With the whole world watching soccer this summer, lots of children are eager to get in on the World Cup action and play it, too. Joining local house league teams and going to summer soccer camp is one thing, but what about just having some fun with a soccer ball in the backyard?
Totally possible. And totally simple. But for parents who have never played soccer before, it can be a bit overwhelming to figure it out. We’ve got a few soccer tips that will make it easy for you to play soccer with your kids. Who knows? You might just have the next Messi or Sinclair on your hands.
The most important thing to have is, of course, a soccer ball. But some parents may not realize that they come in different sizes. If your child is 8-years-old or under, get a size 3 ball. If you’re looking for your 8 to 12-year-old, you need a size 4 ball, and for older kids and adults, the standard ball is size 5. Having an appropriately-sized ball will make all the difference for a child just learning to play.
An inexpensive addition to your kids’ soccer equipment, marker cones make a perfect impromptu goal, but can also be used for drills if you set them up and have kids dribble through them. We’ve got some dribbling tips for kids here. And don’t worry if you don’t have cones. Old yogurt containers or milk cartons will do the trick, too!
Play with them
Soccer is probably the easiest game to play with your kids. It really is as simple as setting up two goals and jumping in. Meet some neighbours at a park and have a friendly match. Or invite some friends into the backyard to kick the ball around. When your kids see you having fun, too, they’ll love soccer even more.
Bring a soccer ball wherever you go
Try bringing a soccer ball with you when heading to the park. Your kids will probably be pleasantly surprised by how many new friends come running to join in the fun.
Watch a game together
The suggestion of screen time may seem counter-intuitive, but kids may not know what they’re supposed to do if they’ve never seen a game before. Sitting together as a family to watch a soccer game will broaden their understanding and you’ll be amazed at how your kids’ soccer world will open up once they see the fancy footwork of their favourite players.
Above all else, remember that kids will figure it out. All over the world, kids find a way to play the beautiful game and your kids will, too.