Capture the Flag 4th of July

About:

The British are coming! The British are coming! Oneth by land, twoth by the pool? Capture the Flag is the perfect game to play at any Fourth of July party. Just add a little bit of independence war spirit, and you’ll have a great party game to entertain the kids and the young at heart.

Materials Needed:

  1. a list of who goes on what team
  2. 2 hula hoops to keep the “flags” in
  3. 2 symbols or flags. Since the American flag isn’t supposed to touch the ground, we suggest replacing the flags with a patriotic pillow and a union jack pillow or with rocks that are painted to look like the flags.

Instructions:

Place the hula hoops on either side of an evenly spaced yard/space. Choose jail spaces. The jails can best be represented with some sort of a net (such as a lacrosse net and/or a soccer net.) Use what you already have. Set the boundaries in the beginning (such as no one can go into the house if they are playing this game). Separate the yard into two even spaces that can act as the safe land for either side.

Separate the group of players into two: the British and the Americans. Make sure that teams are even.

Have everyone start at the farthest end of the barriers. Flag watchers cannot go inside the hula hoops to watch the flags. Anyone can tag a member of the opposite team once that person has left her team’s own territory. Once tagged, that person must go to jail. A jailed team member can only get freed once he/she has been tagged by a member of his/her own team. Then, everyone must go back to their own territory before trying to capture the other team’s flag. Discourage roughhousing. In order to win a round, someone must successfully bring the other team’s flag to his/her team’s territory. Play in as many rounds as you want (but three should be the limit).

3 Wishes Ice Breaker

About:

This ice breaker is perfect for any “Aladdin”, retro “I Dream of Genie”, or “Shimmer and Shine” themed party. All that you need to do is to gather the kids around in a circle. Then ask each child (starting with the birthday kid) what he/she would wish for if he/she had 3 wishes.

This game is a great way to the guests to get to know each other. However, you might want to ban the wish to ask for more wishes.

Chalk Wings for a Butterfly Party

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Butterflies are beautiful and dainty, and they make for a good theme for a party for younger girls. You’ll need a driveway with enough space, chalk, and a camera. A set of colorful chalk should cost about $5.00.

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Items Needed:

  1. chalk
  2. a camera to take photos

Instructions:

You have two options for this activity; you can either draw a set of butterfly wings in advance and color it in (this option may work well for a young crowd that may not be able draw their own butterfly wings such as the under two crowd), or you can draw the template of wings in the driveway and have each little girl color in her own set of wings.

I recommend starting by drawing a forward looking ‘B’ and a backwards ‘B.’ Draw curly antenna. Then, either you or your party guests can color in the wings.

Once done, offer to take photos. This activity is that simple.

The Timeline Game for Couples

About:

As a recent college graduate, I’ve been applying to jobs and going on interviews. On one of my recent interviews I was interviewed by someone who liked my website idea, but wanted to know if I had any suggestions for weddings because her own wedding is coming up soon.

This is an idea for a wedding, an anniversary party, or a vow renewal reception. The guests can play this through the reception and you can announce later in the party if the guests got their guesses correct.

The cost of this project will vary by how many photos you want to use.

Materials Needed:

  1. Enough significant life event photos of you and your partner so that each of your party guests can have one guess.
  2. 2 long strings
  3. One clothes pin for every photo
  4. sharpies that match the colors of the wedding
  5. scissors
  6. construction paper
  7. glue
  8. master list of the correct order of the photos
  9. master guest list that includes which side of the family the guest represents
  10. tape

Instructions:

Dig out those old family photos. Make sure that you have an equal number of photos of you and your spouse. Some great photos for this game would include baby photos, graduation photos, first day of school photos, a trip to Disney, or a photo from the couple’s first date. There should be as many photos chosen as there are guests coming to the wedding. Once you’ve settled on the photos that you’ll use, write a master list of their order (make one spouse’s order evens and the other odds until the timelines converge) and where you took the photos from (so that you can put them back properly). Make copies of your selected photos. When you receive the photos for the activity, use construction paper to make a decorative border (at least an inch big) so that the photo is framed by the paper. You can do this for all photos, but this step is optional.

