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My daughter had a burning question.
“When’s kickoff, Mommy?”
I’d never heard those words from her lips before, and I knew my plan was working.
I’m excited that the Big Game will be here in Texas this year. It feels like a brush with fame! I know that sounds silly — we’re just going to be watching it on TV like everyone else in the country.
My oldest has been watching all season with Daddy, but the twins haven’t paid as much attention.
We’ve been having dinner table conversations about our favorite team and its players, and I have a stack of football books checked out of the library. Most importantly, perhaps, the kids helped me make a special snack.
Talking with Kids About Football
We talk about a wide variety of subjects at our family dinner table. One hot topic lately has been football. My husband is a big fan, and I’ve learned as much as the kids have. We discuss upcoming games, league stats, favorite players, and more.
We’ve made some sacrifices to be able to have family dinners. It’s worth it to me, because I know how good it is for my kids. I don’t know how long we’ll be able to keep it up, but we’re going to keep trying. They develop their verbal and listening skills, practice their manners (um… usually), and pick up on our family’s values – including a love of football!
Reading Children’s Books About Football
To continue the conversation, I found some excellent children’s books about football. I want my girls to understand the game, and feel connected to it. That way, we can make game day a family event.
The girls pleasantly surprised me with how eager they were to read these stories from our library. I guess they really have been paying attention at dinner.
Football with Dad by Frank J. Berrios is a great story for introducing kids to football. It weaves in everything from getting special snacks to watch a game to a lesson on tackling and throwing a football.
A Team Stays Together by Tony and Lauren Dungy is an easy reader about a family attending a football game. They get up at halftime for snacks, and the youngest brother gets lost.
Gunner, Football Hero by James E. Ransome is a fun football picture book with a growth mindset theme. It’s about a third string Pee Wee football player who almost saves the game for his team.
By My Brother’s Side by Tiki and Ronde Barber also has a growth mindset theme. It’s a longer, autobiographical picture book about twins who grew up to be professional football players. The story focuses on the time when Tiki fell off his bicycle and injured his knee, and his long road to recovery.
Justin Tuck’s Home-Field Advantage by Justin Tuck is another autobiographical picture book by a pro football player. This one tells a funny episode from Tuck’s childhood. It’s not really much about the game of football, but may get children interested in learning more about the players.
Quarterbacks by Josh Leventhal is a new nonfiction book that’s part of a series called “Football’s All-Time Greats.” Written at about a 2nd grade level, and with bright graphics and photographs, this would also work as a read-aloud to younger kids. My kids fought over possession of this book!
Kid-Friendly Snacks for the Big Game
Last week I decided I wanted to make a fun kid-friendly snack mix to eat while we watched football. I had the girls with me on a Target run, and they helped me pick up a few ingredients that they were super excited about… Snyder’s of Hanover® peanut butter filled pieces, and chocolate Pretzel Dips®. Yum!
I later added in some Pop Secret® Kettlecorn from HEB, my grocery store. I love the mildly sweet flavor of Kettlecorn, and I knew my kids would too.
Food is my secret weapon. If I make a special snack for an event, the kids are going to be more interested. And if they get to help make it – well, that definitely gets their attention!
So, on the day of the game, we pulled out our ingredients and got to work.
I let the girls push the buttons to microwave the popcorn. When it was done, I poured it into a bowl and let it cool. (That part is too hot for kids to do). Then the girls helped me mix in some peanut butter pretzels and chocolate Pretzel Dips®. Finally, I let them add colored candy pieces to our bowl.
They’ve never been so excited for kickoff!
What’s amazing though, is that they kept watching through the whole game! At halftime, we popped another bag of popcorn and made another round of our yummy snack mix.
I’m sure it helped that they understand the game better now, but I think the snacks also played a critical role.
Now the Big Game is around the corner, and all of us are looking forward to it. It’ll be so much fun to watch as a family.
For even more football inspiration, be sure to check out The New Fan Favorites website. I know you’ll love all the fun and creative ideas over there!