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Ah, the 4th of July. Time to watch some fireworks, find a good 4th of July deal, and enjoy the day off from work (if you’re one of the lucky ones!). Whether or not you’re having a family BBQ to celebrate, you might be looking for fun 4th of July games the whole family can enjoy.

Well, we got you covered with July 4 games for kids, adults, and even ideas for pets. Most 4th of July games are a way to keep kids occupied, so whether you want to set up a craft table outside, create a bin of options when guests arrive, or plan to “wing it,” the goal is to have fun. Here are 25 cheap July 4 backyard games that everyone will love.

Bookmark the KCL games deals page to find the latest and greatest discounts on all sorts of games.

1. Create a red, white, and blue scavenger hunt for a festive 4th of July game idea.

There’s nothing like a scavenger hunt to get your holiday party started. These are the types of 4th of July games that can buy yourself some time to finish cooking or decorating.

You can either make the cards or download them from sites like Etsy to save time (prices are around $5 for printables that you can download and print). Give your participants 30 minutes to locate items. The first person back with all of the items checked wins!

2. Hide American flags around your house for another type of fun hunt.

Mini American flags stuck in the ground along a stone path.

If a full-fledged scavenger hunt isn’t in the cards, make an easy game and just hide 12 – 24 mini American flags inside and outside of your home. Let your guests go nuts trying to find them within a certain time frame. Whoever collects the most wins a special treat.

3. Let your guests cool off with a water balloon toss.

A person filling several water balloons at once.

Games for 4th of July don’t need to be limited to searching for random items. More than likely, your holiday party is going to involve lots of sun. What better way to cool off than a water balloon toss or water balloon fight?

For the balloon toss, have your guests partner up and line up facing each other. Once the first throw is caught, everyone takes a step backwards and throws again, continuing steps backwards until one team is left standing. If a balloon drops on the grass, that team is out. Have a prize for the winning pair!

To save yourself some time from filling and tying balloons, consider rapid-filling, self-sealing balloons. These are the types of items usually on sale before the big holiday. Stop by the 4th of July deals page to save on your holiday supplies.

4. Make 4th of July BINGO cards using construction paper and stickers.

If you need a 4th of July game idea for large groups, BINGO is a great boredom buster. You can use online printables or make your own using construction paper or colored cardstock and 4th of July stickers.

To make your own BINGO cards, create 25 squares (five rows across and five rows down) on your chosen paper using a ruler as a guide. Be sure to space the boxes so that your stickers fit in each box.

BINGO instructions:

  1. Distribute a card to each player.
  2. Designate someone to call out an item (i.e., blue balloon).
  3. Players will look to their cards for the picture.
  4. Whoever gets five in a row wins!

5. Gather your friends and family for an old-fashioned baseball game.

A woman standing in the grass holding a baseball glove, and a boy holding a baseball front standing to the left of her.

You can’t read an article about 4th of July games without mentioning America’s favorite pastime. Baseball is a fun way to exercise after you eat, or it can pass the time before the barbecue is ready. Get the kids and adults involved, grab your kicks, and play a couple of informal innings. Dollar Tree should have a cheap Wiffle Ball set for sale!

6. Host a potato sack race with bags decorated with stars and stripes.

A family of six people racing in red, white, and blue potato sacks.

via Amazon

A potato sack race is a classic party game, so why not include it in your 4th of July outdoor plans? You can pick up an 18-pack of patriotic potato sacks on Amazon that come with metals, head boppers, and headbands. All you have to do is get your teams in place and watch them hop and trip toward the finish line.

7. Play a few rounds of cornhole.

A cornhole goal painted to look like an American flag sitting on a lawn with red and blue bean bags on top of it.

Cornhole is the perfect holiday game for kids and adults. Whether you have a portable cornhole set or a standard wooden cornhole one, your guests will enjoy the fun. You can keep score or just toss the bags around for entertainment.