Once this is done and you’re satisfied with your work, you can think about about who will be given what photo. Each photo will be placed at your guest’s spot at the meal portion of the reception and the following instructions should be printed out and put in the centerpiece:

(Insert couple’s names) would like to challenge you to put our timelines in order. Each of you will receive one photo of us that will have to be put in order on the timeline (insert location of the string timeline). Talk to other family members to figure out where each piece should go. We will reveal if you got it right or not later in the evening.

Using a copy of the guest list, the master list of photos, and a pencil, write down who will receive what photo. Don’t stress out over this. It is only a game. Once you’ve made your final decision, use a shiny ink pen or marker to write that guest’s name on the back of the photo.

Next, decorate the clothes pins as desired. All clothes pins must have a number. To make it easier for whoever is setting up the timeline the day of the wedding put all of the clothes pins for one spouse (all of the evens or odds) in one bag, all of the clothes pins for the other spouse in another bag, and all of the clothes pins for when the time lines converge into another bag.

On the day of the party, have your wedding planner distribute the photos over the dinner tables and set up the time line. Let the families and friends enjoy figuring out what photo goes where. Announce the results of the challenge later on in the reception.

Crazy Hat 4th of July Party

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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

Who pooped in the pool? 💩

About:

The poop emoji is EVERYWHERE!!!! This pool game is bound to be a hit with a younger (younger than a tween) crowd. All you need is a poop emoji-shaped pool float, a pool, a responsible adult. Having a certified lifeguard at the party would be a good idea.

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Materials Needed:

  • Poop Emoji Float (little poo, medium poo, large poo)
  • a pool
  • a responsible adult
  • (optional) a life guard – in order to get a local certified lifeguard you can either talk to the people at some local organization such as your church or go to your local pool and ask the manager if they know of any lifeguards that would be willing to help supervise your pool party.

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Instructions:

This is a shallow end only game. Everyone should be able to walk around with minimal swimming for safety sake. This game is similar to the pool game Marco Polo, but with some changes. Instead of the person being ‘it’ yelling “marco,” the person will ask “Who pooped in the pool?” Then the party guests will “I did!” instead of “polo.” Remember to only play this in your backyard pool and not a public one.

Start off with putting one person on a pool float. This can be the birthday child or a guest of honor. Everyone should start around in a huddle around the emoji pool float once the person has gotten onto the float. The person on the pool float should close their eyes and yell “who pooped in the pool?”

The pool guests will then swim/run away as fast as they can shouting “I did!” The person who is ‘it’ will try to direct the pool float towards people and asking repeatedly “who pooped in the pool?” until they tag someone. That person will then take that person’s place on the pool float.

Play the game as long as you’d like.

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Do You Wanna Build A Snowman?

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SO… do you want to build a snowman? No? The kids might if there’s snow on the ground. You can use old clothes to decorate the snowmen. This activity should take about 45 minutes to do. If you want to, you can also turn it into a contest.

Materials Needed:

  1. over a foot of fresh snow on the the ground
  2. About 4-6 hats
  3. About 4-6 scarves
  4. About 4-6 carrots
  5. About 4-6 long branched for the arms or cleaning materials with a long handle such as a broom
  6. Optional: snow dye or rocks for decoration

Instructions:

Break the kids up into teams 0f 3-4 and have them work together to create snowman. Once everyone is done, have them talk about their snowman: his/her name, hobbies, and profession. Don’t forget to take their pictures!

Balloon Architects

About:

This a fun, creative activity do with a group of any age. The children simply have to inflate and stack the balloons to make a tall balloon tower. This activity costs about $12 and may take 15 minutes to do. You may want to ask the parents of the guests if the child has a latex allergy before committing to this activity.

