Happy 4th of July, folks!! I’m actually escaping for one of my besties weddings in Colorado (much more on that to come!) so Mark will be holding down the fort. I do have a fun little activity/ craft for you below, but since I won’t have any first hand holiday pictures to share this year, I thought I’d show you some fun shots from Independence Days of Yore. And by ‘yore’ I mean the last 2 years. You don’t realize how much your kids have grown until you look back and see images like this:
Or like this (proving that our youngest is just not that impressed by backyard pyrotechnics):
Eleanor’s red, white and blue has evolved (the latter photo cropped considerably to sensor her new cape/ no shirt look):
There are a couple of traditions… the summer camp down at the beach has a ‘parade’ every year where the kids bring whatever roll-y things they can ride and decorate… then they swarm down the parking lot for the parental paparazzi. Last year, it was just Eleanor but this year Oliver’s part of the mix! Incidentally, he doesn’t really appreciate the stearing or propulsion aspect of his scooter so his poor counselor had to push him the entire time.
There’s also a little parade from the center of our tiny town to the local library:
Enough of the family slide show… onto the activity. Thinking ahead for holidays is not my blogging strong suit, but I’m usually good for a hail mary pass right at the buzzer. I’m loving this quick and simple project. And it involves melting which I’m secretly a big fan of too.
I saw this post on Pinterest and figured why not tweek that baby to fit my independence day needs. I love myself a pony bead, so have them in the craft closet, but you can get them at every craft store on the planet. Ours aren’t the pretty clear ones like The Artful Parent’s, but I went for it.
With some help from Eleanor, we separated out the red, white and blue beads.
We spread the beads into cupcake tins and a larger cake pan. Don’t worry about which way the beads are lying, but make sure they are a full and even layer. I didn’t do anything to prep the pans first and this didn’t damage my pans even a little bit.
Cook the beads at 400 degrees for 25 minutes or until they’ve melted into one smooth surface without any bead-shaped ripples. Did you notice our shiny new non-circa-1978 stove… what a difference a little stainless steel can make! (I’m still not really cooking, but now I COULD if I wanted.)
While cooking, I was braced for the smell of melting plastic, but honestly I scarcely even noticed.
Let them cool and the sun catchers will pop right out.
I used a small drill bit to make holes in each circle and clear thread to string them together. We’ve hung it on the tree right off of the patio and Eleanor is quick to point it out to everyone who comes over (i.e. the omnipresent construction workers).
Clear beads would have been lovely, but I don’t mind the bright colors of the opaque beads. We just scattered the beads into our pans, but an older child could really explore pattern and design and make some lovely hanging decorations. Next year!
Have a fun filled and happy 4th!
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