Football season is kicking off tonight…if you didn’t know that, I would be happy to share my 4 1/2-year-old son with you who can give you the run down on every game, the predictions, his favorite players across the entire NFL, and even the drills you should be running to get into game form. In fact, he has been regularly wearing his helmet and jersey around to really “get into the game.” This is our recent visit to a local farm. Yes, you read that right…a farm…
The football obsession is beyond what my husband and I could have hoped for as two football fans ourselves…in fact, we often look at each other and think we have potentially created a monster! I know that there must be other football obsessed preschoolers out there, so wanted to pass along some of the ways that we are incorporating learning into football season and some of our favorite football products. If you are not into football, but your spouse is…feel free to share this post with them.
Incorporate Learning with Football Obsession
Football comes with a lot of opportunities to learn – we have focused on leveraging football to reinforce math, geography, and writing. Here are some ideas I have used for my son…you can change if you have older or younger children:
Number identification: Numbers are everywhere in sports – Game scores, the clock, on players…Last season we spent a lot of time working on understanding time, identifying numbers high into the double digits, and even started talking about measurements – especially inches and yards!
Greater than/Less than: When looking at scores, look at which number is bigger/smaller. We have done this not only while the game is going on, but I have printed out the scores from earlier weeks (you can always get the past results on the NFL website), and asked my son to circle the greater numbers. For some reason, this does not seem like a chore compared to when he looks at a preschool workbooks that I try to encourage him to use!
Math Facts: During a game, there is usually a lot of opportunity to talk about addition! We started by simple statements like – the Giants had 7 points – they just scored a field goal which is 3 points, now they have 10 points. We now ask our son things like if they Giants have 7 points, and score a field goal, what’s the score? What if they score a touchdown? What if they get an extra point? What about a 2 point conversion? Right now, there is some finger counting going on, or we have to write things down, but he is getting faster at doing math in his head, which is really exciting.
Teams obviously come from all over the country…so it is a great opportunity to talk about geography! For example, here is a conversation we’ll have when my son said he likes watching the Chargers play.
Where are the Chargers from? San Diego
What state is the city of San Diego in? California.
What other teams are from California? Oakland Raiders and San Francisco 49ers
I am hopeful that next year, we will be able to get him to identify where teams are on a map…and in turn, knowing where the states are located.
While my son loves to write at school getting him to do so at home is more of a challenge. At this age, I don’t really care what he writes, as long as he is practicing! If 32 teams is what he will do, why not??? Here was our latest exercise…
Favorite Football Products for Preschoolers
There are some favorite football season items that have become “must haves” in our house during football Sunday. I have to say, it is a challenge to find age appropriate items for my football loving son, and these are proven winners.
NFL Football Helmet Match-Up Set ($49.98)
This set has the helmets of the 32 teams. You can set it up by conference, and who is playing each week. My son will also take out the helmets, set up pretend games, or sort the teams by color, mascot type, etc. These helmets are a staple on my coffee table from the start of preseason to the Superbowl
Football Guys by Kaskey Kids ($24.99)
This set is non-NFL team affiliated (although coincidentally the quarterbacks are numbers 10 and 12…so my son plays Giants/Patriots all the time), and has a felt field, and players, all conveniently packaged in a small plastic tote. My son and his friends will play games with this for hours…and actually 3 of them have made their own moms buy them!
Do you have a child that is into football? Any must-do’s doing football season for them?