Whether you send these toys home with kids or use them as an easy way to distract and entertain young guests during a party, these four football party goodie bag components are an easy, inexpensive, and fun way to get little kids involved in any football-themed party!
After watching my toddler-preschool aged child spend hours (no exaggeration) on a variety of these sticker mosaics, and hearing from friends about their similarly aged children doing the same, I knew that we needed to incorporate this type of craft into our next large gathering.
Simply put, I designed and printed this “board” onto cardstock paper and then these coordinating basic shapes onto full-sized label sheets. I used my Silhouette to cut the stickers, and we were ready to go!
Knowing that most of the kids at the party had been exposed to the basic concept of a sticker mosaic, I felt pretty confident that they would be able to work with the materials. If, however, you’re introducing children to this concept, you may want to consider reinforcing the “board” with cardboard or illustration board (available at most craft or art stores) to make it less flimsy.
What little kid doesn’t like dressing up? For that matter, what little kid doesn’t like stickers?! While there are many different versions that you can buy online (basic black, team-specific, etc), I’ve always enjoyed personalizing where possible. Thankfully, this is one project where that’s fairly easy to accomplish.
While it’s relatively easy to find personalized mini-footballs, they can be annoyingly expensive or require an absurd minimum order that would have you drowning in leftover party balls for far too long. Since I was only looking for favors for 20 kids (and they wouldn’t care whether the footballs were engraved, embossed, or otherwise labeled), I decided to try my hand at personalizing them myself!
After doing a bit of research, I chose these mini footballs (they were decently rated and fit my purposes for being small-ish but very simple, with no large manufacturing tags or features). I had originally intended to try stamping them, but that plan proved difficult due to the bumpy surface of the footballs, the foam giving way, and the ink not showing as brightly on the dark brown foam.
Plan B ended up being to purchase these paint pens. I was skeptical at first, but they worked surprisingly well! They wrote like regular sharpies (after following the prep instructions for the pen, which are basically the same as any nice craft pen: shake and depress) and only required one coat to be visible (and a second just because). While the design definitely looks “hand drawn” (my penmanship can best be described as “medical” or “legal,” which is to say atrocious), I met my goal of an inexpensive but personalized football favor. After all, the footballs still functioned as I originally intended them: they were thrown with reckless, gleeful abandon by my small guests and have lasted several months in a teething-toddler’s home.
Child-Sized Foam Fingers
After watching several of my daughter’s friends having a ridiculously fun time with the giant foam fingers at various sporting events, I definitely wanted to bring this big-game tradition home! I found a great tutorial for making kid-sized foam fingers, and kiddos can decorate these themselves with stickers, markers, and whatever else you have laying around.
For our younger/smaller kiddos (and because I was making 20 of them), I decided to buy cheaper and smaller foam sheets. All I needed to do was cut a few inches off of the bottom of the template, and it worked perfectly!
Goodie Bag Design
Once children start recognizing letters, they seem to LOVE seeing their name (or letters that they’re told represent their name) anywhere and everywhere. After seeing this firsthand with our oldest, I’ve tried to make party goodie bags personalized ever since. There’s something undeniably amazing in seeing a group of toddlers scouring over series of names (oftentimes audibly reading the letters as they go) to try and identify their own.
As typically happens to me, however, I ran out of time. I wanted to find a VERY fast way to personalize football-themed goodie bags, and I found one! Using simple brown paper bags, white duct tape, and a sharpie, these “football” bags came to life.
For other tailgating or football party ideas, check out Football Shenanigans: A B1G Day!