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How to have a kid-friendly Super Bowl party

Evan Didisheim
Jan. 29, 2019

Super Bowl Sunday is fast approaching and if the biggest battle in your house is the Super Bowl versus superhero flicks, we've got the answer: a kid-friendly bowl game. Here are crafts, activities and food ideas to turn whining into winning on game day.

Pre-game warmup
Here are some crafts the kids can do to help decorate and get amped up for the big game.

  • 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.
  • 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.

Game-time activities
Here are some fun ideas to keep the kids interested in the score!

  • Team BINGO. Create BINGO cards with football plays or the players and coaches from each team. If the play is made or 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.
  • "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.
  • 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.

Halftime activities and games
Take a break from serious game-watching action with these fun kid-friendly things to do during the halftime show!

  • 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).
  • 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.
  • Dance party: Let the kids fully engage with the halftime entertainment by having them show off their dance moves. Every year, we can count on the performers give an energetic, upbeat show that everyone can enjoy, so let the kids get the wiggles out before the game comes back on again. 

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.

  • Festive finger foods: Instead of pigs in a blanket (yet again!) raise the bar with some fancy no-fork-necessary appetizers. Try chicken parmesan sliders. 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.
  • 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 (and when aren't they?), serve up Boston baked beans and New England clam chowder. 

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. 

Read next: 4 questions to help you find a babysitter you love

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