Why we make football for 3 years olds more than just great fun

Most parents understand the importance of physical activity as part of a healthy lifestyle, and football for three year olds is a brilliant way to establish good habits at a young age.

We understand that not everyone has a pitch-sized garden their little one can charge around, and sport isn’t always part of the school curriculum, so what better excuse to make new friends than with a 45-minute run-around at one of SoccerDays’ sessions?

There’s so much more on offer than just good times with good friends too, and while the kids don’t need to know that, we’ll explore the many benefits of our toddler football classes, and how they can give your child skills that will last a lifetime.

Most parents understand the importance of physical activity as part of a healthy lifestyle, and football for three year olds is a brilliant way to establish good habits at a young age.

We understand that not everyone has a pitch-sized garden their little one can charge around, and sport isn’t always part of the school curriculum, so what better excuse to make new friends than with a 45-minute run-around at one of SoccerDays’ sessions? There’s so much more on offer than just good times with good friends too, and while the kids don’t need to know that, we’ll explore the many benefits of our toddler football classes, and how they can give your child skills that will last a lifetime.

A fun session for the development of each age group

Football for 3 year olds with SoccerDays

Our classes have been specifically designed to support the development of three important ages, and each is a tailored environment to ensure every child gets the most from their sports session week after week.

The sessions are always lots of fun, but also include plenty of encouragement to build up the childrens’ confidence across the ages. Let’s take a brief look at each one:

Yellow Class

Aimed at children aged between two and 3½ years, this group helps with the development of a foundation of social skills and exercise using various body movements. It also helps kids get used to the ball and learn how to kick with confidence.

Essential football skills will begin to take shape: dribbling, changing direction, stopping the ball.

Orange Class

This group covers children aged from 3½ to five, and reflects their increased awareness of their surroundings.

They are more confident using different body movements, learn more skills and gain an understanding of basic team play. They also develop better control: running with and stopping the ball, while striking skills for passing and shooting get stronger.

Red Class

Our final group is aimed at children aged five to seven, and helps them understand how to kick and control the ball with different parts of the foot.

Their improved concentration and understanding enables kids to learn a wider range of skills. More time is spent playing matches, so they become more confident practising within a game situation and increase their awareness of positional play.

A focus on three year olds

Helping kids develop essential skills

So, we’ve looked at how our football classes support the development of each age group they cover and teach some essential skills.

Now let’s take a particular look at three year olds, and why this age is such an important time in child development.

Parents can be bombarded with information from healthcare professionals and schools about what their child ‘should’ be capable of doing at any particular age, often known as development milestones.

While it can be a bit intimidating, it’s all to do with making sure their co ordination and motor skills are fully developed, and this is where our football classes can be a real benefit.

Helping kids develop essential skills

Helping kids develop essential skills

It’s always wonderful to watch the little ones who join our classes at a really young age as they progress, sometimes at lightning speed!

Boys and girls who attend our sports sessions get to have a great time with our amazing coaches, but they also learn really important physical skills that can be passed on to schools, without even realising it. It’s the ultimate sneaking in of the veggies!

Let’s take a closer look at some of the physical skills they will get to grips with and hone as they get older and how they support development at all ages.

Using both feet

We encourage the little ones who join our football sessions to use both their feet when dashing around at this stage, building up the strength on whichever is their weaker side.

As well as improving their dribbling, shooting and skills, it can also help bolster their agility balance.

Greater motor control

Some youngsters can struggle with their gross motor skills and co ordination, so our football classes are a brilliant way to help them improve before moving on to their respective schools.

Without getting too sciency, our football classes also help children get to grips with their full body control mechanisms, so they can hold positions while moving or standing still. All this can help with concentration, and will eventually lead to increased body awareness, better co ordination and muscle growth (but we’re not looking to develop any mini Arnold Schwarzenegger’s at this stage!)

How our football classes teach children social skills

The structured environment offered by our football classes also has a part to play in helping the children develop essential skills which, even if their love of sport takes them in a different direction from soccer, will still stand them in good stead at a later stage.


Parents and teachers both know that getting kids – particularly younger children – to listen and pay attention at home and in schools can be tricky, but clubs like ours can actually help improve some little ones’ attention spans, all while having fun.

