Mom’s Football Playbook :: 3 Ways to Keep Kids Busy During the Big Game

Congratulations Friends! We have reached that point during the year when Saturday mornings mean waking up and waiting for College Game Day and your Sunday menu includes Healthy Game Day Wings.  Maybe you have no idea what I’m talking about. Maybe you wake Saturday mornings wishing the temperatures outside would fall just enough to wear scarves and drink your pumpkin flavored coffee beverage without sweating.

Regardless, it’s football season! Love it or hate it, it’s here. Maybe your kids love claiming a seat on the couch to watch along with you?  Maybe you find yourself with a plate of wings and a cold beverage just hoping to watch a set of downs here or there before you hear “Mom, can you…?”  Since I imagine a large number of us are in the latter group, it’s time to look at the X’s and O’s.

No matter who you are cheering for this season,  check out our playbook below for ways to entertain and involve kids while watching the game.  {Okay, so you most likely won’t watch the game in its entirety without interruption, but with a little preparation and calling your plays just right, you just might find yourself witnessing a JJ Watt touchdown reception.}


 Get Your Craft On

Just like teams prepare preseason in training camp, sometimes we have to take a few minutes during the week to make way for a smooth, game-watching weekend.  Consider spreading out the following crafts throughout the season:

  • Print coloring pages :: A simple Google search for your favorite team leads to a few different choices. You can even find blank helmets and jersey for kids to create their own.
  • Toilet paper roll footballs :: I’ve told you about my hoarding of household items for crafting. Bend those cardboard gems in half to create a football shape on the ends, grab some brown paint, and get to stamping. You could even use fabric paint and create game day shirts.
  • Handprint footballs :: Keep that brown paint out and make some footballs with those sweet hands while you are at it. We’ve done this since Wyatt was born and are adding to our collection each year.
  • Mascot puzzles :: You can find a basic tutorial here, and I simply visited the LSU and Houston Texans website to find the pictures that I wanted to use. I need to make some more this year on larger popsicle sticks to include our littlest football fan in the fun.


Get Your Snack On

If your children are anything like mine, they are not into sitting still for long periods of time, but I can usually count on snacks to keep them contained for a few minutes. Take your clock management a step further, Coach, and prepare to make Game Day Snack Necklaces. The Cheerios in the pantry will work just great, but if you really want to flex your mom muscles, grab a few other “string-able” foods on your weekly grocery trip and save for football watching with the family. Make your choices as healthy as you want, but a few treats just might go a long way in your own game-watching abilities.


Snack Ideas ::

  • Pretzels {Snyder’s currently has football themed ones out!}
  • Cookies with holes in the center
  • Twizzlers in team colors
  • Cheerios
  • Fruit Loops
  • Dried apple rings
  • Yogurt covered pretzels
  • Life Saver Gummies
  • Marshmallows
  • Fruit

Get Your Game On

So now you’ve hyped them up on a bit of sugar, and it’s time to play defense. In order to ward off being dragged away from the television when your team is about to score the go-ahead touchdown, get your kids moving when it works for you.

  •  There’s nothing like a bit of backyard football. Head outside to recreate a play you just watched. Design your own plays. Or simply do lots of running and a bit of throw and catch.
  • Build a toilet paper roll goal post. That link has an entire game plan with it, but you could simply play inside with a squishy football.
  • Grab some painter’s tape, create a goal post on the wall, and play “Pin the Field Goal.”

Lagniappe {A Little Something Extra}

Moms know the power of incentive-based coaching. Give your kids a reason to watch.

  • Perhaps every field goal is an extra 5 minutes to stay up before bed. Older kids might be able to keep track of first downs and earn a reward that way.
  • Do a quick Google search and find some printable football bingo cards {or make your own} and have those eyes on the screen looking to match their pictures.
  • And last, but not least, don’t forget about all of Houston’s freebies with a Texans’ victory.  Did someone say free Sonic Slush every time there’s a win? Come on kids! Let’s cheer on those Texans!
I’m hoping a few of these will carry the busy boys in this household through a game or two this season. Am I missing something? If you’ve got secrets to uninterrupted game watching or a favorite football family tradition, do share! 
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Jenn is an English teacher turned stay at home mom to boys Wyatt {2010}, John {2013}, and Abram {2014}. South Louisiana born and raised, North Louisiana educated, and Texas “polished,” she has found Houston to be home with her husband for the past ten years. After infertility struggles, in 2010 she traded in A Tale of Two Cities for Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site and has since been busy discovering ways to learn while playing, maintaining a semi-scheduled family life, and integrating both Texas and Louisiana culture into her family. Besides making memories with her boys full time, she enjoys reading, running, crafting, cooking, and football. Y’all stop by When In Doubt, Add More Salt to read more about family adventures with the boys and Jenn’s thoughts on hot summers and Pinterest pin attempts, and her love/hate relationship with March Madness brackets.


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