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March Madness Family Style

March 19, 2013 1:23 am
Written by: Jennifer Durbin
Are you ready for the Madness of March? This Chick is! Brackets, Bubble Teams, Cinderella Stories, and spending countless hours in front of the TV(s) for much of the weekend - what could be better? Living in the Triangle, it is nearly impossible to miss the excitement of March Madness.

Whether you are a Tar Heel, Blue Devil or pull for the Wolfpack, we can all agree that March Madness beats college football's post-season hands down. After all, the edge of your seat thrill of every round of the tournament is unmatched.

As an ACC basketball-obsessed family, March is a big month for us and revolves largely around game schedules and basketball parties. Even if you aren't a huge basketball fan, the excitement of watching the game with a few friends is contagious. Best of all, tournament games are super family-friendly – the timing, length, speed of play, etc.

Even if all of your kids are not interested in, or old enough to, watch basketball there are plenty of activities and crafts that will keep them occupied for hours on end:
  • Match the Mascot to the School
    • Print a list of your Top 10 schools and pictures of their mascots and see if everyone can match them up! For your pre-readers cut the school name and mascot picture apart like puzzle pieces and let them find the perfect matches.
  • Build your own bracket
    • Print blank brackets and let the kids create their own winning bracket just like mom and dad.
  • Basketball Word Search 
    • Turn the kids loose to find all of the basketball-related words in this word search
  • Custom Coloring Pages 
    • Customize these fabulous free coloring pages for each of your little guests to color and practice their letters.
  • DIY Basketball Hoops 
    • Let all of the kids help make one of these adorable DIY basketball hoops and then play a fun game of horse with a ping pong or practice golf ball. 

For your March Madness Menu, you can either recycle your favorite recipes from the Super Bowl or check out my March Madness Pinboard for inspiration (why create a new menu when you can recreate an oldie but goodie?). Just remember to keep it fun and simple – that's the name of the game! Shoot, forget cooking altogether and order pizza, make a veggie tray and fruit salad.

If you decide to go all in and take the whole family to a game or two, here are some great tips for having a wonderful time with your little ones at a basketball game (or really any sporting event) straight from Baby Traveling Tips for the Clueless Chick:
  1. Packing your diaper bag for a basketball game is much like packing your carry on for a flight: you will have a limited amount of space, so pack sparingly but don't forget anything. This is when your small "grab and go" diaper bag will come in handy. You may even consider using a small tote bag in lieu of one of your diaper bags since it will likely get stashed under a seat on a not so clean stadium floor.
  2. Have plenty of water and snacks with you; even if the kids aren't hungry, a toddler can find endless entertainment in playing with the Velcro on a snack bag or putting Cheerios back into their container. Plus, you don't want to be stuck spending a ton of money of semi-nutritious food from the concession stands.
  3. Bring your little one's favorite toy, or surprise him or her with a new toy to play with when he or she loses interest in the game. If that doesn't work, try a change of scenery – walking around the concession area or visiting the ever-exciting bathroom is always a hit.
  4. If your little one is young enough to fit in a Baby Bjorn or similar baby carrier, that is your best bet. If she is old enough, turn her around so that she can see all of the action then flip her back towards you when it is time to nap.
  5. Be prepared to leave. There is a chance that your little one will not like all of the excitement of the game, or he may just be having an off day. Be sure you have a backup plan to hang out in the lobby of the arena, watch a movie in the car, or come back and pick everyone up after the game. 

Above all else, don't forget ear protection for your little ones (remember those adorable headphones Drew Brees' son wore to the 2010 Super Bowl?). You can order an inexpensive set of headphones online for less than $20 and you will be thankful you did when the crowd starts roaring!

If you are still not convinced that you should tune in to watch a basketball game, at least give my St. Patrick's Day Tips a try!

St. Patrick's Day  
Sunday, March 17
  • Let the food coloring do the heavy lifting
    • Serve green milk and pancakes for breakfast and make green rice crispy treats with the kids.
  • Plan a treasure hunt
    • If the weather is nice, have a treasure hunt in the backyard or at your local park. What could be more fun than finding a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow?
    • This is also the perfect excuse to invite a few friends over for a play date.
  • I Feel Lucky Because...
    • Help the kids write a list of all of the things in their life that make them feel lucky. 

St. Patrick's Day and March Madness can make for a pretty crazy month, so plan accordingly. I like to catch up on a few craft projects while I'm watching a game, or take full advantage of the little ones watching a game with Dad and run errands or have a few minutes of me time.

Have a wonderfully mad March!

Until next time,
Jennifer
aka Chick #1

P.S. Don't forget that Passover and Easter come a little early this year so plan accordingly!