The coaches in our football classes, no matter the age group, gently underscore the importance of discipline at all ages.

As one of the most important social skills, if children can learn this concept through sports and play, then it can reap rewards later when they start school.

Taking turns

Of course, discipline means many things, that includes waiting your turn! Our football classes help teach children patience, even among the most excitable girls and boys who we know “just wanna score a goal”.

Our coaches’ experience means they’re able to help children wait for their moment to compete and show them the rewards and benefits are worth the wait.

Team work

Football is a team sport, and our classes provide the ideal foundational environment for girls and boys to learn about the importance of each child working together.

Our coaches work hard to develop the children’s social skills through play across the classes and age groups.

Being able to forge connections with other kids, creating mini teams and encouraging group participation among children is a crucial stage in a toddlers’ development, because they suddenly realise there’s more going on in the world than what affects them!

Using their imagination

Kids of all ages love using their imagination, and our football classes are a brilliant place to feed that enthusiasm, boost the development of their brains and watch their confidence fly!

While a parent might watch their child dribbling a ball around some markers, in actual fact they’re navigating a perilous pathway, where one false move spells doom…

Our football sessions are a chance for children to forget whatever is going on in the outside world and play in a safe, nurturing environment among a team of friends.

Problem solving

So: you’ve got the ball and all that stands between you and victory for your team is the three-and-a-half year-old girl in front of you who looks like she means business. What do you do?

Where do I put my foot to get the football around this cone? How hard do I have to hit it to get the ball to my friend? What happens if I shoot and miss?

Many kids of all ages love a good puzzle, and our football sessions can be as much of a work-out for the childrens’ minds as it is their bodies.

School teachers have said they see the benefits for children who do sports that have had a go at problem solving during play. Who thought football was just shoot and score?

The long-term benefits of SoccerDays’ football classes

Physical activity

Many children have energy to spare and football is a brilliant way to burn some of that excess, all under the eagle eye of our expert coaches.

Getting your child interested in sport at an early age not only fires up their bodies and minds, it can establish a life-long love of sports and exercise, and the physical benefits of that are almost limitless.

Sports, children and community

Participating in a physical sport at an early age helps children form friendships, learn social skills and boost self-confidence in a way that is fun, educational and enjoyable.

But joining teams and taking part in our football classes can also help create a sense of community, both among kids and parents.

Football is a fun, warm and inviting club, and anyone jumping into the game even as a child, can make long-lasting friendships with our coaches, the kids on their team and anyone else they play against.

Positive thinking for children

Our football classes are a balance of great fun and conscious effort: they are created to help kids’ physical, social and educational development, and delivered by coaches who understand the power of lifting up children.

Professional sports people know a positive mindset can be hugely important, and even among kids who just want to play sport, we ensure children are taught in an environment that helps them listen and learn, and encourages and rewards participation across all the ages.

The value of sports for children .

The value of sports for children 

We encourage positive parental participation during our football sessions – cheering the children on from the sidelines is all part of the fun – but we’re also proud of the values our coaches try to foster.

Our football sessions focus on fun for three-year-olds, and our sports coaches will pull out all the stops to ensure each child is supported and encouraged in a way that will help their development, giving them skills they can transfer to school and beyond.

The amazing achievements of every child in our games, at every stage of their development, are celebrated in a warm and uplifting way, allowing parents to see their confidence grow with each sports session.

Football = fun for all ages

That’s because our end goal is a positive one: we want children who come to our football sessions to have the most fun it’s possible to have in 45 minutes.

We want these girls and boys who love sports to meet and interact with other children in a safe, warm environment where taking part is everything, and fun is the name of the game.

We want each and every child that joins our football sessions to go home with a huge smile on their faces, ready to play more sport, either at home or school, and eager to come back for more sessions with our coaches and other children.

Book a free trial for your 3 year old

Try us with no obligation, and see how much fun your child has – we have a sneaky feeling they’ll love it. Get your free trial while places last at https://www.soccerdays.co.uk/Find-a-Class/?booking.

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.

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!

Magical Motor Skills

The development of our young ones in their early years certainly flashes before our eyes. One day it’s all hands and knee’s and the next we are speeding after them. Whilst a lot of this development is of course down to great parenting, we also have science to thank for the fast evolution of young children.

