Kick the Ball!

The development of gross motor skills (which involve leg, arm, and whole body movement) is critical during the preschool years. Because of this, we are regularly incorporating fun gross motor activities, games, and sports into our daily routines. This month, we are exploring soccer to help build your child’s muscle strength and endurance, balance, motor control, and coordination. To help support these underlying skills, try some of these soccer-related gross motor activities at home:

Age-appropriate Adaptations:

  • Two-year-olds—Start by giving your younger child opportunities to freely kick and throw balls outside with you. As your child gains skill and confidence, encourage her to try to kick the ball towards a target, such as a goal or another person.
  • Three-year-olds—Play a game called “Little, Little, Big.” Show your child how to dribble or kick the soccer ball using the inside of his feet. Then, encourage your child to dribble the ball in a pattern of little kick, little kick, big kick. He can chant “little, little, BIG!” as he goes to remind him of what types of kicks to do.
  • Four-/Five-year-olds—Another game you can play together is called “Walk the Dog.” Pretend the soccer ball is a dog and take the dog for a walk by dribbling it around your backyard or a park. Pass the dog back and forth using short, slow passes so the dog does not get away from you. Kicking the ball towards a goal while walking is a more advanced skill.

Skills Supported: gross motor skills (kicking, throwing), balance, coordination, sizes