Are you ready for the Madness of March? This Chick is! Brackets, Bubble Teams, Cinderella Stories, and spending countless hours in front of the TV(s) for much of the weekend - what could be better? Living in the Triangle, it is nearly impossible to miss the excitement of March Madness.

Whether you are a Tar Heel, Blue Devil or pull for the Wolfpack, we can all agree that March Madness beats college football's post-season hands down. After all, the edge of your seat thrill of every round of the tournament is unmatched.

As an ACC basketball-obsessed family, March is a big month for us and revolves largely around game schedules and basketball parties. Even if you aren't a huge basketball fan, the excitement of watching the game with a few friends is contagious. Best of all, tournament games are super family-friendly – the timing, length, speed of play, etc.

Even if all of your kids are not interested in, or old enough to, watch basketball there are plenty of activities and crafts that will keep them occupied for hours on end:
  • Match the Mascot to the School
    • Print a list of your Top 10 schools and pictures of their mascots and see if everyone can match them up! For your pre-readers cut the school name and mascot picture apart like puzzle pieces and let them find the perfect matches.
  • Build your own bracket
    • Print blank brackets and let the kids create their own winning bracket just like mom and dad.
  • Basketball Word Search 
    • Turn the kids loose to find all of the basketball-related words in this word search
  • Custom Coloring Pages 
    • Customize these fabulous free coloring pages for each of your little guests to color and practice their letters.
  • DIY Basketball Hoops 
    • Let all of the kids help make one of these adorable DIY basketball hoops and then play a fun game of horse with a ping pong or practice golf ball. 

For your March Madness Menu, you can either recycle your favorite recipes from the Super Bowl or check out my March Madness Pinboard for inspiration (why create a new menu when you can recreate an oldie but goodie?). Just remember to keep it fun and simple – that's the name of the game! Shoot, forget cooking altogether and order pizza, make a veggie tray and fruit salad.

If you decide to go all in and take the whole family to a game or two, here are some great tips for having a wonderful time with your little ones at a basketball game (or really any sporting event) straight from Baby Traveling Tips for the Clueless Chick:
  1. Packing your diaper bag for a basketball game is much like packing your carry on for a flight: you will have a limited amount of space, so pack sparingly but don't forget anything. This is when your small "grab and go" diaper bag will come in handy. You may even consider using a small tote bag in lieu of one of your diaper bags since it will likely get stashed under a seat on a not so clean stadium floor.
  2. Have plenty of water and snacks with you; even if the kids aren't hungry, a toddler can find endless entertainment in playing with the Velcro on a snack bag or putting Cheerios back into their container. Plus, you don't want to be stuck spending a ton of money of semi-nutritious food from the concession stands.
  3. Bring your little one's favorite toy, or surprise him or her with a new toy to play with when he or she loses interest in the game. If that doesn't work, try a change of scenery – walking around the concession area or visiting the ever-exciting bathroom is always a hit.
  4. If your little one is young enough to fit in a Baby Bjorn or similar baby carrier, that is your best bet. If she is old enough, turn her around so that she can see all of the action then flip her back towards you when it is time to nap.
  5. Be prepared to leave. There is a chance that your little one will not like all of the excitement of the game, or he may just be having an off day. Be sure you have a backup plan to hang out in the lobby of the arena, watch a movie in the car, or come back and pick everyone up after the game. 

Above all else, don't forget ear protection for your little ones (remember those adorable headphones Drew Brees' son wore to the 2010 Super Bowl?). You can order an inexpensive set of headphones online for less than $20 and you will be thankful you did when the crowd starts roaring!

If you are still not convinced that you should tune in to watch a basketball game, at least give my St. Patrick's Day Tips a try!

St. Patrick's Day  
Sunday, March 17
  • Let the food coloring do the heavy lifting
    • Serve green milk and pancakes for breakfast and make green rice crispy treats with the kids.
  • Plan a treasure hunt
    • If the weather is nice, have a treasure hunt in the backyard or at your local park. What could be more fun than finding a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow?
    • This is also the perfect excuse to invite a few friends over for a play date.
  • I Feel Lucky Because...
    • Help the kids write a list of all of the things in their life that make them feel lucky. 

St. Patrick's Day and March Madness can make for a pretty crazy month, so plan accordingly. I like to catch up on a few craft projects while I'm watching a game, or take full advantage of the little ones watching a game with Dad and run errands or have a few minutes of me time.

Have a wonderfully mad March!

Until next time,
Jennifer
aka Chick #1

P.S. Don't forget that Passover and Easter come a little early this year so plan accordingly!
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