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Host a July 4th Scavenger Hunt

Finding activities for the kids during a party is an age-old issue for parents. You want them to participate and have fun, but the ideas have to be appealing and appropriate. A scavenger hunt to the rescue! 


Kids love to race around seeking clues…especially with a little reward-based incentive. Plus, documenting each find with a Polaroid shot makes it even better.

Here’s a list of cute red, white and blue items and happenings for your little ones to discover and photograph—plus a delicious prize for the winners.

Patriotic Outfits

Photo Credit: Patti Allan

Most people celebrate the summer’s biggest holiday with themed clothes, or at least something that represents the flag’s colors. For this clue, have your kids find someone who’s wearing an item that’s red, white or blue (or even all three at once). Challenge them to look hard—red socks, a blue t-shirt or a white baseball cap all count toward this clue.

I Spy Food

The food’s the focus at most July 4th cookouts, so pick something edible for the next scavenger hunt clue. You can include something as general as a person eating a hotdog or a specific action like the grill master mid-burger flip or someone cutting the flag cake. If you want to make this clue extra sweet, have the snap a platter of American Frosted Cutout Cookies from Cheryl’s!

Pre-fireworks Sparkle

Your BBQ party may not include actual fireworks, but the kids can still find something similar that’s shiny or glittering. Answers for this clue might be the tin foil used to wrap corn, a glass of sparkling water or a shiny set of silverware.

Natural Wonders

Photo Credit: Shauna Mailloux

For this next clue, send the kids for a tour around the backyard to find a flower, plant, or even a bird hitting the birdfeeder. Keep the clue on theme with geraniums, daisies, lilacs, blueberries, tomatoes, or a blue bird, among other red, white and blue flora and fauna.

Those A, B, Cs

This next clue is based on the word ‘star’ and it can be found in all kinds of ways. Have your tots take pictures of things that start with each letter, as in, ‘S’ is for salamander or soda, ‘T’ for tomato or tree and so on. For older kids, choose longer words like ‘stripes’, ‘patriot’ or even ‘independence’!

Stand and Salute

Photo Credit: Krissy Winnick

The flag is easy to find on July 4th, especially if you’re flying one on the front lawn. But for this clue, challenge kids to find the symbol in a more hidden spot. They might spy the flag on paper plates, dinner napkins or on bunting that’s been hung on the neighbor’s fence.

And the winner is…

At the end of the game, the prize for the team with the most correct (or creative) clues gets to share Cheryl’s Americana Cookie Gift Box. You can also give small team honors with Cheryl’s Cirtus and Buttercream Cookies.

Looking for more activities for the kiddos? Check out our Five Ways to Keep Children Entertained at a Barbecue!

Find more party planning inspirations for 4th Of July
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Meet our Writer
Jennifer Geddes
Celebrations Writer

Jennifer Kelly Geddes has hosted Christmas cookie swaps, New Year's open houses, Thanksgiving for 22, and all manner of dinner parties in her Manhattan and Ghent, NY homes.

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