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Blog Ambassadors Tackle Football—Mentally and Physically

Throughout the year we'll hear from eight bloggers as they share about their family's time in the Riley Children’s Health Sports Legends Experience® and how it inspires them to explore these sports back at home. 

This post was written by Children's Museum Blog Ambassador Mary Graham. Follow her posts on her blog, Trusty Chucks, or follow her on InstagramFacebook, and Twitter.  

For a few days, Indianapolis weather was cool and crisp. It was like a short teaser of what’s to come this fall.

With those cooler temperatures comes jackets, boots, crunchy leaves, and football season. The Grahams are not a huge football family, but it’s hard not to get swept up in the local school teams trying to have a winning season and the Sunday afternoon coziness that comes from half-sleeping/half-watching an NFL game on the television.

And don’t even get me started on the football snacks. I am always here for the snacks.

We’re just a few weeks into the NFL season so my family and I headed to Indianapolis Colts Football Experience at The Children’s Museum recently to brush up on our catching, kicking, and running in anticipation of afternoons spent cheering on the Colts. I’m not normally a fan of my kids parking themselves in front of the TV all afternoon, so we mix things up a little while we watch the game to make sure we’re not sitting still for too long. (Also, what young kid can actually sit through a whole football game? Not mine, that’s for sure.)

Here are some ways to keep things interesting during the next Colts game while encouraging your kids to stretch their minds or their bodies:

  • Practice some addition skills when the teams score. Grab a piece of paper and a pencil and encourage your child to keep score (adding the points for a field goal or a touchdown or whatever else happens) as the game goes on. Extra credit if you show your kid how to find the difference between the two scores.
  • Use commercial breaks to get in a fitness challenge. My daughters love to time each other to see how many jumping jacks or sit ups they can do in a minute. Your child likely already does this at school through the Presidential Youth Fitness Program. Ask your kids what one-minute challenges they’d like to do during the TV time-outs and get moving.
  • Help your child research where your favorite team’s mascot originated. Ask them questions about their team’s nickname or colors. Why is Indianapolis the Colts? What were they before? How long has Blue been doing his antics? Do a little digging on the opponent’s team too!
  • Brush up on your map skills. Use a United States map to figure out where each team is located and approximately how many miles the visiting team had to travel for the game today. What other interesting stuff does that city have to offer if you visited?
  • Get in on the game. Head outside during halftime to throw a ball with your family or some neighbors. You might be surprised who has the best arm! Run some sprints and find out who is faster. Get your blood flowing so you can be ready for more action (and snacks) once the second half begins.

Before you settle into the football season or as a mid-season recharge, make sure you gather the family (or the team) and visit the Riley Children’s Health Sports Legends Experience®. They’ve got the field ready for you.

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