Melissa & Doug has a couple of cute products for kids too young to throw around a real football (and, if you’re somewhere too cold to play outside, they’re easier on the furniture and knickknacks): Fill and Spill Sports Bag and Sports Balls in a Mesh Bag.
If you’d like the kids gathered round the table, one great activity is decorating cookies or cupcakes in team colors. The Cardinals and the Steelers are playing this year and their colors are red and white (Cardinals), and yellow and black (Steelers). Black’s kind of an icky deal for frosting though, so white and yellow, with cut up black licorice or sprinkle accents is just as good.
Both the team logos are pretty simple this year, so older kids might like trying to put the team logos on cookies. Painting the logos or key game scenes is also a fun activity.
Knowing some fun facts about the teams will also help kids take a more lasting interest. For instance, the Cardinals have been a team for more than 100 years (though not always in Arizona). In my son’s case, that’s older than great-grandma! And they’ve never been to a Super Bowl, but the Steelers have won four.
For more trivia, games and funny mascot videos, the NFL has a kids page.