Friday, January 29, 2016

It's Super Bowl Time!

Every year people gear up for that all important game--the Super Bowl! Even when the teams that are playing are not the family favorites, this day is still celebrated in homes all across the country. This year's Super Bowl is special because it is the 50th one. I wish I could say that I didn't remember the first one, but that would be a fib! Anyway, everyone is getting into the mood to have a special celebration. All this week there have been television shows leading up to Super Bowl 50 to get football fans excited. Even the cooking shows have gotten in on the hype, demonstrating all sorts of food and snacks that can be prepared in advance so that Mom can also enjoy the game.

Kids, however, are sometimes left out of the action. Parents are so busy preparing for the adults to watch the game that they often overlook the little guys. Here are some things you can do to include your little ones in this special day.

First of all, go to the library and find several books about American football and football players. Use these books as family read-alouds prior to the game. (They can also provide little ones with some quiet entertainment during the game, if they get bored!) One book I highly recommend is entitled, The Football That Won, by Michael Sampson. It is about a Super Bowl game between the Dallas Cowboys (my favorite team!) and the Kansas City Chargers. Although it is now out of print, used copies are available from Amazon. The author used the cumulative pattern taken from The House That Jack Built to write this story. It is a fun read!



To make the Super Bowl even more exciting, why not help your child write a book about this 50th Super Bowl event? All you need is a few pieces of white paper, folded in half and stapled into a blank book, and a box of crayons, colored pencils or markers. The child could design his or her book with a page for each team (using team colors, of course), a page for the team's mascot, one for the cheerleaders, one for the umpires, etc. What about a title like, "I Was the Star of the Super Bowl"? I can see the pages for this book now! The ideas are only limited by your child's imagination. This activity will allow the child to be a part of the Super Bowl and will make this a memorable event for the entire family.

But what would a celebration be without FOOD? Ideas for snacks are everywhere, and each family may have a favorite. I like to try at least one new recipe, just for fun. This year, I'm going to wrap Little Smokies with Crescent Rolls (cut in half). This will be a great addition to our usual 7-Layer Mexican Dip and standard junk food goodies. Food is also a wonderful way to get the kids involved. Children can be a big help with snack preparation. Give them simple tasks, like opening the potato chips and putting them in a bowl, or dipping pretzels (half way) in chocolate to make a simple but yummy salty-sweet snack.

Before the Game Preparation is crucial for the day to be a success. Making the house look special adds to the excitement. Kids love to help decorate for a party, so why not enlist their help to spruce up your media room for the event? Here are some simple ideas:
1. With a clothesline stretched across the room, attach triangular-shaped pieces of colored construction paper (using clothes pins) to make a banner displaying the colors of the team your family is rooting for.
2. Making posters (you know, "Go, team, go!) is also a fun pre-game task.
3. Decorate trays with construction paper place mats in team colors or kid's drawings. If you live near an office supply store, have these place mats laminated and you can reuse them year-after-year.
4. And, if you are really brave, design a Super Bowl 50 t-shirt using old white t-shirts and colored markers. The markers don't have to be permanent, although if you run the t-shirts through a hot dryer cycle, the ink will become permanent. There's nothing like a motivational t-shirt to get fans in the mood for the game!

These are just a few ideas to help your Super Bowl Sunday be a success for the entire family. If you have additional ideas and would like to share them with the rest of us, please don't hesitate to respond! We'd love to hear from you.