They’ve practiced. They’ve hustled. They’ve suited up and played their hearts out. Now it’s time to celebrate. No matter the number on the scoreboard, celebrate your favorite young athletes with an awesome sporty bash like this one brought to you by Evite in partnership with Olive Garden.
Sports Team Calendar & Line-Up
Get the ball rolling by picking a date and sending the invites out early. If possible, schedule the party at a regular game or practice time — that slot on everyone’s calendar is already open. Play up your theme by picking an invitation that matches your sport, like the free Evite invitation below or another one from our Sports and Leagues invitation gallery. And don’t forget to let everyone know whether siblings and drop-offs are welcome.
Sports Team Food & Drink
Make it easy on yourself by catering the food. Pasta, chicken and sandwiches (such as Olive Garden’s five-cheese ziti, chicken parmigiana and breadstick sandwiches) are big hits with pint-size Olympians and adult cheerleaders alike. Offer kids mini bottles of sports drinks, and don’t neglect the grown-ups: Put plenty of beer on ice.
Sports Team Dessert
Don’t forget a sweet finish with grab-and-go desserts (try cupcakes or Olive Garden’s dolcini, an individually sized dessert featuring layers of cake, mousse, pastry cream and berries).
Sports Team Decorations
Whether you’re hosting at home or gathering at a park, customize the setting with balloon and streamers in team colors. Add this free “Go Team” banner for a winning additional decoration! Extend the theme with disposable tablecloths, plates, napkins and cups in team hues, or go with colors that reflect your sport. Use green tablecloths for grass, and add black and white tableware for soccer, red and white for baseball or orange and black for basketball.
Sports Team Activities
Set aside some time for a parents-vs.-kids scrimmage — a great way to bring up the energy level and get everyone involved. Or, assign kids to teams for relay races. It’s easy to tailor races to your team’s sport. Try basic versions like dribbling the soccer ball or basketball around cones. Or get goofy with a tennis ball neck relay: Each player tucks a tennis ball under his or her chin, then runs and passes the ball to the next team member’s chin without using hands. For a football version, put the football between your knees and hobble or jump to a cone and back before handing it off to the next team member.
For younger kids, try sport-specific versions of pin the tail on the donkey (pin the ball on the soccer player’s foot or pin the basketball in the hoop) using our free printable. Older kids enjoy sports trivia. You can outsource some of the prep work by asking team parents to send you their best questions in advance.
Relive the season’s highlights with a slideshow if you’re celebrating the end of a solid season. Before the party, ask team parents to send you their best pics, then display them on your TV — either sync your photo stream to your TV’s streaming device, or copy your slideshow onto a thumb drive and insert it into your TV’s USB port. The photos can loop as a backdrop for guests to enjoy throughout the party, or you can gather everyone together to view the season’s highlights as a group activity. Set up a photo booth with these free photo booth printable props to score some extra party activity points. Cut them out and attach to small wooden dowels (available at craft stores).
And, without getting too formal, it’s nice to mark the end of the season with a final wrap-up from the coach. Ask him or her to prepare a few words about the team and each member’s individual contributions. This is a good time to hand out favors, trophies or end-of-season gifts for the young champs, using our free printable favor tags. And, Coach deserves kudos, too. Parents and kids can show their gratitude with a small gift from the team. A framed team photo or a sweatshirt in team colors will keep memories alive in the off-season.
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