Crazy Hat 4th of July Party

About:

If you’re thinking of hosting your own Independence Day party this year, consider having a crazy hat contest. The one rule should be that the guy lighting the fireworks in the driveway shouldn’t wear his hat on duty or is excused from the game. Tell the relatives and friends to come with crazy hats for the competition.

You can also have the children make their own hats as a craft. You would need to buy as many blank hats as there are children between the ages of 2-13. The teenagers probably won’t want to do the craft. You would need fabric markers and some other designing materials such as glue, glitter, and feathers. You can also substitute an actual hat for a paper plate. You would just need to use a single hole puncher to create the holes to thread the ribbon through before the party. You can then give the kids regular markers, glue, pom pom’s, pipe cleaners, feathers, etc. to make their hats.

You should also consider breaking up the contest into different leagues. For example, you can have a kid league and an adult league. Anyone over the age of 14 should be in the adult league.

Materials Needed:

  1. prizes for the hat contest

Sample Prizes:

  1. Most Patriotic Hat Award
  2. Second Most  Hat Award
  3. Best Hat Award
  4. Runner Up Hat Award
  5. Most Original Hat Award
  6. Uncle Sam Approved Hat Award
  7. Coolest Hat Award
  8. Flashiest Hat Award
  9. Coolest Headband-based Hat Award
  10. Cutest Hat Award
  11. Most Likely to be Seen From Space Hat Award
  12. Most Likely to be in a Parade After this Party Hat Award
  13. Most Likely to Forget their Hat Award
  14. Most Likely to Lose their Hat Award

Pool Float Races

About:

Cool pool floats are everywhere! They’re at Urban Outfitters, Target, Kohl’s, and are all over instagram. You finally caved and bought one (or are maybe thinking of buying one). Now what? Well, why not have a whacky relay race? This game will be fun for all ages whether at a 4th of July party or for your child’s 7th birthday party.

Ideas Based on Popular Pool Floats (with links through Amazon.com):

  1. Mermaid races (2 mermaid pool floats)
  2. The 4th of July (1 American flag pool float and one either red or Union Jack pool float)
  3. Battle of the Swans (1 black swan pool float and 1 white swan pool float)
  4. Unicorn races (2 unicorn pool floats)
  5. Candy races (1 piece of candy float and another piece of candy float)

Materials Needed:

  • 2 pool floats
  • 1 pool
  • At least 1 responsible adult

Instructions:

Split the party up into 2 groups. Each group will be assigned to a pool float. The kids will race to get their pool float from one side of the pool to the other. When one member finishes a lap, the next member of the team can jump on the pool float (which may be more or less difficult), and try to make it over to the other side of the pool and back before the other kid does. Keep going until one group has had all of its team members do a lap. The team that gets all of its players to return faster than the other team will win.

Wrapping Paper Fashion Show

About:

We’ve all tried to save the wrapping paper from Christmas at some point. It’s too pretty to simply throw away, but we don’t always wrap up next year’s presents in the same paper, do we?

A better use of the paper is to simply entertain the kids once they become bored of their presents. You just need to save the wrapping paper from opened presents on Christmas day for this activity. The wrapping paper fashion show should entertain the kids for 45 minutes to a full hour. However, this game is so fun that even the grown up’s will want to play.

Materials Needed:

  1. left over wrapping paper and bows
  2. scotch tape and/or masking tape
  3. enough scissors for everyone

Instructions:

Store all of the leftover Christmas wrapping paper and bows together so that you can easily pull them out when it’s time to play the game.

First of all, the family should decide who is judging. One person can judge or you can have a judge panel. If you have enough people, break the participants up into equal sized groups. Perhaps you can even have a family vs. family contest. The Christmas fashionistas must then decide who the model should be. If the boys in the household seem reluctant to play because the game has the word “fashion” in it, then you should remind them that fashion is just clothes you wear. Having a santa clause and reindeer dotted ninja turtle costume is just as much of a fashion statement as wearing a fancy, sledding penguin dress.

