As the new football season kicks off, Google searches for “football with kids” have already increased 45% in the past month! Whether as a family activity or a first step to grow children’s enthusiasm for football, many parents plan to take their kids to their favourite local team from an early age.
However, taking children to a new environment can be daunting. To help you better prepare to take care of your kids at football stadiums and to make full use of junior fan experience clubs offered, football travel experts from Voetbaltravel.nl reveal six top tips for parents when bringing children to football matches. Just follow the six Ps to enjoy the game and have fun!
(image by Conor Coyne)
1. Pick seats carefully
To ensure a more family-friendly experience, some clubs offer specific zone seating for young fans and their parents. This enables you to sit with other families to enjoy the best football atmosphere while keeping a distance from any overwhelming crowds. If the club doesn’t specify a family stand or block, choose a seat on the aisle! If you need to leave for the toilets or snack stands with your kids, your matchday experience will be a lot more stressful when you have to fight your way through the rows of people to get out.
2. Purchase concession tickets
Lots of clubs offer junior/kids membership packs which are usually 50% cheaper than adult memberships. They normally come with more kids-oriented benefits too such as club merchandise aimed at young people, personalised birthday cards and junior fans experiences which may include family activities, children social events or football practice. If you are on a budget, England’s Women Super League only charges 4 pounds on average for children.
(image by Thomas Serer)
3. Participate in junior fan events
Alongside junior membership and concession tickets, many football teams also offer a welcoming experience for kids with fun events on the matchday and beyond. For example, if you arrive early, you may spot the club mascot and enjoy some pre-match “meet and greet” photos together. For membership holders, you definitely don’t want to miss events like family play day, holiday parties or junior game days where your kid might have the chance to meet their favourite football players!
4. Pack clothes, snacks and more
Sometimes it can get pretty windy in the stadium, especially during evening games, so make sure to dress your kids up with multiple layers and pack them scarfs, hats or gloves. It is also highly recommended that you stock up with lots of snacks to keep them energised so you won’t be waiting in the long queue for food stalls and missing the game.
(image by Sven Kuclinic)
5. Protect their ears
Whilst cheering for our favourite team is an integral part of live football, it might sound too loud and overwhelming to children. If your kids are sensitive to sound or are under 5, you may want to consider ear defenders or ear plugs to reduce the impact that loud music and chants may have on their ears.
6. Put safety first
No matter how much enthusiasm your kids have for football, as a parent you know that safety always comes first. Arrive earlier before the match and show them around to get familiar with the stadium, emergency exits and who to go to if they get lost. If you are lucky enough to sit in the lower end of the stadium or around the goal or corner-flags, pay attention to where the balls are going even during the warm-ups. Once you are prepared then you are free to enjoy the game and have fun!
(image by Joppe Spaa)