If you're hosting a 4th of July party, there are hours and hours to fill before the highlight events of the day begin - the fireworks. You'll want to have plenty of activities and games planned to keep everyone busy and entertained.
There are a variety of games you can plan that have a patriotic theme.
Balloon pass - This game involves relaying a balloon down a line of people. Use balloons that are red, white and blue and tell the participants they will be using their hands and their legs to pass the balloon down the line. Create two teams of people, and line them up in straight lines. Give the first person a balloon and tell them to put it between their legs, passing the balloon to the next person in line with their legs only. That person will take the balloon and pass it to the next person by putting it over their head. That third person will put the balloon between their legs and pass to the next person like that. The game continues until the balloon has passed all the way down the line. If you have a small group, require that the balloon get passed down the line and back again before declaring a winner.
Chalk it up - Pick a panel of judges (the oldest members of the family are the obvious picks) and have them become the official judges for a chalk contest. Break your guests into two teams (or more, depending on how many people are at the party) and give them each one or two containers of sidewalk chalk. Tell them to create a sidewalk picture that shows something patriotic, and tell them the flag must be included in the picture. Give them a time limit (depending on your group, this time limit might range from 10 minutes to 45 minutes) and then have the judges declare a winner after they have carefully examined all the artwork. You could have art-themed prizes for the winners.
Parade - One fun 4th of July activity that just screams "4th of July!" is a parade with decorated bikes, scooters and the like. Ask everyone who comes to the party to decorate their bike or scooter or other item in patriotic garb. You can have people bring them to the party already decorated and have a contest for "best bike", etc., but also fun is to have a decorating party within the party. Have all the items on hand to decorate the bikes and scooters and skateboards. You might have streamers, banners, flags, and ribbons. The children and adults can decorate their bikes and scooters as a party activity.
Guessing Game - These games are always popular for just about any occasion. Fill a large jar with peppermint candy (the red and white striped kind) and decorate it with blue and red ribbon. Have people guess how many candies are in the jar (which of course means you count as you place the candies in the jar). The winner, or the person who comes closest to the number without going over, gets the jar of candy.
Fireworks - If you're having fireworks at your home, you might have a big box of assorted fireworks. Everyone has their personal favorites and people might have clear ideas of what they want to see and hear. You can play a game to determine who gets to pick the next firework to go off next. You might ask trivia questions (why are there 13 stars on the flag?). Or you can have a dance off. While music plays in the background, each person who really wants to pick the next firework to go off has to dance the craziest, silliest dance they can come up with. Someone who's been designated a judge will decide who won the dance off and that person gets to pick the next fireworks item. Unless there are more fireworks than people, each person only gets to pick once.