It’s officially football season! While attending or hosting a football-watching get-together with friends may not be the same now that everyone has kids, with a little bit of pre-planning, here are a few ways to keep the kiddos busy while you cheer on your favorite team!
- Get your kid(s) excited for the game. Dress them in their favorite fan attire and teach them the team chant.
- Bring along some kid-friendly snacks or better yet, ask your kid(s) what they would like to bring and have fun making it with them. A few favorites include, pigs in a blanket, pizza rolls, meatballs, chicken nuggets, fruit skewers, soft pretzel bites, rice krispie treats, cookies, and whoopie pies.
- Invite families with kids that are around the same age as your kid(s). A naturally evolving playdate, while you watch football…score!
- Create age-appropriate play stations to keep the kiddos busy. You may want to even save the play stations for when the intensity of the game and your attention needed increases.
- Play station ideas for 1-2 year olds: create sensory bins; set out age-appropriate puzzles; paint with water on cardboard; put out a bucket of musical instruments and let the kids jam out.
- Play station ideas for 3-4 year olds: fill a table full of books and let them read, read, read; letter tracing area; pasta playdoh station (provide each child with a ball of playdoh and a cup of different types of noodles, and tell them to make silly faces with the playdoh and noodles); create a coloring book station; set out modeling clay and let creativity take over.
- Play station ideas for 5-6-year-olds: create an animal scavenger hunt, a color scavenger hunt (find something red an put it in the bucket), or a football themed scavenger hunt; put out board games such as kids Monopoly, Break the Ice, and Candy Land; set up a Lego building area; lay out a bracelet/necklace creation area.
- Create an in-home movie theater. Feature an age appropriate movie and set out popcorn and a candy bar.
- If space allows, set up a bouncy house in a nearby room. Fisher-Price makes a bouncy house that perfectly fits in an open room and will keep the kids busy for hours. Plus, they’ll have bounced out so much energy that a good night sleep will await!
- Place a TV outside so you can keep an eye on the game and the kiddos while they play on their outdoor obstacle course. Here are a few websites with ideas to help get you started building your obstacle course:
- Egg hunts aren’t just for Easter. Fill eggs with age-appropriate items and hide them. A couple of ideas: fill eggs with toy dinosaurs or sea animals and then put supplies out for the kiddos to build “Dinosaur Land” or “Sea World”. You can buy these small plastic animal sets at Target, Hobby Lobby, the Dollar Store, etc. Get ready, get set, hunt!
- Set out a bunch of similarly themed pictures, paper, child-proof scissors, and have the kiddos create a picture collage.
- Create a painting station(s)…rock painting, plaster/ceramic kit painting (Hobby Lobby has super cute, inexpensive sets—mermaids, unicorns, pirates, sea creatures, etc.), canvas painting.
- Have kids decorate their own foam fingers and/or a personalized team pennant to help cheer on their team!
- Football plate lacing…check out this super cute idea to keep the kiddos busy for a while.
- Build a goal post out of PVC pipe or cardboard paper towel rolls and let the kiddos practice throwing and kicking a football through the goal post.
Let the countdown for kick-off begin!