While you don't necessarily need games, having one or two planned will keep kids entertained during your party. Parents appreciate your efforts at keeping their little ones busy and happy, so they can enjoy the festivities — and some adult conversation.
Judy Woodward Bates' family always does a big celebration for July 4th, since there are two family birthdays that day. One of their standard games for kids is an independence-themed scavenger hunt. "Pair the younger kids with older kids and make the hunt patriotically themed. Have questions like, 'An old fable says that George Washington chopped one of these down. While this one's still standing, you'll find your next clue sitting at the bottom of it,'" says Bates. Teenagers can even prepare this game on their own, coming up with the questions and hiding them.
You can also have the children organize and perform their own play about Independence Day or the Declaration of Independence. Have a costume box on hand to help with their creativity. Give them some time to come up with their ideas and practice their show, then prepare for showtime after dessert.
Another option is to set up a beading station where kids can make bracelets and necklaces with a selection of red, white and blue beads, star beads and whatever else tickles your fancy. Have the adults take turns manning the station to assist kids with their creations. If the parents don't mind — and if there are no local laws against them — you can also light sparklers with the kids. However, it's very important that you explain safety rules before lighting them, and have adult supervision at all times while enjoying sparklers.
Party favors for 4th of July are a cinch. You will need lots of small American flags, some glow-in-the-dark bracelets or necklaces and maybe some lollipops. You could also hand out red, white and silver bead necklaces. Anything patriotic makes a great 4th of July party favor, so use your imagination!
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