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.
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.
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.
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