Motor skills are learned movements that the body produces. Even by the age of 4 months, your baby could be showing off their learned motor skills, rolling from side to side. For the rest of their lives, this is a movement they will know how to process in their brains, and therefore produce! Pretty amazing, hey? Motor skills can even be broken into two categories; gross and fine. As you might expect, gross describes the larger muscle movements such as running, jumping and crawling. Whereas fine describes smaller movements often involving the fingers or toes.

As children begin to grow bigger, as does their repertoire of motor skills. This development means they are able to start taking part in activities that will strengthen and develop these skills even further. This is because over time, basic motor skills such as walking, moving arms and shaking the head can combine to master more complex skills such as kicking and throwing.

Kicking is certainly an important motor skill to us here at SoccerDays, but as well as kicking, our exciting classes encourage young ones to build and develop a wide range of their motor skills such as running, jumping, changing direction and balancing.

As well as this, our fun and engaging activities develops spatial awareness, and build children’s confidence too.

Football Parties for Kids

Sweet 16 parties are are elaborate and costly – and are quickly becoming a thing of the past. Instead, we see our children attending a complete mix bag of exciting and diverse birthday parties from a much younger age, including go-karting, discos, pool parties and days out.

Oh to be a child again, with no worries in the world and non-stop parties on the social calendar. As a parent it can certainly feel like your little one’s social life is over-taking your own, but with such choice on offer it is hard to see why it wouldn’t be. Whether your child be an animal lover, a pamper queen or a keen footballer, there seems to be children’s parties to fit all bills. Bringing your child’s favourite cartoon character to them for their fifth birthday party is certainly a moment you probably will not forget as their smile beams from east to west.

Themed Children’s Birthday Parties

In more recent years, themed children’s birthday parties have become a popular venture for entrepreneurs, consequently making it fiercely competitive.

Themed birthday parties can be as extravagant or as unique as you want – popular themes include princess, spa, trampoline parks and even a cupcake decorating party!

Across the Pond, there have been stories of parents installing ice rinks in their own homes just to satisfy their child’s birthday needs.

With such a breadth on offer, it can be hard to choose just what party will put a smile on lots of little faces.

Here at SoccerDays, we see no reason to make such a grand gesture and take pride in our somewhat smaller yet just as fun birthday parties!

Book a SoccerDays Football Birthday Party

Our football birthday parties are for children aged 3-7 years, involving fun-filled party games, music, competitions and lots of prizes!

Catering for up to 25 children, two of our amazing FA qualified coaches will bring you all the quality coaching from our classes with some extra thrill & a sprinkle of magic to give your child a birthday they will never forget.

Boys and girls will have the best time at our football birthday parties, with prizes and goodies for everyone – no child will go home empty handed!

We have plenty of party games to play, including Footballs & Statues, Footy Favourites, Frantic Fans and Greatest Goals.

We’ll end the party with a football competition and a well-deserved presentation with certificates, prize giving and a special SoccerDays birthday medal for the birthday child!

All your questions about kids football parties answered!

Our diary is packed with the names of children who will be celebrating their birthdays in the world’s best way: by playing football with their mates at a brilliant party!

In case you’re wondering what our party packages involve, some parents commented that having all the details in one place would be handy.

We thought we’d put together a quick guide, from how many children you can invite, to what great fun games our coaches will put on for your child’s day, so everyone has a fantastic time.

Ready? Let’s kick off!

What ages do your birthday parties cover?

Our fun-filled events are open to any birthday girl or boy aged between three and seven years. The same ages apply to children coming as guests.

How many children can we invite?

You can invite up to 25 children within the age ranges above. That’s enough for two full-size football teams and a trio on the bench.

What do the children get up to at a SoccerDays’ football birthday party?

Now you’re talking. We’ve taken all the fun of our SoccerDays classes and added extra thrills and a sprinkle of magic to create a great birthday party, where all the children are guaranteed to have an absolutely brilliant time under the watchful eyes of two coaches.

The Party Games

Football + Music + Fun = a fantastic time

There’s no better way to get every child invited to share your kid’s special day in the best party mood than a mix of music, footy and fun? Guaranteed a great time for all the children and grown-up guests. 

SoccerDays’ footy favourites

We have hundreds of football games that kids loved during our popular weekend classes, and it was a no-brainer to roll them out at our football parties.

