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July 4th Treats

Pretzel Sparklers

long rod pretzels
white chocolate, melted
sprinkles (red, white and blue) or star cake decorations

Melt the white chocolate. Dip the pretzel rod halfway into the melted chocolate then sprinkle the sprinkles over the wet chocolate. Lay on waxed paper or place in a cup to dry.

Fruit Sparklers

24 large blueberries
24 strawberries
3 bananas, cut into 8 pieces each
24 cherries
24 large marshmallows
8 wooden skewers
8 each red, white, and blue ribbons, 1-foot lengths

Skewer fruit and marshmallows on wooden skewers in a red, white and blue pattern, using for of each item on a skewer. ~~ Tie red, white, and blue ribbons to the bottom of the skewer.

TIP: When finished skewering fruit, break off sharp tips of skewers to prevent injury.

Skyrocket Ice Pops

12 (8 oz) plastic cups
12 craft sticks (looks like popsicle sticks)

Red Layer
4 cups cran-raspberry juice
red food coloring

White Layer
2 cups frozen whipped topping
2 cups vanilla yogurt

Blue Layer
4 cups grape juice
blue food coloring

Mix the grape juice and water until a suitable blue color results. Try adding blue food coloring to achieve the desired shade. Pour into the plastic cups filling them 1/3 full. Place into the freezer until the start to freeze. Once they do, stick a craft stick in the center of each cup.

Freeze until solid. Mix the yogurt and whipped topping together. Place a layer on top of the frozen blue layer, and freeze for one hour. Repeat the process given for the blue layer but do it with the cran-raspberry juice and red food coloring. Add a red layer to each cup and freeze until frozen.

Run the outer side of the cups under cold water to release them.

Picnic Pops

2 cups juice
4 cups strawberries, fresh or frozen
4 cups blueberries, fresh or frozen
2 popsicle molds
12 paper cups
12 popsicle sticks

Whirl together 1 cup apple juice with strawberries in blender. Pour liquid into molds or cups, filling half full. Insert sticks and freeze for two hours. Whirl together remaining apple juice with blueberries in blender.

Add liquid to molds or cups that contain the strawberry mixture, filling to the top. Freeze for two more hours. When firm, remove from freezer, remove from molds or peel off cups, and serve.

Variations: Alternate the red and blue layers 4 times instead of 2 times. Add a white layer using lemonade or coconut juice.

Practical Tip: To keep sticks upright before the liquid freezes, cover each paper cup with foil and insert stick through the hole cut in the top.

Patriotic Punch

12 cherries or small strawberries
12 blueberries
2 12-ounce cans frozen lemonade, reconstituted, thawed
1 32-ounce bottle sugar-free lemon-lime soda
Ice cube tray
Large punch bowl
12 tall clear glasses

Put a cherry or strawberry and a blueberry into each ice cube compartment. Pour one can lemonade into the ice cube tray over the fruit. Freeze until firm. Combine second can of lemonade with soda in punch bowl. Serve lemonade ice cube with each drink in glasses.

Variation: Instead of putting fruit into ice cubes, tint ice cubes red and blue using food coloring.

Other Fun Ideas

* Vanilla ice cream with red & blue sprinkles
* Sugar cookies with white icing and red & blue sprinkles
* Cherry or Blue Kool-Aid
* Color tint milk with blue food coloring for the boys, and red for the girls
* Vanilla shakes tined blue or red with food coloring

Make a Patriotic Parfait for July 4th: Fill a sundae-style glass with sliced strawberries, vanilla yogurt, and blueberries (for kids 4 and older).

Star Cookie Cutters: Gather a few star-shaped cookie cutters and shallow bowls of red and blue tempera paint. Allow each child to have a turn pressing the cookie cutters into the paint, then onto a piece of construction paper to make star-shaped prints -- if you get butcher paper, this can be a disposable table cloth for your Fourth of July dinner!


Patriotic Bead Patterning: Gather several packages of red, white, and blue beads and white pipe cleaners. Make a few example patterns with the beads on the pipe cleaners. Set the remaining beads and pipe cleaners on a table and allow the children to copy any of the patterns on their own pipe cleaners.

Fireworks Art: Give each child a piece of white construction paper and a straw. Explain that you will be dropping a few drops of tempera paint (diluted red and blue) on their papers. Once the paint is on the paper, they are to blow the paint around with the straw to look like fireworks.

Uncle Sam Hats: Cut top hat shape out of white, glue two red strips to the front, put small blue band of construction paper where a hat band would be, and decorate hat band with white stars.