A Dad's Tips for Watching Football with the Family

Sunday, Feb. 2 is fast approaching, and parents don’t need to break away from their families to enjoy the Big Game. Try these tips for any sporting event to make it easier for you and your young kids to watch and have fun together.



Click here to win a copy of Jon's new app & book, Let's Play Football, featuring the voices of Eagles fan faves Ron Jaworski and Merrill Reese.
  1. SNACKS Make sure you have plenty of healthy snacks specifically for the kids while the game is on: popcorn, grapes, whole wheat pretzels and carrot sticks are all good choices. For drinks, stick with water and sugar-free lemonade. Remember to dole out portions throughout the game so that the snacks aren’t all consumed before the action starts!
  2. BOARD GAMES If you have any simple and easy-to-follow board games, it’s time to take them out of the closet, provided you can still see and hear the TV. Games where you move around a board like Candy Land and Sorry or dice games like Yahtzee and Parcheesi are better than memory games like Battleship or Mastermind or concentration games like Boggle or chess. Board games will help pass the time during commercials and long pauses in game play like timeouts and halftime. And if you aren’t good at multitasking, it will be easier for the kids to win, which will make them happy.
  3. BLANKETS If you can get your kids to snuggle up on the sofa with you and a blanket, everything will be better for everyone. Use this time to quietly explain what is happening during the game to your kids, and to ask them questions about what they see and what they like about the game.
  4. TALENT SHOW/ART SHOW If the kids assembled during the game aren’t sports fans and aren’t willing to become sports fans that day, try having a talent show at halftime and an art show after the game. For the  talent show, recommend that the kids rehearse so they can lip-sync and dance along to Bruno Mars while he performs during halftime on Sunday. And markers will never be more magic than when they are keeping your kids busy so you can watch the game. Have them draw pictures of their favorite foods from that day, people and things they’ve seen on TV, and friends and family who are watching with you. Remember to use no-mess markers with ink you can clean with water if you have them.
  5. EXERCISE Before the game starts and during halftime, it’s great to throw a ball around outside or in a safe area indoors to get in the mood for what’s to come. From a parent and child simply throwing a football to each other to gathering enough players to create two teams and keep score, imitating the action on the big screen in your backyard can be more memorable than the game itself. Remember, football is an all-weather event, so no matter what’s happening outside on Feb. 2, make sure to spend some time actually throwing a football and running around,  not just eating and watching TV.

Jon Richter is a Philadelphia-based father of five, author of the new app and book Let's Play Football and owner of the digital music distribution company nugs.net.

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