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Football Party Essentials
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Childrens Football Parties
At first glance, this page is different from the rest of the site, which is dedicated to "adult" football parties, i.e. a social gathering themed around watching a match together. Organising a childrens football party is very different in lots of ways, but actually there are many similarities:
As with anything, the better you plan your party, the better it will turn out. This is especially true where children are involved. There's nothing worse than being faced with twenty eager seven year olds, all asking you "What are we going to do now?", and suddenly realising that you can't answer them!
It's always better to plan to have too much of everything - if the party is two hours, have three hours worth of activities prepared, just in case. Have alternative foods and drinks ready if possible, as you can almost guarantee that there'll be someone who doesn't like something! And if you have too many balloons, party plates or banners, is that better or worse than not having enough?
For a more detailed week-by-week guide to what you need to plan in the run-up to the event, please see our Party Planning Page.
The alternative to planning is delegation. There are plenty of people out there who will run a football party for your children for you. We're quite happy to provide links here to reputable businesses in this field. If you are looking for someone to do this for you, we recommend that you find people who are qualified FA Coaches to at least Level 1 standard, and have some sort of CRB (Criminal Records Bureau) check/approval. You should ask to see certificates/documents for this. Additionally, make sure you draw up a list of who is doing what. Are they providing food, decorations, etc, or do they think you're doing that, and they're simply running the activities? It's always wise to double-check these important arrangements.
Many local sports centres or football clubs who have a youth section may be happy to run football parties for your children. In addition, try one of these businesses:
If you are part of an organisation involved in running childrens football parties and wish to be featured on this page, please get in touch.
Whether you do the catering yourself, or you hire a venue which provides food, you will need to plan some party food, and plenty of drinks. As mentioned earlier, it's always a good idea to have a few alternatives on hand, as you can pretty much guarantee that someone won't like whatever you've prepared!
The most obvious area in which party food can be given more of a football theme is cake. With a little imagination, football themed cakes can be made that look really special, yet don't take too much effort. Even decorating plain cakes with football birthday cake candles or chocolate footballs can make a difference to making the party feel like it's been given a real theme.
A little bit of green food colouring in your icing and some chocolate footballs, and before you know it you can have individual cup cakes for party bags (see photo - left).
Making a "football pitch cake" is simple. Just bake a sponge cake in a rectangular tin, cover with green icing, and pipe on the white lines to mark out the pitch (photos to be added shortly).
Similarly, making a cake for your favourite team isn't as hard as you might think. Again, start with a rectangular sponge. Colour some fondant icing with appropriate food colouring for your team's strip, and roll out to a suitable thickness (about 5-8mm is fine). Cut out into the shapes you need to form the shirt and shorts, then assemble on top of the cake. Pipe on any smaller details if required (photos to be added shortly).
If you're feeling a little more adventurous (and feel confident that your young guests have more adventurous taste buds!), we have plenty of ideas for nibbles, snacks and finger food from around the world - see if there's anything that takes your fancy!
In addition to theming the food itself, a lot can be done to theme a kids football party using simple, inexpensive touches on the table where they eat.
But don't forget - the party food doesn't quite end when the party does - you'll need a selection of football themed food and treats to put in those Party Bags too!
Kids parties these days don't seem complete wtihout party bags. In my day you went home with a slice of birthday cake if you were lucky, but times have obviously changed!
So we thought we had better add in some ideas for what you could fill the party bags - or "loot bags" - with. Some will be more appropriate than others, depending on the age of the children and on your budget, but hopefully some of these suggestions will help:
Again, decorating a room for a childrens football party needn't be difficult or expensive.
You can either choose the colours of your child's favourite team, and decorate the room with flags and banners to reflect this colour theme. There are flags, bunting, coloured tablecloths, plates, napkins, balloons etc all on our main decorations pages.
Alternatively, you can go for a more "generic" football theme, and find some flags, bunting, banners, balloons etc with footballs on (for examples, see right).
Whichever way you decide to go, you can get the children involved in the decorating process - either during the days leading up to the party, or for a more "sedate" activity during the party itself (or in the event of some unexpected wet weather). Depending on the age of the children, you could involve them in:
Football Party Activities
Fortunately, if you throw a football party for children, it's pretty self-explanatory, and it's unlikely they'll be disappointed if you just set them up to play a game of football between themselves. However, you can make it a bit more fun and varied by trying some of the following, in addition to playing a small-sided match (which you can pretty much guarantee they WILL want to do). A few ideas for quieter indoor activities are listed above, if you need them for calming the children down, or for wet weather.