Inside: These color war games ideas will help bring your summer game over the top.

If you are on the hunt for a group activity that will not only end in laughs but bring people together, then look no further. Today we are talking about Color Wars! 

I know it sounds a little intense, but I promise they are so much fun. The first time I ever participated in one was when I was a tween and let me tell you, it has left a mark. A metaphorical one of course, because these wars are practically harmless. 

Color war game ideas that pop

I wanted to share this experience with others, so I thought I’d go over the basics of what a color war is, how to play it, as well as some of the best ideas to help your color war games pop off. Let’s get into it.

What is a Color War?

A color war is a game that is mainly played in summer camps, schools, and any other group of people who are trying to work on team building. That is what this game is great at; getting people to work together while having a fun time.

Typically, the general idea of the game is that teens and kids are on different teams and throw colored powder at each other. The end result is extremely colorful. There are so many different games that you can incorporate into a color war, from tag to hide and seek, to capture the flag. It’s up to you and your group!

How to play

Step One: Pick Your Game

There are many different games that you can play and incorporate into a color war. Today we are just going to pick one to walk through, and that is capture the flag. 

Step Two: Prepare your colors

Decide on whether or not you want to use a squeeze bottle, bags, or color balls as ammunition. Get it all prepped and laid out ready for use.

Step Three: Draw Your Battle Field 

Before we get started, we have to draw the battlefield, or at least its outlines and parameters. 

Step Four: Go To War

Now that everything is set up, it’s time to go to war. A good way to start any game is with a toss-up, or in this case, a color toss-up. Then you just follow the rules of regular capture the flag. 

Color War Tips for Fun

Tips For Fun Color War Games

1.  Determine Your Game In Advance – Planning a game in advance is crucial to having a great color war. Otherwise, you are just running around throwing the color powder at each other, yes that’s fun for a short time, but having direction can make it an even better experience.

2. Play Music – A silent war is fun and all, but by adding some tunes you can make the whole experience feel much more cinematic. It’s a must-have. 

3. State the Safety Rules – Though a color war is safer than basically every other kind of war out there, there are still some safety concerns that need to be addressed. So make sure to read the safety rules above to the players before starting to help avoid unnecessary hurt. 

4. Supply Safety Glasses – This tip kind of goes with number 3 but it deserves its own number. Make sure to supply every player with safety glasses, because nothing is worse than having color powder in your eye. Not only does it hurt, but it looks absolutely terrifying.

5. Ketchup Squeeze Bottles – These plastic squeeze bottles are a wonderful way to make your power go a long way. It lasts much longer than any other way of throwing the powder. 

6. Small Packets – Having small bags of pre-measured powder is one of the best ways to conserve your supply. You can do this by separating it into ziplock bags.

7. Color Stations – You have to have refill color stations all lined up around the battlefield. This way, when a player runs out the game is not over. 

8. Have A Goal – Having an end goal, like capturing the flag, gives the player a sense of purpose when fighting. 

9. Make Sure that Fun is the Priority – Sometimes, the idea of winning can be so overwhelming that you forget to have fun. Make sure to make it clear that the whole reason everyone is there is to have fun, first and foremost. 

Color War Games

Ideas For A Large group

10. Color Balls, Refillable – Color balls are a must for color wars, so you can buy these awesome refillable ones to help save you on time. These are great because you can re-use them as many times as you want!

11. 5 lbs 6 Bags of Colors – Obviously you are gonna need some bags of color power to throw…that’s the whole point of color wars! You are gonna need different amounts based on how many people will be participating. 

12. 8 Pack of 5 LBS Bags – For those of you who are throwing a huge color war, you will need a big supply of the color! So here is an 8-pack of 5 lbs bags of different colors to help you fill your arsenal. 

13. 25 Individual Assorted Colors – For a smaller group, this assorted pack of 25 different colors will definitely be for you!

14. 36 Piece Color Party Kit – This party kit can give you some great ideas for your own party and what you’ll need. Even if you don’t buy this exact kit, you can buy some of the items that are in it. 

15. White Shirts – In order to let the colors truly shine during this game, you are gonna want some lighter t shirts. Hand these out to every player before game time and the end result will be a tie dye with a story!

16. Sweatband Team Colors – If you are playing a game with separate teams then these sweatbands are going to be super helpful. 

17. Face Paint Crayons – Paint on your own war paint before game time. These crayons are such a fun addition to an already fun day!

How to make colored cotton balls for war games

How to Make Colored Cotton Balls for War Games

This DIY is for those of you who like to make your own tools rather than buy them. Colored cotton balls are such a fun way to add props to this game. Think about them like the snowball in a snowball fight. 


  • Hundreds of Cotton Balls
  • Powder Colors of Choice

It’s pretty simple, but literally, all you need to do for this is place a bunch of cotton balls into a big trash bag along with the color of choice, shake it around, and massage the color into the cotton. Then when you are done, dump the bag into a bucket or a tray for people to grab. That’s it! Cheap, simple, it’s perfect.

Well, I hope you loved learning a little bit about what a color war is, how great it is for team building, and found my tips on how to create the best color war in history helpful. Outdoor games are really the best part about summer, they make spending time with friends and loved ones that much more special, and color wars are one of the best outdoor games out there.