They’re adapted to suit all the ages and abilities of the kids taking part, so all the children get the chance to show off their football skills – such a great time!

Greatest goals, great time

This one is always a huge success. Children adore this brilliant pop-up target game, and our football coaches make sure plenty of goals are scored by the whole party!

A nail biting finish

Every brilliant party ends with a penalty shoot-out in which all the children have a chance to kick at goal, with or World Cup competition.

The coaches on the day will decide which finale to go for, depending on the number of children attending and the ages of the kids. Whichever the choice, all the guests will have so much fun and a great time!

Play and prizes

No birthday party competition would be complete without a presentation.

The birthday girl or boy, being the centre of attention, receives a medal engraved with their name, but we make sure all their guests get a certificate too. Every kid’s a winner!

Who keeps an eye on all the children?

Two of our coaches (who have all had an enhanced DBS (CRB) check) will make sure the party goes with a bang, keeping the atmosphere fun and entertaining for all the kids, all the way through to the final whistle.

Our coaches teach lots of kids at our main sessions throughout the week, and will ensure the birthday child and all their friends have a fabulous time.

Fun for all the children – and parents too!

It means while there’s lots of fun being had by the kids, the party is still coordinated and efficient, so that parents can relax and enjoy the event too, getting involved as much or little as they want.

We make sure every child, from the birthday girl or boy to all their friends, feels extra special as they enjoy playing football-themed party games with their guests.

How much set-up time do you need?

Our amazing coaches can set the football birthday party up in any indoor venue in 15 minutes, and we supply all the equipment needed. You supply the kids, sit back and watch as they have an amazing time. Back of the net!

Do the kids have to have proper football boots?

Your child’s football party will be held at a school gymnasium or sports hall facility, so the birthday child and their friends will more than likely need trainers rather than football boots.

Can we bring a birthday cake?

Absolutely! Many parents and families not only bring their own birthday cake, they also get involved by providing the party food for the kids too.

Some even put in an order with a fast food company for delivery during the child’s party.

Tables and chairs are supplied by the venues, but if you’re the party host, you can add hats and other decorations.

How long does the football fun last?

All the kids have so much fun at our football birthday parties, which generally run for 90 minutes.

The venues tend to be hired for around 30 minutes on top of that to give the birthday girl or boy and their friends a chance to scoff all the special day goodies!

Where do SoccerDays hold their birthday parties?

We hold our kids’ parties in several different locations:

  • Forest School, Snaresbrook
  • Roding Valley High, Loughton
  • Frances Bardsley School, Romford
  • The Campion School Hornchurch
  • Redden Court, Harold Wood
  • Valentines High School, Ilford
  • Woodbridge High School, Woodford Green
  • Beal High School, Ilford
  • Holy Family School, Walthamstow
  • Woodford Memorial Hall, South Woodford

Can we hire our own venue for a kids’ football party?

Of course! However, we do ask that you contact us with details of which location you are hiring so we can confirm whether it’s suitable for our particular brand of football fun, as well as a child’s party.

How much do the birthday party packages cost?

A two-hour brilliant party package for up to 25 children, aged 3-7 costs £285. A £50 deposit is required as part of the booking process.

Can we book a football party today?

Of course! To check availability details or secure the date you want for your birthday party, you can contact us on 01268 410680, between 9am and 5pm, Monday to Friday, or email info@soccerdays.co.uk to make your booking request.

Alternatively, you fill out the contact form here to send us all the booking details (including the number of children) and we’ll get back to you ASAP.

Here To Stick Around

It is easy to overlook stickers as something we give to amuse our little ones for a moment’s peace and quiet. For something so simple, easy and cheap, stickers bring more to the development of young children than first meets the eye.

A bright and eye-catching stimulus, the sticker comes in a range of different formats. If you walk into a local supermarket or toy store, it is likely you can find a sticker for just about any childhood interest. With stickers coming in the shape of dinosaurs, burgers, fire engines and tiara’s, they are definitely catering to the masses.

Reasons Why Every Child Should Play with Stickers

Playing with stickers can help children develop so many skills, not forgetting stickers can help to bring big smiles to the faces of kids of all ages!

