Sometimes not all family members are big on being team mascot. Here are 10 ideas to battle the bored bug + keep everyone involved supporting your favorite athlete and making memories while doing it.
Every season always seems to include one sport with at least one member of the family. Sometimes everyone in the household loves or plays the sport or only one athlete has the passion to want to play while the others have no interest in it at all. Occasionally, it is the younger siblings who are just not old enough to play.
What can you do with all the entire family during the sports season?
It can be difficult to keep up with the demands of your family but it does not have to be hard. Just be creative and remember to have fun!
1. Try a New Recipe Each Week
Take the time to look for new snack and meal recipes to fit your busy schedule. Have a family planning meeting and pull out all the cook books or set up around the computer and find a new recipe to try each week. This may seem a bit tedious but it can also be done via your phone while sitting at practice and trying to keep the younger ones occupied. Check out our Quick + Easy Meal Ideas on Pinterest for a great start!
2. Have a Picnic
Pack up dinner, or pick it up, and take the entire family to practice. After practice pull out a blanket and have a picnic. Many busy families go through the drive though and eat in the car. Take the time to sit down outside the car and enjoy each other’s company for a bit.
3. Make a Team Snack Assembly Line
Have your entire family help to create the team snack for a big game or meet. Ideas for this can be found all over the internet but even something simple can be a lot of fun creating and sharing with the team. Here's a similar idea for packing lunches.
4. Go for Ice Cream
At least once a month make sure to plan something for the entire family during the sport season. A trip to the local ice cream parlor after a game is a simple thing that your family will enjoy. Make sure to take the time to sit at a table and enjoy your ice cream together. We have always had a tradition to stop and get a Slushie or Frosty after each game. As my kids grew then we stopped only if they scored, assisted or reached a goal that they had set. Once a month we make sure that everyone can go to a game and we set aside about an hour to sit and enjoy an ice cream together for no other reason than we had that time open when we could all be there.
5. Have a Family Movie Night
Pick a movie that centers around the current season sport, make some popcorn and have a family movie night. You may need to have a double feature and watch another fun family movie to appease everyone. There are many movies out there that would be appropriate for all ages.
6. Learn the Sport Together
Make a point to really take an interest in your athlete’s current passion. The entire family could attend a higher level event. Get the schedule for your local high school teams and go cheer them on while also learning about the sport. Watch the sporting events on TV instead of a movie. Instructional videos can also help you learn the technical aspects of the sport and are easily available on YouTube. Don’t forget to review the rules for the sport. Many coaches and/or trainers can also point you in the right direction for ideas and resources to help.
7. Host a Kick Off Party
Set the tone for the season and have a season kick party for the entire family before the first game, match or meet. Pick a family favorite meal, set up a finger food buffet or taco bar and add some decorations. Watch a movie or sporting event on TV while you’re eating. We have also set up an obstacle course or scavenger hunt for our parties. Prize ideas for games could be spirit wear or accessories, new equipment or uniform pieces. The possibilities are endless.
8. Take turns being the “Spirit Coordinator”
For each game, match or meet allow a member of the family that is not participating, but will be going, to be in charge of creating ways to show spirit and support of your athlete and team. The spirit coordinator could pick out clothing or accessories for the entire family to wear to the game or make signs to wave and display. The more often you do this then ideas will build off of the other creations and you will have a nice collection by the end of the season. This may also encourage the entire sideline to show their spirit. Your sideline will be covered with spirit paraphernalia during the end of season tournaments. We have done face painting, spraying hair their team color, camouflage bandanas, signs, painted car windows and also made our own t-shirts to support our athletes, along with cheers and chants to encourage the entire sideline to get into the spirit of the game.
9. Use Bribery if Necessary
It can be difficult to get all the chores done during a sports season. Make a list of some of the chores that may get neglected during this time of year or ones that other family members can do. Create a sign up sheet for some of the chores or designate these chores. Assign a value to each chore. This can be a dollar amount or ‘token’ amount to be redeemed at the end of the season for a special gift or request. Tokens can be tally marks, tickets, poker chips, recycled water bottle caps or pennies, whatever you may have on hand. The rewards for the redeemed tokens can be anything you feel is appropriate. A gift certificate to the local ice cream parlor, extra video game time, or customize household certificates like No Chore Today, Pick the Menu for the Day or Breakfast in Bed. Have fun and reward your family members for picking up the slack while you have been busy driving around town.
10. Celebrate the End of the Season
Many teams have had an End of Season Party to wrap up the season. Do the same at home because your family has earned the recognition for their support during these crazy times. Make a big of it similar to the Kick Off Party but this time make sure to celebrate your “support staff”. Even if it is just you and your athlete, make sure to let them know how much you appreciated their extra help and patience.
These ideas are some of the ways to keep up the enthusiasm for the entire family during the sports season. The non athlete members will also feel important and helps to create those lasting memories and hopefully will encourage excitement for the next season.
Thanks to Sideline Society Community member and contributor, Anna Aldridge, for sharing her great ideas with the community this season! I don't know about you, but that #7 has my name on it this coming track season! And we actively participate in #4 pretty much on a weekly basis (at my request!) haha
But I hope you do find a way to take advantage of these amazing ideas to keep the entire family engaged and supported during the sports season.
Until next time, Sideline Hacker. Keep hacking that sideline, because they appreciate you for it, and so do we, for ALL that you do! If you're in search of support and community around your #SidelineLife, check out our FB Group for Sports Moms: Sideline Hackers.