My kids LOVE basketball, and they are super excited to watch as much of the March Madness NCAA Men’s Tournament as we’ll allow them, but to be perfectly honest, they have little to no idea about which teams are actually any good. That makes filling out a March Madness bracket a difficult task, but of course, they want to participate in that yearly tradition. So I’ve come up with a fun kid-friendly way to fill out a March Madness bracket (and I may even use this method myself this year!)…
How to Fill Out a March Madness Bracket [for Kids]
1. Print out a bracket
You can download a bracket here –> NCAA March Madness 2019 Tournament Bracket
2. Fill in the teams
Once the teams in the tournament have been announced, the NCAA.com website will have the information you need to be able to fill in each team in the First Round.
Fun alternatives for filling in team names:
- use markers to write the school name in their team color
- label the teams by their mascot instead of their school name
3. Have your kids pick the winners of each game
Here are some fun kid-friendly ways to pick the winners:
- If your kids have a favorite team, they can choose that team to win as many games as they want.
- Pick a team based on the color of their uniforms – which color is your favorite?
- Pick a team based on their mascot – who would win if the mascots faced off?
- Roll a die – if it lands on an odd number, the lower seeded team wins; if it lands on an even number, the higher seeds team wins.
- Flip a coin – if it’s heads, the first team listed wins; if it’s tails, the second team listed wins.
4. Create a “Master Bracket”
Once your brackets have all been filled in, you can create a “master bracket” where you keep track of the actual winners of each game so the kids can compare their brackets to the actual results.
5. Score the brackets
If you want to create a bit of friendly competition, you can “score” the brackets as the games are played to see who made the best predictions:
- 1 point for each correct prediction in the First Round
- 2 points for each correct prediction in the Second Round
- 3 points for each correct prediction in the Third Round (Sweet Sixteen)
- 4 points for each correct prediction in the Fourth Round (Elite Eight)
- 5 points for each correct prediction in the Fifth Round (Final Four)
- 6 points for each correct prediction in the Sixth Round (Championship)
The great part about the March Madness tournament is that there are always “upsets” (where the lower ranked teams beat higher ranked teams), and very rarely are you able to predict a majority of the games correctly, even if you know a lot about basketball and the teams playing.
My kids can’t wait to fill out their brackets and see which teams win this year!