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5 Backyard Party Games to Bring the Kids and Adults Together This Fourth of July

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The Fourth of July is coming up, and we all know what that means — the pressure is on to throw the best, most memorable Fourth of July barbecue you've ever had. We’ve already got you covered with ideas for festive desserts, but it doesn’t end at good food when it comes to hosting the celebratory patriotic bash that everyone will be talking about all summer long. Whether the kids are home from college, you have a crowd of munchkins you need to keep entertained, or you're just expecting neighbors and friends, these backyard Independence Day-themed games will help you ensure that everyone has a great time. Scroll down for a few fun Fourth of July party games that let both kids and adults get their playtime on!

1. Fourth of July Giant Yard Pong

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A game of pong is typically popular in a younger adult crowd, so if you've got kids home from college or an even younger bunch to keep busy, this game is perfect to meet your needs. With sturdy plastic or steel buckets that can survive the rowdiest of backyard showdowns, a yard pong game will be a hit with the kids and adults alike. The game is simple to play: Each team has 6 buckets in a diamond formation, and each bucket is filled about a quarter of the way with water. Each team will then takes turns tossing a ball into the buckets of the opposing team, or trying to knock the other teams' buckets over. The first team to eliminate all the bucks of the opposing team wins. You can buy red plastic kids' beach buckets or small metal pails like the one pictured, along with two white ping pong balls (though you may want to get a few extra, just in case). But if you prefer, you can also purchase a set like this one by Yard Games ($44.99, Amazon) which comes with everything you need including the buckets, balls, and instructions on how to play different variations of the party favorite. To make the game festive, paint American flags or stars onto the red buckets with blue and white paint!

2. Capture the (American) Flag

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Nostalgia alert! We all remember the classic “capture the flag” game from field day in school. And in this patriotic version of the game, you can use mini American flags! To play, each team has a set of flags planted in the ground on their end of the "territory." Players must attempt to capture the other team’s flags and bring them back to their own territory. If a player is tagged by a player on the opposing team, the tagged player must go to “jail” – a small designated area for confinement – until that players teammates tag him or her out. With rules this simple, anyone can play this game. And you only need one item to play – the mini American flags – like these from NECOA ($13.99, Amazon). No doubt about it: Pong will have the kids — engaged and the adults reliving the good ol' days!

3. Fourth of July Scavenger Hunt

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If you’ve got a crowd that likes some adventure and a mind that aches to be creative, this game is perfect for you. Leading your guests on a mysterious scavenger hunt could be the talk of the town all summer, and you can even customize it your own way. As in a typical scavenger hunt, you will create a list of items that each guest or team must collect; the first team to complete or collect everything on the list wins. With this game, you can get creative with Fourth of July party props to customize it for the holiday (think an Abe Lincoln hat, or a replica of George Washington's wooden pipe). Items can have different point values, and there can be multiple of each item to find! You can also get creative with your use of the space, hiding items in the backyard, front yard, and even around the house if you'd like. Many blogs online have customizable scavenger hunt documents that you can print and fill out for all of your guests. And the best part – they’re free! For example, check out this Fourth of July themed scavenger hunt sheet by the Queen of Themed Party Games.

4. Fourth of July Sack Race

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Another (more goofy!) field day hit, the potato sack race is a kid favorite and is bound to give the adults he healthy dose of silliness and laughter they need to kick-off the summer. To play this game, simply create a start line and finish line. Competitors will put their legs into a burlap potato sack and must hop along to the finish line; the first to reach the finish line wins. You can buy the burlap sacks like these from LA Linen ($12.99, Amazon), and of course, you can get crafty and decorate them in red, white, and blue!

5. Fourth of July Trivia

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If your guests are more the intellectual type, or perhaps they are kids who'd be glad to show off their knowledge of American history this holiday, some good old trivia is both a brain exercise and a fun opportunity to learn. For American history trivia, you can find a card deck like this one by The Classical Historian ($11.99, Amazon) that asks players different questions about American history. Rules will differ per trivia deck or game. Just make sure that the difficulty level of the game you choose matches the age group of your guests — and be sure to mix up the teams with both young and old players on each so that it's fair. Then, let the games begin!

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