If your child is a football fanatic, you’re sure to score a touchdown by throwing a birthday party with a football theme! Football parties are also a great way to get the whole team together after a school or Pop Warner game or gather friends and family to root for their favorite team on game day. Best of all, the football setting is adaptable, universal and sure to please children of all ages. Even guests who aren’t sports fans will love the fun games and delicious food!
Football Party Invitations
You’ll want to get the whole team together with the perfect football party invitation. There are plenty of great birthday party invitations to choose from like cute and cartoonish football players, football fields and jerseys or oversized game tickets. You can even send a personalized photo invitation feature a picture of your child in their football gear, or decked out in clothes sporting the colors and logos of their favorite team.
Be creative when writing the text. A fun way to set the party mood is to write the announcement like an advertisement for a big game. Call the date of the party “game day,” the time it starts the “kick off,” your child the “MVP” and your house the “arena” or “stadium.”
Football Party Favors and Decorations
A fun way to involve your guests is to ask them to show their spirit by dressing up in their favorite team colors. Have birthday party favors like hats, bandanas and flags ready to complete their outfits as they arrive. Let everyone know who’s in charge by dressing yourself as a coach or referee, complete with clipboard and whistle!
Balloons, streamers and other birthday party decorations should be in your child’s favorite team’s colors. Create banners and pennants from felt or poster board that say “Go Team!” and “Happy Birthday” with your child’s name as “MVP.” Make them look authentic by using cut-outs of letters printed on cardstock in a heavy college-style font. Place more signs outside the house, along with bunches of balloons to let your guests know they’ve found the right place. Play “Jock Jams” and the Monday Night Football soundtrack to set an energetic mood. If you’re inviting little cheerleaders to your party, hand out pom poms and ask them to cheer as each new guest arrives!
Round out the decorations with inflatable footballs or football helmets, posters or life-sized cutouts of their favorite NFL heroes and any high school football trophies, helmets and other souvenirs you may be able to borrow from friends or relatives.
Turn your table into a football field by painting white lines and numbers on a green vinyl or felt tablecloth. Footballs, helmets and pom poms make great centerpieces. You can also make a megaphone by rolling poster board or construction paper into a conical shape. Buy napkins, plates, tableware and cups in your chosen team colors.
A fun idea for a party favor that will make your guests feel like superstars is to use your printer to create authentic-looking football cards on cardstock for each child complete with a photograph and their stats. Post these on the wall and let them take them home as souvenirs!
Football Party Activities
Are you centering the party on a big game? Turn your living room into a home theater by setting up chairs around the TV to cheer on your favorite team. If the party is out of season, then pop in a football bloopers DVD, a highlights reel from your favorite team or a family friendly football movie.
If the children play together on a school or youth league team, why not watch a replay of one of their winning games? You, or a friend or relative with the know-how can even do a little video editing and add titles to make it look slick. Your little football heroes will love to watch themselves in action!
Of course, there’s no need to watch TV when you can have your own big game outside! Start by training your little athletes on an obstacle course. Set up stations where they have to do jumping jacks, crawl on the ground, wiggle through tires and dodge construction cones. Test their throwing skills by hanging a hula hoop or car tire from a tree and letting the kids take turns trying to toss a football through from a distance. You can also set up bottles or cans carnival-style and let the guests take turns knocking them down. If you have a large play area, set up a kicking tee and sticks in the ground as goal posts and see who can kick a field goal the furthest. When your guests are warmed up, divide into teams and play touch or flag football. Not only will they have a blast, it will burn off excess energy!
If you’re planning an indoors birthday party you can still have football fun. Paint a picture of goalposts on a piece of plywood with a hole to toss bean bags or Nerf balls through. You can also adapt classic party games to the football theme. Create a large posterboard of a football field and let them “pin the ball on end zone” instead of a tail on a donkey. Break a piñata in the shape of a football or football player; you can even find one in a rival team’s colors to make it extra fun to bash.
Football Party Crafts
Setting aside time for crafts is always a good idea at children’s birthday parties. They’ll have fun decorating football helmets with kid-safe paint. Cut plastic milk jugs and use the bottom half for the helmet, or find inexpensive costume construction worker hats.
You can also let the children decorate their own football jerseys and pennants. To make jerseys, purchase enough oversized white t-shirts for all of your guests and let them draw their names, numbers and football designs with fabric paints and markers. It may help to have reference materials on hand to draw from, such as images of professional and college team logos and mascots. For pennants, prepare a large selection of letters by printing them in a college font printed and cutting them out individually. These are glued to long triangle-shaped shapes cut from felt or construction paper in your team’s colors. Tape or glue down a fold at the end to insert a wooden or plastic stick so they can wave them proudly.
Football Party Refreshments
Before the main course, set out snacks such as bowls of pretzels, goldfish crackers and party mix as well as chips or veggies and dip. You’ll want to have plenty of sports drinks and water on hand if you’re playing active games outside. Serve them from an ice chest, just like a real game!
A football game isn’t complete without a tailgate party! Pizza, stuffed potato skins, chicken wings, submarine sandwiches, ultimate nachos, chili and macaroni and cheese are typical football party foods. Fire up the backyard barbecue to cook hamburgers, bratwursts and hot dogs with all of the fixings and serve with potato salad and baked beans.
Make a football-shaped cake with an oval-shaped pan or by cutting the corners from a rectangular sheet cake. Frost with chocolate icing and vanilla stripes and stitching. Or, frost a rectangular cake green and use white decorating gel to draw the lines and numbers on the field. Football player cake toppers make it look like a game is in progress. If you prefer cupcakes, decorate as football helmets or with your team’s logos.
After the Football Party
Goody bags are a great way to tell your guests “thank you.” For a container use a green paper bag decorate with white football field lines, or find large plastic souvenir cups with your favorite team’s logo and wrap with cellophane. Fill with small footballs, football stickers and sticker books, pencil toppers, football cards, whistles, chocolate bars and any inexpensive memorabilia or trinkets you may be able to find from your favorite team.
You may also like to pass a football around to all of your guests and ask them to sign it for your birthday child. This makes a great memento of the party your little football fan will treasure for a long time to come.