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7 Sneaky Ways to Stay Warm at Fall Games

Autumn sports, color guard, cheering, and marching band activities never seem to end before the weather turns cold! Stay cozy all season with these clever tips.

By Laura Quaglio

people watching the game in 1-person viewing tents
Under The Weather Tents

You want to support your kids until the playoffs are done … but, baby, if you live in certain sections of the U.S., it’s cold outside! Maybe you’ve already gotten the puffy jacket, winter boots, and team knit cap. What else can you do to keep out the chill? Plenty! Here are a few options you may not have tried yet. They range from free to DIY to a tad pricey, but they all can help get the job done. Let us know which ones you try — and love — this season. Or, better yet, share some of your best ideas in the comments. Give us a W-A-R-M! Go, Team!

Take a Tip from Red Riding Hood

Hood Scarf by EricaPennieLayne on Etsy

No doubt about it: Hoods are both cute and cozy. And when it comes to keeping in body heat during a late-season match, a hood and scarf is a must-have combo for soccer moms. We found this item — billed as a Winter Hood Scarf — on Etsy. It was created by Erica Pennie Layne, who counts herself as among the “Canadian winter warriors; a woman on the constant move in a land of ice and snow.” If it’s warm enough for her to wear when braving Canadian temps, it’s bound to keep you cozy during the playoffs. Though this design is sold out, you’ll find plenty of similar products to purchase or make yourself, simply by searching the web.


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Cuddle Some Homemade Hand Warmers

Find instructions on

If your fingers are the first thing to get chilled, hand warmers can make a huge difference in your ability to enjoy the big game. To save money – and put your craft skills to good use – consider making your own version, using a little leftover fabric and some uncooked rice. Complete instructions are available on As a bonus, their creator says they can be tossed in the freezer and used as cool packs for, say, a bump or bruise.


Don’t Let the Winds Chill Your Wrists

Here’s a DIY project that’s great for fall and winter: wrist warmers made from a pair of socks. You can find complete instructions on, but the concept is simple. You basically cut off the toe, cut a thumb-hole in the heel, and (if you like) finish off the top with a nice cuff. If you’re likely to conceal the whole thing within coat sleeves and under a pair of mittens, you can skip the finishing work. These also are perfect for keeping wrists snow-free if you’re in a climate that allows for shoveling and snowman construction.


Treat Your Seat to Some Heat

Sunbeam Heat-to-Go Seat Warmer

Ugh — those cold, metal stadium seats! Sometimes even a blanket isn’t enough to keep your bottom from feeling the chill when you watch your kids play. This Sunbeam Heat-to-Go Portable Warming Stadium Seat offers you 2 hours of comfort and warmth, thanks to two reusable gel packs (that you warm up in hot water), a foam cushion, and a weather-resistant cover. It even has a carrying handle, so it’s easy to tote to the stadium, on a camping trip, or on a winter horse-and-buggy ride.


Raise Your Temp in a Tiny Tent

people watching the game in 1-person viewing tents
Under The Weather Tents

Admittedly, this item makes more sense on the sidelines than in the bleachers. Available in a rainbow of colors, this one-person tent from is water- and wind-resistant, weighs just 7.5 pounds, and will keep your surroundings up to 30 degrees warmer than the air outside. It even has an SPF of 50, so you can avoid pesky (and sometimes unexpected) autumn or winter sunburns. Similar tents are available in an XL size and a two-person model.


Create a Spectator “Uniform”

You’d never let your kids on the field without the proper gear. It’s time to think of yourself as one of the team, and invest your own uniform of sorts—one that will keep you toasty so you can cheer for the team without your teeth chattering. Insulating underclothes and outerwear can help, but if you live in a really cold region, check out the wide array of high-tech togs that use portable batteries to radiate heat. Sporting goods stores and websites offer mittens, gloves, jackets, vests, socks, boots, insoles, pants and more. Another tip: Store an inexpensive rain poncho in your coat pocket for the entire season; then, when there’s an unexpected rain shower, you can stay dry, which will help keep you warmer too.

