Fourth of July Games for Children

An assortment of 4th of July games for children from an early 20th century book entitled Games for Everybody, by May C. Hofmann. Published in 1905, these games are a great old-fashioned educational way to celebrate the Fourth with little expense. Illustrated with an old line illustration from a Victorian fashion magazine (1874) that you may use as free Fourth of July clipart.

Victorian patriotic illustration of boy holding American flag with a girl.

Free Victorian patriotic clip art, click the image for a larger version.

Aside from the enjoyment of firecrackers, etc., there are a few games to amuse the children on this day. If a party has been planned for the Fourth, the rooms should be appropriately decorated for the occasion.

As soon as all the children arrive choose two leaders, who in turn select sides. A line is marked on the floor and the sides stand on each side of this boundary line. A few feet from the line on each side is placed an American flag. Any flag can be made to stand up by placing the end of the stick securely in the hole of an empty spool. Each leader guards his own flag.

The children endeavor to secure their opponents’ flag. If a leader tags anyone who crosses the boundary and comes too near the flag, that child is out of the game. However, if one does succeed in capturing the other’s flag, and carries it over the boundary into his side, that side is victorious.

Flags of All Nations

Flags of all nations are collected and displayed around the room. Each one is numbered. The guests are given pencil and paper with numbers down the left hand side.

Opposite each number the guest writes the names of the country which the flag bearing the corresponding number stands for. Allow a certain length of time for guessing, then collect the papers, read the correct list, and correct the papers. Prizes may be awarded, but the satisfaction of having guessed the most seems to be enough award.

Our Flag

Other games for the Fourth are as follows:

Each child is given a piece of white paper or cardboard 6 ½ by 3 ½ inches in size. All sit around a table on which are red and blue paper and a pile of stars by each one’s place. Scissors and a bottle of mucilage are handy. The children are given a certain length of time in which to make their flags, putting the blue field and stars and stripes correctly on their pieces of cardboard. The one who completes his flag first deserves a prize.

Suspend a bell in a doorway low enough for the children to reach. The children stand about ten feet away and each in turn throws a beanbag., endeavoring to make the “liberty bell,” as it is called, ring. Those who succeed in making it ring receive little bells as a reward.

Note: This last one is intriguing. Torpedoes for children? Is this ever a good idea? A safer alternative may be to construct mock torpedoes and fill them with candy or prizes. 

The contents of several boxes of torpedoes may be emptied and hidden around the room. The children hunt for them, and have a jolly time shooting them off after the hunt is over.

Thor Cruising the Cosmos in his Mighty Goat Cart

A free mythological clip art image for you, from Norse mythology: Thor in his chariot, pulled by the two goats Tanngrisnir and Tanngnjóstr, holding his mighty hammer Mjöllnir aloft.

Free Thor Clipart

19th Century Illustration of Thor. Click on the image for a larger version that you can use as free clip art.



Making Ice Cream The Hard Way: The White Mountain Hand-Crank Ice Cream Freezer

This article was published in my old newsletter, Miss Mary’s Gazette, in July 2005. In the time since, the wooden barrel/bucket part of the White Mountain freezer has been used as a Christmas tree stand, a storage bin for potatoes, and most recently, as a waste paper basket. Needless to say, I’ve not attempted to make hand-crank ice cream since my first and only try. These days, I have the freezer bowl for my Kitchen aid mixer; and it’s been too long since I’ve used it.

White Mountain Ice Cream Machine

White Mountain Ice Cream Machine

Making Ice Cream the Hard Way, by an Old Crank

The White Mountain hand-crank ice cream freezer is an American classic, and after years of watching mine gather dust on top of the china cupboard, I can now say that I’ve successfully made a vintage ice cream recipe—the 1889 vanilla ice cream recipe by Alessandro Filippini.

My freezer is the six quart model, so I doubled the recipe, with the exception of the eggs—I used 9 yolks. Cooking up the ingredients was relatively painless.

