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Uncle Sam’s Hat Making Competition

Materials Needed

  • Red, white, and blue construction paper
  • Safety sacissors
  • Glue
  • Glitter
  • Cotton balls
  • Any other kid-friendly crafts supplies you have available
  • While this is a competition, the biggest benefit may be as a craft activity that allows the kids to relax, calm down and take a break from the more actives games at your 4th of July party.

    The Set Up: On a large table provide construction paper(red, white and blue), safety scissors, glue, cotton, balls, glitter, and any other kid friendly craft materials you have available. For younger kids it is also a good idea to provide a few pictures of Uncle Sam’s hat since they might not be familiar with it. You will then need to select a panel of judges who will select the winner(s) of the Uncle Sam’s Hat Making Competition.

    The Rules: Give the kids around twenty minutes to make their Uncle Sam hats, but if they are having fun and not yet finished letting them work until they are done is a good option. Once everyone has completed their hat, have them line up wearing their hats and parade past the panel of hat judges. There should be plenty of clapping and cheers from the adults during the parade. The judges select an overall winner as well as winners for most creative, most colorful, most 4th of July spirit, and whatever other categories you would like to include. The winners get a prize and all of the kids get are awarded a participation prize as well great praise from the adults.

    Photo-Op: The parade of hats is an excellent opportunity to take fabulous 4th of July photographs of the kids.

    Red, White and Blue Finger-Paint Contest

    Materials Needed

  • Red, white and blue finger paint
  • Paper
  • Paper towels
  • A fair judge
  • While the kids will surely love this game, it might not sound like a good idea to some parents. Make sure that mom and dad are okay with their kids getting messy before they start painting.

    The Set Up: Outside, set up a table with a chair for each kid and ample room for them to get creative. On the table place red, white and blue washable finger-paints, plenty of pieces of paper(extras in case they want to start over) and several rolls of paper towels.

    The Rules: The challenge for your little artists is to make a painting that shows the Spirit of America using only red, white and blue finger-paint. Select a wise and mature party guest to serve as the judge for contest and once all of the participants have finished painting, the judge will examine their work while the painter explains why their picture represents the Spirit of America. Once all paintings have been considered the judge announces the winner who is rewarded a prize. It is also a good idea to give small participation prize to all of the kids.

    Tip: Take pictures of each of the paintings to share with friends and family on social websites(like Facebook) giving credit to the amazing young artists

    The BBQ Stain Art Appreciation Test

    Materials Needed

  • Barbecue sauce
  • A squeeze bottle(or straw)
  • Card-stock or construction paper
  • Tape
  • Eight 3x5 cards
  • Pens
  • Paper for guessing
  • A bowl
  • A grill master with a sense of humor
  • Barbecue sauce stains are as much a part of outdoor summer parties as ants. What is too often ignored is that those stains can actually be works of art! Luckily, your grill master is there to help you interpret this under appreciated style of art.

    The Set Up: Lay eight pieces of card-stock or construction paper on a flat surface. One by one, drip barbecue sauce on the paper in a random pattern. You can use a straw to do this but an empty squeeze bottle works best(ketchup or dish soap bottles will work nicely). Fold the paper over along the center line and press down with your palm. Unfold the paper and you should have a strange shape where one side mirrors the other side. It may take a few practice runs to get the results you want, but there is no truly wrong result. Once you are satisfied, number the pages one through eight.

    Since your grill master(the person manning your grill for the party) is the resident BBQ stain expert, ask them what they see in patterns of barbecue sauce for each and record the answers. For example, “two butterflies kissing”. These answers are now the correct answers.

    This a multiple choice game so you need to come up with two/three wrong answers for each stain. Tape the eight numbered stains to a table in order. In front of each tape a 3×5 card with the letters A,B,C, and D written on them. D will always be “None of the above”. For A-C randomly write either the correct answer and two wrong answers you come up with, or three wrong answer you come up with if the correct answer is going to be D, none of the above.

    The Rules: Before you eat, give your party guests pen and paper. Explain to them that the grill master has given the correct answers and that their task is to look at each stain and write down the correct multiple choice answer. Once they are done with all eight they should write their name on their paper and leave it in a bowl you have placed on the table. After the meal have the grill master hold up each stain and explains exactly what is represented in the imagery. Encourage them to come off sounding like a snooty art expect. The guest that got the most answers correct it the winner and gets a prize.

    This sounds like a lot of prep work, but it really does not take that much time. The key to this game working is the grill master. If you have a fun loving person that is not afraid to play the role the results can be hilarious.