Materials Needed:

  • 40, standard party balloons
  • 2 rolls of tape
  • something to keep time such as a smartphone timer

Instructions:

Divide the party into two teams. Give each team 20 balloons and a roll of tape. The team that can inflate their balloons and create the tallest tower in ten minutes or less wins the activity.

At the end, you can let the teams pop the balloons.

Moonrise Kingdom BBQ Party

About:

Wow! We’ve had over 500 viewers on the blog since it was started in May 2016! This is a special post to celebrate that. My favorite movie is Wes Anderson’s “Moonrise Kingdom.” I will be giving you directions for party games and activities as well as foods to serve. Here’s a movie trailer for those of you who don’t know this film:

Here is the idea for this party. Decade: 1960s. Place: Camp Ivanhoe. Event: party mixer for the boys and the girls on the island. Everyone should do their best to dress appropriately. There should be enough videos on Youtube to tell your friends how to dress as though they’re from the 60s. Let’s get started.

Activities:

Check your phone at the Door

Imagine a phone free night! No worries. No awkward scrolling. We get the same freedom that we left behind in the 20th century. You can tell your guests that only one section of the house or yard will allow cell phones and that’ll be around where you store the cell phones (ideally in individual bags with the owner’s name written on the bag in a locked closet or pantry). The rest of the party should be phone free so that the guests can get on with their real lives rather than experiencing it through a phone screen.

How can they take photos to remember the night? Well, you can tell them to bring their own cameras. CVS still sells disposables. The other alternative is to have a polaroid camera or two floating around the party, but that in itself will pose its own risks.

Design a Patch

Offer a station when the guests first arrive to create their own badge or pin. You can have them do this using felt and glue, beads and safety pins, or just use paper. If you’re really serious, a pin maker will cost you over $115 on Amazon. The pin or patch should represent the guest in some one. Because this is the 1960’s and the time of free love, encourage the guests to trade and exchange these tokens of friendship as the party goes on. You don’t know who’ll end up with whose pin.

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Dance 

You should encourage dancing at the party. Many of the styles of dancing from the sixties may not be known. Encourage your guests to watch the following videos to be prepared to dance during the party:

 

What kind of a bird are you?

That is one of the most iconic lines from the movie. It can also be a fun party game. Print out small images of birds with their common names (don’t put down the scientific names because no one will know that Columbiforms Columbidae  means your average pigeon). Tape these onto the backs of the guests as they arrive. No one can tell them what bird they are, but they can give hints. For example, if someone gets pigeon taped to their back, a friend can tell them that they’re a rat with wings. They may then immediately understand that they’re a pigeon or they may be even more confused. Here’s a list of some birds for the cards:

  1. Dove
  2. Raven
  3. Sparrow
  4. Chicken
  5. Peacock
  6. Goose
  7. Canadian Goose
  8. Swan
  9. Owl
  10. Hawk
  11. Robin
  12. Bluejay
  13. Cardinal
  14. Bald Eagle
  15. Turkey
  16. Albatross
  17. Penguin
  18. Pigeon
  19. Crane
  20. Flamingo
  21. Mocking bird
  22. Canary
  23. Finch
  24. Parrot
  25. Wood Pecker

Archery

Yes, this is a weapon. It’s also a popular camp activity. It’ll be a fun side activity to do while the party is going on. Look for a magnetic set on Amazon so that you’ll minimize the damage done.

S’mores

Have a fire pit? Make s’mores. This activity will need supervision to make sure that the flaming s’mores someone just made don’t get combined with the archery set to become a completely different activity.

Photo Stand

Set up one of the moonrise kingdom campsites. Leave some props for the guests to put on like Sam’s glasses and coon skin hat, and Suzy’s binoculars. Leave a polaroid camera near the site so that guests can take their own photos.