Each team should be given tape, a piece of paper of sketch on, and a pair of scissors. Try to evenly divide up the wrapping paper and bows between the teams. If you can’t, them just make it a free for all. Don’t allow any other materials than what’s been given. Each team has a limited amount of time to come up with an idea and make it. Give them 30-45 minutes.

Once the players have broken up into teams, they should choose one person to be the model. This game is not puppy friendly and the family cat would not like to be the kids’ model. Once time is up, have every one meet in the judging room where they can show off and explain their creations. The judges can have numerous categories of which to judge from. For example the can award the titles of cutest, coolest, Project Runway worthy, what I want for Christmas next year, most creative, etc.

Just don’t forget to take pictures!

Crazy Christmas Hat Party

About:

Everyone has ugly Christmas sweater parties nowadays. If you want something different and exciting, you should try having a crazy Christmas hat party! Just tell everyone to wear the craziest holiday hat that they can find. There are some pretty crazy options out there. This activity will cost you whatever your crazy hat will cost plus the cost of whatever a couple of prizes will be for you party.

Materials Needed:

  1.  crazy hats
  2. awards

Sample Hat Awards:

  1. Craziest Hat Award
  2. Flashiest Hat Award
  3. Cutest Hat Award
  4. Most Warm Hat Award
  5. Best Hat Award
  6. Hat Most Influenced by Eggnogg Intake Award
  7. Best Ugly Sweater even though this was a Hat Award

Thanksgiving Trivia

About:

Well, the kids have just about torn through the house, the teenagers are barely acknowledging other people’s presence, and the stormy weather has blocked the men from watching their Thanksgiving football. What now? Stay calm. Entertain everyone with a trivia contest. Divide people up by either age, gender, or family relations. Keep reading to get some sample ideas. This is for an American Thanksgiving. I’ve written these out as multiple choice trivia questions.

Materials Needed:

  1. a printed out set of trivia questions

Sample Questions:

Easy

  1. What are female turkeys called?
    • A) Hens
    • B) Girlies
    • C) Chicks
    • D) Blands
  2. What bird did Benjamin Franklin want to be the national bird?
    • A) Bald Eagle
    • B) Turkey
    • C) Potato Bird
    • D) Woodpecker
  3. When is Thanksgiving celebrated?
    • A) last Thursday of November
    • B) the 26th of November
    • C) Fourth Thursday of November
    • D) the last Thursday before December
  4. Which of the following foods was likely served at the first Thanksgiving?
    • A) pumpkin pie
    • B) potatoes
    • C) macaroni and cheese
    • D) shellfish
  5. When was the first Thanksgiving?
    • A) 1621
    • B) 1776
    • C) 1812
    • D) 1864
  6. What do turkeys have in common with penguins?
    • A) they are highly adept swimmers
    • B) they both carry their eggs on their feet
    • C) neither species can fly
    • D) neither species eats meat
  7. What was the name of the pilgrim’s ship?
    • A) Pinto
    • B) Santa Maria
    • C) Niña
    • D) Mayflower
  8. What modern day state did the pilgrims land in?
    • A) Massachusetts
    • B) New York
    • C) Virginia
    • D) Florida
  9. In what year did the pilgrims leave from England and land in the United States?
    • A) 1492
    • B) 1550
    • C) 1620
    • D) 1700
  10. Where did the pilgrims live before they decided to colonize a piece of the new world?
    • A) England
    • B) France
    • C) Finland
    • D) Netherlands

