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7 fun 4th of July games the whole family can play

Looking for fun 4th of July ideas? Try these stellar activities

Many families mark the 4th of July holiday with backyard picnics and barbecues. Sometimes, relatives and friends come over, but usually, it can be a time for families to spend a bit of quality time together enjoying parades and fireworks. Having a fun menu of 4th of July games for the family is a fabulous way to spend this summertime holiday. These family activities also help make the time between that morning parade and the evening fireworks go a lot faster for excited little ones.

cute baby and his kitty playing cornhole on the Fourth of July
David Prahl/Shutterstock

4th of July family games

Here are seven sizzling July 4th games the entire family will enjoy.


Cornhole is a game that will be played a great deal during the summer months and beyond. If you have a set, divide the family into teams for a spirited cornhole tournament. You can also make your own cornhole game by cutting holes in a cardboard box and using bean bags. If you’ve got little ones, improvise and have everyone toss bean bags — red, white, and blue, of course — into empty laundry baskets.

Patriotic balloon toss

Temperatures are always pretty toasty on the 4th of July, making a balloon toss a cool game. Fill up some red, white, and blue water balloons. Divide the participants into pairs and hand out the balloons. Players start close together, and every time each partner has an opportunity to catch a toss, take a step backward. The farther the distance, the higher the chance the water balloon will pop. If you have a pool, this is an exciting game to play in the water. (Be sure to make an extra batch of water balloons because a water-balloon fight is sure to break out at some point.)

Paddle balloon

Take paper plates and attach jumbo Popsicle sticks for handles using a glue gun. Allow to dry. (Kiddos can decorate the paper plates in patriotic colors beforehand.) Blow up red, white, or blue balloons. Family members can then pair off to play paddle ball or have a group game. You don’t need a net to play paddle balloon doubles, but if you have a volleyball net on hand, it’s a game, set, and match.

4th of July ring toss

All you need to play this game is three or four medium-sized American flags and three hula hoops. The object of the game is to take turns getting all three hula hoops over one of the flags. If you already have a ring toss game stashed in the garage, dust it off for some family-friendly backyard fun.

Red, white, and blue scavenger hunt

Scavenger hunts are always a blast, and a 4th of July hunt should have a red, white, and blue theme. Gather the family up to hit the neighborhood for a July 4th scavenger hunt. If you have other families coming over, make it a competition to see which family completes the list first. Here are some patriotic scavenger hunt suggestions:

  • Blue jay
  • Red cardinal
  • White clouds
  • Large American flag
  • Small American flag
  • Red, white, and blue wreath
  • White flower
  • Red flower
  • Blue jeans
  • Red hat
  • Blue hat
  • White dog
  • Red car
  • Blue car
  • White car
  • Red, white, and blue welcome sign
  • Red, white, and blue shirt or hoodie


Basketball players love a competitive game of horse in the driveway basketball hoop. There are a lot of variations of the popular game, but basically, the first shooter makes a shot that the next player needs to duplicate. If the person misses, he or she accumulates a letter. The first shooter to spell the word “horse” is out. For a July 4th game, have the players spell “Fourth of July” instead. This game can be adapted to other shooting sports like street hockey and soccer.

Two kids ready for some Fourth of July family fun
Melanie DeFazio/Shutterstock

Flag hunt

Just like Easter, you can organize a backyard flag hunt. All you need is a bunch of miniature flags. Hide the mini flags all around the front and backyard while the kiddos are in the house. Once they come outside, be ready to start the game. When you say go, the flag hunt is on. Kids can run around finding the hidden American flags. When all the flags have been found, have each person count their total to see who found the most flags. Once all the flags have been found, you can use them as 4th of July decorations around the outside of the house.

Playing 4th of July games with the entire family is a super-fun way to enjoy this patriotic holiday. Adding a patriotic element to traditional games like cornhole, paddleball, and ring toss is a great way to celebrate Independence Day. Kids of all ages can join in on a red, white, and blue scavenger hunt, and who doesn’t love water balloons? If you have teens and tweens, a game of F-O-U-R-T-H O-F J-U-L-Y will definitely encourage them to put down the smartphones and game controllers to show each other up on the court. Add one or more of these seven fun family activities to your Independence Day celebration for an entertaining spark that’s a precursor to those fabulous firework displays.

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