One of the most commonly asked questions in the FNW Facebook Group is what to bring along on game day to keep the kids entertained. It shouldn’t surprise anyone that coaches’ wives are desperate for any way to grab a few extra minutes of uninterrupted game time viewing.
That begs the question from a lifetime football game-attending veteran, What’s in my game day bag? Of course, my list changes depending on the age of the kid, weather, and game location, but here is my generic list of what I pack for myself and my kids. I’m breaking down my favorite game day items by what I recommend by each age for kids.
GameDay Checklist for Coaches’ Wives
- Coach’s Pass or Entry Pass
- Stadium Seat or Chair
- Snacks, Drinks, or Cash for the Concession Stand
- Hot Weather: Fan, Sunscreen, bug repellent, cooling towel
- Rainy Weather: Umbrella, Rain Coat, Poncho, extra clothes to change into after the game
- Cold Weather: Coat, Hat, Gloves, Scarf, Handwarmers, Blanket
- Spirit Items: Cowbell, Pom-Poms, Fathead, Foam Finger
- Coach’s Kid Items: Extra Clothes, PJs to change into after the game, wipes, first aid kit, snacks (yes kids get their own snacks)
0 – 1 Year Old
If you decide to bring your baby to the game during this stage of life as I did, there are a few extra things you will find helpful to add to your diaper bag.
Best Game Day Diaper Bag
First, if you don’t have a backpack-style bag, now is the time to invest in a good one. Here are a few recommendations:
Best Items for Your Diaper Bag on Game Day
- A Portable Diaper Changing Pad for Baby
- A few special toys you only pull out on game day
- A change of clothes
- Baby Bandana Drool Bibs
- Extra hat (for those times when you can’t find any shade)
Consider a Wagon
I was allowed to sit on the field for home games during this time. So I highly suggest a good wagon to keep the baby in and bring stuff to and from the car. I used a utility wagon, but a lot of moms recommend one specific for a baby.
The Best Baby Carrier
For away games, I didn’t want to drag my stroller or wagon with me. So, I wore my son into the stadium. A good carrier is a must if you choose to wear baby.
Noise Cancelling Headphones
These are so important to pack. You just don’t know what sounds will wake or scare your baby and we all know how miserable a sad baby is! I always threw these in the diaper bag. I only had to use them once; thanks to a cannon going off after touchdowns at an away game, but I was thankful I had them!
Ways to Keep Cool
We live in SW GA and it is still 80 degrees in October. You will need a fan, trust me on this one.
2-4 Years Old
Baby is now a toddler on the move, which has you wondering how you are going to balance a busy toddler and watch a football game, but it can be done with a few additions to the diaper bag.
Bleacher Booster Seat
This is a must; I use mine constantly and year-round! Honestly, my 3-year-old is still sitting in it and will be this upcoming season.
Toys for Game Day
My recommendation for this is to bring things that you are okay with getting lost. My hack is hiding the happy meal toys and placing them in our Game Day Bag. To this day, my son doesn’t know there are toys in his meal. In addition, glow sticks work wonders. Another option is to have a toy for game day that only comes out when you sit in the bleachers. There are stuffed animals with zippers and buckles and all sorts of gadgets and require a lot of focus to play with. Depending on your child’s personality you may find that they prefer the opportunity to focus on something away from the field.
I am a big fan of buying individual bags of snacks. I do this by shopping at Sam’s Club. But if buying in bulk is not your thing, make sure the snack containers are full of their favorites and bring more than you think you will need. You can make a snack tackle box. It entertains your LO and gives them snack options.
A good cup is a must for traveling around. I highly recommend these two for your football trips.
5 and Older
At this age, there aren’t many changes, except for the fact your kids probably want to cheer on their dad on to victory. So grab some spirit items to help them!
I am by no means an expert, but I can tell you; you deserve a medal for bringing any kid(s) to a football game. It is hard enough, but speaking from my experience growing up as a coach’s kid I wouldn’t trade my nights under the lights for a million dollars.