Game Day with Kids

That’s right, your kids want to join you for the big game! But don’t cry in your beer just yet; you won’t be missing out on any belly bumping or wardrobe malfunctions. Just follow Daddy Nickell’s great game day suggestions, and you’ll be on the road to a fun-for-all family-oriented Super Bowl party. Now go throw on that jersey and cook some cocktail wienies!

Kids, especially younger kids, are not likely to be engaged in the game. So, if you don’t want to have your sleeves tugged a few hundred times or miss a big touchdown while you’re tending to a bored kid, you’d better organize some activities to keep them entertained. Here are a few ideas:

1. Set-up a mini football field in the garage, and let the kids play their own game.  Use masking or painter’s tape to make yard markers.  Give them a foam football, and let them burn off some energy.

2. Football Pictionary is a fun family game everyone can play.  Use all football-related words — cheerleaders, penalty, helmet, pass, bleachers, fans, safety, touchdown and Beyonce.  You can play before the game starts and during commercial breaks.

3. A football piñata would be a big hit with the younger fans. Fill a piñata (a football-shaped piñata if you can find one) and fill it with stickers, trading cards, pencils and erasers, whistles and goodies (just watch the amount of sweets!).

4. Fan signs. Ask the kids to pick a favorite team (could be based on which team colors or name they like better) and ask them to make signs supporting their team to hang up around the living/family room.

5. Set up a separate TV for the kids if you have more than one. The kids might watch a bit of football but will most likely tire of the long game so putting on a good kid’s movie or Wii or XBox football might keep them happier.

6. Set up a kids’ activity/craft table and include football-themed coloring pages, word searches and crafts.

7. Organize a personal-pizza bar as an activity. Invite the kids to top their own personal football-shaped pizzas. Buy premade pizza dough, roll out and cut into the shape of a football and prebake. Fill bowls with toppings such as pepperoni slices, sausage crumbles, diced ham, shredded yellow and mozzarella cheese, pineapple chunks, diced tomatoes and mushrooms.  Once the pizza is topped, just bake long enough to heat the toppings.

8. Play “sit on the balloon game” when a team scores a goal. Buy a bunch of inexpensive items (from dollar stores) and fill the balloons with a small piece of paper that names a prize the child will get for popping the balloon — then blow the balloon up.  Whenever a goal is scored, each child then sits on the balloon until it pops.

9. Make a tired kid area with tents and flashlights. The game can run pretty late for little ones, so construct tents from blankets over a table or other furniture.  Let those who need to relax or sleep have a flashlight and lay down for some quiet time.


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