With the Fourth of July right around the corner, I’ve been thinking about all of the fun and exciting activities that tend to take place around this time of year. Cookouts, barbecues, pool parties, fireworks, and the list goes on and on! While these events are always fun for grownups and older kids, it can be a little tricky keeping a toddler entertained and not overwhelmed with all of the things going on.
One thing we do every year for Independence Day is celebrate with good food and fireworks at our church’s annual 4th of July celebration. My husband is usually one of the men in charge of setting up and detonating the fireworks (which freaks me out a little,) but everyone always has a fabulous time and the fireworks and sparklers are a huge hit with the kids. However, my 1 year old has never been around fireworks and sparklers, and I’m honestly not too pumped about her being near them. So the wheels started turning in my head trying to find a fun alternative for her that would allow her to enjoy the festivities along with everyone else without involving, ya know, explosives. 🙂
That’s when I got the idea for these really fun and festive patriotic ribbon wands! I know that once my daughter sees the other kids with sparklers, it’ll be like a moth to a flame with her. She’s always been so curious about everything, and I can just imagine her wanting to reach out and touch all of the pretty lights coming from the sparklers. Sounds terrifying, right?
Hopefully she’ll have a blast running around and waving her pretty ribbon wand and not want a sparkler. I could be totally wrong about that, but at least I’ll feel MUCH better about the situation. Plus, they’re just too cute! I’ve seen people use ribbon wands at wedding receptions, pep rallies, and all sorts of different events. You can really get creative with the color combinations and ribbon selections, and they’re really inexpensive to make.
Here’s what you’ll need to make them:
I first cut a 3/8 inch dowel rod down into two smaller pieces using a hand saw. I opted to sand the edges down a little bit to that they weren’t too rough. I then spray painted the rod with white paint. I did a really light coat, and I didn’t worry too much about the paint being perfect. They were completely dry in about 10 minutes thanks to this crazy Alabama heat!
I picked several different widths and textures of ribbon to give it some extra contrast. I cut each ribbon into 24 inch pieces. Once all of the ribbon was cut, I gathered all of the ribbon and tied it in a single knot right in the middle.
I selected one of the ribbons to glue around the rod for added decoration. I glued one end to the very top and wrapped it around like a candy cane. I put a dab of glue here and there along the way to prevent the ribbon from moving around. I then put a large dab of glue on the big knot I tied in the ribbon and stuck it to the top of the rod. The glue should only take a minute or so to completely dry.
I think they turned out SO cute! They took less than 20 minutes to make, which was also a huge plus. My daughter loved them from the moment she first laid eyes on them. We took them outside to play yesterday and she had the best time waving them all around!
What are some fun activities that you and your family like to do for the 4th of July? Do you have any tips on keeping kids safe when near fireworks? Maybe you have another fun alternative to fireworks that toddlers would enjoy? If so, leave a comment below!