6 Fun Soccer Games for Kids to Help Your Little One's Skills Grow
Soccer games for kids can help teach new skills and make young players better. Your child can enjoy these fun soccer drill games alone or with friends.
Got a budding soccer star at home? Try some soccer games for kids to help your child expand his skills. Kati Milam, an NSCAA soccer coach and a former collegiate and professional soccer player and coach, says, "Children who participate in team sports at a young age tend to be better communicators as they get older. They also have a better awareness of working hard and working together with others." The health benefits aren't bad, either.
WFTV reporter and former collegiate soccer player Kristyn Caddell adds, "I think team sports -- specifically soccer -- help kids at a young age understand the importance of working together with one goal in mind."
Multiplayer Soccer Games for Kids
- Musical Balls
You'll need at least four players, one ball per player and enough cones to mark a 20-by-15-yard grid. Each player dribbles a ball in the grid. After 30 seconds, the coach (or a player) calls out, "Change!" Players stop their balls wherever they are, quickly find a new ball and begin dribbling inside the grid again.
After the first round, one player's ball is removed and this player runs without a ball. After 30 seconds, the coach calls out "Change!" again. Players stop their balls and find a new ball again. The player left without a ball comes out of the grid and cheers on the remaining players. Repeat until only one player remains."Kids love Musical Balls," says Milam, "and it's a great way to learn to control the ball while moving quickly, keep the ball close to their body, stop on a dime and find a new ball quickly."
- One-Touch Air Pass
Four to eight players form a small circle. Using one ball, players pass to the right in the air using the tops of their laces, keeping the ball from touching the ground as it goes around the circle. Count the number of touches before the ball touches the ground, with the goal of making it around the circle a specific number of times. As your child's skill level improves, increase the number you're aiming for. "Passing is one of the most important pieces of the soccer puzzle," says Caddell.
- Trick or Treat
You'll need at least four players, one ball per player, enough cones to mark a 15-by-15-yard grid, and some extra cones to set out as "treats" at the end of the square. Set up your square grid. On each end line (not sides), set out as many cones as you have, divided evenly. Players line up at one end. Yell "Trick or treat!" The players dribble their balls to the opposite end, gather one cone at a time, dribble back and pick up another cone, continuing until all cones are gone. The player with the most cones is the winner. "Trick or Treat is great for kids who need practice dribbling at a fast pace," Milam says.
- Two-Touch Pass
Caddell recommends this game, played with four or more players and one ball in a square grid of about 15 by 15 yards. Players line up in pairs across from each other. The first player throws the ball at the head or chest of the opposite player, who uses one touch with her head or chest to control the ball and the second touch with the foot to pass the ball to the opposite player. The goal is to make it around the square a specific number of times with each player only using two touches.
Solo Soccer Games for Kids
- Wall Ball
As the name suggests, this game requires a ball and a wall. Your little one kicks the ball against the wall and traps it with one foot. Then players alternate feet, counting each trapped ball as one point. Older kids can mix it up and trap with their feet, knees and chest. Game's over at 25 points.
- Solo Soccer Shootout
To play, your child needs four orange cones, one ball and tape to mark the 18-yard line. Set up two pairs of cones to make 3-foot-wide goals at opposite ends of the field, and mark the 18-yard line. Your child dribbles up the field, alternating feet, then shoots from the 18-yard line. Each goal scored is one point. Game's over at 25 points.
Worried about keeping your little one safe in soccer? Read more about Sports Safety and Kids.
Sandy Wallace enjoys family life and sharing tips to help parents find joy in daily life and make memories with their families. A long-time soccer mom, Sandy shares a passion for "the beautiful game" of soccer with her son, Jack.