Thanks, Walmart and Yoplait, for sponsoring this Game Day Parents Survival List!?
School is back in session and things just went from 0 to 60 real quick. And I wouldn’t have it any other way!
We’ve got kids at 2 different schools, early morning club meetings and late afternoon practices for sports. And everyone landed teachers who adore homework, so, that’s fun.
This means this house is pretty much on the go until the end of season tournaments happen in November. We’re no strangers to this special kind of crazy called being a sports parent: we’ve had kids playing soccer or t-ball since 2005!
As vets to all day games & tournaments, we’ve learned a few survival hacks for the sports season.
If this is your first soccer/football/cheerleading/baseball season with your kids, here’s your game day parent’s survival list to get you through the long Saturdays out at the field.
Game Day Parent’s Survival List
Listen up, parents: just because the kids are on the team, that doesn’t mean you are off the hook!
While the kids need to show up and play (and BRING IT!) you’re in charge of making sure everything goes as smoothly as possible for the rest of your crew on the sidelines.
This means you need to prep for the season.
Game Day Seating
Not all sports facilities have nice bleachers for the fans. I’ve seen more that cater to the players than I’ve seen catering to the spectators.
Go ahead, right now, and put all the chairs in the back of your car that your family will need. Even one for the player in case the field doesn’t come with benches.
I happen to love this one: it weighs less than 2 pounds and takes up practically no space in the back of my van. I currently own 2 of these but feel like a few more are needed.
They are lightweight, fold up compactly, can fit in a backpack or purse (seriously!) and hold adults up to 350 pounds.
Winning all the things right here!
Game Day Shade
I’ve been on very few fields that offered spectator shade.
Invest in your own. You will get years of use out of one of those pop-up shade tents that the whole family can comfortably chill out underneath.
If it’s just me & my player at the game, I tend to go with the beach umbrella. I simply hold the long pole by anchoring it under a leg; works like a charm.
I don’t mount it into the ground (holes on the field is a big no-no!) but I love the large shade cover it gives me and any little person sitting nearby. This one is coated with UV protective material on the underside, so I feel like it gives just a bit more protection than using a normal umbrella.
Game Day Snacks
Whatever you do, you do NOT want to forget the snacks.
A hangry momma on the sidelines could have unintended consequences for the team.
Look, I’m not saying I’ve been thrown out of a game before, but I am saying that if I hadn’t forgotten the cooler, I might have been able to see the entire baseball game that day.
Snacks for you, snacks for the kids watching, and snacks for the player: all of them should be filling and kept cool in a cooler.
When I’m out all day for a tournament, I prep the night before by putting my Yoplait Multipacks (with this awesome new easy-open packaging) in the freezer.
When it’s time to put them into the sports day cooler, they not only act as additional cooling for everything else, but they end up being the perfect midday snack as they soften up a bit.
These are the perfect grab and go snacks for kids on the run. Not just at the games! The packaging makes it easy for everyone to get a yogurt out of the fridge, even those with the littlest of hands.
You can find these in the refrigerated section of your local Walmart, where you know, you can find everything else you need to survive the sports season!
- 8 Pack Strawberry
- 8 Pack Strawberry Mixed Berry
- 8 Pack Strawberry and Peach
- 8 Pack Strawberry and Strawberry Banana
- 8 Pack Strawberry Orange
Game Day Health and Safety
Even when you are chilling on the sidelines, you are still “The Mom.”
When Jr. gets knocked down, skins a knee or just needs some TLC they are going to be coming to you for help.
Even though my coaches have always had their own first aid packs on hand, I bring ours to the field as a backup.
I’m Mom- and this is how we #MomOn, right?!
Included in the first aid kit is a full bottle of sunscreen & bug spray. Every field is different in my experience when it comes to mosquitos. It’s not fun when you sit around getting eaten alive or tend to the kids bites after the game.
Game Day Water
Don’t forget the hydration! Even on a colder day, kids can lose a lot of fluids.
Having an extra water bottle (or 3) on hand makes you the hero of the game.
Hope this helps kick your season off. Game day will go smoothly with these simple preparations in advance.
Here’s an extra tip: put the chairs, shade, first aid items and an extra blanket into the car. It can all live there and you’ll feel like a rock star when you are prepared come Saturday morning!
Good luck everyone!
Patty Holliday is a Marvel loving, Disney obsessed wife, and mother of four. She’s a travel agent specializing in Disney & Universal vacations- and loves a candid confession. Find her in Virginia (or anywhere frequent flyer miles or her trusty minivan takes her.)