Homemade American history games for Labor Day, Memorial Day, Flag Day, 4th of July, Veterans Day lesson plans

Here's homemade fun for Labor Day, Memorial Day or 4th of July. Host a red white and blue backyard waterpark. Set up 10 activity stations and play American patriotic outdoor games. Party guests, young and old can play, but make a safe zone for those who want to stay dry. Guests should wear bathing suits or play inside in a pool. You can also make up dry versions of games.

Uncle Sam Sponge Toss. For this station, you will need a lawn chair, three large, soft clean sponges, a bucket of water and an Uncle Sam Hat (paint an old hat red, white and blue). Players take turns sitting in the 'hot seat' with the hat on. Players get to toss three wet sponges at "Uncle Sam." The object is to knock his hat off.

All American Splash Ball: Fill a bucket with water balloons. Divide players into teams of two. Players take turns lobbing balloons at each other and trying to hit with tennis or badminton racket, Nerf bat or recycled cardboard paper towel tube. Players should name presidents as they throw.

Memorial Day Bash Ball: Fill a bucket with water balloons. Give each player a butterfly net, colander, sieve or plastic butter tub. Balloons are tossed and caught without touching, as in "Hot Potato." Make it more difficult by introducing several balloons into play at once. Or make players name states and capitals as they play.

Stars and Stripes Shooting Arcade: Paint red and blue stars on white plastic containers of assorted sizes. Thoroughly rinse recycled squirt bottles and fill with water. As in a carnival water shooting gallery, players try to knock down as many bottles as possible in a limited time. Or place a waterproof map on wall and have kids aims for certain states. Winner gets to squirt the person of his choice.

Lady Liberty relay. Players take turns donning basic Lady Liberty costume (dress, crown, torch, book) as fast as they can and performing tasks.

Lady Liberty spritzer. One players dresses as Lady Liberty is blindfolded and gets a hose to spray with. Kids try to get past her, taking one step at a time, like Marco Polo.

Labor Day limbo: Hold hose up like limbo bar. Drop in lower and lower as players try to go under without getting wet. Or use a regular limbo pole. Each time, they must name a famous American.

Fireworks Sprinkler Golf: Make clubs from recycled wrapping paper tubes and balls from wadded up recycled paper or Styrofoam. Set up a small nine hole golf course, putting one hole in the middle of the sprinkler and another in the wading pool. You can also make a huge US map golf course with holes in each state.

Old Glory Obstacle Course: Arrange baby wading pools or shallow pans of water, colored red and blue in an obstacle course. Players must complete tasks like "hop on one foot to blue" or "crawl through red." Along with physical tasks students must name famous events in US history.

Patriotic Apple Bob: Fill a wading pool with apples and water. Winner gets an apple pie for the grand prize.

Award prizes for trash pick up. Be sure to collect all balloons.


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