Euros and Eras. Both are huge amongst children and young people right now, with Taylor Swift’s Eras tour happening in the UK and the Euros 24 football in Germany. Everyone’s been talking about it either at home or at school.

A football on grass

I admit I am more into Taylor Swift (I don’t like football), but it’s a time where we can get alongside children and young people and be in the moment; something this big doesn’t happen too often – it really is a cultural phenomenon!

Even with all the excitement surrounding this time, the pressure parents are feeling to get tickets for Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour for children as young as 5 is trending. These tickets are the hottest right now, and all over Tik Tok and social media I have been seeing the joy of being there, but also the disappointment and guilt of not getting tickets, to the point that some people have even been swindled to pay insane prices.

Obviously football tournaments are a more regular occurrence, and England generally do qualify.  Big sporting tournaments are all about the atmosphere. It feels like football is everywhere right now and there is hope and a community spirit for the perfect outcome for England. It’s a chance for families to do something together, and like any sporting event it will bring joy and tears all at the same time. I do love seeing the passion it brings out for children and young people.

Whether you are massively excited by these events, or not, they do represent a great opportunity to release pressure and engage children, young people and families. So, here are three ideas that you could make use of:

1. Show a screening

Get the Euros on a big screen at your church and invite families to come and watch it. Some matches start at 5pm so this could be a chance to come along, have some food as well, maybe have a ‘bring and share’ so everyone can bring something and join in. The Euros are running until 14th July, so there’s still time to put something together. You could even have a food theme of the two countries that are playing during that match!

The Eras tour is being streamed on Disney Plus, so you could have a screening and singalong for families after school or as part of your summer holiday programme show in August, during the Wembley dates.

2. Have a football tournament

You could do one in real life, although that can be a more difficult undertaking than you’d think once you factor in all the things your risk assessment will identify! Alternatively you could have a computer games version, if you can borrow a console and controllers. FC24 (the game formally known as FIFA) will be well known and is played by a lot of the children and young people.

3. Focus on friendship

Taylor Swift may be all about sequins and sparkles but one thing that has been at the forefront of her Eras Tour is making friendship bracelets and trading them with others. Getting some beads and making bracelets with children can be lots of fun and create a bonding moment for everyone involved.  You could even do a session on positive friendships and get children talking about their friendships, or even invite a friend to a group you are running at your church.

Euros or Eras? We can use these cultural moments as an opportunity to engage with children, young people and families, build community and encourage each other . Are you ready for it?

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