5 ways to get your little Packer fan ready (and willing) to watch with you on Game Day
Hey, we live in Wisconsin, and that means that even the youngest among us are Packer fans at heart.
But, as all parents know, even if your child is thrilled to get decked out in Packer gear, keeping him interested enough to stay engaged in a three-hour ballgame is a whole other story.
If you want to enjoy watching the games as a family (or if you would love the kids to be just interested enough to let you watch at least a little of the game in peace), here are some ideas for making Game Day fun for your kids.
Pay homage at Lambeau
While a trip to Lambeau Field during an actual game is out of the question for most of us (especially with the kids in tow), a pilgrimage on a non-game day weekend afternoon is a great way to show the kids what all the Packer Nation fuss is about.
Take a tour of the stadium, visit the Hall of Fame and make a stop at the gift shop. Once your child has actually tried a Lambeau Leap, it will be much easier to keep him glued to the TV as he waits to see an official Packer make a leap of his own.
Get out and play (at halftime)
While you may not be anxious to get outside into the frozen tundra that is your backyard come December, the weather for plenty of those September, October and even some November games is downright balmy for Wisconsin blood. Take advantage of beautiful fall afternoons by taking a break to stretch your legs when it's halftime.
Take the kids outside and throw the football around. You could even stage some of your favorite plays from the first half, and it will be much easier to convince the kids to sit and watch the game if they have the promise of an outdoors family football game to look forward to.
Prepare football fare
Fun food is always a great incentive for people, young and old. Make the game fun for the kids by working with them to make some fun treats to eat during the game.
- Try out a nacho bar. Kids love to be able to serve themselves, and nachos are enough of a snack food to thrill the kids, and have enough opportunity for healthy toppings to satisfy the parents.
- Make some football-themed treats. Get yourself a football-shaped cookie cutter and go to town! You can make your own chips for the nacho bar by cutting tortillas into football shapes and baking them. You could also make football Jello jigglers, sugar cookies or Rice Krispie treats.
Keep their hands busy
A great way to keep the kids interested (or at least sitting quietly in the same room as you) while you watch the game is to give them some activities to do in front of the TV.
- Show the kids how to make paper footballs they can flick through "goal posts" made from their fingers.
- Print out some coloring sheets, word searches and crossword puzzles that have a football theme.
- Cut helmet shapes out of cardboard and let the kids decide on their team colors, design a logo and decorate their helmets.
- Give the kids some white t-shirts, fabric markers or fabric paints, and let them design and decorate their own football jerseys.
Help your kids cheer on the Pack by encouraging them to be cheerleaders. Explain the rules of the game, make some homemade pom poms out of green and gold streamers (or use the ones you bought on your trip to the Lambeau Field gift shop) and then help them make up their own cheers for specific plays. In no time, they'll be absorbed in the game as they watch for every first down, interception, touchdown and field goal so they can break out their special cheers.