8 Fun 4th of July Traditions and Activities for the Whole Family

The Fourth of July is a great holiday to spend quality family time and create traditions. Here are eight fun Fourth of July activities and traditions that are great for the whole family.

1. Craft it up
Finding unique Fourth of July craft projects is a nice way to get your kids excited for the holiday, as well as provides a way for you to teach them a little bit of history. Two fun crafts that incorporate a little history are these duct tape Uncle Sam hats or these Statue of Liberty crowns. Another great craft idea is to make a star wand… glitter optional, of course.

2. Attend a parade or other local activity
If you’re new to town or have lived there awhile, it’s fun to tap into local activities and traditions. Whether it’s a parade, car show or fireworks display, attending these events can establish lasting traditions for your family. Bonus points if you’re within walking distance to avoid parking pitfalls.

3. Make red, white and blue treats
No Fourth of July would be complete without some yummy treats. Pick a couple of family recipes and modify them with a little food coloring, or try something new. This American flag s’mores dip looks amazing, as do these sugar cookie bars.

4. Organize a patriotic neighborhood bike parade
Talk to your neighbors and organize a fun patriotic-themed bike parade. Provide red, white and blue balloons, construction paper, streamers and maybe even a little glitter, and stage a parade down your street.

5. Play Fourth of July themed games
Enjoy the day playing fun patriotic games. Try out a Fourth of July scavenger hunt and see who can spot things like a red firework or flag first. Print out patriotic bingo sheets and challenge each other to see who can get five spots covered first. First one to call out “Bingo” wins a prize!

6. Host a Fourth of July party
Light up the barbecue, set up some patriotic decorations and host a Fourth of July gathering. Whether it’s family, friends, neighbors or a combination of all three, hosting a low-key party is a good way to spend quality time with each other and allows your kids the opportunity to burn a little energy. If you’re overly ambitious, try to recruit your neighbors and host a block party filled with food, games and fireworks.

7. Play a game of pickup baseball
There’s nothing more American than baseball. Create your own Sandlot moment with a group of your favorite humans. Or, simplify it a little bit (and make it more kid-friendly) by hosting a rousing game of kickball.

8. Create your own fireworks extravaganza
Let’s be honest… if your kids are little, you’re probably going to want to have them in bed before it gets dark. So, get some sparklers and other family-friendly fireworks, and create your own show. Your kids will have just as much fun if it’s light outside, and then you can get them into bed at a decent hour.

 

What are some of your favorite Fourth of July activities and traditions?

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Meet the Dads That Founded Owlet

We’re introducing you to the amazing fathers who brought Owlet to life. But before we dive in, I want to share a few observations regarding these men. First of all, coordinating a photo shoot is not easy – especially ones involving children. These men (with the help of their amazing wives) owned every minute of it. I was impressed to see how genuine and sincere each interaction was with their children during the entire session. As the day went on, it became increasing clear to me that these men are fathers first. Their passion to help children and infants around the world starts in the home. As a father myself, I know how hard it is to maintain a work-life balance and these guys get it. I’m grateful to know each of them personally and can’t wait to see what they dream up next. – Evan Griffin, Brand Director – dad to Vienna 6, Rome 4 and London 2

 

Kurt Workman – CEO & Co-founder

Age: 28

Dad Tip: Be more patient. My biggest regret as a father has been that I wasn’t more patient with my first child. I realized parenting is tough and new for me but everything was new for my child. Literally he was doing everything for first time and I needed to see it as an opportunity to teach rather than an opportunity for me to be frustrated.

Kids: 2 (Ages 3 & 1)

Favorite Children’s Book: Llama Llama Red Pajama

 

 

Jordan Monroe – Co-founder

Age: 28

Dad Tip: Realize that your kids can teach you about being happy and how to be in the moment. It’s really easy to want to just get from point A to point B and get frustrated that your kid is not walking fast enough. Instead I try to enjoy whatever is slowing down my son. We might get detoured by a bird for 20 minutes or a puddle for 15 minutes but the reason my son wants to stay and see/play with it is because he is interested and is enjoying himself. I try to enjoy it with him and it makes me a more patient and happy dad.

