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4th of July party planning tips

Kori Ellis is an editor and writer based in San Antonio, TX, where she lives with her husband and four children. At SheKnows, she writes about parenting, fashion, beauty and other lifestyle topics. Additionally, Kori has been published i...

Throw a festive 4th of July party

Celebrate America's birthday by hosting a kid-friendly 4th of July party for family and friends. You don't have much time left before the holiday but that doesn't mean you can't throw together a festive, fun celebration.
Celebrate Independence Day!
4th of July party

Check out these party planning tips and have a blast on 4th of July.

Evite your friends and family

When planning a party at the last minute, take advantage of technology to get the word out to your friends and family. Use a website such as evite.com or punchbowl.com to send free email invitations and keep track of your guest list. Also, post the event on your Facebook page and invite your friends from there. Aren't you glad that you no longer have to address envelopes and buy stamps to throw a party?

Decorate with the stars and stripes

Flags can be a central theme for your 4th of July party decorations. Small flags are very affordable and can be found at any party supply store or superstore. Balloons, paper lanterns and bouquets of flowers in red, white and blue are also inexpensive and festive party decorations. Your table centerpieces can be large Mason jars or other glass containers with jelly beans or other red, white and blue candy. Patriotic pinwheels are also fun decorations, and they are easy to make too! Kids can take them home as party favors. When in doubt, add more red, white and blue! This is one day of each year when we all love to see our country's colors on everything from the table decorations to our clothing.

Don't miss these 4th of July tablescape ideas >>

Handprint flag - 4th of July craftsSet up a craft table

All kids love to make crafts. Set up a crafting station at your 4th of July party where kids can make 4th of July star wands, patriotic handprint flags and American flag tissue paper wreaths. Depending on the ages of the kids invited, you can arrange to have a craft that all ages can do together, or something that teens can help younger friends assemble.

Make these patriotic 4th of July crafts for kids >>

You can also have a beading table where children can make bracelets and necklaces. Supply star and round beads in red, white and blue, along with the wires and other tools needed to make the jewelry. Young kids can string bigger beads on yarn. Keep in mind that beads can be a choking hazard. Supervise the beading projects at all times, or limit the activities to older children.

Organize a kid's parade

Why not bring the parade to your party? Your town may not have an official 4th of July parade, but that doesn't mean you will miss out. Have kids bring their bicycles, tricycles, wagons and scooters to your party and put them to work! Provide streamers, paper, markers, balloons and anything else kids may need to deck out their "ride" in the colors of Old Glory. Older kids can help younger kids. When the parade is ready, clear the way and cheer them on!

Play outdoor games

Let's face it — it's July and it's hot! When hosting an outdoor party, plan water games for kids, break out the Slip 'N Slide and fill up some water balloons. Kids of all ages enjoy getting wet and having fun in the summer sun. Check out these 4th of July games for kids, including a watermelon seed spitting contest that adults will love too!

4th of July layered drinksCelebrate the 50 states

Halloween isn't the only holiday for costumes. You can add a little fun to your 4th of July party by making it a 50 states theme. Ask your guest to dress up (or at least act) like someone from a different state. If you're having a potluck, you can have each guest pick a state and then bring a dish or food that the particular state is known for (i.e., Hawaii brings pineapple, Nebraska brings corn, etc.).

Make these red, white and blue summer layered drinks >>

Let everyone pitch in

Putting on a 4th of July party doesn't mean you have to do everything. Ask your guests to bring side dishes and drinks, while you provide the hamburgers, hot dogs and anything else you want on the grill. You can request traditional sides like potato salad or Jello mold, but encourage your guests to bring something that reminds them of their family traditions. You may find a new tradition of your own!

Serve patriotic desserts

Grilling is great — but don't forget the desserts! Here are some red, white and blue dessert ideas that are perfect for 4th of July:

Whether you are having five guests or 50, try to relax and enjoy yourself at your 4th of July party!

More about 4th of July

Teaching your kids about Independence Day
4th of July safety tips
4th of July activities for families

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