For me, the best part of our Fourth of July celebration is the fireworks. There’s something so magical and nostalgic about waiting until it’s dark enough for the fireworks show to begin and then watching the beautiful display of lights burst to life. And now that I’m a parent, sharing it with my children makes it all the more special. However, my kids have a slightly different idea of what the best parts of our Independence Day activities include, and the things that top their list are the food and being in the parade on their bikes!
While it was tempting to celebrate their love of the festive food with a float that Oscar Meyer would be proud of, I decided to go in a slightly different direction for this DIY Fourth of July parade wagon. This year will be our toddler’s first Fourth of July bike parade, and I can’t let the fact that he isn’t ready for a bike hold him back! So I decided to deck out his wagon in style for the kids’ favorite activity—the parade—with mom’s favorite activity as the inspiration—fireworks! With these simple and fun inexpensive firework balloons, your little one’s ride will be parade perfect!
Materials: twist balloons, balloon sticks, balloon pump, thin pool noodle, scissors
Start with the twist balloons, balloon sticks and balloon pump. I purchased all of these at my local Walmart for under $10.
Inflate your first balloon with the balloon pump. Leave about an inch at the end uninflated. Twist the balloon about a third of the way in (vary the position of the twist for each balloon).
Once you have two balloons twisted, cross them at the twists and then twist them together. Twist several times until they stay put when released. Repeat with five twist balloons per firework.
Once all five balloons are twisted together, take your balloon stick and weave it into the center of the balloons, working the twisted parts of the balloons into the notches.
Now you have a balloon firework on a stick! Repeat this process for each color until you have as many firework balloons as you want.
To attach your fireworks to your wagon, you will need a thin pool noodle. I purchased mine for less than a dollar, also at Walmart.
Use scissors to cut a slit on both sides of the pool noodle deep enough to allow it to slide over the edge of your wagon.
The slits will then slide over the sides of your wagon. If your wagon doesn’t have sideboards like mine, just slip it down over the wagon itself and secure with duct tape if needed.
Once you’ve cut and attached both sides of the pool noodle, you will have an arch over your wagon! And your “parade float” is ready to decorate!
Using your scissors, puncture a small hole in the pool noodle where you want to attach the first of your balloon fireworks.
Slide the stick into the hole you created. Keep the hole small as it will stretch and you don’t want it to be too loose to hold the stick.
Now you have a firework bursting over your wagon! Repeat these steps to attach all your balloon fireworks.
Check out those “bombs bursting in air” above your wagon! This DIY Fourth of July parade wagon is sure to delight kids and adults alike.
Now you can continue to deck out your wagon as you see fit. I kept mine simple and added some American flags. I can’t wait to take my little guy out for a ride in his Fourth of July parade wagon. Maybe I’ll try my hand at a firework balloon hat for him too! “‘Cause baby you’re a firework!” Have a happy Independence Day, everyone!