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Fireworks-free Fourth of July ideas for kids

HOUSTON – If you've got small children or if fireworks are not allowed where you live, you may be looking for some alternatives for your family festivities this Independence Day.

You can light up the night with glow sticks from the dollar store in new, fun ways that will wow your kids.

1. For night time festivities, drop glow sticks inside balloons before you blow them up. Then scatter them outside.

2. Incorporate glow sticks into treats. If you insert a glow stick into the paper cone that holds cotton candy together, it makes a magical glow!

3. Put some glow sticks inside empty water bottles for glow in the dark bowling.

4. Make circles with glow sticks. And use those water bottles for a game of night time ring toss.

5. Before the sun sets, keep cool with a frozen t-shirt race.This one takes some prep work. Soak enough t-shirts for each player with water. Squeeze out the excess water; and freeze the shirts with wax paper in between them.When you're ready to play, hand out the frozen stiff shirts. The first player to get theirs on wins!

6. Make water balloon pinatas. You can hang them from just about anywhere outside; and let the kids knock them down.