Have a family friendly sports party

family cheering at the game

When you invite a few friends over to watch the game, grabbing a six-pack of beer and filling a bowl with chips probably suffices as the extent of your party planning. But when you’re having the whole family over—kids included—game day involves some extra prep. Follow these five steps to throw the perfect family-friendly viewing party.

  1. Start crafting days in advance. Who doesn’t love a paper plate that looks like a football? Or a napkin dispenser that looks like a ref who’s handing out penalty flags? These fun crafts will delight both kids and adults at your family-friendly sports party. Follow these simple tutorials to make them at home, no innate artsy abilities required.
  1. Plan a kid-friendly menu. This should be easy since most classic game day foods are handheld and salty, making them a surefire hit among kids. Still, consider your audience when you sit down to make a snack list. It’s not just about making your pint-sized guests happy, it’s also about offering them some healthy options. So even if you wouldn’t normally put out a veggie platter or fruit salad on game day, think about adding it to the spread when you have kids coming over. Then leave it up to their parents whether to push the veggies over the chips, wings, and pretzels. If you know veggies are just not going to work for your crowd, try something in between healthy and not-so-healthy, like sweet potato chips or baked veggie sticks.
  1. …but include some adult beverages. Most of your menu is going to cater to adults and kids alike, including the drinks. However, it’s still game day, and the adults in your family can drink responsibly. So stock the fridge with a few grown-ups-only beverages, like craft beer, hard seltzer, and perhaps even a box of wine or sangria, depending on your demographic.
  1. Have lots of comfy seating ready. One of the perks of watching the game with a partially pint-sized audience is that they really don’t take up much room. Even if you just have a couch and a comfy chair or two, you can easily squeeze the whole family in front of the TV. Just throw a few pillows and plush blankets on the floor so that smaller guests can snuggle up comfortably as adults take the formal seats.
  1. Prepare a Plan B for antsy kids. Depending on the ages of your younger family members, you might have some little ones who can’t quite sit through the game. Chances are their parents will know this and come prepared with some toys, but if you want to give mom and dad a break, also have some family-friendly fun on hand. Download a kid-friendly football app on your iPad, create (or purchase) a pin-the-ball-between-the-goalposts game, or come up with a list of games the kids can play (e.g., hide and seek or duck-duck-goose) while the parents keep an eye on the TV. If you’re feeling really crafty, you can even DIY cornhole boards or another toned-down version of a lawn game appropriate for playing in the apartment.

How to Throw a Family Football Party [Kids’ Activities Blog]

5 Tips for Hosting the Ultimate Football Party [Blue Matter]

6 Ideas to Throw the Best Football Party at Home [Discover]