I Am a Soccer Mom: Sideline Survival Activities

One thing I love about having my kids in soccer is that it is outside.  They get to get out and breathe the fresh air and run around.  During weekday practices my kids who aren't practicing run around and play with other kids, but on game days they don't always have the luxury of running around freely with games going on all around us.  My kids get bored sitting and watching a game, especially if there are a couple to watch in a row, so we always try to bring a few sideline activities to keep them occupied.  It is easy to just let them play the iPad or Kindle, and sometimes we do that too, but I always like it more if they are doing something imaginative.  So today, as part of the Soccer Mom series, I've put together a few ideas of how we spend our time on the sidelines. We usually switch up the things we pack so they don't get old.  

Magna Doodle Tracing Cards
First up, here's a fun idea for using  a travel sized Magna-doodle.  My sister in law made us a bunch of cards with simple drawings on them that fit perfectly inside the drawing surface.  You can trace the lines of the drawing and then lift up the card and see your masterpiece.  It really works.  It is so fun for kids of all ages and has provided hours of sideline distraction.  We also have my littlest practice his letters this way by tracing ABC flashcards.  

You can easily make this by tracing simple pictures from coloring books onto manila folders and cutting them to the right size.  Or if you are a talented artist like my, SIL Becky, you can draw your own. 

Portable Sandbox
One year we brought a portable sandbox to the fields each week.  We found a plastic bin with a handle and filled it with about 3 inches of sand and toys to play with.  We were the most popular family on the sideline.  It was especially good for little ones that usually like to run into the field.  If a little sand spills, no big deal, its outside.  If your kid is likely to dump a lot of sand just put the sandbox in the middle of a blanket and you can dump the sand in the box when they are done. It was a hit!
Photo from Amazon

I also sometimes bring books for my readers, and a crayon roll and a notebook for my artists.  My older readers especially love to lay on a blanket and read endlessly.

I have to say that Cars and are still my kids' absolute favorite things to play with at the fields.  They love to bring their monster trucks and drive them over the little mounds in the grass.   I have a friend that fills a duffle bag full of big cars and boats for her little one to play with at the fields.  If you make the Waterproof Blanket you can easily draw a car town on the vinyl side of it for added fun.  I had grand intentions of making this cool version from Family Fun that I Pinned a couple of years ago.  
Family Fun May 2011
 It took me forever to find a green vinyl tablecloth, but I couldn't find the black contact paper, so instead I just drew a simple one on with Sharpie. I figure I'll let my kids draw buildings or ponds if they want.

Bouncy Ball
My last idea is to keep it simple.  Sometimes I bring interesting things to play with and I find that all my kids really needed to have fun was a bouncy ball and the bleachers. :)

I hope these ideas come in handy sometime.  What sideline activities keep your little ones occupied?

Want to see more tips and tutorials in my Soccer Mom Series? Here are the links


  1. Oh, I love these ideas! The portable sandbox idea is genuis! I need to make time to put together some of those Magna Doodle cards before our trip next month. They'll be perfect in the car!

  2. Great ideas! I don't know how you come up with all these. :)

  3. Ahhh great post! I have a 2 yr old to keep busy while the big brother plays soccer. The magna doodle tracing pages are genius.
    And the portable sand box!

    Hmmm my wheels are turning! :o)