Medium

  1. Which President declared Thanksgiving a national holiday?
    • A) Abraham Lincoln
    • B) George Washington
    • C) Theodore Roosevelt
    • D) Barack Obama
  2. What are male turkeys called?
    • A) Hens
    • B) Clucks
    • C) Toms
    • D) Roosters
  3. Which president officially started the practice of turkey pardoning?
    • A) Barack Obama
    • B) Richard Nixon
    • C) Franklin Roosevelt
    • D) Harry Truman
  4. One baby was born onboard the Mayflower. What was the baby named?
    • A) Myles
    • B) Oceanus
    • C) Prudence
    • D) Prayer
  5. What modern day location did the pilgrims hope to settle in?
    • A) Plymouth, MA
    • B) Fort Lauderdale, FL
    • C)Jamestown, VA
    • D) New York City, NY
  6. Which two teams started the tradition of playing football games on Thanksgiving?
    • A) Detroit Lions v. Chicago Bears
    • B) NY Giants v. New England Patriots
    • C) Green Bay Packers v. Detroit Lions
    • D) Dallas Cowboys v. New England Patriots
  7. How many subspecies of turkeys are there?
    • A) one
    • B) three
    • C) six
    • D) ten
  8. What were the pilgrims originally called in their day?
    • A) Puritans
    • B) Standishers
    • C) Huguenots
    • D) Seperatists
  9. What tribe helped the pilgrims?
    • A) Wampanoag tribe
    • B) Secotan tribe
    • C) Powhatan tribe
    • D) Pueblo tribe
  10. How many months after the pilgrims arrive did the Native Americans wait to approach the settlers?
    • A) one month
    • B) three months
    • C) six months
    • D) twelve months

Hard

  1. How many towns are in the United States named Turkey?
    • A) one
    • B) Four
    • C) Eight
    • D) Sixteen
  2. How fast can a turkey run?
    • A) 5 miles per hour
    • B) 10 miles per hour
    • C) 17 miles per hour
    • D) 25 miles per hour
  3. Which city has the oldest Thanksgiving day parade?
    • A) Philadelphia 
    • B) New York City
    • C) Washington, D.C.
    • D) Boston
  4. When were giant, helium balloon characters first used in the Macy’s Thanksgiving day parade?
    • A) 1900
    • B) 1914
    • C)1927
    • D) 1947
  5. When did the Macy’s Thanksgiving day parade begin?
    • A) 1900
    • B) 1913
    • C) 1924
    • D) 1947
  6. How long does it take to inflate a giant parade balloon?
    • A) 30 minutes
    • B) an hour
    • C) an hour and thirty minutes
    • D) two hours
  7. What is the lifespan of an average parade balloon?
    • A) a year
    • B) three years
    • C) five years
    • D) eight years
  8. When was the first time that Spongebob flew in the Macy’s Thanksgiving day parade?
    • A) 1994
    • B) 2004
    • C) 2010
    • D) 2014
  9. When did Mickey Mouse first debut as a Thanksgiving parade balloon?
    • A) 1927
    • B) 1934
    • C) 1965
    • D) 2000
  10. Which character has appeared the most in Macy’s Thanksgiving day parades?
    • A) Mickey Mouse
    • B) Felix the Cat
    • C) Pikachu
    • D) Snoopy
  11. How long does it take to deflate a parade balloon?
    • A) 15 minutes
    • B) 30 minutes
    • C) 45 minutes
    • D) an hour

Halloween Trivia

About:

Want to gather some friends for a trivia night but don’t have time to come up with the trivia questions? We got you covered! The following trivia questions are multiple choice and you can pick and choose as you like based on the age group that you’re hosting trivia night for. Copy and paste your favorite ones into a separate document to read from during your hosted trivia night!

Materials Needed:

  • A trivia sheet to read to your guests

Sample Trivia Ideas:

Easy:

