The Fourth of July is not only a wonderful time to honor our country, but it's also a prime opportunity to bond with family and friends outdoors. Take advantage of this spirited day and the summer sun by incorporating one of our fun ideas for Fourth of July races, contests, and activities.
- Potato Sack Race: Bring back the classic potato sack race for your Fourth of July celebration. All you'll need is a handful of bags (even garbage bags will work) and a group of people. Line up the bagged participants and send them hopping and laughing toward the finish line.
Editor's Tip: Choose festive bags, such as red, white, and blue garbage bags, or decorate your own potato sacks with the image of the flag or the Statue of Liberty.
- Abraham Lincoln Spoon Race: We named this Fourth of July game for one of our nation's founding fathers, and it's sure to be a hit. Divide the kids into two teams and designate a starting point and finish line. At the starting point, place a bowl of pennies and two spoons or ladles (one for each team); at the finish line, place two empty bowls (one for each team). One at a time one person from each team must fill the spoon with as many pennies as possible and then race to the finish line to discard them into the team bowl. Here's the catch: any dropped pennies must be picked up and returned to the spoon, and the player must return to the starting point. The first team to transfer all the pennies to the bowl at the finish line wins.
- Flag Relay: Fill two large plastic buckets or bins with sand and insert small American flags. Use the same number of flags as participants. Designate a starting point and a finish line, placing the buckets at the finish line. Split the kids into two teams and have them form two lines at the starting point. On your "Go," the first person in each line races to the bucket, grabs a flag, and marches back (for safety reasons, don't allow children to run with the flags). The next person in line cannot go until the previous person has returned with his or her flag. The first team to capture all of its flags wins.
- Hula-Hoop Contest: Grab some Hula-Hoops and a few wiggly participants to get the contest started. The person who can continue to hula the longest wins.
- Baseball-Throwing Contest: Incorporate America's favorite pastime in your 4th of July celebration. The person who can throw a baseball the farthest wins. This game is best played at a park with an adult marking the distance each time.
- Tug-of-War Contest: Create two teams to tug on opposing sides of a rope. Make three knots in the middle of the rope and a line on the ground between the teams. The team who tugs the furthest knot across the line wins.
- Fly a Kite: Let your patriotic spirit fly high into the sky this July Fourth. Make and decorate kites as a family and fly them in the backyard or at a park.
- Baseball: Baseball is widely considered the all-American sport, which makes it a perfect Fourth of July game. Designate team captains and mark bases with bags of sand or painted twigs.
- Patriotic Scavenger Hunt: For a festive and fun July Fourth game, send players on a scavenger hunt around the neighborhood. Include patriotic items on the list, such as red, white, and blue items; a nickel, in honor of Thomas Jefferson, who drafted the Declaration of Independence; and mini American flags.