Whether you’re into football or not, the big game is a great excuse to get together with family and friends. Yummy snacks, funny commercials and a bunch of people enthusiastically yelling at the TV — what a time! Social gatherings like this, however, can be tough when you also have little kids to keep entertained for several hours. Here are a few tips that will keep your kiddos busy while you and the other grownups enjoy the event.
1) Plan ahead: The big game can last over 3 hours between the game itself, commercial breaks and the halftime performance. Make sure you have plenty of kid-friendly snacks and drinks available and accessible. You don't want to miss the game (or socializing) because you must leave the room every two minutes to grab something. Set up quiet toys, coloring activities or games nearby to keep little ones entertained. If available, set up a kid-friendly movie or TV show in another room to help them pass the time.
2: Get them involved: Did we mention snacks? One of the best parts of enjoying sporting events is preparing a bunch of yummy snack foods to enjoy throughout the duration of the game. Get your kiddos involved in the kitchen! Let them pour pretzels into a big bowl or let them measure out the ingredients to make cookies. Another way to get your kiddos involved is with decorating. Grab some decorations at your local party store or let them draw some pictures of their favorite team to hang up. Colorful streamers with your team's colors, balloons, whistles — the opportunities are endless! Getting your kiddos involved in the preparation will allow them to build excitement for the day and be more invested in the event overall.
3: Take breaks: Three hours is a long time to sit still — even for adults! If you're in it for the game, take a break during the commercials. If you're in it for the commercials, take a break during the game! Get outside and get some fresh air. Stretch your legs. Play a quick game of catch with your little one who aspires to play in the big game one day. All you need is two minutes to get your body moving and let your kiddos burn off some extra energy.
One final thing: try not to stress too much! The most important part about game day is spending time with your family and friends and having fun. If your kiddos get bored and lose interest, it's okay! Having activities on deck for them will allow you to still enjoy each other's company even if you're doing different things. With a bit of planning and preparation, you can enjoy the game (or social time) with the whole family.