Amongst the patriotic American holidays, the Fourth of July is king. When it is your turn to organize a backyard barbecue for friends and family, do not forget the kids. Plan ahead of time, and have patriotic games and activities ready for children who attend. Keep the children's ages in mind when making your party plans.
Capture the Flag
This racing game requires two sand pails, miniature American flags and some clean play sand. Before your guests arrive, put sand in each bucket and then stick in an equal number of flags. This game is ideal for backyard play. Divide the children into two equal teams. Someone blows the whistle, and one child from each team runs to the bucket to grab a flag. Do not let kids run back, or an injury might occur. Instead, have kids walk as fast they can back to the starting line. Then, the next person in line goes to get a flag. This continues until one team gathers all the flags.
Artistic children like drawing with all sorts of mediums. Give children buckets of sidewalk chalk and plenty of space to draw on to make murals. Sidewalks, driveways and wooden fencing make good media for a patriotic sidewalk mural. Hang an American flag, and ask kids to draw a flag. They should also draw what their favorite fireworks look like. Chalk murals are easy to remove afterward; just use a water hose to remove the artwork when kids leave.
Ring Toss games do not require a ton of space, so this game is ideal for any size yard. For this game, you need plastic cones or wooden dowels and several small, plastic hoops. You should arrange your dowels in the ground so kids can toss rings over them. Alternatively, if using cones, then arrange your cones, equally spacing them out. One at a time, ask children to ring the dowels or cones with the plastic rings. To make your game more patriotic, spray paint cones or dowels bright red or blue.
Patriotic Snow Cones
Snow cones keep kids cool during hot Fourth of July parties. Before the party, set a bucket of ice and a hand-cranked ice crusher outside on a table. You should provide children with plastic cups and spoons to hold the ice, along with some flavored syrups in red, white and blue. For this activity, kids shave their own ice and add the patriotic syrups to make their own sweet dessert.