  1. Why was the color  orange associated with Halloween?
    • A) It’s a color of the fall harvest
    • B) Pumpkins are orange
    • C) The sunset tends to look orange on Halloween
    • D) Fire can sometimes look orange
  2. Why was the color black associated with Halloween?
    • A) Halloween takes place at night
    • B) It’s a color of darkness and death
    • C) It is the color of most scary spiders
    • D) Witches tend to wear the color black
  3. From which country did Halloween originate?
    • A) Spain
    • B) France
    • C) Ireland
    • D) Transylvania
  4. What is a pumpkin?
    • A) not edible
    • B) cake
    • C) vegetable
    • C) fruit
  5. What is the most popular candy to buy for trick-or-treaters?
    • A) Chocolate
    • B) Taffy
    • C) Jelly
    • D) Lollipops
  6. Why do people traditionally dress as scary creatures on Halloween?
    • A) to scare people into giving them candy
    • B) to blend in with the spirits walking the Earth
    • C) to gain favor with the spirits
    • D) to confuse witches
  7. Which of the following isn’t a traditional wiccan (witch) symbol?
    • A) black cats
    • B) spiders
    • C) toads
    • D) bats
  8. Which presidential ghost haunts the White House and is seen in times of trouble?
    • A) George Washington
    • B) Ronald Reagan
    • C) Barack Obama
    • D) Abraham Lincoln
  9. What were the first jack-o-lanturns made from?
    • A) turnips
    • B) apples
    • C) watermelons
    • D) pumpkins
  10. Which two book characters were the most popular Halloween costume for 2001?
    • A) Katniss and Peeta
    • B) Percy and Annabeth
    • C) Harry and Hermoine
    • D) Thing One and Thing Two

Medium:

  1. Where was Candy corn invented?
    • A) Pennsylvania It was invented by the Wunderle Candy Company of Philadelphia in the 1880’s  
    • B) Massachusetts
    • C) California
    • D) Iowa
  2. Who wrote the novel Frankenstein?
    • A) Count Dracula
    • B) Mary Shelley
    • C) Charles Dickens
    • D) Herman Melville
  3. What novel was “Rocky Horror Picture Show” based on?
    • A) Count Dracula
    • B) The Odyssey
    • C) Frankenstein
    • D) Rocky
  4. What was the name of the actor who played Dr. Frank-n-Furter in “Rocky Horror Picture Show?”
    • A) Jim Carrey
    • B) Steve Harvey
    • C) Tom Jones
    • D) Tim Curry
  5. Who directed the movie “the Nightmare Before Christmas?”
    • A) Richard Scary
    • B) Henry Selick
    • C) Tim Burton
    • D) Tom Jones
  6. What is the grim reaper called in some celtic villages?
    • A) Thanatos
    • B) Yama
    • C) Uncle
    • D) Santa Meutre
  7. Which of the following mean fear of Halloween?
    • A) Hadephobia
    • B) Gallophobia
    • C) Dextrophobia
    • D) Samhainophobia
  8. How old is Halloween thought to be?
    • A) 6,000 years old
    • B) 2,000 years old
    • C) 500 years old
    • D) 250 years old
  9. What prank item is illegal to use in Hollywood?
    • A) toilet paper
    • B) silly string
    • C) eggs
    • D) fake poo
  10. Which classic Halloween film was not a Disney Channel Original movie?
    • A) Hocus Pocus
    • B) Halloweentown
    • C) Nightmare Before Christmas
    • D) Mom’s got a Date with a Vampire
  11. What are the three witches’ names from “Hocus Pocus?”
    • A) Winifred, Mary, and Sarah
    •  B) Mildred, Bette, and Wilma
    • C) Hannah, Agnes, and Bertha
    • D) Regina, Lousia, and Georgia
  12. What was the top Halloween costume for 1993?
    • A) Sabrina the Teenage witch
    • B) Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
    • C) Spongebob Squarepants
    • D) Simba from the Lion King
  13. What was the top Halloween costume for 1999?
    • A) Jesse from Toy Story
    • B) Tarzan
    • C) Neo from the Matrix
    • D) Austin Powers

Hard:

