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Saturday, January 14, 2012

Super Bowl Party for Seniors

It is almost here! The 46th Super Bowl game will be held on Sunday, February 5 in Indinapolis. Each year, residents in my retirement community want to have a viewing party for the big game. I believe that it is a fun program to make an activity out of, but not something that I must do every year. Mostly, I don't have this each year because there are not to many ways to change it up, so I don't want to have it become boring. (This is where your ideas would be great to hear!!)

This year, we are going to have a party and I'd like to share with you the plans for the evening. Residents are now signing up for the program which is set to start at 6:00 p.m.  This time is perfect in my community because we still serve dinner at noon on Sundays and the residents usually like to attend for the food, if for no other reason. (I do charge them a fee for the food.) We will have the game showing on our big screen tv in the auditorium and tables and chairs set up for the residents to eat and watch the game from.

I like to provide a few Super Bowl trivia questions to ask when there is a lull in the game. I've tried to do these questions and/or other games during the commercials, but that does not work well because some many viewers are not into the game, but want to see the commercials. Check out this teacher's website that has a lot of free printable games just for the Super Bowl.  I will give them out and let them work on the questions/games at their own pace and share the answers at the end of the evening. One game that I've used before is a Super Bowl word-find that I know that they will like. I also will be taking a game called Cornhole to the party. My sister-in-law gave it to our family for Christmas and we play it a lot. I thought that the residents can play casually if they want to during the party.

As I was working on this article, I found a few other Super Bowl party game ideas that I think might work in my retirement community. They are the following:

  • Don't say "football" game. At the beginning of halftime, give your residents small paper footballs to stick onto their chests with double-sided tape. Tell everyone they're not allowed to say the word "football" while in conversation during halftime. If they hear someone use the word, they can take the football from the offending party. The person who collects the most footballs is the winner.

  • Football Bean Bag Toss. If you have enough room, mark out a small football field with masking tape, and be sure to mark the yardage since it will be necessary for scoring the game. Divide your guests into two teams and have them take turns tossing bean bags onto the other team's side of the field. Keep score of the yardage points where the bags land, with a touchdown scoring 0 points. The team with the lowest yardage wins.

  • Organize a game of hot potato with a football. The last person left in the circle is the winner.

  • I think that I will try the hot potato game. and do it at half-time. I already know that there will be less people there, they will have already eaten and that they are not interested in the halftime show.

    I also found a website that has some other free games, but I'm not sure if my group of seniors will do them as they are geared towards kids, but maybe your folks are younger, so, I'll pass it along. Take a look at http://party-games-etc.com/super_bowl_games.htm

    I do have a resident who likes to make the gambling square grid and gets residents to buy a block. That works well for me, because I am not permitted to run any kind of gambling at my program. If it is resident driven.... then it is fine.

    Food for the Super Bowl party has been either hot dogs, sub sandwiches or pizza. Like a said above, the culinary department serves dinner at noon, so there is nobody in the kitchen to keep things warm or serve it. In the past, the hot dogs have been held in warmers and the cold-cuts were held in the refrigerator in the kitchen and then I brought them into the Auditorium. The pizza was delivered to the auditorium. We usually have soda.... because I'm not allowed to serve alcohol at any of my events.

    For decorations, I use the team balloons that I usually find in the grocery store or local party store. I buy a few of them and then enlarge the clusters with solids in the colors of the team. I also buy napkins with the Super Bowl logo on it to add to the excitment. Or, you can keep it neutral and base your decorations around the logo below.
    I try to get the residents to wear the color of the team that they are cheering for, or a jersey for a team that they like. I try to make it a fun night and hope that the residents stay for the whole game, but it never seems to work out that way. I've announced that the food would be served at half time, but that is a bit late for the residents to eat and they usually get upset with me for not feeding them at the party when they want to eat. So now, I have the food ready when the party starts, and usually by half-time, I have less then half the people I started with. At the end of the game, I usually have a handful of viewers there.

    As you can tell, this is not one of my favorite events, but I'm always glad when I have one of these parties, becuase the residents appreciate it. I'd love to hear from you on  your party - especially if you have a successful party!

    ps. Take a look at my other theme ideas listed in the category listed on the left or start at Thinking About Themes.