Two bags of convenience store ice at the outrageous price of $1.79 each (thanks Dad!) and I was all set for the real fun.

I poured the cooled ice cream mixture into the cream can, already in the wooden tub, and set about assembling the can cover. No problem. And then …the gearframe! This is the device that, contains the gears that revolve inside the dasher (inside the can) with each turn of the crank; however, due to a defect or a design flaw, the gearframe would not sit on the dasher stem properly, and therefore, would not sit flush in the slots as described in the instructions.

After several frustrating moments involving every man in the house attempting to make the gearframe sit properly, I continued on, just holding on to the one end of the gearframe to keep the can from wobbling while cranking, although it was fairly steady once all of the ice and salt was packed in.

Ten minutes into working the crank in a hot kitchen and I came to the conclusion that I would need the help of another American classic.

Yuengling Lager.

Lager in one hand, crank in the other, I spent the next 30 minutes giving myself one heck of a workout.

The hardest thing, outside of the gearframe fiasco, was determining when the ice cream was ready (for packing, eating, or both!). According to the freezer’s directions, you’ll know when the ice cream is ready when the crank handle becomes difficult to turn. But was it only becoming difficult to turn because I was getting tired? A 10 year sedentary career in computers…need I say more?

I took a chance, removed the gearframe and cover, revealing the golden glow of my first batch of ice cream! The consistency of thick soft serve, creamy, rich and sweet; I packed most of it into a square half-gallon ice cream mold and served up what remained to the mooches in the house. Had I not run out of ice, I would have allowed the ice cream to harden in the traditional way, by placing the mold back in the icy brine, covering all with a blanket; but it was getting late.

The taste was sweet, almost too sweet for my taste, although my Dad thought it was great. The whole vanilla bean that I used made all the difference, I think. He suggested that I break up the bean the next time and keep it in the mix.

Next time? Not without a motorized gearframe!


Red Victorian Rose Clip Art

A free A lovely red rose clip art image from a Victorian scrapbook. The rose has an open bloom and two buds that eagerly await your crafting touch.

Victorian Rose Clip Art

Click on the image for a larger version of the red rose illustration that you can download free!

Hathor, Anubis, Sekhmet, and Canopic Jars: Egyptian Clip Art

In celebration of Howard Carter’s birthday, I offer a selection of free Egyptian clip art images.

I’ve been interested in Egyptian art and history since I was very young. I was in grade school when the 1st exhibition of King Tutankhamen’s booty made the rounds in the late 1970s, but unfortunately failed to convince my folks to take me to New York to see the show at the Met. They did, however, give to me many books on Egypt that I still own, and for many years my mother would take me to the University of Penn Museum for my birthday.

Today Google, by way of their “Google Doodle”, informed me that today is the birthday of Howard Carter, the co-discover of King Tutankhamen’s tomb. And so in tribute of that obscure tit-bit, here are a few image selections from my copy of The Story of the Pharaohs by Rev. James Baikie, F.R.A.S., 1917. Click on the images for larger versions that can be used as free clip art.

Egyptian clipart of the goddess Hathor

Hathor of Denderah

Hathor of Denderah, the Godddess of Pleasure and Joy, pictured as a woman whose face is surrounded by broad plaits of hair, and who wears cow’s ears, or who bears a head-dress consisting of two horns with the solar disc between them.

Egyptian Clipart Anubis


Anubis, the God of Departing Souls, was typified under the form of the jackal which haunts the cemeteries.

Egyptian Clipart Goddess Sekhmet


Sekhmet, portrayed as a lioness,  represented the destroying heat of the sun.

Canopic Jars

Canopic jars contained and protected the viscera that was removed from the deceased during the mummification process.  The four children of Horus represented on the jars above are Amset, Hapi, Tuamautef, and Qebhesennuf.

If you enjoy vintage images, be sure to become a “fan” of the Miss Mary page on Facebook to find out when the newest images are added to this site.