Parenting and the Super Bowl don’t tend to be the greatest combination. I mean, there is really no way your kids will leave you alone long enough to actually know what is going on in the game (or more important, appreciate the hyped up commercials) and they will most likely consume way too many snacks and stay up way too late. But don’t worry, I’ve come up with the Parent’s Guide to Enjoying the Super Bowl.
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Super Bowl Inspired Activities
Want the kids to leave you alone for a little bit? Then you need to bribe them with activities. I’m not a Pinterest Perfect parent whatsoever, so if I have something for my boys to do, it has to be simple and straightforward with little to no work on my part. When creating this Parent’s Guide to Enjoying the Super Bowl there were a ton of activities to choose from, but I promise that these options will appeal to a vast array of kids’ interests, abilities, and ages.
Show Their Spirit
Have kids pick a team to root for and then go all out supporting them. Since my beloved Bears didn’t make the Super Bowl cut, we typically don’t have a clear favorite team. So my boys typically pick their favorite based on team colors or their favorite animals…as long as they never cheer for the Packers they are allowed to pick any team they want. Then I let them take out all of the markers, crayons, and paint to make signs, banners, and anything else they want to show their team spirit. Crayola has a TON of high quality materials from paper to stencils, markers and more to create banners that will last from one Super Bowl to the next.
NFL shop is my go to for all things football, and you can find fun and unique options at all different price points to sport during the game. We are tried and true Chicagoans so we only wear Bears gear, from cute socks to jerseys (I love my Fridge jersey from the 85 team while my boys are obsessed with Trubisky and Cohen) and hats, but each NFL team is represented on this go-to site.
Play I Spy
I love using I Spy anytime I want my boys to have fun….and give me a break. So before the game starts, I create a grid, similar to a Bingo card, with different words and/or pictures of things that I think will be shown during the Super Bowl. For example, easy ones are cheerleaders, cars (I mean, isn’t every commercial a car commercial during the big game), someone with their face painted….you get the picture. It keeps my boys occupied and when they fill up an entire row or column, I give them a Super Bowl treat of their choice. Pre-readers can use a picture filled Bingo card, while elementary kids can build their vocabulary while trying to fill their I Spy Bingo card.
Go old school
Remember back in the day when you and your classmates would play paper football to pass the time at school? It might have driven your teacher crazy (I know it was one of my pet peeves), but now it’s something that you can enjoy as a parent. They will need some help folding the football and learning how to correctly “punt” it using their fingers, but they will love hurtling objects through the air without getting yelled at. And maybe, just maybe, you can finish a drink undisturbed.
Find football themed games
You can find games that focus on all types of genres and interests, including sports. My boys especially love this football play set from Fat Brain Toys. They can reenact their favorite plays and even tackle each other’s team another without injuring themselves. And if the weather allows, head outside and throw around the football during halftime if you aren’t into the musical guest.
Roll out the paper
One of the absolute best ways to keep kids occupied is by rolling out a huge banner of paper. You can get them at craft stores, but those tend to be awkward, bulky, and take up way too much room. That’s why I love this more compact version. Roll out some paper and tape down the corners to secure it. Then have your kids work on creating their own football stadium, complete with stands, yellow goal posts, players….anything they can imagine. Bonus points for if they try to draw the halftime show performances.
Super Bowl Inspired Food
For many people, including myself, the Super Bowl is all about the food. It is the one day where I really don’t care about how many calories I ingest or how much my kids indulge because it is just plain fun. But I’m not one of those moms who will be creating my own Super Bowl stadium filled with snacks, oh no. I will be making some delish yet simple dishes and getting my boys involved all at the same time.
“Fancy” Hot Dogs Wrapped in Dough
The secret to this recipe? My tried and true seasoning…Everything But the Bagel Seasoning from Trader Joe’s. Cut up hot dogs, roll them up using store bought dough, and then sprinkle them with the Trader Joe’s magic before popping them into a 350 degree oven for 8-10 minutes.
Chicken and Waffles
Our weekends are all about lazy breakfasts, so why not save some waffles for the big game? We typically do homemade waffles and use store bought chicken fingers or drumsticks from ether Jewel or Mariano’s. My boys have a blast helping me mix the waffle batter and get a kick out of drizzling honey and syrup all over the chicken and into every single nook and cranny of the waffle. Don’t want to overindulge? Cut up the chicken and waffle to make sliders instead. So easy peasy…and oh so delish.
Take a break from doing all of the prep work and put your kids to work creating their own pizza bread. Simply get a piece of naan bread (we find baguettes to be a little too hard on my boys’ little and sensitive mouths) and then let them start creating! Be sure to have jarred pizza sauce, a TON of cheese, and lots of different toppings on hand. Pop it in the oven at 400 degrees until the cheese is melted and bubbly, about 8-10 minutes.
All that eating will make you thirsty, and whether you are going for alcoholic or non-alcoholic drinks, it is fun to set up a drink station. Simply put out some cute football themed cups, reusable straws, and a bunch of drink choices so your football watching posse can help themselves. Just be sure to monitor how much lemonade your kids drink if they are anything like my boys…
Super Bowl Party Ideas
One of the best things about hosting a Super Bowl party is that you get to watch the big game from the comfort of your own home and can get to bed earlier than your guests (use disposable EVERYTHING to make clean up a breeze). It’s also easy to entertain as long as you prep dishes that your guests can put together themselves and can hold up during what can be a long football game. Our go-to is a baked potato bar, or you can also get your friends and family in on the fun and have a chili cook-off to coincide with the game. There are also fun, officially licensed NFL cakes, too!
So there you have it, ways to get your kids involved in the Super Bowl prep in a way that lets you be as hands off as possible and actually enjoy the game. Well, not like before you had kids, but you get the point. Here’s to hoping that the Bears will be playing next year in the big game…my boys are already counting down the days until pre-season kickoff and going to our next game at Soldier Field. Be sure to share this Parent’s Guide to Enjoying the Super Bowl with all of the pigskin lovers you know.
If you were going to create a Parent’s Guide to Enjoying the Super Bowl, what would YOU add? Let me know in the comments!
Enjoy the Game!
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