Kid-friendly 4th of July Dessert Ideas We Pinned So You Don’t Have To

Happy Fourth! We rounded up the easiest, tastiest desserts for you and the kids to make this weekend.

The Paperless Post has deployed. The hot dogs and accompanying buns (yes, gluten-free too) are on the Whole Foods order list. The Spotify playlist? You’re basically ready to go on tour with The Chainsmokers. 

Then you remember the shorter attendees: the children. They need their own set of activities and, most importantly, interesting treats. We scoured the most creative foodies on Pinterest to find you a plethora of red-white-and-blue treats kids will love.

The Trending Treat: Tie-dye Fudge

Created by: Taste and Tell 

Stats: Vegetarian, gluten-free

Serves: 32

Adult needed? Yes. Put kids in charge of adding the color and stirring up a storm.


4th of July dessert: Tie-dye White Chocolate Fudge
Image: Taste and Tell

The One Adults Won’t Feel Embarrassed Eating: Fruity Jello Cups

Created by: The First Year

Stats: Gluten-free

Serves: Undetermined, but recipe states 1 box makes approximately 4-5 cups.

Adult needed? Yes. We suggest you make the jello and the kids make it look pretty.


Image: The First Year

The One You’ll Have Zero Guilt About if They Eat Three in a Row: Yogurt Popsicles

Created by: The View From Great Island

Stats: Vegetarian, gluten-free

Serves: 10

Adult needed? Yes, for mixing. Younger ones can have fun pouring the fruity mix in the molds. (Warning: Details-obsessed kids will get serious about making sure the stripes are even.)


4th of July yogurt popsicle dessert
Image: The View From Great Island

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If You Follow One More Account on Instagram, Make it HomeSickDotCom

Laugh, cry, snort iced matcha out of your nose while reading this collection of letters sent from disgruntled campers to their parents.

Earlier this summer, we brought you a number of articles attempting to prepare you and your kids for sleepaway camp. We talked about what sort of things to bring on the bus, we made you feel nostalgic, and we talked about the big one – homesickness – and how to prep for it.  

Camp emailed you a photo last week. Your kid is front and center. But is he smiling? Is that a forced smile? Wait, is that blood on his T-shirt? Or just ketchup? Is he eating anything EXCEPT ketchup? It still could be blood. Would it be better if it was blood? You’ve sent the photo to at least six of your friends to try to figure out the exact type of smile it is.

No matter how well you’ve prepared your kids – or yourself – even if you bought them the best bus activity, got them the It-toy of the summer, taught them everything to know about what to do when they feel down, and bought them the most awesome clothes, nothing quite prepares you for the specific emotional reaction to receiving their letters.

You know, the letters where they tell you their counselors are trying to kill them or they offer you ridiculous ultimatums if you fail to pick them up “immediately.” This Instagram account, launched by an anonymous genius, posts letters sent from campers to their parents that make us want to continuously scream “THAT’S MY KID.” 

Here are some of our favorites: 

But honestly, we could embed all of them. So give this account a follow. Because they totally, totally get you.

Summer Activities That Will Make You Look Like a Pro (But Only Take 10 Minutes to Set Up)

Kids not going to camp this year? Breathe. These summer boredom busters are fun, take no time to set up, and won’t require hours of clean-up.

From crafts to blow-up pools, hula hoop competitions to sprinkler dance routines, there are endless ideas for what to do with your completely hyper kids if they’re not away at camp this summer. But the ultimate? Finding an activity that: 1. They’ll love; and 2. Doesn’t take an entire day for you to set up and/or clean up. 

These summer-appropriate activities check all the boxes, making you look like the GOAT, when it comes to parenting. 

Paint with Sunscreen 

Turn the extra lotion on their hands into a work of art. Put some sunscreen out in a bowl alongside sheets of black construction paper. Show the kids how to use their hands, popsicle sticks or even leaves to make art on the paper. Leave the sheets out in the sun and watch their work transform. 

Paint using sunscreen this summer. Credit: curtoicurto.

Create Your Own Outdoor Movie Theater

Okay, okay, this may take longer than 10 minutes, but we swear it’s worth the effort. All you need to create an at-home outdoor movie theater is two planters, two PVC pipes, two wooden rods, a white sheet and an iron. And darkness. These easy-to-follow directions will help you achieve the ultimate summer movie night. 

Outdoor Movie Night. Credit: vgajic.

Build a Sprinkler 

Take a two-liter soda bottle and strategically poke holes in it. Attach the bottle to a garden hose with a cheap female to female adapter. Hang the bottle over a tree branch and adjust the water flow for a sprinkler party.

Sprinkler Party. Credit: RyanJLane.


