Are you ready for some football? Whether you are planning a Super Bowl party, or will just be gathering around the tv with your family, you'll definitely want to get your preschooler in on the fun (even if "your" team isn't playing this year). These fun games and activities are great for little ones both before and during the game (and the commercials!).
O.K., so your team didn't make it to the big game. That doesn't mean you can't get into the spirit with lots of Super Bowl decorations. Buy balloons and streamers in the colors of the two teams that are playing and have your preschooler help you hang them around the house. Draw or buy pictures of footballs or mascots of the teams.
Create a craft tableIf you'd really like to focus on the game, consider setting aside some easy crafts (or even just paper and crayons) for your little one to do. To make the activities Super Bowl-centered, consider laying out paper in the colors of the teams or football-themed stickers (these free coloring pages are fun too!). Be sure to cover any surface with newspaper before you let the kids have at it, and try to use washable materials.
Other craft ideas:
- Team pennants
- T-shirt "jerseys"
- Team socks
- Team hats
Encourage cheering sections
If you've got five or 50 people at your house for Super Bowl Sunday, it's likely that not everyone will be rooting for the same team (unless you live in the cities the teams come from!). Let everyone engage in a little friendly rivalry by cheering for their favorite teams and encouraging folks to dress the part. You can even make your own pom poms by gathering together a bunch of 12" strips of streamers or ribbons. Staple at one end and cover with duct tape. Rah! Rah!
Make it a learning opportunityBelieve it or not, the Super Bowl can be a great opportunity for you to teach your preschooler concepts like math and geography. To start, do a little bit of research on the home city of each team. Talk to your preschooler about which state the city is found and what the city is known for. Find the city on the map. As you watch the game, go over basic math. If a team has to go 10 yards to make a first down and they've already gone five, how many yards are left? Counting on your fingers or as the score gets higher, using counters, help your preschooler add points based on each scoring opportunity.
Play Super Bowl Bingo
This one is a lot of fun if the kids want to watch the game. Print out blank BINGO cards and fill in with a variety of commonly-heard words on Super Bowl Sunday. Football and touchdown are obvious ones, but you can also pick player names and popular commercial terms too. Make sure everyone listens carefully as you watch! Use buttons, coins, or small candies for markers. Team up younger kids who can't yet read with older children or grown ups. Have a small prize available for the winner!
Halftime funHalftime provides a great break in the activities. If it's warm enough, head outside for a game of backyard football or to just toss or kick a ball around. If it's too cold, set up a craft station with some of these fun football crafts. Alternatively, if the kids have been making crafts during the game, use halftime as a chance for everyone to view their work.
Sure, you'll have plenty of Super Bowl snacks at your gathering, but how about some with a sweet twist? Set up a dessert station -- cupcakes or ice cream work really well -- complete with all the trimmings. Frosting for the cupcakes, syrups and whipped cream for ice cream and an assortment of candies and sprinkles (in team colors of course!) for both.