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How to Make a Patriotic Busy Bucket

Keep kids occupied during July 4th Festivities

Keep kids occupied during July 4th Festivities

Summer is officially here and we are gearing up for the festivities! My kids love a good July 4th parade, but waiting for the action to start is hard. We like to set up our seats on the parade route nice and early which gives the kids plenty of time to complain about the heat, feign hunger and demand a new toy. Those over priced toy carts seem to know just how to find the kids and park themselves right in front. So this year I am going to be a little more prepared with these patriotic busy buckets.

I picked up our supplies and some additional items from the dollar store and some things we already had on hand. I made a few crafty things to put in, but really you can fill it with anything you think your kids will enjoy playing with while waiting. The key is to include things that are new to them. 

Here is what we have in our busy buckets:

A sparkly parade wand. I made ours with glitter wands we already own. We picked up the clear acrylic wands at Walmart for $1.00 a few years ago. I just tied some red, white and blue shear ribbons on to each wand. To make your own, you can use a pencil, a chopstick, a wood dowel or even a paper straw. Whatever you have on hand will work. Just tie on some ribbon and you have a colorful wand to wave during the parade.

A patriotic themed blower. This is NOT a noise maker, but a fun way to show off the colors of the holiday. It is made with a toilet paper tube, scrap book paper and crepe paper. At first the kids were disappointed it doesn't make "noise" but soon discovered they can talk through it and make their own version of noise. 

My kids insisted I also add to their buckets a small coloring book with a packet of crayons. I confess I keep the small packs of crayons given to us at restaurants. They are great to travel with. My girls also want a blow up punch ball because I never buy them one from the evil toy carts (for $15). Thank you dollar store for making their dreams come true!

I also included a pinwheel, a small American flag, a bubble wand and will add in a small snack and a bottle of water. The bucket is perfect for the kids to carry their own things while we walk through town to find the best spot. Then they can carry all their parade candy back home in it which keeps my pockets empty and my hands free. 

Last but not least, I printed a parade day scavenger hunt I found on Pinterest. This might keep my kids focused on what is coming next in the parade and engaged with what is happening around them, ya know... instead of all the complaining about being too hot or too hungry. It lists things like a patriotic pinwheel (check!), a horse, a flag, a red wagon, etc. Things normally found at a July 4th parade. 

You can bring this bucket along to backyard barbecues to keep the kids occupied, or throw in a few glow sticks and bring along for nighttime fire works. Kids will stay busy while they wait for the big show.

Instructions: Patriotic Themed Blower (Not a noise maker)

Toilet paper tube
Scrap book paper
Glue dots
Crepe paper in red and white colors

We selected glittery blue and white paper to make our blower a tad fancy. If you've read my blogs before you know I do not measure things. I just kind of wing it. So I marked the length of the paper tube, then rolled it in the glitter paper and marked where the ends met. I cut the long rectangle from the paper using scissors.

Then I stapled the edges of the paper to the tube. 

Next, I cut the crepe paper approximately 4 inches long and taped the ends to the inside of the paper tube. 

After I cut out a star shape from the white paper, I used glue dots to attach directly to the blue paper on the tube. 

Once complete you can take turns singing patriotic songs through the tube with your kids. 

What would you add to keep your kids busy?

The Whatever Mom is a full-time wife and twin mama living on coffee and wine. She enjoys the pure rush of cleaning the BIG potty between loads of laundry. It is her dream that moms everywhere accept and embrace the Whatever Mom philosophy which can be found here. You can also find her musings and popular shares on Facebook and Twitter. Stay up to date with her creative ideas and outings on Pinterest.  

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