Three fun and easy games to play with your little one from our friends at Lil’ Kickers Chicago
After being cooped up all winter long, Chicago families are more than ready to explore and play outside! Whether you’re choosing to kick back in one of the city’s best parks, chill out in your own backyard or pack up your family and get out of town this summer, we’ve got some simple and fun games that require very little. In fact, all you need is your toddler and a soccer ball!
Toddlers are at an amazing point in their lives. They are eagerly growing and learning by leaps and bounds while also gaining some independence. However, at the same time, they are still very much in need of adult guidance in their activities. It’s the “I do it myself, but don’t go too far away” stage. Toddlers love to mimic behaviors (if you hadn’t noticed already!) which is why side-by-side play with a soccer ball is a great way for your toddler to learn from you while also trying out new roles and skills.
Here are three simple games/activities that you can do with your toddler to help develop some of these emerging skills. Got a soccer ball? Okay! Let’s play!
Physically, toddlers are mastering how to run, kick, throw, and how to hop on one foot (just to name a few). This activity is a Lil’ Kickers coach favorite and can help promote better balance and coordination. Begin by tapping the top of your soccer ball with the tip of your foot, then switch using the other foot. You’ll quickly realize how it got its name! The faster you go, the better you’re dancing!
Popcorn And Ping Pong
Cognitively, toddlers are beginning to understand two-step directions so this exercise is an appropriate challenge for them. For this activity, your soccer ball becomes a popcorn kernel and it’s your job to heat it up! Begin by gently kicking the ball between your two feet. Once that skill feesl comfortable encourage your toddler to kick it out and to you after reaching a certain number. Pop, pop, pop, kick!
See video here!
Score a Goal (Or Feed a Hungry Hippo)
Making learning fun for toddlers instills a lifetime love of learning new things! Think about how much more fun it is for a child to feed hungry hippos than it is to simply kick a ball into a goal. Practice scoring goals across the yard using a garbage can, laundry basket or whatever! But keep it creative by using your imaginations together.
This guest post was brought to you by Lil’ Kickers Chicago. This summer, Lil’ Kickers is offering classes at both indoor and outdoor locations. There are still limited spots available for the summer session! See the full schedule here.