The NFL season has officially started and moms and dads are gearing up to cheer for their team (unless, of course it affects their Fantasy Football outcome!)
But the excitement of the football season for adults also means that for many families with toddlers and preschoolers, the TV that regularly displays episodes of Caillou, Sesame Street and Bubble Guppies is out of commission for basically the entire day! This can be a disaster for the little ones who (1) don’t have any interest in football and (2) desperately fear the thought of going down into the basement alone, where the extra TV is located, right next to the monster-like sounds coming from the laundry room!
If this happens in your house on Sundays, try some of these fun ways to keep kids entertained during the big game so that the family can spend time together enjoying the football season:
- Give the children some paper and drawing utensils and encourage them to draw the team logos from the helmets.
- Print out coloring pages for your favorite team or the teams that are currently playing and give them to your children along with some coloring utensils.
- Teach your children how to make a paper football and challenge them to see how many field goals they can make before the next commercial break.
- During commercial breaks, play with the paper football. Don’t know how to play it? Find simple directions here.
- Create a touchdown dance together and perform it when your team scores and/or practice it during commercial breaks.
- Prepare fun, football-themed snacks and let the kids join in on the preparation process.
- Let the kids sit on the couch with you as you teach them—boys and girls alike—how the game of football is played.
- Play catch with a child-friendly football.
- During the commercial breaks, run some actual plays with the football. Mom or dad can act as quarterback while the children play different roles like running back, wide receiver or a defensive player.
- Let your little quarterback have some target practice by setting up a basket and giving him or her an appropriate-sized football. See how many passes he or she can complete before the next commercial break.