January 31, 2014

Super Bowl Games for Young Kids: The Candy Bowl

Watching the Super Bowl with young kids is nearly impossible.

There's yelling and screaming, and that's just from your wife who is trying to get the kids to stop standing on the coffee table.1

You miss the best plays of the game because you're cleaning up spilled Capri Suns off the carpet and you miss the best commercials because you're in the bathroom reading Blue Hat, Green Hat to your youngest who thinks she has to poop and refuses to get up until you've read the book at least 45 times. 

I was tired of not being able to watch the Super Bowl, the most popular thing in America, so last year I devised a strategy to get the kids involved by showing them the second most popular thing in America: Gambling. 

I grabbed a piece of paper and a marker and created a Super Bowl Box Pool or, as we like to call it, The Candy Bowl. I altered the rules a little to make it kid-friendly and will share them with you (I've included an image of our Candy Bowl chart below to help.)

The Super Bowl Box Pool for Kids
(aka The Candy Bowl)

The Set Up
1. Grab a sheet of paper and a pen.
2. Draw horizontal lines and vertical lines until you create a giant square with 100 boxes inside.
3. Tear a piece of paper into 10 small pieces and number each one zero through nine. 
4. Find a hat (or, in the case of a dad with three daughters, a Dora purse). 

The Rules
1. Take turns putting initials in each box until the entire 100 squares are accounted for. 
2. Adults may play, but they are allowed only 1 box for every 2 boxes initialed by each child. 
3. Take four boxes and mark them as "Community Boxes." If the score hits on one of these boxes, everyone wins. (This gives everyone a few numbers to root for together.)
4. Kids take turns pulling numbers out of the hat (Dora purse) to determine which number is associated with each row. Do this once for the horizontal rows and once for the vertical rows. 

The Prizes - Pick from the Candy Bowl
1. End of the First Quarter: 1 piece of candy
2. End of the Second Quarter: 1 piece of candy
3. End of the Third Quarter: 1 piece of candy
4. End of the Fourth Quarter: 2 pieces of candy2 

This game, this simple game, kept my kids much quieter than in years past. Suddenly they were invested in the Super Bowl. Their eyes glued to the score, as if the score were an episode of "Sophia the First." The asked me relevant questions about the football, such as "How do the teams score points?" and "How long until someone wins candy?" instead of "Dad, why doesn't your head grow any hair?" They spent more time snuggling on the couch with me than standing on the coffee table3, and stayed focused long enough for us to enjoy the game together. Most amazingly, they spent the entire year asking me when we could do it again.

So with this year's Super Bowl right around the corner, gather your paper, marker and Dora purse and get ready to go. It's time to start your annual tradition of The Candy Bowl. 

-------------
1 In their defense, they were playing Lava Floor and if they touched the ground, they'd be melted by hot lava. 
2 If you want to step it up, you could make little goodie bags of treats to give away. I would, but I usually am too busy reading Blue Hat, Green Hat.
3 Though we did keep our feet up off the ground. I mean, the floor is made of lava for Christ's sake. 


GREAT GIFT FOR PARENTS:
Oh Boy, You're Having a Girl
(A Dad's Survival Guide to Raising Daughters)

****** 
* Subscribe to The Life of Dad via email or RSS feed!  
* Also, follow me on Twitter @BrianKlems. I promise to occasionally say funny things. 
 

5 comments:

Karen Gough said...

Great game idea! I remember those days of reading to a kid on the toilet, glad we're past that. Now I sometimes have to tell them to "poo or get off the pot!" when they sit there reading too long.

Joe P, said...

This is brilliant! I wish I had known about this when my kids were young.

Brittany Fichter said...

My dad used to play a game like this with my brothers and me. Since we usually had a youth group Superbowl party at our house, my dad would make a Walmart trip and buy all sorts of prizes. Some were great, some, not so much. He labeled the prize packages, however, so some quarters and scores were worth more than others. Great blog! By the way, I just started reading your book. It's by far one of the funniest things I've ever read.

unsit polek said...

I'd be trampled if all sites gave articles like these awesome articles. candy crush cheats level 115

Luke Lindon said...

EPIC IDEA!! We'll do this next year when the Packers are in the super bowl.

I was born a Browns fan, but married a cheesehead. Love to have a team to root for as well as a team to mourn.

Who do you root for?