Patriotic Picnic: 4th of July Activities for Kids

Summer is here! With the warmer temperatures arriving, it’s time to start thinking about backyard BBQs and summer entertaining.

While we may not have kiddos of our own yet, many of our friends have started growing their families. When some of my friends first started having babies, I worried about how that might change attendance at our gatherings. I also didn’t want any of our friends to feel like they couldn’t bring their kids over!

So, whether you have kids or you don’t, this post is for you! I’ve put together some ideas on how to make your guests envious of the kids table at your 4th of July BBQ!

4th of July kids picnic in a treehouse

Picking a Spot

Start by picking a fun spot in your backyard. We have a play set that was built buy our previous owners and it’s a fun spot to setup for parties! This thing is so big, I even hosted gal pals for a summer glamping party! This time, though, it’s going to be a no-grown-ups allowed zone.

Kids playhouse decorated for 4th of July

No table is needed! Just lay down a tablecloth. This fireworks vinyl tablecloth was less than $4 from Walmart last year and is great for kids because you can wipe it up and use it again! I haven’t seen this style in Walmart stores this year, but you can grab the same one on Amazon. If you are alright with a slightly different pattern, both Walmart and Target are selling festive options for just a few dollars!

4th of July picnic full of red, white, and blue and fireworks.


Kids aren’t expecting anything fancy here! I used some clearance red and white paper fans that I’d picked up at Target and put them in the center of the tablecloth. I grabbed a mason jar out of the closet and filled it with some fun firework flair and a small American flag. This was definitely a case of “use what you’ve got around!”

An easy DIY 4th of July centerpiece made with metallic decor, an American flag, and a mason jar. Throw in some paper fans and you're done!

Place Settings

Who says kids don’t deserve a fun place setting? I started with some silver chargers and then layered on some patriotic striped plates and paper star napkins from Sprinkles and Confetti. As much as I love shopping around for lots of goodies, this time of year can get busy! Plus, I love maximizing my time outside, instead of in the store.

4ht of July table setting with silver charger, red striped plates, star napkins, and silver flatware.

Sprinkles and Confetti ships items right to your door and has such fun party collections that you can’t find in the store. This certainly came in handy for a bridal shower last summer, too! The pretty silverware is from there, too. Can you even believe it’s plastic, too!?

4ht of July place setting

Add some simple napkin rings and a pinwheel for each kiddo from Hobby Lobby! They came in packs of 2 for just a few dollars.

4th of July picnic table setting

DIY 4th of July Cups

Having festive cups and straws is always fun for events. In the past I added some stickers to mason jar style glassware and even made themed koozies to dress up drinks. For this event, I grabbed a set of 4 blue plastic cups from Walmart and used my Cricut Explore Air 2 to add “‘Merica” in red vinyl and some silver stars. These cups are just $.78 for a set of 4, but I could only find them in-store. If you don’t have a Cricut, you can do this with other stickers or window clings. It makes another easy and fun activity to keep the kids busy, too.

Use your Cricut or stickers to dress up cheap plastic cups to make your 4th of July drinkware more festive!

Kids Activities

Having a basket of 4th of July kids activities will win big points with the kids and parents alike. Okay, it’s a little red wagon in this case, but any container will do! Doesn’t a red wagon remind you of 4th of July picnics?

Little red wagon filled with 4th of July kids activities.

You can pick up inexpensive items at Dollar Tree and Target’s dollar section. I picked up sparklers, glow bracelets, glow flags, small flags, sunglasses, and bubbles. These goodies are sure to keep the kiddos busy and having fun!

Little red wagon filled with 4th of July activities for kids including sparklers, bubbles, sunglasses, glow sticks, and more!

Sand Art Station

I also decided it would be fun to have a little craft station! I had gotten large and small Ball Mason Jars for my Easter fairy garden project, but ended up only using the large jars. With some extra small jars hanging out, I thought they’d make the perfect containers for sand art.

I loved making sand art as a kid and it’s just an inexpensive and fun project. Dollar Tree had both red and white sand for just $1 a package. Plus, does it get more American than making a red, white, and blue craft in a jar made right here in the USA?

What You Need

  • Half Pint Mason Jars

  • Red Sand

  • White Sand

  • Funnel

  • Festive Stickers

  • Twine or Ribbon

Setup your sand art station wherever makes sense! Keep in mind the sand may get a bit messy. Depending on the age of the kids, adults may need to help or have an older child or teen assist the younger kids.

I filled some galvanized buckets with the sand and added some scoops. Set out some plates to catch excess sand. The kids can layer red and white until the jar is close to full and then screw on the jar lid.

Ball jar with funnel for sand to make DIY sand art.

Have ribbon or twine and festive stickers to add a little extra 4th of July fun to the jar. I had some leftover star stickers hanging around from our BBQ a few years ago, but you can get cheap star stickers at Dollar Tree or snag seasonal foam shapes at Michaels or Hobby Lobby. Window clings would also make for fun decorating items.

DIY 4th of July sand art makes an easy 4th of July kids craft.

Sand art makes a great 4th of July kids activity and each little guest will have a favor to take home and proudly display.

What are your favorite tips for keeping kiddos entertained at a backyard party? I’d love to hear your ideas as well!

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Shop this Look:

I know you might rather spend another hour on the boat or taking a bike ride instead of running around to 7 stores. To re-create this look, I’d recommend ordering the items from Sprinkles and Confetti and grab the remaining few things from Amazon! Both will arrive right at your door, no drive time required!

Pin for Later:

Keep the kids entertained at your 4th of July BBQ with this fun patriotic picnic! Stock up on fun kids activities and learn how to setup a DIY sand art station with supplies mostly from the dollar store! #4thofJuly #picnic #summerentertaining #4thofjulykidscrafts #kidstable #4thofjuly #redwhiteandblue