Whether it’s a backyard barbecue, block party, camping adventure or family reunion, these crafts and activities will help keep Independence Day top of mind – and a lot of fun!


IT’S ALL ABOUT THE FLAG: This relay game requires two sand pails, some mini American flags and clean play sand. Put sand in each bucket, then stick in an equal number of flags. Divide kids into two equal teams. A kid from each team runs to grab a flag, then walks back to tag the next person. This continues until one team gathers all the flags.


ART ON DISPLAY: Give kids buckets of sidewalk chalk and plenty of space to make murals. Sidewalks, driveways and wooden fencing make good media. Ask kids to draw an American flag or fireworks. Get their creative juices flowing for the summer ahead.


GIVE IT A TOSS: This game is ideal for even small yards. You’ll need plastic cones or wooden dowels and several small, plastic hoops. Arrange the cones or dowels so kids can toss rings over them. To make your game more patriotic, spray paint cones or dowels bright red or blue.


GUESSING GAME: This is a great game for a crowd, such as a block party or family reunion. Fill a large mason jar with red, white and blue candies, and have the kids write down guesses as to how many are in the jar. The winner gets the jar as a prize.


GO GREEN: July 16 is Fresh Spinach Day! Besides being high in iron and low in calories, spinach is a great source of fiber, protein, calcium and vitamins C and A. Spinach not only helps build muscle, but also helps reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke and osteoporosis. And some believe eating spinach on a regular basis can help reduce brain damage due to natural aging! So, whip up a delicious spinach dish!

YMCA of Austin Summer Camp Registration is now open! YMCA CAMPS are a great way to keep your kids safe and active during the summer. The YMCA of Austin offers 22 Camp locations throughout Travis, Hays and Bastrop Counties for kids ages 4-14. Kinder Camp, Theme Camp, Sports Camp and Adventure Camp. Space still available! Visit AustinYMCA.org for details or call 512-236-9622 to find the locations nearest you.


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