There are so many wonderful class offerings for kids that it is a challenge to narrow them down and find the one that is right for your child. I’m here to tell you that you need to make sure that Lil’ Kickers Soccer makes your short list for the way they approach soccer in a fun and innovative way that not only teaches the game of soccer, but also builds confidence and joy within each and every soccer player.
A Soccer Family
For years I sat on the sidelines, applauding free kicks, cheering for goals, and even providing some half time snacks. The funny thing is, I was bringing these not for my kids (who weren’t even born yet), but for my husband.
I married a soccer enthusiast who has played and coached for longer than I have known him, and when it was time for our boys to follow in daddy’s footsteps, we were stoked.
But here’s the thing….we tried out soccer classes through our Park District and they were awful. The coaches hardly showed up, and when they did, there was hardly any skills or interaction. Our whole entire family dreaded going to these classes.
What Makes Lil’ Kickers Unique
So after asking around, I stumbled upon the Lil’ Kickers soccer program…and I am so incredibly happy that I did.
First and foremost, the Lil’ Kickers program is a developmental program that uses creative and high energy activities to introduce children to soccer. Each class builds upon the child’s ability and is focused on teaching and exploring instead of drill-based soccer skills that some other programs may utilize. The Lil’ Kickers philosophy is to teach soccer fundamentals while working with the whole child.
What I think makes Lil’ Kickers stand out is the AMAZING teachers. Being young themselves, they have boundless energy and introduce activities in such affectionate and positive ways that even those most reluctant of kids will be sweaty and smiling by the end of the class. Any and all effort is encouraged, and fun truly reigns on the soccer fields.
Each class is 50 minutes long and co-ed, and since it has open enrollment it is perfect for busy families like ours who are constantly on the go. Since classes start at 18 months and go up to 9 years, it can serve as a one stop shop for your soccer loving family.
What a Class Entails
We started both of our boys with Lil’ Kickers this program in a parent and tot class. Our little guy had fun in the Bunnies class, where most of the instruction focused on balance and coordination, as well as two toddler favorites: running and playing. Each activity lasted about 10 minutes with quick transitions between fun such as kicking the soccer ball, stacking cones, etc., along with a parent’s help.
Our oldest started in the Cottontails program, which is the last class with an adult participant. This class was specifically structured to foster independence and work on kicking and other footwork that promote balance and coordination. Since there was tons of make believe play that taught these important skills, it was a hit with my little guy.
This Spring, he graduated to the first “on my own” class by being part of the Hoppers class. This class is fun and fast paced, which helps kids with separation anxiety, and uses creative and imaginative play to continue developing previous soccer skills taught in other classes.
Think I’m the only one who loves Lil’ Kickers? No way! Here are some of the pieces of feedback other soccer parents have shared with me:
“The teacher was so positive no matter what the class was doing, so that all of the kids were engaged and excited.”
“The coaches were super fun and nice.”
“Awesome place to burn energy, interact with kids their own age, and meet new parents.”
“Try to avoid classes during the summer when indoors—it’s too hot in Chicago!”
Want to play soccer at home? Here are some great activities.
Don’t forget to check out my other suggestions for kids’ classes in Chicagoland.