How to Have a Kid-Friendly Super Bowl Party

Ways you and your babysitter can plan a successful game day for the whole family.

family and friends watching super bowl
Super Bowl Sunday is fast approaching and if the biggest battle in your house is the Super Bowl versus Superman, we've got the answer: a kid-friendly bowl game. Here are crafts, games and food ideas to turn whining into winning.

Pre-game Warmup
Here are some crafts the kids can do with the babysitter or nanny to get amped up for the game.

  • Football necklaces: Use cardstock, foam board or construction paper to make football-shaped necklaces complete with team colors. Complete the look with sewn laces using a hole puncher and white yarn. Add another hole at both ends of the ball, loop with yarn and tie string ends together. If enough are made for guests, each person can personalize his own.
  • Team flags: Cut 7"x10"x10" triangles out of construction paper. Get kids to decorate rally flags with markers, glitter and paint. Glue (we suggest a glue gun) the finished flags to a wooden dowel or hang them up around the room.
  • Paper pom-poms: Cut various colored tissue paper into small strips. Gather paper towel and toilet paper holders, wooden dowels or long straws and have kids tape the ends with colored tissue. Bring out at rally time.
  • Football cookies: Use a football cookie cutter to cut your classic cookie dough into football-shaped cookies. Provide the kids with some options for frosting and sprinkles and allow them to decorate. Or, put a scoop of ice cream in between 2 cookies, wrap in tin foil and freeze for 24-hours.

Game-Time Games
Here are some fun ideas to keep the kids interested in the score!

  • "I Spy": Have the kids search for items or objects during the game starting with letters of the alphabet. To make it challenging, designate a section of the alphabet each quarter that they can count. (1st Quarter: A-G, 2nd Quarter: H-M, 3rd Quarter: N-S, 4th Quarter: T-Z) For example, in the first quarter, a football would count, in the third a quarterback and if there's a commercial with a horse in the second, count that too. See what quarter has the most objects spied.
  • Team BINGO. Create BINGO cards with the players and coaches from each team. If the person is shown on TV during the game, they can fill in that square. Be prepared for the shout-outs of BINGO! Want a challenge? Play coveralls, postage stamps, "X" or other types of BINGO.
  • Commercial counting. Assign each kid an object or animal: food, horses, dogs, cars, movies, etc. When watching the commercials, they get a point every time their object appears on-screen. The trick is that they have to find it.

Half Time Activities and Games
Take a break from the action with these idea -- but don't forget to watch the half time show too!

  • Crab football: This may require you to be more active than you'd like, but the kids will love it -- and it will burn off a few chicken wings. Instead of "crab soccer" you have to hold the cushy football with your neck, knees or armpits and get into your opponents' end zone by walking like a crab. If your ball gets knocked down, it's anyone's game. Play kids versus adults, family versus family or boys versus girls.
  • Game trivia: Want a challenge? Break up into teams and try to figure out which NFL team matches these clues. Fastest team to finish could be awarded a fun prize. (Don't worry: here's the answer key.) Note: if your kids are too young for this, they can help hand out the prizes.
  • Sunday sundaes: Half-time is the perfect time for a sweet treat. Purchase some toppings, sauces and ice cream to create a sundae bar; this is always a hit with kids! Or serve up the football cookies they helped you make (see above).

Festive Party Food
The food is half the fun of the Super Bowl. Try one of the ideas below to keep everyone to happy and full of energy to cheer on your favorite team.

  • Who’s playing? Get creative and plan your menu based on the location of the two teams. For example, if the New England Patriots are playing, serve up Boston baked beans and New England clam chowder. If the New York Jets are playing, you could make fully loaded hot dogs or baked apples.
  • Festive finger foods: Instead of pigs in a blanket (yet again!) raise the bar with some fancy no-fork-necessary appetizers. Try bacon-wrapped dates stuffed with goat cheese. Or crisp up some pitas in the oven and serve with a variety of dips, like guacamole, hummus and spinach and artichoke.
  • Pizza party: Prepare the dough ahead of time (homemade or store-bought), set up a bar with toppings and let guests build their own pizzas.
  • Healthy spin on the classics: Instead of huge burgers loaded with condiments, try mini sliders topped with tomato, lettuce and whole grain mustard. For dessert, serve up dark chocolate-covered strawberries.
  • Super Bowl on a stick: Kids (and adults) loves kebobs and they’re so versatile! Try shrimp or chicken kebobs, alternating with pineapple, onion and peppers, and topped with a yummy marinade. Stack strawberries, melon and berries on a stick and serve with a side of yogurt dipping sauce to end the game on a sweet note.

A Final Tip for Success
As any parent knows, kids can be rambunctious, especially when there's a party going on. If you are engaged in the on-screen drama and don't want to be distracted, hire a babysitter to corral the home team during the game (they might even find something else to do!) and get them ready for bed -- so you don't miss a play. A savvy sitter can also help with the crafts, food prep and clean up.

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