For some children, stickers can help to improve their grasp. Stickers can be really fiddly to use, so teaching children how to hold a sheet and peel back something fiddly is a skill worth learning. Stickers also encourage bilateral hand coordination skills for many functional tasks, including zipping up a coat and cutting with scissors. Stickers also encourage sensory exploration, including discovering textures of smooth, scratchy and fuzzy.

Children need strength in the small muscles of their hands to carry out tasks such as holding a pencil and doing up buttons, so with stickers being as small as they are, children can build up their strength with the fiddly activity.

Developing Skills at A Young Age

In order to grow and develop as a child, it is essential that the environment around us stimulate the brain. If we delve into the science side of things, connections between brain cells develop extensively up to the age of 5. These connections are called synapses. Medical evidence suggests that a child’s later intelligence is heavily based around the synapses they have developed at an earlier stage in life. Stickers have been told to help develop these connections as collecting and playing with them leads children to think about colour correlations and sizing of the stickers, they may then progress onto ordering these and creating their own logic in their mind. In addition to this, fine motor skills will be developed. Fine motor skills are produced through small movements in the hands, fingers and wrists. Familiarising pupils with their use of these at a young age could help them to develop skills such as handwriting quicker upon starting school.

Some stickers will even develop the sensory exploration of children as they have refined surfaces that may feel or appear different on the eye.

Panini Football Stickers

Furthermore, stickers such as the Panini Football Stickers not only help to develop skills at a young age but also help to develop the child’s knowledge on the topic.

A 7-year-old who can reel off football players names, ages and clubs in which they play for is pretty impressive; especially when they have processed this information themselves through playing with stickers!

Lastly, we must not forget the joy of using stickers as a reward. Receiving a tangible reward is exciting for children as they can visually see and touch the pride of their parents. Rewarding them with stickers as opposed to time on a tablet or computer can help them to value their own attitude and behaviour in a positive way and not take things for granted: they’re here to stick around.

Football Classes for Toddlers

Develop your child’s skills further at one of our football classes for toddlers, designed to develop essential skills including communication and language, physical development and personal, social and emotional skills.

Book a free trial today with no obligation – we look forward to seeing you at a football class with SoccerDays soon!

Disney FA Girls’ Football Week – FA For Girls

As part of the FA’s Gameplan For Growth, this month see’s the second annual Girl’s Football Week. In a bid to inspire and encourage young girls to become more active, the FA have teamed up with Disney to bring some sparkle to the pitch and celebrate girls in football. Football classes with SoccerDays are targeted to increase participation within young girls.

Disney Inspired Football Sessions

Enlisting qualified coaches to lead Disney inspired sessions, the FA hope to involve girls of all abilities. At the forefront of the campaign are the bold, inspiring and determined characters including Moana, Repunzel and Judy Hopps, all best known for taking their destiny into their own hands. Through a range of interesting and exciting activities, young girls will be inspired by the profound confidence of these Disney characters. Furthermore, opening up opportunities may help young girls explore avenues they have not done before and ignite their dreams no matter what they may be.

Why attend the Disney Inspired Football Sessions?

Kelly Simmons, The FA participation and development director praises the project immensely, stating that the project hopes to make football “relevant and attractive” for young girls by ensuring every session is “inspiring and fun”

Packs are currently being distributed to schools, clubs and homes nationwide and for all those that participate, a 20% discount voucher is also being rewarded.

Experiences with Disney and the FA

This is just another step Disney are taking to promote a commitment to healthy living through the use of their characters. In the lead up to the event, they have released a short film based on the three inspiring young girls from Coalville Town Football Club and how they have displayed the strong and determined traits of our much loved Disney characters. See the short film below

Furthermore, the lucky lioness’ were given a treat as on a recent trip to Orlando they had the opportunity to meet the likes of Minnie Mouse and explore the Magic Kingdom.

Jill Scott, one of only 10 players to have earned 100 caps for the lioness’ has got behind girls football week. Scott, 31, insists that “Women’s football is just getting bigger and better and it’s a privilege to be a part of it, especially during weeks like this.”

How can young children get involved?

Boasting an impressive career, Scott want’s to inspire as many young girls as possible to take the leap of faith and drive for success in football, even running her own football camps to do just this.