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Warm Up by the Hot Dogs

Here’s a tip that won’t cost you a dime — and it might score you some points with your kid’s coach or marching band director: Work in the concession stand or hot dog truck during the coldest games of the season! This strategy will keep you warmer since the walls will buffer those late-autumn and early-winter winds. And if you’re actually serving warm foods or standing near the grill, you may even get toasty enough to take off one of your coats.


Looking for Still Another Way to Warm Up?

Consider becoming a coach or assistant to your child’s team! As you’ve probably noticed, adults in these roles rarely sit down, and the more you’re up and moving, the warmer you will be. Wondering if this might be a good option for you? Check out our exclusive blog on the topic: Want to Coach Kids? 4 Tips to Make It Work for Your Family.

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Want to Coach Kids? 4 Tips to Make It Work for Your Family

Before you pick up the coach’s whistle, you might want to consider these issues that parent-coaches and their children might face throughout the season.

By ActivityHero Staff

Mom Coaching Basketball

Parents love to be involved in their kids’ lives and coach their kids’ sports. It’s rewarding to watch your son or daughter become a “pro” thanks to your excellent know-how of their favorite game. It’s also great to have shared experiences and interests with your kids, which can spur dinnertime conversations and strengthen your family bonds.

Are you considering taking on the role of parent-coach? We talked to some parents who have coached their kids to find out what they suggest you consider before signing up. Here, the top questions they recommend you answer.

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1. Does Your Child Want You to Coach?

Before you decide whether coaching the annual Y-Ball team fits your schedule, see if it fits theirs. Sit down with your son or daughter and ask them if they feel comfortable with you playing the role of coach. Some will be happy with the idea, but others may be worried about being judged by other players or not living up to your expectations. Before the season begins, sit down and make a list of pros and cons so you can see what your child is truly worried (or pleased) about. Also, it may be worthwhile to evaluate your intentions. Will you be more focused on winning or creating learning opportunities? Will a coach role help or hurt the current relationship with your child? These answers are not to be overlooked.

2. How Will You Handle Other Parents’ Critiques?

There is nothing worse than watching your son’s or daughter’s basketball game only to see them in for a total of 5 minutes. This is why parent-coaches always try and distribute playing time equally. The most obvious line of favoritism is having your child in the game for most of the game. It will be up to you to judge, based on their skills and the age level of play, whether or not the most skilled players should receive the most playing time. Always keep in mind the parents came to see their kid in the game.

However, another risk of parent-coaching is underplaying your child. Doug Skinner, a parent from Los Altos, Calif., coached his two boys in soccer, baseball, and basketball until they reached high school. When asked why he decided to coach he replied, “I did not want an overbearing, hot-headed dad yelling at his kids like I had seen in the years before.” We then asked him what he thought of the experience and if there is anything he might have changed. He replied, “I wish I would have played my kids more. I was always worried about parents getting mad at me for over playing my sons. My kids always tended to slip to the back of my mind because I was worried other parents were not happy with the amount of playing time their child received.”

If you do decide to coach, be sure to create a system that allows you to be fair to your kids as well as the others on the team.

3. Can You Leave Practice on the Field (or Court)?

If your child couldn’t make a shot at practice, you might be tempted to go into “after hours” with them to work on some technique. This is not a bad thing, but chances are if they had a bad day at practice, they are already discouraged. If you weren’t front-and-center for their slip-up, you would probably let them go about their evening unimpeded.

Bottom line: Make sure you can turn off the “coach” role as soon as you get home so you can provide an environment where your kids can tell you how they are feeling and you can be there for them. If you do want to work in some extra skill-building, don’t push extending practice in the driveway before you even head in the house. Instead, have a little discussion and see if you can’t get them to ask for some pointers, or to play a friendly game of horse.

4. Will Your Child Still Get Your Attention?

Parent-coaches tend to get very excited when they see the other members of the team improving throughout the season. All too often they forget to monitor their own child’s progress. Make sure you track every player’s improvements and give EVERY PLAYER praise for working hard to learn the game. Not only does on-court praise increase the trust and bond between you and that child, it is also when the true joy of coaching becomes a healthy addiction. So be sure to share some positive words with your kids in front of the team, as well as at home.

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