8. Make a red, white, and blue candy guessing game.

A person's hand holding a large container of red, white, and blue m&m's inside Sam's Club.

Take your favorite wrapped or unwrapped candy to create a guessing game for kids and adults. Fill a clear jar and have everyone write down their best guess for how many pieces of candy are in the jar. Make it more difficult by mixing different types of candies. The person closest to the actual number of candy wins the jar.

9. Play a 4th of July version of I Spy.

Among your games for the 4th of July, I Spy will definitely keep your guests busy and minimize screen time. There are plenty of websites like Etsy (or free ones with a quick Google search) with downloadable games. This idea is great for preschoolers and elementary-schoolers. Be prepared to have a few versions ready in case they return quickly.

10. Turn your backyard into a frisbee toss area.

We told you that we’d include your pets in fun 4th of July games. Whether you have a frisbee golf disc set or just a set of two, a frisbee is a great way to exercise your food off — for you and your dog. Just watch out for your neighbors’ windows.

11. Set up an American flag relay.

All you need for this activity is two large buckets, sand, and small American flags. Choose a start line and finish line; these lines are where the buckets will be placed. Divide participants into two teams to form two lines at the starting line.

When you say “go,” the first person in each line runs to the bucket, grabs a flag, and carefully races back to their line for the next person’s turn. Repeat until the quickest team wins.

12. Organize a tug-of-war contest for younger kids.

Four children holding on to a rope, playing tug of war outside.

Sometimes when you’re planning games for 4th of July, your younger guests may not be able to participate. Tug-of-war is a cheap, simple, and fun activity that needs little supervision and instruction.

Simply create two teams on opposite ends of the rope and form three knots in the middle of the rope. Have them pull as hard as they can to determine the winner.

Some stores even sell tug-of-war water sets. Now that’s a great way to cool off in the summer heat.

13. Add a hula-hoop contest to your 4th of July games.

A person's hand picking up a hula hoop from a pile of them at Michael's.

You can grab cheap hula-hoops at Walmart or Dollar Tree to make this game idea affordable. Store a stack of hoops outside to encourage play. Pick a lively music station to really get your party started. The person who can wiggle the longest wins.

14. Tape lines on a tarp or shower curtain liner and play frisbee tic-tac-toe.

Two kids playing tic-tac-toe with frisbees on a shower curtain liner decorated with tape in a backyard.

Games for 4th of July just aren’t as fun if there’s no outdoor play! This one is especially fun for kids, although adults could get into it too.

Get a cheap shower curtain or reuse one you have on hand. Then use duct tape to create lines, buy frisbees on Amazon, and you’re ready to go.

Plus, if you’re into the idea of repurposing shower curtain liners, we’ve got you covered with loads of ideas there too.

15. Paint letters on cardboard squares to play giant outdoor Scrabble.

Paint or draw letters on cardboard squares to play a huge game of outdoor Scrabble. You’ll need multiples of vowels and certain popular letters like R, S, and T.

Here are the exact amounts of each letter in a Scrabble game, along with their face value points. I doubt you’ll need as many of each letter unless you have a huge backyard, but you can see the ratio of letters at least.

Make cardboard squares out of pieces of empty diaper boxes or cut-up Amazon boxes, and be sure to recycle them when it’s all over!

16. Assemble a giant tic-tac-toe game in your backyard with wooden letters.

A person placing a red-and-white-striped O in a space below a blue X with white stars on a lawn tic-tac-toe game.

You’ll need four wooden Os, four wooden Xs, red and blue spray paint, painter’s tape, star paper punch (or an X-acto knife and stencil to make painter’s tape stars), wooden dowels, and a 50-foot clothesline.

First, use painter’s tape to create stars and stripes on your wooden Xs and Os.

A person placing painters tape in a stripe pattern on a wooden O next to another striped O and some Xs with painters tape stars stuck on them. And a person using blue spray paint on the wooden Xs sitting on cardboard outside.

