Patriotic Crafts and Activities for Summer

Do you need a fun activity to keep the kids occupied during summer break, or a game for your next BBQ? Learn about science with milk fireworks, create a dazzling sensory bottle, and decorate everything from your table to your flip flops in the theme of Americana. 


Tabletop Rockets:

These cute centerpieces are so easy to make! 


  • Styrofoam cones in varying sizes 
  • Yarn, ribbon or tulle in bright colors
  • Straight pins
  • Foil spray decoration (see example with picture below) These are decor items that can be added to flower bouquets or gift baskets. These are called glitter picks in some stores. 



Here are a couple of other buying options for glitter spray decor: 

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  • Using a straight pin, attach the end of your ribbon at the bottom edge of the side of the cone. Now, wrap the ribbon or tulle around the cone from the bottom up, overlapping the ribbon slightly over the previous row to completely cover the sides of the cone. Leave the tip of the cone uncovered, so that you can stick the wire decor into the styrofoam in a later step. Once you have wrapped the cone to your satisfaction, cut the ribbon, and secure the end of the ribbon to the top edge of the cone with another straight pin. 
  • Using scissors, cut several wires from the foil spray decoration. Stick the ends of each wire into the top of the cone. Arrange the wires until you have a beautiful burst of colorful fireworks.

Colorful Flip Flops:

This project can turn a plain pair of dollar store flip flops into a fashion statement! 

For this pair pictured, I used a combination of grosgrain ribbon and sparkly tulle, both from Walmart.



  • Pair of flip flops
  • Ribbon, tulle or flannel in red, white, and blue ( I recommend at least three colors)
  • Scissors


  • Cut your ribbon or tulle into three-inch lengths. Next, lay out the different colored ribbons on your work surface and arrange in the order you want the colors and patterns to be tied onto the flip flops.
  • Starting at the outer edge of the strap of one flip flop, place the middle of a length of ribbon under the strap. Next, tie the ribbon on with a double knot. As you work your way to the other end of the strap, continue adding ribbons in this way until the strap is covered. Follow the same process with the other flip flop. Now, fluff the ribbons with your fingers and trim to the length you desire.


Note: If your child has sensory issues, using flannel material, instead of ribbon or tulle, will be softer on the feet. Cut the material into one-inch wide strips, then proceed as above. 



Fireworks paintings:



  • White paper or cardstock (one or two per kid, plus a few pieces for scrap paper).
  • Three round dish brushes
  • Three colors of paint, such as purple, red, blue, whatever you like!
  • Paper plates
  • Optional: white liquid glue and glitter 




  • Spread a thin layer of each paint color on separate paper plates. (You can use an index card or paintbrush to do this.)
  • These fireworks turn out best when made with a dry dish brush and very little paint. Holding the dish brush vertically, push the tip of the brush gently into the paint. Using a piece of scrap paper, “stamp” the brush onto the scrap paper by pushing the top end of the brush onto the paper until the bristles spread out. Do this a couple of times until most of the paint is gone. Now, without adding more paint, stamp several fireworks bursts onto the cardstock. Repeat with the other colors. Once the child is satisfied with his or her fireworks display and the paint is allowed to dry, you can add glitter. To do this, spread a thin layer of liquid glue onto another paper plate. Wipe off one of the dish brushes with a paper towel. (It’s okay if some paint remains, you just want to get most of it off.) Dip the brush in the glue, then follow the same process that you did making fireworks from the paint. Before the glue dries, sprinkle with glitter. 



These activities are fun for the Fourth of July holiday, or anytime this summer–because red, white and blue never goes out of style!


Tiffany Doerr Guerzon