Movie Screening

Screen the movie if you want to. Get a screen, a projector, and a copy of the movie. Sit everyone down on the ground or warn them to bring towels in advance. You can hand out bowls of popcorn before the movie starts.

Food:

  1. hot dogs
  2. hamburgers
  3. corn on the cob
  4. popcorn
  5. s’mores
  6. Old Fashioned punch- here’s a website I found with some old recipes
  7. Water
  8. apple crumble

Party Playlist:

  1. “Laisse Tomber les Filles” France Gall
  2. “Miss Grace” The Tymes
  3. “Kaw-liga” Hank Williams
  4. “I Wanna Hold Your Hand” The Beatles
  5. “Comment tu Dire Adieu” Francoise Hardy
  6. “The Twist” Chubby Checker
  7. “I’m a Believer” The Monkees
  8. “Noir C’est Noir” Johnny Hallyday
  9. “Build me Up Buttercup” The Foundations
  10. “Happy Together” The Turtles
  11. “Le Coeur au Bout des Doigts” Jaqueline Taieb
  12. “Sweet Caroline” Neil Diamond
  13. “Moi je Joue” Brigitte Bardot
  14. “Le Temps De l’Amour” Francoise Hardy
  15. “Pressure Drop” Toots & The Maytals
  16. “Dancing in the Streets” Martha & The Vandellas
  17. “These Boots were Made for Walkin'” Nancy Sinatra
  18. “Wraith Pinned to the Mist” Of Montreal
  19. “Hello, Goodbye” The Beatles
  20. “I love Beach Music” The Embers
  21. “My Girl” The Temptations
  22. “Under the Boardwalk” The Drifters
  23. “Good Vibrations” Beach Boys

Floating House Challenge

About:

If you’ve seen the movie Up, then you’ve seen the iconic scene when Carl escapes the city in his house using of thousands of balloons. You will have your guests try to guess how many balloons it will take to lift the birdhouse in this activity. You can make the birdhouse a prize for correctly guessing how many balloons it will take to lift the birdhouse if you like. This is a fun activity for any party. It’s a new take on the how many gum balls in the glass jar activity. It may cost about $60 and the party activity will take about 15 to 20 minutes to take place.

Materials Needed:

  1. Birdhouse
  2. baby pink paint
  3. baby blue paint
  4. canary yellow paint
  5. lime green paint
  6. light orange-pink paint
  7. slate colored paint
  8. pencil
  9. ruler
  10. hook
  11. a bowl of some sort to record guesses
  12. helium filled balloons with strings

Painting Instructions

Put old newspaper over the crafting area. Put some paint on a palette. You should have either bought acrylic paint or some other sort of paint that will be able to survive the harsh outdoors. Use pencil markings to draw lines on your birdhouse that will divide it into 5 sections. Divide the birdhouse in a straight line that divides it into left and right. Next, divide your right hand side into two sections. Next, measure about three to four fingers from the roof. Mark it and then use your ruler to draw a straight line across. Use the image below for inspiration:

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Paint the roof of the birdhouse first with the slate paint. Let it dry for some time and then paint the 4 quadrants. Wait for that to dry and then carefully paint the windows as you see fit. If you have the extra time and the inclination, then buy some white paint and paint on the trim.

The sides of the house are painted one of the four colors in the front of the house. Go crazy.

Once all of the paint has dried, then you should screw in a hook at the top of the birdhouse unless it already comes with one.

A normal party balloon may be able to about 4.8 grams or 0.17 ounces. One of the unfinished bird houses that I saw on Amazon weighs about 1.6 ounces. If we assume that adding the paint and hook adds enough weight to get it up to 2 ounces, then it should take a little over 12 standard party balloons to lift the bird house, but don’t share this information with your child or party guests. The fun is in guessing how many balloons it will take to lift the house.

When the party activity occurs, tie a balloon onto the hook one to two at a time as the crowd cheers on. Stop once the birdhouse has been clearly lifted off of the ground. Announce the winner at the end.