Super fun during the big game

January 31, 2014 | Posted in: Early Learners, Elementary, High School, Middle Years

Whether you love football or are more entertained by the commercials, chances are you’re planning to spend some time in front of the television during Sunday night’s Super Bowl game.

Add some fun – and learning – to the experience to keep younger audience members (and even those adults who aren’t really into the game) occupied. Here are some ideas to get you started:

Football bingo. Create a bingo board on your computer to print out for guests. Fill squares with football terms (touchdown, punt, interception, first down), jersey numbers and calls by the official (holding, off sides, timeout, delay of game). Make a square for a face-painted fan, a shot of the owner or a touchdown dance – anything you might see watching the game. Here’s a sample you can print off if you don’t want to make your own. Add some fun by creating another bingo board for Super Bowl commercials. (Not all advertisers are confirmed, but here’s a link to get you started on a list.)

Create a football trivia game using facts from the game of football or about the two teams playing. Make a list of questions that can be answered individually or in teams. For younger children, keep the questions simple, such as “What color is the penalty flag?” or “What number is the quarterback of the Denver Broncos wearing?” For older guests, try some more challenging questions: “What is it called when a quarterback or other player on offense gets sacked/tackled in their own end zone?” “What does three and out mean?” “When would you try to get a two-point conversion?” “What is the red zone?” Or, print out a football word search.

Plan a virtual vacation and explore Seattle and Denver. Send older children on a trip-planning adventure. Ask: If you were a tourist traveling to one of these cities, what would you like to do? Have your children search for three fun facts about each city. Get started at

Read together. Review football rules together, and learn the names of each position. The NFL has a helpful Beginners Guide for Football.

Get creative and make some crafts. Make pompoms to cheer on your favorite team. Cut 12-inch strips of streamer or ribbon. Staple together at one end, and wrap the stapled end with duct tape to create a handle. You can also attach the streamers to a wooden dowel (available at craft stores) or paint stick (available at home improvement stores.) Mix and colors. Note: The color in crepe paper streamers will run if it gets wet, so consider using ribbon or metallic streamers. (The Denver Bronco’s colors are navy, orange and white; the Seattle Seahawks wear navy, bright green and grey.)

And those trivia answers?

  • The penalty flag is yellow.
  • Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning wears #18.
  • When a player gets tackled in his own end zone, it’s a safety.
  • Three and out is when the offense makes three plays and fails to get a first down, forcing the team to punt or attempt a field goal.
  • A two-point conversion is when a team attempts to run a play after getting a touchdown, worth two points, rather than kicking a field goal, which is worth one.
  • Though not an official term, the “red zone” is the area between the 20 yard line and the end zone.

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