  1. According to superstition, if you stare into a mirror on at midnight on Halloween you’ll see what?
    • A) your future husband or wife
    • B) what you’ll look like when you die
    • C) Bloody Mary
    • D) the hard truth
  2. Which ancient Celtic festival does Halloween have its origins from?
    • A) Beltane
    • B) Samhain
    • C) Lughnasadh
    • D) Imbolc
  3. According to superstition, what ability does a person have if they were born on Halloween?
    • A) Ability to get the most candy
    • B) Ability to not get scared easily
    • C) Ability to see and talk to spirits
    • D) Ability to huant someone even before they’re dead
  4. How many people were hanged during the Salem witch trials?
    • A) one
    • B) thirteen
    • C) nineteen
    • D) twenty-six
  5. What does the word with translate to in old English?
    • A) old lady
    • B) person at one with nature
    • C) devil-worshipper
    • D) Wise Woman
  6. How much did the largest pumpkin on record weigh?
    • A) 836 lb
    • B) 777 lb
    • C) 665 lb
    • D) 313 lb
  7. According to legend, how can one see a witch at midnight on Halloween?
    • A) you light a candle in the fireplace
    • B) you wear your clothes inside out and walk backwards
    • C) you dress like a witch
    • D) you read Shakespeare’s Scottish play (MacBeth) aloud
  8. A mask of what famous actor was used in the original movie “Halloween?”
    • A) Will Smith
    • B) Ronald Reagan
    • C) William Shatner
    • D) Leonard Nemoy
  9. What was the original title of the film “Halloween?”
    • A) The Knife Killer
    • B) Hallow’s Eve
    • C) Mudergeist
    • D) The Babysitter Murders
  10. What was the most popular Halloween costume for 2007?
    • A) Hannah Montana
    • B) Spiderman
    • C) Barack Obama
    • D) Harry Potter
  11. What was the most popular Halloween costume for 2009?
    • A) Bella Swan
    • B) Edward Cullen
    • C) Tiana from Princess and the Frog
    • D) Spongebob Squarepants

Monster Cameo Game

About:

What better way to celebrate Halloween than to have a dress up game. This would be a fun game for tween and teen girls. It’ll also work well for a sleepover. It would be best to make sure that your guests don’t come dressed up to this monster mash party. Use what you can find around the house. This game can take up to an hour and a half to play.

Materials Needed:

  1. 2 sets of children’s make up and/or monster make up
  2. a pile of clothes that the kids can use
  3. a pile of accessories the kids can use
  4. something to keep time
  5. optional: make up remover

Instructions:

Before the kids arrive, copy and paste the following list into a program such as Microsoft Word that you can print from:

 

Count Dracula

Frankenstien

Werewolf

Harry Potter

Witch

Witch

Bella Swan

Edward Cullen

Zombie

Zombie

Ghost

Ghost

Killer Robot

Killer Robot

Mummy

Mummy

Creepy Clown

Creepy Clown

Ghostbuster

Wicked Witch of the West

Glinda, the good witch

Salem, the cat

Sabrina, the teenage witch

Once you’ve printed out the list, cut it up into strips and put them in a bowl before the party starts. When you’re ready to play the game, show everyone the piles of clothing and accessories and tell them that we’re playing celebrity cameo. You’ll divide the parties up into 2 teams (no whining). Then the teams will choose their first person to dress up.

That person will choose a slip from the bowl without telling the other team. The rest of his or her team has 5 minutes to make them up. After five minutes has passed, switch people until a whole, spooky cast has been created. Lastly, have each group make up a skit and perform it using all of its characters.

When its done, give the children an option to take off the make up using make up wipes.

Spooky Glow Toss

About:

This is a fun game for a crowd that won’t mind being in the dark (12+). It even works well for sleepovers. Our focus, however, is on Halloween Glow toss. The following paragraphs will detail ideas about how to theme the ring toss sections. The more complex of course that you design, the longer the kids will enjoy playing the game. You also have the option of assigning points to different tosses. In order to do this, you should decide a points scale such as 100-1,000 by difficulty, fold black or dark construction paper into name cards that can stand up on their own, and then paint the desired value of toss on the card using glow in the dark paint.

