Super Bowl XLVII is just around the corner. Whether you’re planning to host a crowd or just settle down as a family to watch the big game, here are some ways to keep the kids entertained before and during the game. Kids have pretty short attention spans, so don’t expect adult behavior from preschoolers and you won’t be disappointed. With a little planning, this can be your best Super Bowl party ever.
Include the kids in the planning. When kids are involved in planning activities, they are more likely to have a good time. Before game day, put all of the kids’ names in a hat and pick teams, one child at a time. One team will be the 49ers and the other will be the Ravens. Let each team of kids work together to design a banner for their team, using poster board. Pull out your craft kit and use glitter, glue, poster paints, and markers. Let the older kids research the mascots for each team or look it up together online.
Let the kids help plan the menu. Each child can pick one food they want to have served at the party. Use a tried-and-true recipe or look up a new way to prepare the food online. On game day, let the kids help in the kitchen. When kids help prepare food, they will be more likely to eat it. Older kids can help with chopping. Younger kids can help mix up cookie or brownie dough in a bowl. Kids of all ages can thread fruit chunks onto wooden skewers.
On game day, print out rosters from each team and choose players who are likely to play for most or all of the game. Assign each of the kids to watch for one player from each team. Let the kids keep score of how many times their player makes a play. Have each of the kids draw a picture of their favorite play each quarter. Let each child write who they think will win the game and the score and seal their guesses in envelopes.
If your kids don’t understand football, explain the basic rules so they will be more interested. Let the kids take turns guessing how many yards will be gained in each play or how many first downs each team will have during a quarter. Learn some of the most common referee hand signals from the NFL’s website. Let your kids take turns being the referee and see if they make the same calls the real officials do.
One of the best parts of the Super Bowl for many kids are the ads. Let each of the kids choose their favorite ad. You can also assign older kids to find ways that sponsors are trying to push their products in the ads. Look for truth in advertising and ways the ads appeal to different age groups. Before halftime, let each of the kids create their own ad to sell one of the halftime treats to those watching the game. See who makes the most sales.
If the kids grow bored with the game on TV, let them hold their own Super Bowl in the den or bedroom. Use balled-up newspaper to make a safe ball that won’t break anything. Use masking tape to line the field and a kitchen timer to time each half. At the end of the game, open the envelopes and see who came closest to guessing the final score. Award a prize to the winner.
You can have make the Super Bowl a lot of fun for the kids when you include them in the planning and draw them into the excitement. And who knows, maybe some day one of your kids will be playing in the Super Bowl. Stranger things have happened.