Know Before You Go: 6 Family Pack Hacks to Try This Summer

Vacationing with kids calls for next-level packing strategies. These simple tricks help lighten your load.

I recently moved countries with my husband and toddler, which was no big deal, just stuffing our entire existence into two-and-a-half suitcases. It did not help that I’m an active collector of non-stretch ’90s jeans, which is possibly the least practical thing to move en masse.

My initial packing prep was pretty much just YouTube-ing people studiously folding sweaters into beautiful little postage stamps… but it became very clear we’d need a much stronger strategy to coordinate not only my belongings but those of a two-year-old and a 40-year-old – both equally incapable of sorting their own stuff, for very different reasons.

The six packing tricks I’m about to share truly turned things around for us, but they’ll work just as well for all you summer adventure-seekers too, whether you’re traveling by air, land or sea. Away we go!

Hack 1: Pack by Outfit, Not Item

Consider each day of the trip and what you’ll be doing: sightseeing, museums, dinners out, beach days… Lay out an outfit for each kid for every day (include socks, underwear or diapers, and spare bottoms if potty training), then bundle each outfit in its own mesh bag. I like the big ones designed for fruit and vegetables. The bags are GENIUS because they’re cheap, see-through for easy identification, and mesh won’t balloon like a plastic bag, taking up precious inches.

Mesh grocery bags (right) are inexpensive, eco-friendly, and take up virtually no extra space.

Hack 2: Assign Colors

Color coding is the easiest way to keep everyone straight on their belongings. Use different-colored packing cubes, or, if you’re trying Hack 1,  knot a piece of colored ribbon around the zip of each produce bag. For specific occasion outfits (say, dinner or the beach) write it on a piece of paper to stuff inside, or risk your little wiseguy trying to rock a rash guard at the restaurant.

Hack 3: Break up Your Stuff

Divide your belongings between all your cases. This hack’s kind of crucial, especially if you’ve ever had an airline lose your bag (and don’t we all know someone?). While it might look adorable for a minute, none of you want to walk around in matching hotel gift shop sweatshirts.

Hack 4: Make a Cake

Not all of us pack our most practical (read: least fancy) items for a summer holiday. In fact, as a BM (um, Busy Mom), this trip might be your one chance to bust out all your Clothes From Another Life – the slinkiest slip dresses, waftiest wide-leg jumpsuits and most unwalkable heels – for the odd child-free meal. No way those beauties are getting rolled into a tight ball and shoved in the (gasp) mesh pocket of a ladybug ride-on.

If this is you, well, we should be friends. But also, you need to get on board with what I’m calling the Layer Cake Method:

1. Fill the uneven bottom of your case with rolled-up basics: tees, scarves, socks and underwear. You could include kids’ stuff in this base layer.

2. Fold pants and jeans in half at the waistband and drape them across one half of the bottom layer, making sure the legs hang out either side of the case. You’ll need them later.

3. Add another layer of rolled clothes to keep everything even.

4. Place lightly folded outerwear on top.

5. Finally, wrap the excess pant legs over the whole package. Done!

These guys definitely wish they’d tried the Layer Cake Method.

Hack 5: Zip Up

Secure all your electronics in Ziploc bags to keep sticky, grabby fingers off. To make a makeshift TV, clip your bagged-up phone to the seat in front using the lock on your tray table. Boom. Now they can settle in for some downloaded Daniel Tiger and you can stare straight ahead into a blissful void. Or a Kindle, whatever.

Hack 6: Bring Real Food

Kids are picky in the most everyday eating situations. I really didn’t want to poke that particular bear while airborne. Short of granola bars, crackers and dried fruit, I had zip. All my ideas sounded either too snacky or plain d-r-y. But then I came across this article from The Kitchn which broke down how easy it is to pack quality, filling foods. We survived our 20-hour flight using their suggestion of wax-wrapped cheese (hello, Babybel), frozen grapes and frozen vegetarian empanadas – which act as “ice packs” until you’re ready to eat. World. Rocked.

Frozen vegetable empanadas: a fresh, filling option the kids can eat one-handed.



1. Anti-roll crayons that stay put on the tray table.

2. A roll of painter’s tape for covering outlets, softening sharp-edged furniture, and creating a decent nap zone by taping a blanket or towel over sunny windows. And this cool hack for Airbnb-ers on opening a tight jar.

3. A headphone jack splitter so the kids can share TV and tunes.

4. This supermarket steal seals off complimentary cups of juice and water handed out by the flight crew.

5. Lollipops come in handy to combat meltdowns and help with high altitude ear-popping.

We want to hear from you…

Moms don’t let moms mom alone. Share your best summer travel hacks in the comments!