The first step in deciding what to make ring toss goals would be to check to see what Halloween decorations you already have and have decorated with. It’ll be better to use what you already have. Here are some ideas:

  1. black cat- your standard black cat decoration has two possible places that a ring could be tossed on to it. The head would be the easiest part of the cat decoration to get the ring on to. The tail would be the hardest part to get the ring on to.
  2. top of the pumpkin- some pumpkins have very long stems. That type of pumpkin would be perfect to use for ring toss. (You get bonus points if it’s a jack-o-lanturn).
  3. zombie hands- You will have to test this idea out to see how well the ring can get around the rubber arm popping out of the ground. This would be a pretty funny ring toss option.
  4. twisty tree ghost- a twisty tree ghost is a ghost decoration that wraps around the tree or a pole of some sort. Use the tail and one arm to wrap around the tree. Use the other to reach outwards as a ring toss hook.
  5. End of a witch’s broom- most witch decorations come with a broom for the scary witch to “fly” on. You can use the end of one of these as a ring toss catch.
  6. Construction paper witch hats- use construction paper to make a witch hat. Reinforce it with some cardboard to create a fun ring toss challenge.

Essential Materials Needed:

  1. Enough glow rings for everyone (About $10 for a pack of 6)
  2. construction paper ($7)
  3. glow paint ($9)
  4. a paint brush ($1)
  5. any of the decorations above

Instructions:

Identify what you can use for ring toss in your yard or house. Create the cards as suggested and place them next to the targets.

You can play this game in two ways. One way would be to set it up like mini golf in that the kids have to travel from one ring toss section to the other in order to play all of the challenges that you’ve created. The other option would be to have the kids each get 3-5 glow rings that are necklace sized. Have the kids get in a line and play ring toss one at a time.

Spooky Leaf Maze

About:

You’re neighbors may wonder why you’re leaving a yard a mess, but they’ll marvel at the result. If you live in a temperate climate where the leaves change, then you probably know the pain of keeping your yard leaf-free. From what I’ve seen, toddlers up to first grade seem to love the game out of any age group. Creating this activity is free and how long it entertains the kids will depend on how long and complicated the maze is.Don’t make it too complicated so that the kids will want to give up. What’s so spooky about it? You can either make it spooky or think about what those leaves actually are… JK. It’s just a fun activity that’ll work well for a Fall party.

Materials Needed:

  1. A yard leaf coverage of about a half an inch
  2. a rake
  3. some artistic ability

Instructions:

You can either grab a relatively easy looking maze from one of your child’s activities books or you can make one up in your head. The coolest patterns that I’ve seen are circular in design and kind of mimic the UFO field patterns. Rake the leaves into your chosen pattern. The pathway is the cleared leaf path and the leaf piles are the walls. This may take an hour to an hour and a half to complete depending on the size of your yard, the size of the maze, and how many leaves are in your yard.

There are two options of how you want the kids to try to go through the maze. You can either have the children run through the maze from end to end or you can have them try to figure out the how to get to objects you’ve hidden in the maze. This would be a good way to transition the kids into the next activity. For instance, you could leave a clock, a magnet of the number 4, and a plastic, toy cake in different “wrong turns” of the maze. The kids that want to finish as quickly as possible will and the ones that want to search for how to get to the clues. Then they have to put together the items and figure out that it’s time for cake!

If you end up doing this activity, please let us know how it went!

Free, Last Minute 4th of July Idea

About:

Happy 4th of July! You’re either on this post because 1) you’re not celebrating this Holiday and it popped up in your feed or 2) you’re desperately looking for something to entertain the kids that you don’t have to run out to the store for last minute. Well, you’re in luck if you’re person number 2!

This will work well if you have many of the family/neighborhood elementary school aged kids over. Middle school and above will be too cool for this. Suggest that they organize into a parade. They’re already over in the yard and decorated for the party, right? You can even turn this into a bit of a talent show. Have your soccer star son do some of those trick moves he’s been practicing, your daughter can twirl across the yard with your niece, and cousin Sam can show off his Power Ranger/yellow belt moves.

The kids should organize themselves and ask you to get everyone’s attention when they are ready. When the time comes, just ask your fellow adults to turn their attention to the parade.

The time this’ll take may be 10 minutes to 45 minutes to get ready depending on what the children decide to do. The cost? Well, everyone’s feeds may explode in the cute pictures and videos of the parade. Have fun!

If you end up doing this and having fun, let us know! Comment or send us a picture here or on Facebook or Twitter.

Materials Needed:

whatever you can find in your backyard