4th of July Festivities

So, here is the download from our 4th of July neighborhood party. We have a fab neighbor who has a degree in recreational something and is a professional when it comes to organizing group events. She agreed to again coordinate a 4th of July family bash for our street. We followed the same basic format as last year and here are a few highlights. In case you are new to TheRoomMom’s world, you can read about last year here.

bike parade

The Parade, The Games, and the Prizes

  • Each family decorates bikes, scooters, wagons… This is the kick off to the party. Any participants ride up and down the street a few times to the cheers and shouts of the bystanders.
  • Following the parade, we are teamed up and compete in a sack race, dizzy bat race, egg carry, and other classic relay races.
  • Prizes for the winners awarded after dinner. I made this year’s “medals” with Mardi Gras beads, jewelry clips, and silver posterboard with a printed message glued to the top. They are not as nice as the Dollar Store trophies from last year, but I was under a time crunch.
  • After the races ended, a few adults wrote in silly award names like “Best Competitor”, “Most Confident Egg Carrier”, or “Best Spinner”.

DIY party awards

The Food and Drinks

  • There was lots of grilled meat and tasty (but bad for you) party food. One person did contribute a fresh fruit salad, but we mostly ate things with melted cheese in them.

pizza dip

  • I baked a pizza dip, which is a party dip that works for any occasion, any age, and any time of year. Click for the 4th of July Recipes 2013.

summer cocktail

  • I also concocted a blue drink for the adults. Be careful because it does look like Gatorade. I wanted to make the cherry margaritas for the crowd, but it takes time to pit all of those cherries, so I tinkered with the recipe for this blue drink and created the Dizzy Eagle (name is not finalized– please send suggestions if you have them). Click for the 4th of July Recipes 2013.

cake walk

The Cake Walk

  • This is everyone’s favorite event. Each family donates a sweet treat or two. Kids stand on a numbered square. An adult plays music. When the music stops, the child stops on a square. Our organizer draws a number. The child standing on the matching number gets to pick a treat from the table.
  • You can let adults play too, but we have it worked out so all kids win one item.

oreo truffle finished

  • This year I boxed Oreo Truffles. I had trouble melting my white chocolate, so they did not look as professional as I would like. The taste, however, was not compromised. Click for the 4th of July Recipes 2013.

paper plate masks

The Craft

  • Jackie knows how to cut a large white paper plate into 3 masks from a former job as a camp director. She cut an oval (football shape) from the center of the paper plate. The resulting 3 pieces are the 3 mask shapes. Then, two eyes are cut in the center of each shape. You can also do the football shape in the top half of the plate and create 2 masks from one paper plate.

DIY paper plate masks ribbons

  • I took over after Jackie cut the masks. I found red bamboo skewer sticks in the 4th of July section at Hobby Lobby. Using a piece each of red, white, and blue curly ribbon, I tied them together around the end of a stick in a knot. I hot glued the stick at the point where the ribbon knot is to the back edge of each mask. Once the glue cooled, I curled the ribbon.

paper plate mask finished

  • We had a table at the party with Elmer’s glue, glitter, sparkly stars, and markers. Kids could walk up and decorate a mask.
  • We set a big disposable roasting pan on the table with the glitter jars inside. Kids set the mask in the pan to glitter. It made clean up very easy.
  • FYI– this would be a great craft for Halloween parties and school celebrations.

How do you celebrate the 4th of July? Jackie was exhausted, and this may have been the last time she will be organizing a neighborhood event of this scale. Do you have any suggestions I can bring to her for consideration?

American Girl Sweet Shop

American Girl Sweet Shop w Doll

It started out innocently enough. Miss Priss needed (wanted?) a shelf to hold all of the American Girl doll food we made at Christmas, so her doll restaurant would seem more authentic. I found a Recollections “Embellishment Organizer” for 50% off at Michael’s (A LOT of assembly required). It really looked like a display at a bakery. Crafty obsessive idea brain immediately took over. Hadn’t Sewing Sister made miniature cakes out of plastic bottle tops? If I just picked up a few supplies, I bet I could make cakes. Did we really have enough American Girl doll food from Round One to fill the display? Perhaps not. And so, food production began again.

