Have I told y’all that I am a soccer mom? Not just a soccer mom, but a soccer mom with a minivan.
Yep, I am one of THOSE.
Eden started playing soccer about 3 years ago and from the second she walked onto that field she was in love. My child eats, sleeps and breaths soccer.
And, one day she says you will be able to check out her skills when she plays in The World Cup. She’s a pretty great kid with awesome goals!
Needless to say, we spend the majority of our time at the soccer field! Between practice, games and tournaments there is rarely a day that goes by without us spending at least a few hours watching Eden play.
The hard part about all of this? Hello…. I have 2 TODDLERS. What the heck am I thinking?
You guys, entertaining these little ones at these events is WORK and lately my kids have been getting bored.
So, I came up with a list of ideas to help keep them entertained and to make your/my job easier. Some of these my group of Soccer Mom friends and I already do and the others they will be implemented immediately!
1. Designate a Bag: This is a must! Have a LARGE bag that you always take with you to your sporting events. This is where you keep all of your supplies. My kids know what bag is the soccer bag so whenever they have something fun or new they want to share with their friends at soccer they toss it in the bag. They also know exactly where to go to find all of their “things.” I use a large blue Ikea bag or a large open utility tote from Thirty One. They are both big, have open tops and are easy to clean.
2. Bring Food: I have a friend at soccer that all of the kids flock to. You know why, her snacks bring all the kiddies to the yard, inappropriate? I am kidding but… not only is she awesome and one of my favorite people ever but she has SNACKS and not just snacks, good snacks. It does not matter if I have already fed my kids dinner, if they see her coming they know it’s time for some goodness. One thing I have also started doing is throwing a snack in the bag that they may not normally have. We are not a big candy family so I have been bringing suckers for the kids. Food will always keep kids entertained for at least a minute but when it’s something special you may actually get 2!
3. Busy Bag Toys: This is one I am going to start doing immediately! Create fun busy bags that you can have available for the kids. Make sure these are activities that they are only allowed to play with at these events. If these fun toys are a novelty the likelihood of them staying intrigued by them is much greater. Here are over 100 Busy Bag Ideas from B-Inspired Mama that I will definitely be checking out.
4. Electronics: Have these on hand or you will never forgive yourself. Bring your iPad, iPhone, iEverything, a portable DVD player, anything that will get your little ones to sit down and let you watch the game for just a few minutes. If this is not something you like to have your kids do often then again, make it a novelty! There are so many educational programs and apps out now that even though you are sitting your kids in front of a screen you can still feel good about it. Or, you can just put Sophie the First on like I do and you are good to go. If you are looking for some great toddler apps, check out some of Michelle’s Favorite Toddler Apps that she shared a while back.
5. Make Friends: If there is any tip I could give this one would be at the top of my list! When you spend so many hours at soccer, baseball, football, whatever, the other families that are there with you start to become an extended part of your own family. Make friends and put yourself out there. I know that sometimes these situations can be uncomfortable but the great news is that we ALL are there for our kids and we ALL want our kids to do well. Scope out the other mom with crazy toddlers running around, give her the “I feel ya” look, and start a conversation. Soon, you will have your own little village that looks out for each other and keeps an eye on each others kids. Mom friends are the best!
If your family is anything like ours we love this time together and we especially love watching Eden play and do something that she loves so much. We are fully aware that these moments where we are all at one event together will go by quickly so we are savoring it while it is here.
I just keep telling myself, this may seem hard now but just wait til they are ALL in activities. I have a headache just thinking about it!
Alright experienced Moms, what are some of your keep your kids entertained/busy ideas! I am desperate for as many tricks as I can find.