World Cup: Introducing ball skills

With the FIFA World Cup kicking off in just 42 days, footy fever is mounting in our house. This year we are blessed to have two teams to cheer on from the sidelines, Australia and Croatia. They are both (thankfully) in different groups and with any luck they’ll both be in the final.  As exciting as that is, the very best part of the World Cup in our family is that its perfect timing to begin teaching our toddler how to kick a ball, and perhaps even shoot a few goals of his own.

Introducing ball skills, or any forms sports for that matter to children are great ways to help children form social skills like sharing, taking turns, following directions and being a good sportsman. Having such a big sports event like the FIFA World Cup as a focus in the house provides a focus for staying active to keep their little bodies (and ours) fit and healthy, all the while having fun out in the sunshine and developing coordination skills.

world cup mkb

How to introduce football to kids

Its important to think about how old your child is, and keep the activity age appropriate, while also encouraging them to push into a new skills set. Here are some fun ways to bring football to your children.

  • Head into your own yard and and help your child get comfortable with kicking the ball when no one else is watching. Show them how it’s done and be encouraging, even if they miss.
  • If you have a toddler, a regular size football, even a children’s one will be too heavy to kick. Try finding a small beach ball or similar to use. This way they won’t be discouraged.
  • Head to your local park with your football and take turns kicking the ball back and forth with your child.

world cup soccer ball

  • Encourage your children to play with other kids at the park, making sure they each take turns.
  • Ask your child to kick the ball in different directions, and to practice using the left and right legs.
  • Once they’ve mastered the basics of kicking, set up a few cones or similar and practice kicking between the two objects. Something like a garbage bin or some big rocks will do the trick!
  • For smaller kids, you could use a pop out tunnels (like the ones used for cats) and place the ball and one end and ask your child to kick the ball through to the other side.


  • If football is something that your child is enjoying, you may want to think about purchasing childrens goal set.
  • For some kids not touching the ball will be hard to resist. Make up games to help then just use their feet – hand in the pockets always works a treat.
  • For older children, watch the World Cup matches together and talk about what they see and how they can implement what they see.
  • For extra fun, why not learn new words in different languages. Goal or ball for instance.

                       Goal                Ball

Dutch             doelpunt         bal

Finnish           maali               pallo

French           but                  ballon

German         Tor                  Ball

Italian            goal/rete         pallone

Latvian          vārti               bumba

Moroccan     gol                 korra

Portuguese   gol                 bola

Spanish         gol                 pelota/balon

Swedish        mål                 boll

Welsh            gôl                  pêl


Whatever you decide to do, have fun! Give lots of praise and hugs and kisses whenever they hit the ball or score a goal.

Enjoy the World Cup!

CTD LOGOAuthor: SJ Begonja from Chasing the Donkey. SJ is an Australian expat who packed her very typical life & shifted it along with her Croatian Husband and Son to rebuild the old house they inherited in Croatia. She blogs about raising a bi-lingual child, travelling in Croatia.

Enhanced by Zemanta
World Cup for Kids - Multicultural Kid Blogs
You can read more from our World Cup for Kids series. You can also follow our World Cup for Kids boards on Pinterest.

The following two tabs change content below.
SJ lives in a small Croatian village & writes about Croatian food, travel & her experiences as an Australian expat making Croatia home. Connect with her on Twitter, Google+ or Facebook.

Latest posts by SJ Begonja (see all)

5 thoughts on “World Cup: Introducing ball skills”

  1. Thanks so very much for allowing me to guest post. I am so looking forward to showing my little boy how to kick a ball this summer.

  2. I really enjoyed reading this. Our son is just over a year old and hasn’t really got the hand of kicking a football yet and instead picks it up and throws it. I bought him his first mini football in a supermarket last week and loved the way he held onto it as we went around the shop.

Comments are closed.

Scroll to Top