We are a sports loving family! The boys’ nursery was sports themed — and now, their bedroom is pretty much the same. Once we moved them to their bunk beds, we did away with the baby stuff and gave their room a “little-big kid” update. We purchased their first baseball gloves when they were still infants — and my Aunt and Uncle made sure they had even better quality baseball gloves for their 1st birthday. Once my Uncle found out A. was a lefty, he promptly went out and purchased him a left-handed glove.
We don’t push sports on our kids but they are surrounded by it. They are still too little to play organized sports (they’ve had soccer lessons but nothing competitive). However, N does love to play baseball — and has grand visions of being a catcher one day.
My husband and I love sports. I’m a huge Bears fan and enjoy watching just about any sport live. My husband follows a variety of sports; baseball, football, hockey, basketball and now that Portland has a pro-soccer team — he might be converted to a soccer fan as well. The boys know all the right teams to cheer for. Although, I’m afraid when they go through their rebellious stage — they’ll, also know the teams they can root for, to drive my husband and I crazy! I am also proud to say that the boys can recognize logos of quite a few sports teams – at least the important ones anyway. And if you are wondering — no, we don’t quiz them with flash cards.
Free Sports Events
Attending professional sporting events can be spendy but there are a lot of other options. For instance, our boys love going to any sporting event, especially ones where they can see their “big kid” friends play. These sporting events are usually free – or cost very little – to enjoy. These games may not have all the thrill and excitement of pro games – but for little ones – they will just love the atmosphere and some great bonding time.
We actually took the boys to their first little league game, when they were only about a month old. Of course they slept through the game — but I could tell they were really happy to be there. They went to their first middle school football game when they were less than a year old. They liked it, until my friend cheered for her son’s team — which scared A. Actually, he cried through the rest of the game. I am happy to report that he had a much better time the following year — and cheered along with the crowd.
Low Price Sporting Events
Semi-pro teams are also a fantastic way to take in a game without spending a ton of money. We actually just took the boys to watch our town’s semi-pro basketball team. Total cost for 2 adults, 2 children, 2 bags of chips , and a bottle of water — $13. You can barely get one person into a movie for that amount of cash! The team plays at the local community college, and it’s a great time for the whole family.
They do free face painting, they are always giving away things, and they even had a station set up so people can make signs, to show the team support. The best part is, if the kids are having a tough time sitting still, or get too tired to be there — you don’t feel like you are wasting money if you need to leave early.
Check out your local area. You may discover a team you didn’t even know about (like we did last year–we had no idea our town had a semi-pro basketball team). Tickets to semi-pro baseball, hockey, car racing, etc. won’t break the bank and you’ll make fabulous memories with the kiddos!
Finally, if you want to really surprise your family or spouse, you can put together a sports package and go see a major sports team or sporting event. For example, you could find a discount sports package through a service like RoadTrips, and you could get into a great event for a good price. I’ve done this for my husband’s birthday, and we had a blast.
How do you work sporting events into your budget?