Kids: 2 (Ages 2 & 10 months)

Favorite Disney Movie: Zootopia

 

Zach Bomsta – CTO & Co-founder

Age: 29

Dad Tip: Be sure to find time each day to truly be in the moment with your children and not just physically present. This is harder than it sounds when you have so many things competing for your attention. Email, deadlines, notifications; they can all wait.  Spend quality time with your kids.

Kids: 2 (Ages 4 & 2)

Favorite Snack Time Treat: Oreos

 

Jacob Colvin – International & Co-founder

Age: 33

Dad Tip: Give your kids your best time. It will be tempting or most convenient to give them whatever you have left at the end of the day but that isn’t fair to them. I ask myself, “How do I want my kids remember me?” The answer never is tired, exhausted and stressed with work. Find the time of the day where you can be the type of dad your kids deserve.

Kids: 3 (Ages 8, 6 & 7 months)

Favorite Playtime Activity: Science experiments, building forts and singing silly songs.

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THE BEST 2017 Mother’s Day Gift Guide

It’s been a long 365 days since last Mother’s Day, and moms everywhere are ready for their annual day of appreciation and celebration. And they definitely deserve it for putting in those long hours, working weekends and holidays, with often little or no appreciation for the unpleasant tasks they tackle. Moms are irreplaceable and deserve all the praise and gratitude in the world, so here is a list of 10 of the best gifts you can give to show the moms in your life just how valuable they are to you.

1. Towel warmer

Add a little bit of luxury to mom’s everyday routine by gifting her a towel warmer. They aren’t very expensive and many models are low-profile enough to go anywhere in the bathroom, even hung on the wall. Here’s a stylish towel warmer on Amazon for right around $50.

2. Inverted umbrella

This amazing invention makes such a practical gift for mom, especially for the mom who lives in a rainy climate. Easily close the umbrella in the car without getting the interior soaking wet, and that C-shaped handle means both hands are free while holding the umbrella. It just makes sense. As a lover of practical gifts, I would love getting one of these for Mother’s Day. Here’s a link to buy one.

3. Silicone any-shape cake mold

For the mom who loves baking, this cake mold that can be made into any shape is the perfect gift. Made of BPA-free, dishwasher-safe silicone, mom can ditch her hoard of various-shaped cake pans and just keep this one on hand. I would recommend buying two sets (each set comes with 4 pieces, so she can make more and larger shapes and creations). You can get these at Walmart here.

4. Blue Apron Subscription

And for the mom who doesn’t love baking as much, meal delivery subscription services were made for her. The ingredients and instructions are sent right to her door, no shopping or researching required. All ingredient amounts are already measured and simply need to be combined and baked. This makes life so much easier for the busy mom who prefers home-cooked meals but doesn’t have a lot of time to plan and shop for them. You can buy mom a subscription here.

5. Sleep

It’s pretty safe to make the general blanket statement that moms are tired. Most moms you know are tired. Their kids might not go to bed easily, and/or might not sleep through the night, and/or might wake up before the sun comes up, and/or might refuse to take naps. (This isn’t to say Dads aren’t tired too, but we can save the sleep he deserves for Father’s Day). So give mom the gift of sleep this year by getting the kids ready for bed yourself, letting her sleep in in the morning, or taking the kids out so she can have a nap. Make it even more special by buying her a new sleep mask, soft blanket, or luxury pillow.

6. Owlet Baby Monitor

Along the lines of more sleep, give her the gift of more peaceful sleep every night by giving her an Owlet Baby Monitor.  With the app giving her a peek into her baby’s heart rate and oxygen levels, she can rest peacefully knowing the Owlet Baby Monitor is giving her an extra set of eyes to help watch over her baby while she sleeps, and is designed to notify if baby’s levels fall out of the pre-set range. With the Owlet Monitor you actually can buy a better night’s sleep. Click this link to get one now.

7. Travel voucher

Mom deserves a vacation, don’t you agree? But she probably would prefer going over dates, finances, and details with you before booking, which can make surprising her with a vacation kind of tricky. Instead of booking it for her or ruining the surprise, get her a gift card to an airline or a hotel that she can then redeem on the best terms for her schedule. This way the vacation will actually happen rather than just be talked about.

