Saturday, May 7, 2011

July 4 Party Activities

If you’re hosting a July 4 party, chances are that it will be held outdoors. Maybe you’d like a few holiday ideas for keeping everyone entertained? This is especially important if you have kids at the event. I’ll tell you what we did for one of our big Fourth of July cookouts. We had a two-acre grassy area to work with, so all of these might not be feasible for you.

We had a lot of kids of all ages at our July 4 party, and this was before we had a swimming pool. We bought plastic wading pools and water guns and set them on the outskirts of the party area, and the kids had a blast! If you don’t want wet kids, you could fill the pools with small plastic balls or sand and sand pails. If you’re really adventurous, you could fill a wading pool with red jello!

We took bales of hay from the horse barn and made tunnels with them. All the kids loved crawling through the tunnels, and the older kids rearranged the hay bales to create rooms and caverns.

Something else the kids absolutely loved were the water balloon wars. All you need is a good supply of balloons, a water hose, and some towels. This is a great way for the kids to cool off!

We bought a cheap badminton set at the dollar store and set it up, too. We also made sure we had a good supply of Frisbees on hand.

We made a horseshoe pit and had several spirited rounds of horseshoe games. I think the men enjoyed this even more than the kids.

With all the above activities, the kids can move from station to station and play at their own pace. Little supervision or involvement is required from adults – at least, with the bigger kids.

If you prefer more organized activities, you could include some old-fashioned July 4 games:

Sack races – use pillowcases

Foot races – use age categories

3-legged races – use Velcro to join the legs together

Wheelbarrow races – the adult can be the driver and the kid can be the “wheelbarrow”

Tug o’ war – have a good mix of kids and adults on each team

To make the games even more fun, provide blue ribbons for the winners. You can find these at most dollar stores for a buck each.

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