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Summer caroling Print out the lyrics to classic American songs (“America the Beautiful,” “The Star Spangled Banner,” “You’re a Grand Old Flag”), and gather family and friends to carol around the neighborhood–or just around the barbecue. Pass out lemonade instead of hot chocolate, and make paper fans to stay cool instead of wrapping on knit scarves to stay warm!

DIY fireworks Roll out some big bubble wrap (down a long hallway or along the front walk works well) and have the whole family march in your own (loud) Independence Day parade. Give your earful of an event an extra bit of patriotism by waving little American flags (color your own beforehand) and asking everyone to share one thing they love about living in the U.S.A.

Red, white, and balloon toss Cool off with a balloon toss–in patriotic colors, of course. Fill red, white, and blue balloons with water and see how long you can throw the balloons back and forth before someone gets splashed. Too many wet clothes for you? Have kids toss water balloons into buckets: The farther away the bucket, the more points they earn (and they’ll still get the fun of the pop-splash-water spray when the balloon hits the bucket–or the ground!)

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