Tap wooden dowels into the ground, and tie clothesline rope onto them. The dowels will save you from having to readjust the rope each new game.

Check out more cheap and fun backyard games for kids.

17. Build a giant Jenga as a fun thing for kids to do outside in your backyard.

You can actually have any wood you buy at Home Depot cut to your specifications for free! As a DIY backyard activity during your 4th of July celebration, you’ll need a circular saw and this tutorial from The Idea Room.

Either way, you’re in for a good time!

18. Cut 4×4 posts into dice for a giant backyard game of Yahtzee.

Talk about a true DIY backyard game for your 4th of July party!

Cut a 4×4 wooden post every 3.5 inches to create uniform “dice” — you’ll need five. Then use a paint marker to draw the pips (those are the black circles) onto your new wooden dice.

Make sure you sand them smooth. Then apply a coat of red or blue wood stain if you’re feeling festive.

19. Use Dollar Tree toy finger shooters to hit a target.

A person's hand holding up foam darts in front of a printed target, and a child throwing foam darts at a printed target taped to a board outside.

Discount stores have aisles and aisles of stuff that you really don’t need, but the compulsive buyer in you has to have it. Case in point — the Dollar Tree toy, foam finger shooters.

What the heck can you do with them? Well, shooting them at a target is what (as shown). You’d be surprised how well this game keeps kids entertained during your 4th of July party.

20. Play 4th of July games with decorated cans and socks filled with rice.

A child throwing a beanbag made of a sock filled with rice at a stack of red, white, and blue striped cans and knocking them down in the backyard.

When the weather is warm and it’s a holiday weekend, you’ve got to plan 4th of July games for kids to play. Otherwise, they’ll drive you nuts! This one only requires a few items — empty cans, rubber bands, socks, tape, and rice.

Fill a couple of small socks with rice and tie the ends with rubber bands and patriotic ribbon. Then cover six empty and cleaned 15-ounce cans with red, white, and blue duct tape, making sure the tape covers any sharp edges.

Set cans up in a pyramid and have kids stand several feet away. Whoever knocks down all the cans within two tries, wins!

21. Turn dollar store pool noodles into a backyard obstacle course.

A person's hands placing a pool noodle onto a dowel sticking out of the ground, and a child kicking a ball through DIY pool noodle obstacles on a lawn.

If you combine this game idea with the 4th of July scavenger hunt, your guests will likely be nice and tired by the time fireworks begin.

Stick wooden dowels (from a craft store, Walmart, or a hardware store) in the ground halfway, and slide the pool noodle on top to form an arch. Use a soccer ball to dribble between the arches, or just let them army-crawl through the course!

Pool noodles at Dollar General are only $1 each and come in assorted colors.

22. Strike up a card game for kids and adults.

In my family, I look forward to beating my relatives in card games like gin rummy, spades, or Uno during July 4th get-togethers. The great thing about cards is that they’re cheap to buy, and you can set them up on any sturdy surface. You may want to consider an indoor game in case of wind.

23. Distribute a 4th of July word search game.

Here’s your loved ones’ chance to put their search skills to the test with an Independence Day word game. Just download a printable from your favorite website. Be sure to include easy games for kids and more challenging searches for adults.

24. Break out the board games if other options fail.

A person's hand holding up a board game called Charades for Kids in front of a shelf of more games in Walgreens.

I keep an eclectic stash of board games when the weather puts a damper on my holiday parties. A fun idea for groups is Charades for Kids — and the kid version of charades is age-appropriate for the whole family.

25. Assemble a patriotic bowling game outdoors.

A group of people playing giant bowling in a backyard with frisbees and giant, inflatable bowling pins.

In recent years, stores began selling jumbo-sized outdoor games like bowling sets. Amazon has inflatable bowling sets that are perfect for your 4th of July party. If Amazon won’t deliver in time for the 4th, head to your local big-box store. They’re bound to have pre-holiday sales.

25 Cheap and Easy 4th of July Games for the Entire Family