Parties are being planned, I just saw the 12th man flag fly over the mall (there’s a sale on jackets at Macy’s), and it is Blue Friday at work, the store, and of course on every form of social media. This is all to celebrate Saturday’s NFL Playoff game at Century Link Field between your Seattle Seahawks and The New Orleans Saints, kickoff at 1:35 p.m.
Lots of you are having a get-together for the game and some of us are staying home, alone, because we used up all of our “house cleaning/have people over” juice for Christmas. Either way, we all have the same thing on our minds, “How do we keep the kids occupied during the game?!?” I am usually in the “put a movie on” camp but it’s not always that easy when you have friends and their kids over. So I searched, “How to keep kids busy during a football game?” in as many different orders as I could and I am going to show you the best of what I found. Obviously, some of you are craftier than others, (others = me) so I have a few ideas with different levels of commitment.
Let’s start with coloring. I found some Seahawk-themed printouts for the kids to color in, a helmet, a logo, and well, another helmet. They make crayons in all kinds of cool types now. Santa brought my kids some neon and Metallic Target Brand crayons and I’ve seen Crayola does themed boxes now as well. These are inexpensive if you need to get some, but if you are like me, many of your drawers have crayons, at least in pieces, on the corners of multiple drawers.
This search was an informative one for me; you can get lots of free stuff for kids to do online. I am still weary of downloading things, but most of what I found was just printable. As it turns out, there are websites where you can make your own word searches. I found this NFL-related word search but on the site you can also personalize your own. This would be fun for school agers as you could use football terms and the kids’ names as options.
Purpletrail.com, a “Party Idea Blog,” suggests giving the kids their very own “Kids Zone” away from the game watchers. I think this is a great idea and I know at least one of my kids would love the idea of having his own defined space. This a great place to set up a movie, kid snacks, the printouts I linked to above and any other crafts or games/video games. The site does crack me up to no end in suggesting, “You can take help of an adult family member who is not interested in the game.” If you find someone who wants to only hang out with the kids while the adults in the other room watch football and yell stuff like, “Beast Mode” and “Legion of Boom,” build an add-on to your house and move that person in, stat.
Some kids just don’t want to be away from the fun. If you have one of those, TasteOfHome.com has two ideas I thought might go over well. The first is “Football Bingo.” They suggest you “make up your own bingo cards with football-related words, such as “first down,” “punt,” or “field goal.” Add a couple of challenge words to each card, like “Hail Mary pass.”” If there is a prize, kids may listen now and then to see what is being said on the broadcast or they may cry when someone else wins, but I suppose there’s always a chance of that. If this sounds fun, I found a way to make your very own bingo cards. Who knew this stuff was out there?!? I certainly had no idea.
The other idea is a game they call, “Don’t say it.” Pass out a necklace or sticker and “then choose a football-related word that no one can say during the game, such as “touchdown” or “field goal.” If someone hears another person say the word, they can take their beads or sticker. The person with the most beads or stickers at the end of the game wins a prize.” The idea of the game is the same as the baby pin, baby shower game where everyone has a pin and if someone crosses their legs you can take their pin. I always lose that game and would likely lose this game as well.
The most involved of all of the ideas is a craft I saw pop up a few times in my search, it’s called a Football Wreath. I found one site with printable templates and another with a better picture and more in-depth directions. The gist is to make a paper plate wreath, I’m sure a few of those came home for Christmas, and to use hand prints and footballs to make up the “leaves.” You will need glue, paper, markers and scissors if you are going to do a basic version, and paper plates, a stapler and a hole punch if you plan to get a bit fancier. This will definitely take parental involvement as the paper plates would need to be cut out to make the backing for the wreath. Then hand prints would need to be traced and cut out then applied around the paper plate with glue. If you did those parts ahead of time the kid could easily glue the wreaths themselves, and we all know the messier the fun, the longer kids are into it.
Also suggested was to play some football during half-time; we’ve done this before with some success but with a forecast of wind and thunderstorms, I’m not sure that is an option for Saturday.
I hope you have a great game day and Go Hawks!
— By Jen Marx
Jen Marx, an Edmonds Mom of two young boys, is a traffic reporter by dawn and writer and PBJ maker by day. She is always looking for a fun place to take the kids that makes them tired enough to go to bed on time. You can contact Jen with your local event at firstname.lastname@example.org or find her trying to make sense of begging kids to ” just eat the mac n cheese” at SnackMomSyndrome.com. If you have a kid-friendly event you’d like to share, email her at email@example.com.