If you’re a dual-fan household, you know how serious sitting down to watch a football game is. With both adults in the household engrossed in the game, it can be difficult to engage children while not experiencing some frustration as you miss a big play.
To lend you a hand, we have five great game day activities to keep your kids occupied while you root on your favorite team. Not only are they sure to give you a little time, they’re also incredibly frugal.
1. Explain the Game
Your young kids love you. They want to bond with you. They’re willing to give whatever you’re interested in a go. While it may initially seem like a distraction, try to sit down with them and explain what’s going on in the game. Explain the rules. Explain the scoring. Explain why you’re cheering or holding your head in your hands. They may just start enjoying the game as much as you do, transforming football games from a fun activity for parents to a real opportunity to connect with your kids weekly.
Tried it and have a child that’s disinterested? We’ve been there, too. Look at ideas two through five to help them enjoy game time, even if the actual game isn’t their focal point.
2. Play Sportscaster
For this idea you’ll need a cardboard box. On the side that has the largest surface area, cut out a large rectangle, leaving only inches around the perimeter. This will be your screen. Let the little ones decorate it like a TV. When they’re done, they’re ready to step behind the screen and play sportscaster.
Even if they have no idea what’s going on with the game, they’ll have fun making up their own story and taking turns at being on television.
3. Football Bingo
If you still would like to teach them the rules of the game, turn it into a game they can relate to. Using these Superbowl Bingo Cards as inspiration, make some cards that are specific to your team. Turn the numbers into the jersey numbers for your big players, remove the alcohol square if that’s not something you want your kids to focus on, and add your team’s mascot. The options are endless. Bingo can help get your kids to watch the game even if they’re not watching for the same reasons as you.
4. Football Windsocks
Have little ones that are heavy into arts and crafts? Set up an art station for them! One fun idea is to make a football windsock. You’ll need to provide a toilet paper roll, white paint, brown paint (optional,) glue, string, streamers in your team’s colors, and a hole punch.
They can start by painting the toilet paper roll brown, or they can leave it as is since it’s already the appropriate color. Then, they paint three white horizontal lines down one side for the threads, with one white vertical line going through the center of them. Now they have a football.
Glue the streamers to the inside, having them flow out one end. (You can use strips of paper or even string if you don’t have streamers readily available.) On the opposite end of the roll, punch two holes on opposite sides of the top. Run a string through the holes, and tie. They can either hang them up outside, or wave them around as the grown ups cheer for the two point conversion.
5. Watch the Game After Bedtime
Another option is to watch the game after the kids are in bed. The NFL Game Pass allows you to watch any game at your leisure on any device after it’s aired. Your cheers will have to be a bit quieter to avoid waking anyone up, but the ability to watch completely uninterrupted may be worth the sacrifice.