The week long initiative will hope to inspire girls not only for the week, but for life long participation in a sport that is loved by many. If you are interested to find out more about SoccerDays and sign up please follow the link below http://www.fagirlsfootballweek.com/

Winning or Losing

The age-old argument of whether young children should participate in competitive sports is one that ruffles a lot of feathers. An opinion that is very much divided, how do we decide if our little ones should be facing the trials and tribulations of winning or losing at such a young age?
Of course, winning and losing is not only encountered through sport and it is likely that even in the most innocent of play situations at pre-school or clubs, your children are already experiencing one of these.

Despite the popular, “it’s the taking part that counts”, Sports Psychologist Amanda Hills makes an interesting point to suggest that not exposing children to competition at an early age does not set them up for life because life itself is competitive. It is important that children learn to lose, as well as win. Hills goes on to express that winning should be celebrated as for some children sport is the only opportunity for them to thrive and succeed.

Handling winning and losing in the correct manner

It is fair to say that competition should be handled in the correct way, so not to deter participation. If the activity that young children are participating in is fun, exciting and engaging, what harm is then coming from teaching children the principles of winning and losing? Frequently asked questions usually involve the positive and negative experiences in competitive sport, especially for children who are of a younger age. At SoccerDays we understand that these experiences may shape a child’s perception and feeling towards the given activity, therefore a balance and how these experiences are handled are important to give a holistic and fair experience to the child.

With a naïve mind, there is a fear of children becoming ‘obsessed’ with winning, and it is vital to ensure that your child does not view every aspect of life as a competition as it could put a strain on their own self-esteem and certainly their capabilities of socialising. Emphasizing that ‘doing your best’ is the outcome that your child should seek as opposed to ‘winning at all costs’ will help avoid behaviour such as cheating or being a ‘sore loser’. How you speak with your child after they have participated in an activity can also shape how they view winning or losing. Closed questions such as ‘did you win?’ put a tight pressure on children to say yes or no. Instead we advise parents to open-up their questions to find out from our young ones about what they learnt or what they found fun about the activity, we are encouraging them to review their whole experience as opposed to just the outcome. Football is not always competitive either. At SoccerDays we organise Football Parties for Kids which are filled with fun and exciting activities!

As parents we all want our children to enjoy and thrive at life, we can support them in this by advocating the importance of both winning and loosing. Teaching children to follow rules will install a democratic element in their personality, helping to set goals for our children gives them something to strive and want to achieve. Team work is a fantastic skill to teach children, being part of a team gives them a sense of belonging, that way they can work together to meet a goal or outcome. A variation of activity choice demonstrates to young children that not everything relates to winning or losing, and simply enjoying something will in turn make them happy. If you and your child are interested in our programmes, find a class and book with us today!

Give Your Child A Kick-Start in Life with SoccerDays

If this has inspired you to let your child into the competitive world of football, we have various football classes for toddlers and children available in many locations that they can get involved with. SoccerDays offer 45 minutes of football provided by high quality football coaches! Find your nearest venue and book a trial today!

Being Healthy A to Z

Leading on from our previous blog post about the mental health benefits that exercise brings to young ones, this week we are exploring the physical health benefits that giving your children a healthy, active, lifestyle brings.

It is hard to believe that the word “obese” can be used to describe a child so early on in their life, however new figures from the NHS display that in 2015, more than 1 in 5 children in reception were classed as obese.  As figures increase year on year, and as children get older, preventing obesity from a young age is vital.

It is no old wife’s tale that leading an active, healthy balanced lifestyle is crucial to remain fit and healthy. It does not need to be intimidating, time consuming or expensive to engage your little one in an active lifestyle and our simple A-Z gets down to the nitty-gritty of this!

A to Z of Being Healthy

A – Activities. There is certainly no shortage of activities in this day and age. Whether this be a Sunday morning trip to the park or attending a football class once a week, giving your child this routine with exercise will help them assume it should be a part of their lifestyle moving forward.

B – Bananas. You can’t beat a good banana. Give your child a banana as a snack before they are off running around to increase their energy; much better than those sugary snacks.

C – Clubs. Clubs are a great way to meet new friends and stay active in a fun way. There are multiple free clubs for young children to join and enjoy.

D –  Dinner. Asking your young one to join you to make their dinner will begin to familiarise them with different food groups and healthy eating ideas.

