While teaching soccer to children can be challenging, especially when teaching young children, some fun soccer games for kids help make soccer exciting to learn.
Soccer training sessions involving various games can help improve a youth player’s confidence, dribbling skills, and scoring ability.
In the early stages of youth soccer, it is wise to play kindergarten soccer games to keep things simple.
Over time, you can play more challenging games that will help soccer players prepare for competition. These are the 8 best fun soccer games for kids that can help children of various age groups succeed in soccer.
1. Sharks and Minnows
Sharks and Minnows is a great game for kids, as it helps them work on their dribbling skills and learn how to protect the ball.
To prepare to play Sharks and Minnows, you need to ensure the area is at least 20 by 25 yards or 25 by 30 yards around. It doesn’t have to be precisely those measurements, but it should be close, so you have enough room to play.
The shark begins in the middle of the soccer field and does not have a ball. The rest of the kids, or the minnows, begin on one end of the field. Every minnow will have a soccer ball, and they must make it to the other end of the field without the shark taking their ball.
If the shark kicks the ball out of the playing field, the minnow that initially had the ball is now a shark. Players should repeat this process until there is only one minnow left. The last minnow will be the winner.
2. Piggy in the Middle
Piggy in the Middle is a classic children’s soccer game that is perfect for warming up and improving passing skills. Piggy in the Middle is simple to set up and explain, making one of the best soccer games for 5 year olds.
To play this U6 drill, the players must form a circle, allowing one or two players to be in the middle of the circle. The players in the middle must intercept the ball and try to get it back. The other players forming the circle must pass the ball around the circle for as long as possible without allowing the middle players (piggies) to intercept the ball.
When the piggies win the ball back, they switch places with the person who lost the ball, who then becomes the piggy in the middle. The object of the game is to work on passing drills.
3. Musical Balls
Musical Balls is one of the best children’s soccer games that can also be considered a warm up drill. To play Musical Balls, you will need to have four players.
Each player must dribble their ball inside of the playing area. The coach, parent, or player will then yell to change after 30 seconds.
When the players hear the word “change,” they must stop dribbling their balls in their exact spot, find a new ball, and dribble again inside the playing area. After the first round is over, one player’s ball is taken away, and the player runs without a soccer ball.
The coach then yells “change” again, and the players repeat the process until only one player is left. Musical Balls is a good kids soccer drill, as children learn to control the ball while moving quickly and you do not need a large number of players.
4. Cops and Robbers
Another fun kids soccer game is Cops and Robbers. The best place to play Cops and Robbers is in the middle of a playing field. Inside the playing area, the coach should use cones to create a small square or triangle called the “bank.”
Once the playing area is ready, the coach must assign the kids the role of cops or robbers. There should be twice as many cops as robbers.
For example, if there are nine children, there should be three robbers and six cops. The robbers begin in the middle of the bank without a ball, and the cops have a ball and begin around the edges.
The robbers must take all the balls away from the cops and dribble them to the bank. The balls must be stopped entirely in the bank.
If a robber puts the ball inside the bank and the ball moves, the cop is not out of the game yet. When the ball stops rolling, the cop who had the ball is now a robber. The last remaining cop wins the game.
5. Trick or Treat
Trick or Treat is an easy soccer game for children who must practice dribbling quickly. To play trick or treat, you will need a minimum of four players, a ball for every player, and enough cones to mark a 15 by 15 playing area.
There should be some extra cones for the “treats”.
Once your square playing area is set up, set up as many cones as possible on each end line. The cones should be evenly divided. The players line up at one end line, and the coach yells, “trick or treat!”.
The players dribble their soccer balls to the opposite end line, gather a cone at a time, dribble their ball back, and pick up another cone. The players continue this process until there are no more cones left. The player who collects the most cones wins the game.
6. Four Goals
Four Goals is one of the best youth soccer games for players of any age. Not only is it a race, but this fun soccer drill is also a competition. Four Goals helps teach players how to dribble quickly, turn quickly, and shoot the soccer ball.
The game also helps players to develop a love for good competition and scoring. To play, set up four goals using cones or nets in a cross pattern. The goals should be about 22 yards from the one across from them.
The balls should be placed in the middle, and two players should be lined up on the side of both goals. Once the coach blows the whistle, one player from each side runs to the middle, takes a ball, and dribbles it back to their goal before shooting it.
Once they score, their teammate does the same thing. If they miss the goal and do not score, they waste time retrieving the ball and kicking it in the net before their teammate can continue.
When no more balls are left, the winner is the soccer team who has made the most goals.
7. Simon Says
Simon Says is one of the most well-liked soccer activities for kids. You will need a playing area that measures about 20 by 25 yards or 25 by 30 yards.
Simon Says is typically easy for young children to understand, so it should be simple to play. To begin playing, each player must have a ball and line up on the sides of the playing area.
The coach calls out demands for the players to listen to. If the players do not listen or perform the action correctly, they are out until the next game. Players should only follow commands that begin with Simon Says. Players should only follow the order if it begins with Simon Says.
For example, if the coach says Simon Says Stop, players must stop what they are doing. If the coach says to Stop, players do not need to stop because the coach did not say Simon Says.
This game can be challenging for young players, but it teaches the importance of how following directions helps prepare them for soccer and helps with decision making.
Tic-Tac-Toe is a lot of fun, but it becomes especially fun when incorporated into soccer. You can play Tic-Tac-Toe without a ball; all you need to set up is cones to create a three-by-three-yard grid.
Once you set up the grid, place two cones next to each other, side by side, about five to ten yards away from the grid.
Players should divide into two teams. One team should line up behind one cone, and the other should line up behind the other. You can assign players to each team, or you can assign a captain for each team, who picks the players. Once the teams are formed the players should receive three pinnies.
The pinnies must be different colors for each team, so there is no confusion during the game. Blow the whistle to begin the game. The first player in line races to the grid and puts the pinny on a square.
Once the first pinny is dropped, the first player runs back to their line and tags the next player in line. The next player repeats the same process.
After the third player, there are no more pinnies to drop, so the fourth player picks up one of their team’s pinnies and moves it to a new place. The game continues until a team wins by placing the three pinnies in line either horizontally, vertically, or diagonally.
Fun soccer games for kids can help children stay enthusiastic, excited, and engaged during a training session or drill.
To prepare to move up in youth soccer, these games can help players improve many skills, such as coordination, dribbling, ball control, teamwork, and communication with other players.
To help improve soccer skill levels, players can use the Open Goaaal 3-in-1 Trainer during soccer practice and games. The Open Goaaal 3-in-1 Trainer is a training goal, rebounder, and backstop all in one, making it the perfect tool to help players stay active and get better faster.