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One of the best things about soccer is that it is so very versatile. It’s a game that can be used to develop the skills for the soccer game, as well as skills for a wide variety of other things.
Soccer Kick Learning Game
Here’s a simple game for kids to play that helps them to learn about letters, words, or numbers while also fostering the growth of those amazing soccer skills!
- – Soccer ball
- – Plain paper plates (4-10 depending on age, fewer for younger kids and more for older kids)
- – Black marker
- On one side of the paper plates draw a soccer ball. Kids can do this themselves or the adult can do it for them. You can also cut out paper pentagons from coloured paper and glue them on if it works for you!
- On the other side, you’re going to write some letters or numbers to promote an academic skill that you want to work on. Here are some fun ways to play:
- Spread the plates out on the floor–or the grass if you’re outside–with the soccer ball decoration up and the words down. Leave enough room that it takes a couple of kicks to get from one plate to another.
- Kids dribble the ball from one plate to another. When they get to a plate, they pick it up and look on the bottom, then perform the skill that’s on the other side.
- You can play so that kids do all of the skills on the plates and pick them up as they go, or just leave the plates down and keep going for a certain amount of time (five minutes is a great time).
Here are some ideas for skills to work on when you play:
- Letters – Write a letter on the back of each plate. Children kick the ball, then identify the name of the letter and the sound it makes when they get to it.
- Letter words – Again, write a letter on the back of each plate. Children identify the letter, then say a word that starts with that letter, one that ends in that letter, and one that has that letter in the middle.
- Words – This is great for spelling words! Kids kick the ball to a plate with their spelling words on the back. They read the word, then define it, and use it in a sentence. Then they lay the plate back down and have to spell it.
- Numbers – Write a number on the back of each plate: higher numbers for older kids and lower numbers for younger kids. When a child gets to the plate, they have to name the number and come up with two numbers that add up to make it, or multiplication factors related to it, or whatever other maths skill they need to work on.
The great thing about this game is that it can really be for any age depending on what skills you put on one side. Place the plates farther away to increase the work on the soccer skills, or closer together to focus on the academic skills. You can also play it again and again with new skills, and all you need is a few paper plates!