American Girl Sweet Shop

Wedding Cakes

  • Locate any and all plastic bottle caps. I used caps from anything I could get my hands on like water bottles, milk bottles, vitamin jars, juice bottles, and soda bottles. The more size variety you have, the better.
  • White plastic caps work the best, but I did use acrylic paint for the pale pink and pale blue cakes. It took about 3 coats of paint. If you have white bottle caps, no painting is required.

American Girl 2 Wedding Cakes

  • I like 3 stacked bottle caps the best. Stack them in graduating sizes. Run a bead of hot glue around the edge of a bottle cap and press it onto the center of the top of the bottle cap that goes beneath. Repeat for all layers.

American Girl Wedding Cake

  • Add decoration with the hot glue gun. I used satin flowers, 3-D flower stickers, thin lacy ribbon, and strings of mini pearls.

American Girl Wedding Cakes

Cupcakes

  • Collect twist off toothpaste caps. Thankfully, I had a stash of travel toothpaste tubes from the children’s last dental visit. My kids never put the lid back on the toothpaste tube anyway, so I did not think it mattered if I took the caps.

American Girl Cupcakes and Milkshakes

  • Drop a blob of hot glue into the bottom of a toothpaste cap. Squish one 3/4″ pom pom into the cap.
  • Smear a little Elmer’s glue around the top of the pom pom and sprinkle seed beads on the top.
  • Add a mini 5 mm pom pom if desired.

American Girl Cupcakes

Milkshakes

  • Taller, clear caps work the best for the milkshakes. The clear caps that cover the top of non-aerosol bug spray or suntan lotion are perfect. I also used small, clear bead jars.
  • Cut a straw to the needed length to stand in the milkshake cup. Run a small bead of hot glue on the edge of the inside of the cup and attach the straw.
  • Put a blob of hot glue at the bottom of the cup and press one 3/4″ pom pom to the bottom. Add a blob of hot glue to the top of the pom pom and press another pom on top. Try to avoid getting any hot glue on the edge of the cup because it looks smeary from the outside. Repeat one more time with a third pom pom.

American Girl Milkshakes

  • Smear a little Elmer’s glue around the top of the pom pom and sprinkle seed beads on the top. I used rainbow nonpareils sprinkles on a few of the milkshakes too.
  • Add a mini 5 mm pom pom if desired.

Donuts

  • Put a spoonful of powdered sugar in a small Ziploc bag. Add Cheerios and shake.
  • Put a spoonful of cinnamon in a small Ziploc bag. Add Cheerios and shake.
  • Remove Cheerios from the bags. You may need to brush excess cinnamon and powdered sugar from the Cheerio.

American Girl Donuts

Oreos

  • Using a round hole puncher, punch a ton of black and white circles from foam sheet.
  • With glue dots, build Oreo cookies. 2 black circles on the outside, one white circle in the center.

American Girl Oreo Cookies

Pies, Cookie Tray, Sponge Cake, and Petits Fours

American Girl Cakes and Pies

Materials

  • Plastic bottle caps, any and all sizes
  • strings of mini pearls, thin white lacy ribbon
  • mini 3-D flower stickers
  • mini satin flowers
  • hot glue gun
  • acrylic paint (pale colors)
  • 3/4″ pom poms
  • 5 mm pom poms
  • seed beads (variety of colors)
  • rainbow sprinkles (optional)
  • black and white foam sheets
  • glue dots
  • Cheerios, powdered sugar, cinnamon
  • small mirrors, mini Altiod tins, flat wood shapes (to use as serving trays)

American Girl Pink Wedding Cake

I have put the bakery display in Miss Priss’ room, although, I am not entirely comfortable with her actually playing with the doll food. It looked so perfect for a few short hours sitting on the shelf, untouched by little hands.

American Girl Set Up

This is how Miss Priss has it set up in her room.