This Independence Day invite your friends over for a picnic filled with patriotic games. Here are a few traditional favorites and new ways to enjoy this summertime holiday.
1. Red, white, and blue tag
Give each competitor one token of each color. When the whistle blows, the game starts! Challenge players to be the first to gather one red, one white, and one blue token by tagging other players. This game is perfect outdoor fun for young kids.
2. Patriotic balloon pop
Put a “You win!” note inside deflated red, white, and blue balloons, then blow them up and and place them around the party area. Have party guests pop the balloons to find out if they win a prize.
3. Fourth of July bingo
Perfect for indoor or outdoor fun, print out free patriotic Bingo cards online or design your own using construction paper and stickers. Give away small prizes to winners for extra fun. Check out free printables here.
4. Independence Day costume contest
Ask guests to come dressed in their favorite patriotic attire (Hamilton, anyone?) for a costume contest. Give top prizes for patriotism and creativity.
5. Uncle Sam hat competition
Set up a card table with safety scissors, glue, star cutouts, construction paper, cotton balls, glitter and tape and have guest create their own Uncle Sam hat. After everyone is done, have a parade of Uncle Sam hats and let the party decide on the winner. Instagram bonus: Partygoers in their newly-made hats will make the perfect photo-op.
6. American history competition
Challenge guests to a little bit of history trivia. Compile facts about U.S. history and divide guests into four teams. The winners get to be the first to the dessert table! Consider including these fascinating facts about the America flag!
7. Patriotic scavenger hunt
Set up and plan your very own Americana-packed scavenger hunt. Give guests clues to search for mini versions of a Liberty Bell, Declaration of Independence, soldiers, flags, and more!
8. Fourth of July jar
Fill a large fishbowl or jar with red, white, and blue candies and challenge guests to guess how many candies are in the bowl. Put a pen, paper, and an empty basket beside the bowl and have guests place their names and guesses in the basket. The winner gets to take home the whole container of goodies.
9. Bike decorating competition
Perfect for block party fun, have kids and families decorate their bikes with an Independence Day theme: think streamers, flags, bike spoke beads, and more. Winners get year-round bragging rights!
10. Baseball game
Start up the fun with America’s favorite pastime! Get the whole crowd involved by serving hot dogs and peanuts to spectators.
11. Red, white, and blue concentration
Have everyone sit in a circle. The first person names something red, the next names something white, and the next something blue. Each time someone repeats or can’t think of anything, they’re out!
12. Capture the American flag
In this classic game, one team must capture the other team’s flag and bring it back to their territory to win. If a player is tagged by an opposing team member, you have to go to jail (a patch of the field you’re playing on). Players can only get out of jail if their own team-member tags them. Make it patriotic by making one flag blue and the other red!
13. Rocket flyer launch
Make rockets by rolling up an 8 by 12 piece of paper and then make a cone out of colored construction paper and tape it to the top. Decorate with red, white, and blue crepe paper and see who can launch theirs the farthest!
14. Water balloon dodge ball
Divide up the group into two teams and fill up some red, white, and blue water balloons. If you get hit, you’re out. The last one standing wins!
15. Pin the hat on Uncle Sam
While blindfolded, each person must try to pin the hat on Uncle Sam in this Fourth of July rendition of Pin the Tail on the Donkey.
16. Giant lawn matching game
Get 16 12×12 cork tiles and cut out different patriotic stencils. Make two identical images for each stencil and lay them all out randomly on the lawn. Have fun finding each pair of pictures
17. Patriotic ping pong
Make a ping pong table by painting the American flag onto a piece of plywood. Have fun playing a spirited game of ping pong!
18. Sponge fireworks
Gathe strips of red, white, and blue strips of sponge and tie them in the middle with a piece of string. These can act as reusable water balloons for any of water game or relay race, and they look like fireworks!
19. Cup race
Take a blue plastic cup, cut a hole in it and string it onto a piece of string or rope. Hang the rope taut between two trees or poles. Then, repeat with a red plastic cup and hang it onto a different string parallel to the first one. Use a water gun to propel each plastic cup down the string. First one to the other side wins.
20. Patriotic Pictionary or charades
Put a patriotic spin on these classic games by using your own index cards and writing famous American heroes and places.
21. Giant pick-up sticks
Everyone’s fave pick-up game gets a giant makeover when you paint inexpensive bamboo garden sticks red, white, and blue. Kids will enjoy trying to pick up one stick at a time, without touching the others. If you’ve got a long drive to your party, check out these 10 car games for kids.