8. Beach gear (and a trip to go with it)

To extend the above idea, if you know the mom in your life has been itching to get to the beach, you can get her some useful beach gear to give her a leg up on the preparations. A big canopy tent, new beach chairs, a wagon to haul kids and gear, large beach towels or blankets, a new cooler, or even new sunglasses and a sunhat are all great ideas mom would love. If you live near a beach, like within a close driving distance or you can swing a quick flight, book a hotel at the beach for an upcoming weekend and make the arrangements (if you’re confident they’ll work with her schedule).

9. New purse or diaper bag

The odds are pretty good that mom’s diaper bag is gross. Maybe not on the outside, but cracker crumbs, loose tissues, spilled change, wrappers, toys, broken jewelry, papers from appointments, etc. have all found a home on the bottom of her bag, and cleaning out that bag is usually not high on the very long list to-do list. A second bag would be a much-appreciated gift. One that she can designate for non-kid outings or that she can simply use for a fresh start. Here’s a super cute functional bag from Target she would love.

10. Qalo Silicone Wedding Band

No more losing her wedding ring outside, or down the drain, or somewhere in the bedroom when it falls off the dresser. This new silicone wedding ring trend is incredible, and such a lifesaver for those with jobs that get their hands dirty or could damage their expensive wedding rings. These silicone bands are sleek, so much so that you hardly notice you’re wearing it, inexpensive, don’t slide off, and won’t get damaged. You can wash them easily, buy different colors to complement your outfits or match each other – they are really so versatile and functional. Keep mom’s cherished expensive wedding ring safe by buying her a Qalo silicone wedding band.

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Valentine’s Day-Inspired Names for your Baby

Choosing a baby name is difficult, and always seems to be inspired by the people we know, events going on in the world, famous celebrities, and special geographical locations (either for good or bad). As you and your partner navigate the waters of naming your baby, read this list of names inspired by love stories, songs, and legends that will hopefully keep your brainstorming peaceful and productive.

Boys:

Lennan: We’re not talking about John Lennon. This is an Gaelic/Irish name that means ‘lover’.

Thaddeus: or Thad for short, this masculine Aramaic name means ‘heart’.

Darrell: The meaning of Darrel is ‘beloved’. It was one of the beach boy names in the 1960s. It is an evergreen choice for traditional parents.

Davis: Davis is derived from the name David, and means “beloved” in Hebrew.Watch Full Movie Online Streaming Online and Download

Noah:  Noah and Allie from the novel and then movie, “The Notebook” is a classic love story beloved by all.

Heath: The shortened version of Heathcliff from the classic love story Wuthering heights is a strong name for a boy.

Anthony: This name is inspired by ‘Antony,’ derived from the tragic love story of Mark Antony and Cleopatra.

Rhett: Another strong and timeless name from the famous love story Gone with the Wind.

Tristan: Tristan was the lover of Iseult from the romantic Celtic legend dating back to the 12th century, when the story was retold by French medieval poetry and since retold numerous times.

Jay: Such a simple, sophisticated name inspired by Jay Gatsby from the tragic love story, The Great Gatsby.

Girls:

Vida: The name Vida is an elegant, lovely name of Scottish descent, and means ‘beloved.’

Annie: If you’re a lover of the classic “chick flicks,” you’ll love the name Annie, from Sleepless in Seattle.

Karenina: This beautifully underrated name is inspired by the classic love novel Anna Karenina. The name can be shortened to Kara, Karen, or Nina, all adorable names for a girl.

Scarlett: Another beautiful name inspired by one of the most famous love stories of all time, Gone with the Wind.

Rose: A romantic name that can be shortened to Rosie or extended to ‘Rosette,’ ‘Rosemary,’ or any other variation.

Milada: Milada is a Slavic name that means ‘love.’ It’s unique and romantic, and can be shortened to ‘Mila’ if desired.

Priya: This name is beautifully pronounced PREE-AH, and is a common Indian name meaning ‘beloved.

Amara: This name comes from the Igbo language in Nigeria, and means ‘grace.’ It could also be derivative of the name ‘Amora,’ which is Spanish for ‘love.’

Mina: This name is popular among many cultures, and means ‘love’ in several of them as well. For a universally-accepted name that means ‘love,’ Mina is the way to go.

Juliet: Some people prefer to spell this name ‘Juliette,’ but either way, the name is symbolic of the classic, tragic tale of Romeo and Juliet.

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