishes for your Fourth of July cookout or potluck, says The Gracious Wife blog. Simple recipes for “red, white and blueberry” popsicles, Rice Krispie treats, Jello cookies, cupcakes and a refreshing patriotic punch all find ways for foods to sport the colors of the flag in commemoration of the nation’s birth. Looking for something a bit healthier to serve in celebration? Loaded with superfoods, a strawberry/blueberry spinach salad might be the ultimate healthy-yet-patriotic dish to pass.

Patriotic Craft Ideas for the Fourth

You may not have time to go all-out with Independence Day happening midweek this year, but you can still bring a few crafty touches to your home to make it more patriotic — and the local secondhand store will be a valuable source of materials. You can thrift a few mason jars to create Fourth of July lanterns, paint a patriotic shutter or create a clothespin wreath to celebrate the red, white and blue, Country Living suggests. More patriotic still, buying your craft materials at thrift stores supplied by donations to ClothingDonations.org helps fund programs benefiting the nation’s veterans.

Clean the Grill Before Your Next Cookout

With the Fourth of July safely over, you’ll want to clean that dirty grill to keep your food from sticking and picking up unwanted flavors. Start with a grill that’s still warm, Kitchn advises, then disconnect the gas line and scrub the grates, barriers and flame shields with a wire brush and warm soapy water. If you have a charcoal grill, brush the debris from the interior and use a wadded-up piece of aluminum foil to scrub the grates. Finally, heat the grill for at least 10 minutes ahead of your next cookout, and enjoy!

Help Vets Enjoy the Parade

Make saluting those who have served part of your Independence Day routine by cheering on the local veterans who are marching in today’s parades and other observances. And when the color guard starts the parade today, adds the Magnolia School of Etiquette, show your respect for the flag by placing your hand over your heart or saluting as it passes. “Every veteran on that parade route is watching,” the blog says. VVA wishes everyone a safe and happy Fourth of July!