Tailgating with Kids…a mom’s tips!

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Hi JV fans! I am Katie Brooks and I’m a wife, mother of two and author of the blog, Second Line South. I am so thrilled that the ladies of JV Clothiers invited me to share the best strategies to use when taking children to a football game.

When I think of college football, I picture a relaxing day tailgating with food and friends followed by a loud and spirited night under the stadium lights. Most of us live and breathe these days during football in the fall and we wouldn’t have it any other way.

Naturally, most parents can’t wait to share this experience with their children when the time comes. We dress up our future football players and cheerleaders in the best gear, pack the car, and head to the big game!Jen2

We all experience different challenges with our children in a college football environment. Some of them require constant bathroom breaks because they are in the middle of potty training, while others may struggle with the noise factor and “scary” large crowds on campus.

I reached out to experienced parents on Twitter and encouraged them to submit their best advice. Here are a few of my favorites: *

@angela_shepard says: Plan ahead! Our friends take advantage of tailgate time for playtime, snacks, and naps to avoid meltdowns *

@CajunBrittinAtx says: Maybe wait for an October / November game when it’s cooler. Also, try not to sit too close to the student section :) *

@jjeffrose says: Be prepared to leave before halftime :) *

@emileey1 says: Bring some sort of carrier! Ergo, Moby, etc. As you can see, attending a football game with the kids definitely requires a little planning on your part.

Here are a few strategies that I personally like to use during my planning process:

1) Consider the time of year: Pick cooler weather and smaller crowds (especially if the children in your party are under 5). We have grown to love our experiences during Homecoming when the game is usually during the day and the crowds are slim.

Jen32) Gear up: It’s so important for your children to be comfortable during the day. We rely on JV Clothiers to keep our kids looking cute and feeling good while cheering on Jen4the Tigers! Also, worn-in tennis shoes are a must for small feet.

3) Utilize campus events: Our children love to watch the band arrive at the stadium! We also try to find the LSU mascot (Mike the Tiger) and even look around for a few cheerleaders or dancers for a photo opportunity. There are so many fun (and free) things to do during game day!

4) Pack food: Lines are long and kids seem to get hungry fast when you’re out of the home. Pack a few light snacks to hold them over until you can order your food.

5) Document your experience: This is one of the best pictures I’ve ever taken of my son. When he experienced the LSU band on the field for the first time and saw the players run through the tunnel, the look of pure joy and amazement was something that I wanted to always remember. Don’t forget to snap the unexpected moments.

Jen56) Lower your expectations: Stay flexible and remain open to whatever may come. When you leave the stadium holding a tiny hand tight, you’ll fight back tears and realize that you have successfully introduced your child to the traditions and joys of the college football experience…and that’s something to cheer about!

Hi, I'm Stephanie. Wife to Marcus and mom to Hudson and Lola Kate. I love Jesus, good design, the colors blue and purple, LSU football, anything creative and good food and wine with great friends.

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