Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Fourth of July sparklers (minus the sparks)

When we are far from home, holidays are the hardest for me.  Any other day, I say to myself, "what a great adventure we are having in Ethiopia" (OK-not EVERY other day but lots of days I do).  On holidays I miss America, family and friends the most.  Last year on the Fourth of July we were teaching the girls to wave sparklers, having a cookout with our dear friends and taking Addie to an awesome community fireworks show.

We won't be doing any of those things this year.  It's rainy season, although the sun peaks out mid-day to warm us, most of the day (and night) is chilly and rainy.  This won't deter us from celebrating America's Independence Day!  No way no how!

Addie and I made homemade paper sparklers in red white and blue.  I had to explain to her why we chose those colors, which means she is in desperate need of a U.S. social studies lesson.  As we were making these I had to laugh because she asked "But, where do we put the fire?".  These are strictly firel-less sparklers, which I think bummed her out a bit.  

If you are going to be waving real sparklers around today with your kids-good for you!  I wish we were too.  For those of us outside of America we have to get creative.  This is a simple craft that your kids can do with your help!

Stuff you will need:
empty paper towel roll cut in two (or two empty toilet paper rolls)
red white and blue paper

I happened to have Christmas wrapping paper that is shiny and red on one side with white on the other that was perfect for this craft.  Look around your house for supplies.  We just used what we could find.
Cut long wide strips of all sorts of lengths from the paper.  Fold the long strips in half and cut down the non-folded edge until you get close to the bottom.  Keep cutting thin strips.

Wrap the shaggy cut paper around the end of your cardboard roll and tape it in place.  Repeat for the other side of your cardboard roll.

We used blue curling ribbon to add some pizzaz to the sparkler.  I taped curled pieces to the inside of the end of the roll so they'd hang out.  A contrasting color is nice.  It looks like a firework!
Cut a piece of construction paper in half and measure it for the middle length of your sparkler.  Roll your sparkler in the paper so the middle looks nice.  Tape it on tightly.

For finishing touches we added a small piece of ribbon to clean up the ends of the cardboard roll next to the sparkler ends.
 They are ready to shake and celebrate! Happy Fourth of July!

P.S. Hardship Homemaking is a neat collaborative blog that includes tips, recipes, advice to make life overseas in tough locations easier.  They're including me as a guest blogger for a series using some of my recipes and ideas! Isn't that cool?  Go check it out.  This week they're using my post about homemade hamburger buns.  Which reminds me that I need to go make a batch for our cheeseburgers today!


Emily said...

Those are AWESOME! Iyou are so creative!

Daniela Swider said...

Fun, fun, fun!!!

Heather P. said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Just US said...

Those are such a great idea!! I love your creativity!! Happy late 4th of July!

Lynne said...

I wish I'd seen this on the 4th! We happen to have 2 empty paper towel rolls and a ton of construction paper, can't wait to try this with the kids.

(and thanks for the HH shout out. The more I read your blog the more I want to repost every other entry)