by Heather Bock
Poor Mr. C. He loves football and would probably enjoy playing it, but not only does he not have the right body type for a football player, but he also has a mother who does not plan to sign him up for that sport anytime soon. I’d like to protect that brain of his, thank you very much. He is welcome to watch it, though! Because he enjoys watching it so much, he chose football as the theme for his tenth birthday party. It didn’t hurt that his birthday falls on Superbowl weekend!
Ticket invitations were sent out a few weeks before the event. I felt bad afterwards for making them so realistic. One of the kids thought he had truly been invited to a stadium for a football game. He was in for a surprise when his mom dropped him off at our house. I found the idea for the invitations here.
I had a few small chalkboards, so I made some signs, including this welcome sign:
All good football players like to run through a balloon arch as they enter the stadium, so I made one over our door.
As they came in, they were instructed to get their game face on by putting anti-glare stickers under their eyes. They also were requested to sign their name in silver Sharpie on a football. I got the idea here.
I used flags for decorations as I have in past parties, but in order to find better decorations for the party, I decided to send emails to university football programs that interested Mr. C and ask if they had any small posters hanging around they wouldn’t mind sending me. A few colleges responded and sent me some great football posters for free! The good news is that Mr. C’s favorite team, University of Tennessee, sent us a few. Unfortunately, University of Texas asked me to pay for theirs, and after I did, it took too long for them to send the posters to me. We received their posters about a month after the party.
I also made some pennants with each guest’s last name so they could take one home, but then I forgot to hand them out at the end!
After guests signed the football, they hiked the football through another child’s upraised arms. If they made it, they earned a prize. I found this game here, along with the one that follows.
Next, they slid football men across our coffee table. If they were able to land the football player on the tape, they could make points. One of the guests kept score.
The funniest game we played was outside. We had chocolate football donuts hanging from yarn between two trees, and without using their hands, the guests had to try to eat their donuts. It wasn’t as easy as it looked! I found this activity here.
After that, the kids lined up to test out their throwing arm. I had a hula hoop hanging from a tree, and each kid took turns throwing across the backyard to make it into the hoop. They did a really good job at it! Thankfully, one of the dads was willing to help throw the ball back because I would have embarrassed myself.
Next, they played football, of course–flag football, that is! We used rags for flags, and a few different rules Mr. C made up since our backyard is so tiny.
After the game, we took a break for snacks and cake. We had snacks at our concession stand:
My favorite was carved by my husband out of a watermelon (idea here):
I loved these referee cookies (idea here):
For cake, the players had the choice of chocolate football cupcakes:
…or a yellow football field cake with ice cream filling:
After fueling up and opening presents, the kids were back outside (even though it had started sprinkling), to play something that has nothing to do with football, but Mr. C didn’t care–he had to have it at his party: a Nerf gun war.
Afterwards, we gave them their treat boxes and sent them home soaked, exhausted, and happy.