March Madness: Family Style

March 17, 2014 in Playroom by Melanie

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Are you a basketball fan? Truthfully, I never watch a single game unless someone gives us tickets. I would rather do just about anything than watch sports on TV, but I love to go to a game in person.

Steve, on the other hand, is a HUGE sports fan. When we coordinate the family calendar, he makes sure the important games are jotted down so we can plan around them. Which doesn’t always happen… but we try – because I’m an awesome wife.

Every year Steve brings home NCAA tournament brackets for us to fill out, and every year the girls protest louder and louder. “But Daaaadddd, it’s boooorrrriing!!!”

We’re totally awesome parents, so we just laugh and tell them to fill out their bracket. Joy actually cried about it tonight. Real tears. Streaming down her cheeks.

I’m telling you — Awesome. Parents.

So after the torture (who knew choosing a few random names on a piece of paper could be so traumatic???) we got to the fun part.

The prizes.

I don’t think we have ever played for good prizes before, and that’s probably why the girls hate it more and more every year. Why play a game with no incentive to win???

So just in case you need ideas for your own tournament family fun (doesn’t it sound like fun???) here’s our plan in 4 easy steps.

1. First, everyone has to choose their winners. And let me tell you, it’s hilarious to listen to a bunch of kiddos who don’t know or care a bit about college basketball fill out a tournament bracket.

Kid 1: “Villanova? I bet whoever named that team was hungry.”
Mom: “Why?”
Kid 1: “It sounds like vanilla!”
Kid 2: “Yeah, or a villain!”

Villanova was chosen as the champion twice in our family because it sounds delicious. Or sinister.

2. Next, figure out how you will score your brackets. We’re going with a very simple scoring system: 1 point for every victory. It doesn’t matter which round it’s in or if it’s an upset… just choosing the right winner gets you a point. If you choose the final champion, you get a bonus point.

3. Finally, decide what awesomeness the winners will win. We tried a new recipe for dinner that turned out pretty gross, so I think everyone was a bit hungry when we came up with the prizes. You’ll see…

First Four: Most correct picks in the First Four gets 4 regular candy bars.

South: Most correct pics in the South gets a movie date at the theater on the south end of town.

West: Most correct picks in the West gets a shopping trip to the Disney store (because it’s in Anaheim, of course).

East: Most correct picks in the East gets a pizza of their choice (because it’s in New York, and apparently that’s what my hungry kiddos know about New York).

Midwest: Most correct picks in the Midwest gets ribs at Texas Roadhouse. yum! I suppose they could choose something else if they wanted, but why would they? Have you had the ribs at Texas Roadhouse??? The. Best.

Sweet Sixteen: Most picks in the Sweet Sixteen gets a visit to the Sweet Tooth Fairy.

Final Four: Most picks in the Final Four gets a 4-part date: lunch, nickel arcade, ice cream, and then back home for a movie.

Championship Game: Must pick BOTH teams in the championship game to get a 2-layer cake. (When I win that one, I’m getting an ice cream cake. mmmm)

Champion Pick: Choose the champion to get a parade around the neighborhood. Of course, it will just be our family involved in the parade – the single float, the only spectators, and the ones throwing confetti and candy – but if any neighbors happen to be along the parade route, we’ll toss them some candy, too.

Most Points Overall: If you win the whole enchilada, you get to go out for enchiladas and bring home your very own carton of ice cream.

Least Points Overall: If you managed to pick the fewest winners, you get a trip to the dollar store for a single item.

4. Now Steve will watch the games, tell us who the winners are, and someone ends up with bragging rights… and probably a few extra pounds. Let the fun begin!

Is it just us, or do you make your kids play with you, too?

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