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Fun stuff to do on Independence Day!
If regular tag is getting boring, offer this patriotic spin, suggests Len Saunders, exercise physiologist and author of Keeping Kids Fit. One child gets to be “It,” and has to chase and attempt to tag other players. Once someone is tagged, he has to do five bottle rockets—squat down and launch into an explosive jump. After completing five, the game resumes. “Kids have a good time with that,” says Saunders.
Water balloons are the perfect addition to a hot, July afternoon. Purchase red, white, and blue balloons to keep the game within the theme, and fill them with water. Give kids a wiffleball bat, and pitch the water balloons to them. Of course, the balloons will pop, so there’s no need for them to run around the bases, but you can set up one “base” they have to run to and then make it back to home plate before being tagged.
Saunders suggests an added challenge for a more advanced game: set a garbage can near home plate. Once the child at-bat hits the water balloon, let her run away from the plate to a “base,” while other kids in the “outfield” attempt to throw a tennis ball into the bucket before she returns home.
Mimic an all-American fair by setting up balloon darts, ring tosses, or tin can toss games in your backyard. Or, try a spin on Pin the Tail on the Donkey, and have kids pin stripes or stars onto a flag.
This game is great no matter where you’re celebrating the holiday—even if it rains. There are so many variations you can try, but Saunders suggests hiding printouts of the American Flag or other patriotic images around the park or backyard, and attaching activities to each. So when a child finds the first image, there’s a note that reads, “Do five pushups.” It keeps them active and adds another layer to a traditional party game.
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