Children have a wonderful imagination! Their minds are full of creative concepts and ideas. If this is the case then surely it means having imaginative methods are the best way to teach children in whatever they learn.

Within our toddler football classes we include many imaginative games in order to engage young children, our games ensure children fully participate, and concentrate on their practice, all whilst having plenty of fun!                       

For example here is one of the games:

The cones in the middle of the exercise drills may just be normal obstacles to parents, however for children these cones are eruptive volcanoes that are not allowed to be touched! Once this concept is introduced, children immediately ask questions “why are we not allowed to touch these?”, ‘’what will happen to you if you touch these volcanos’’, “you will burn your hand”, but you will get a child who has a wider imagination and will confidently give you a quick briefing in front of all the other children and parents. This is a prime example of imagination providing the children with an opportunity to develop their social skills amongst the class. It also helps boost the children’s development of problem solving in their own way.

At the same time importantly when playing the game, children are practicing their dribbling skills whilst trying not to bump into the volcanoes!

We always incorporate imaginative games into our classes to ensure children have fun, learn football skills and build confidence too!

My First Club

For some children starting their first ever club can be quite daunting! entering a totally different environment, meeting new friends and coaches for the first time can be a challenge to overcome, even for adults starting a club or new working environment can feel a touch awkward. Our staff are aware children all take their own time to find their feet, the coaches always give that extra helping hand and plenty of encouragement to ensure children attending their first time and weeks are happy and settle in comfortably!

After participating in our fun games and interacting with new friends of a similar age all of a sudden the shyness disappears and the confidence gained is very much apparent, children are soon speaking to their parents excitedly throughout the week looking forward to their next weekend football class!

At our toddler football classes we find children’s confidence improves immensely, even just after a few weeks of attending. The classes give children an early and positive introduction to sport and encourages them to lead a healthy and active lifestyle, joining a toddler football club also benefits children’s confidence for playing sport when they start School, starting School clubs or just running around and having the confidence to participate and play games with friends in the playground!

10 Football Gift Ideas for Kids

If you are still looking for some inspiration for last minute Christmas present ideas the SoccerDays Team have put together 10 football themed gifts for all the football mad children out there, we hope you enjoy the selection we found below!

Smart Ball Speed Ball Football

Smart Ball Kick Up Football

Football Rebounder

Football Stars Top Trumps

Football Table

Hover Soccer Ball

Footgolf Mini Game Set

The Impact of Praise

As the age old saying goes; “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me!” However, it is important not to overlook the impact words can have on our young ones, especially positive ones!

Naturally, as parents we want to tell the world about every small milestone our child achieves, but not only should we be sharing this with others, most importantly we should be praising our children themselves.

Praising your child can come in many forms; a cuddle, a high 5, a new toy, a golden star, but sometimes it is the words they hear that can have the most profound impact. When a child experiences positive reinforcement about something they have achieved, this can increase the likeliness of this behaviour being repeated.

Using sincere and honest praise is a gateway to increasing your child’s self-esteem and motivation. Noticing their behaviour has been recognised can encourage them to exhibit this behaviour again as opposed to the negative language associated with bad behaviour. Of course, we have to manage the fine line of praising and over indulging our little ones with praise. Often giving your child feedback about why what they have done is positive can help to prevent this.

Similarly, ensure to praise effort as well as outcome, this will help children to understand they must endure a process that leads them to a positive result. Praising just a singular skill or ability does not help them to understand so easily. For example, in SoccerDays classes we aim to use praise such as “your dribbling has improved so much this session, that helped you to take on the defender and score” rather than “great goal” that just focuses on the outcome.

Science also suggests that praise leads to an increase in dopamine in the brain, this increase will hopefully lead to the child themselves having more positivity to share with their friends, helping them to become friendly and supportive individuals.

Praise is a sure way to put a smile on your little ones face as well as yours when you are beaming with pride at their achievements! However small or big, helping your child to understand emotions by sharing yours with them will be a life skill they carry with them forever.

Women’s World Cup 2019

Women's World Cup 2019

Commencing next month, the anticipation for women’s world cup is building! Taking place in France, 24 teams face the group stages across 9 different locations, including Parc Olympique in Lyon. It is hoped that England will follow in the successful footsteps of their male counterparts in last year’s Men’s world cup! Some suspect that England ladies may even surpass expectations and have got what it takes to go all the way, currently being ranked at number 3 by Fifa.

Following on from what has been a landmark year of women’s football with the introduction of the women’s super league (WSL), this summer is set to see some monumental performances from teams across the world. This will also be the first women’s world cup to use VAR technology, proving just how hot the competition is. Alongside England in Group D are our neighbours, Scotland, Argentina and Japan. England and Scotland kick off the group on 9th June in Nice. Coming 3rd in the previous Women’s world cup and averaging 3 goals per game, the sky is the limit for our ladies.

Amongst the build up to the competition, Fifa have launched a campaign to celebrate the amazing faces of football. A strong squad of 23 heroes have been set out to promote the tournament and celebrate the wider aspects of women’s football. Check out the campaign video here or join the conversation with #LegendsAssemble on Twitter.

As popularity and talent in women’s football continues to rapidly grow at the rate it so well deserves, here at SoccerDays we are experiencing first hand the buzz around the game! With numbers of young girls increasing week on week, one our toddler football classes now even has more girls attending than boys. The unity that is developed through sport is something we want to promote continually in our kids football classes, using the positive role models that football gives us.

Keep up to date with all the latest from the women’s world cup with the BBC from June 7th, let the countdown begin!

Why parents should encourage their children to play sport.

When becoming a parent, it is fair to say that we want to give our children everything we can, that will allow them to grow up as happy, healthy and independent young people. That said, it is a real hard job to do that all ourselves, and that we can still give our young ones all these opportunities and attributes but perhaps through different ways. This is where sport comes in to save the day!

There are endless benefits to participating in sport and physical activity for young people, so much so we could write a book! As busy parents, sometimes the time to read a book is hard to find, so we have made a quick roundup of why parents should encourage children to play sport.

S – Social skills

in 2019, there is pretty much a sport out there for everyone! Finding a club or a team that your child has a genuine interest in can help them develop their social skills with likeminded youngsters as they start their sporting journey’s together. You will find them having heaps to speak about, and with a wide range of children from all different backgrounds. Sport can be an excellent way to promote social skills and communication, that is so essential in life!

P – Physical Health

participating in sport from a young age is likely to have many many benefits to your child’s health. Helping improve their fitness, balance, coordination and strength, your little one will grow to being a healthy young person.  Children benefit from these physical fitness attributes as they go through school life, engaging in PE and play in the playgrounds and later on in life it is likely they will maintain this physical lifestyle if instilled from a young age.

O – Organisation

As independence grows through sport, so will organisation. When children develop their interest in a sport it is likely they will be thinking non-stop about it. Sport requires organisation to run effectively, surrounding young ones in this environment will help make organisation become second nature to them. Who knows, maybe they will even start laying out their kit and cleaning their own football boots for Saturday morning football club…

R – Resilience

Sport teaches everyone that you lose some, and you win some. Facing set backs and achieving goals come hand in hand and develop the resilience of an individual. Being able to take feedback on board is part of being a resilient character, showing the ability to bounce back no matter what you have faced.

T – Team work

The age old saying ‘There is no I in team’ tells us exactly why sport is great at developing team work. Children are constantly in environments where they have to work together, by engaging in sport they are going to become an even better team player. Learning skills such as listening, negotiating, caring and taking the lead are all imperative in team sports. And what better feeling than achieving something after hard team work!

Don’t hang about, get your child involved in sport today, and watch the benefits last a lifetime!