1.Think Inside the Box!
When my older ones were playing baseball, I would bring a large, shallow Rubbermaid bin and a blanket to the games for my little ones. Sometimes it would be filled with cornmeal, scoops, containers, plastic cars to make tracks in the cornmeal, dump trucks, etc. so they could have their own “sandbox”. Other times I would put playdough and playdough tools in it. Inevitably we would attract a crowd of other children, and that would keep everyone’s kiddos happily busy, often for the whole time!
Depending on your ages and kids’ interests, you could put in megablocks, cars, trains, or play kitchen food and plates. It’s a little bit of work to haul it from the car to the field, but usually well worth the effort once it’s there.
2. Make Change!
Bring spare change for the younger ones to get a snack at the concession stand. For kids old enough to understand, this can be a great way to get them to sit through the first part of the game, with the promise they will get a treat later.
3. Skip Dinner!
Since getting to ball games is usually quite a chore, bring snacks to the ball game instead. This will keep the kids occupied for a while too. Here’s a list of simple, healthy snacks the whole family can enjoy:
- Cubes of watermelon
- Apple slices
- Beef sticks
- Summer sausage sliced
- Cheese cubes or sliced Cheese
- Peanut Butter and Jelly circle sandwiches
- Peanut Butter crackers
- Sunflower seeds (fun to spit at the ball game!)
And of course you can always bring some chips, goldfish crackers, fruit snacks, granola bars, cookies, etc. as well for some more easy choices.
4. Bring a Mystery!
Fill a bag with a random set of toys that appeal to your kiddos. This could be their favorite toys, or you toys they haven’t seen in a while. Switch the toys each time, or keep those toys in the bag with the rule that they can only be played with at ball games. This will make them more special since they haven’t seen them too often.
5. Draw Them Out!
Bring a special drawing set only used at games. This could have paper, coloring books, stickers, and a special pack of markers, or even one of those drawing sets that open like a suitcase and have a place for each item. I like these because you always know if something is missing and it makes it special for the kids because every item seems important since it has it’s own slot in the case.
6. Have a Ball!
For littles bring a squishy ball…something that won’t hurt innocent spectators when it inevitably goes astray! Roll the ball or hide it. If you’re lucky, an older sibling or kiddo hanging around will love to play it with them while you keep one eye on the game and one on the kids!
7. Bring Something Unusual!
Little ones love things they don’t usually get to play with. Bring a little umbrella, a flashlight, a misting spray bottle, or an old set of real keys…items that are different and will keep their interest.
One nice thing about summer ball games is they are outside. You don’t have to worry too much about noise and they have space to play. Add a few of these ideas so your kids will have fun and you can too!