With the World Cup just around the corner, we've all been given the excuse to don our England shirts once again, gather around the TV in the middle of the day and wait with baited breath to see if this could finally be our year (unlikely!).
However, what about the little ones in your life? The World Cup is a great opportunity to throw a fun, football-themed party for your kids and their friends. It's also a handy opportunity to get them thinking about different cultures, as well as potentially getting them into a new sport.
Here are our tips for throwing a World Cup party this summer.
Setting the Date
It just wouldn't be right to throw a football party without watching a football game. You can find all of the England team's upcoming fixtures throughout the Cup here.
Get all of the children to come as a famous footballer - past or present - from a different competing country. You can find a list of all of the nation's taking part here. You can buy replica kits from most sports shops or online, or the kids can get crafty and put together their own.
Making your own invitations is a great way to put in that little bit of extra effort. You can also use the invites as the big reveal, to let the kids know which nation's kit they'll be dressing up in.
Write the names of all of the competing nations onto bits of paper and place them in a hat. Get your child to help you randomly pull out a piece of paper for each guest who will be attending. You can then theme each invite based on which team they will need to be dressed up as - decorating them with the specific nation's flag is a great idea. You can find a database of world flags here.
When it comes to decorations, flags are the obvious way to go. In the spirit of embracing different cultures, don't just stick with the England flag. Cover the party venue in flags from all of the competing nations, for a colourful display.
You can also get themed table-ware such as this Goal Table Setting.
The food is where you can really start to get adventurous - and get the kids to try something new as well! Get busy in the kitchen and make a variety of dishes from competing nations. Here are some great ideas:
Fish and chips is the go-to-dish and is guaranteed to go down well with any fussier kids. For an easy option you can try fish fingers.
Try serving some tapas dishes to bring some Spanish flavour to your party. Simple dishes such as potato chunks and salsa tortillas are usually safe bets. You can find some great kid-friendly ideas here.
If you're looking for child-friendly party dishes from around the world, you'd be silly to leave Italy off the list. Make some large pasta dishes such as lasagne for everyone to tuck into and try your hand at some home-made pizza.
The most obvious activity - if it's not chucking it down - is five-a-side football. Split the kids into teams, set up two goals and let them burn off some energy!
Football Relay Course
Buy some cones online and set up a relay course. Split the kids into teams - the first team to have every member dribble a ball around the cones and back wins.
Penalty Shoot Out
Split the kids into teams and put an adult in goal. Each child gets two attempts to score a goal - the team that achieves the most goals wins.
Guess the Flag
Turn the decorations into a fun learning activity and get the kids to guess which country each flag represents.
Handing out themed party bags at the end of the event is a great way to thank everyone for coming and make sure they have a reminder of the day. Some great football-themed fillers are:
- These Football Tattoos (wash off easily!)
- These Football Jigsaw Puzzles
- This Mini Table Football Game
If you're in a hurry, you can always go for a ready-made party bag instead.
The World Cup is a great excuse to throw your kids and their friends a party they'll love - plus you can use it as an opportunity to get them learning about different cultures and trying something new!
Have you got any more ideas for a World Cup-themed party? Share them in the comments.
Image by s.schmitz