Lil’ Kickers Soccer

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.

Lil Kickers Soccer Program -

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.

Lil Kickers Soccer Cones Game -

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.

Lil Kickers Soccer Report -

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.

Lil Kickers Soccer Play Time -

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.

Happy Playing!
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  1. Leanne says

    That’s great 🙂 My stepson and oldest son both played soccer for a while. My stepson even picked it back up in high school and played for the school team.

    • amandasimkin says

      It’s such a great sport to play….and one that I don’t mind watching…except when it is cold or rainy.

  2. Nikki says

    That sounds like the perfect program to get young kids started in the sport! It’s awesome that they start so young, gives kids a chance to really grow with it. The sessions sound like just the right length too, not too long or short. Great program!

    • amandasimkin says

      These classes set the perfect tone for our weekends (we take them on early Saturday morning). A great way to have fun and burn some energy!

  3. Victoria says

    As a soccer mom for the last 15 years I got to say this sounds like a great program. I agree a lot of children’s soccer leads jump right into the game with no skill teaching. This program sounds like it does the opposite which really would give a child the skills they need to play well.

    • amandasimkin says

      Fun definitely reigns during these classes…and I am so glad that they are indoors. Not looking forward to fall and spring soccer outdoor soccer weather once my boys are older!

  4. CourtneyLynne says

    Ahhhhh I always sucked at soccer lol…. I would hope my coach would forget about me and not make me play every game when I was super young lol… Ended up liking the sport though & was a soccer referee in high school!! This program sounds pretty neat!! Super little ones playing soccer is just the cutest thing to watch 🙂

  5. Terri Ramsey Beavers says

    This sounds like the perfect solution for those wanting to play soccer. We don’t have anything like that around here although I wish we did. The kids play ball and I know they would love to play soccer as well. I bought a soccer ball to play around with.

  6. Holly says

    I was always horrible at soccer, but my kids really want to try it. We don’t have Lil Kickers here, but Soccer Tots. They both seem like good programs.

  7. Nancy says

    I grew up playing soccer my entire life, and I still have this terrible memory of this ONE soccer coach I had in high school. Because I wasn’t an elite player, or a MVP he wouldn’t put me on. And I was a paying player just like the rest of them! It was terrible, and I wish I would’ve been more outgoing back then as I am now because I would’ve told him he should be fired. lol 🙁

  8. Tammilee Tips says

    This program is pretty popular here in Washington State!! I love how the program has grown over the years and how many families they have had involved! I have known a couple families who kids loved playing with Little Kickers!

    • amandasimkin says

      I love hearing this! Sometimes nationwide programs aren’t so great, but Lil’ Kickers really is a gem!

  9. Yona Williams says

    This opportunity to learn and play a sport sounds like a lot of fun. My nephew went to a few soccer clinics (?) that were free to the community. Our large hometown university ran it with college volunteers and some very dedicated coaches. You could really tell that they were patient and cared about the kids. That’s so important.

  10. Natalie says

    I always wanted to get my kids into some type of sport, this is totally something the younger two would really enjoy. I will have to look for soemthing like this after we move to NC. They both are really active and when it comes to all sports balls they’re all about them.

  11. Bailey K. says

    I’m so glad you found a program that you like! It can be so hard to do that. I played soccer growing up, and it didn’t seem so hard back then because not everyone was focused on winning and competition when the kids are like 5 years old or even younger! But nowadays, all people want to do is win.

    • amandasimkin says

      Yesterday my little guy wanted nothing to do with class so I was so glad to see the coaches engaging him and trying to just make him smile. So much more important than scoring goals!

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