E – Excitement. All parents are aware that young ones are full of beans, so what better way to blow out this excitement than enjoying activities and exercise with friends.

F – Friendship. Brilliant friendships are formed through sport – particularly team games!

G – Guidelines. Knowing the general guidelines for food consumption for your child can help with portion control and understanding what nutrients they need. Currently, the government recommends that a growing 1-6-year-old consumers 1300-1800 calories per day.

H – Healthy eating. This one is a given, teaching your child what foods will make them tick will give them confidence and a positive approach towards food into adulthood.

I – Iron. An iron deficiency is common in young children. Ensuring they are having substantial iron intake will mean that your young ones have more energy and in turn perform better in sport.

J – Junk Foods. With small growing bodies, this is something to try and avoid. Everyone is guilty of giving their children some junk food, however it is important not to make this part of their daily routine.

K – Kids. Although it is important to do all we can to help our children, it is important to remember they are still KIDS! They will want chocolate, they will fall over and hurt themselves. But it is all character building.

L – Low levels of activity. Only 23% of girls age 5-7 meet the recommended activity levels in England (World Health Organisation). This sedentary lifestyle is mirrored by problems in nutrition and diet also.

M – Milk! No matter what some experts may say, milk is good for the bones of growing children.

N – New skills. Just letting your child play and freely run around will help them to build new skills independently and with confidence.

O – Opportunities. Giving your child new opportunities will help them to explore what they enjoy, trying out a variety of activities is easy and as simple as sticking your favourite CD on and seeing how good your little one’s dance moves are.

P – Posture. Exercise from a young age can help promote a good posture, hopefully combating injuries and pains later on in life.

Q – Quinoa. Not many words start with Q. Quinoa does. However, do not panic. You do not need to start feeding your children the ultimate health food just yet.

R – Running. The first motor skill your child tends to learn. Unless you have a mini David Beckham on your hands who may be kicking before he runs. Running is simple, just let your child do it until they run out of steam.

S – Stress. Relieve your own stress by resting assured that your little one is healthy and active.

T – Time. Giving time to active experiences as a family such as walks or going to the local swimming pool is far more valuable than time spend in front of a screen for both your child’s health and your family life.

U – Under 5. Recommendations for young ones under 5 from the NHS state that they should not be inactive for long periods of time except when sleeping. Light activities include walking around and less energetic play. More energetic activities for under 5s include riding a bike, skipping and climbing.

V – Victory. Raising a young, fit and healthy child is the biggest victory for any parent. Be on your way to victory by starting today!

W – Whole family. Involving the whole family in an active lifestyle will be a driver to involve your children in sports.

X –  XXL. The clothing size you want to avoid buying for your children.

Y – Youth. After all, the youth of today are the future so helping them to be active and healthy is of upmost importance.

Z – Zooming. Exactly what you want to see your little ones doing. Here, there and everywhere.

Get Active Today!

The possibilities are endless in bringing your child a healthy, active lifestyle. Kick-start them in the right direction today with our handy guide!

If you would like to get your child(ren) involved in more sports, why not book in to one of our football classes for toddlers? We even have trial offers where your little one can have 45 minutes of fun for free, so you can make sure the class is right for you and your little one!

A Recipe for Confidence

As parents, helping our children to grow in confidence and be happy in life tends to come at the forefront of our lives. Giving your child the opportunity to participate and engage with sports, such as our football classes for toddlers, could well be the key ingredient to do this.

Despite the positives of exercise on a child’s mental well-being being less known about than those that are physical, British Heart Foundation researchers’ detail that those children participating in regular activity present an increase in confidence, peer acceptance and friendship and even attention span.

At a time where children have the chance to do whatever they may please at just the touch of a button, it is easy for them to become consumed in other pursuits such as using tablets and watching TV. However, to promote the confidence of young people and in turn, increase the likelihood of them possessing this confidence into adolescence, sport seems to be the answer!

Give Your Children the Chance to Grow in Confidence

With a plethora of sporting opportunities available for children, there is certainly something for everyone! May your little one be a twinkle toes, a mini mover or a small swimmer, sport will teach them to grow in confidence, embrace challenges and present a boost in self-esteem.

Parents are quick to praise us on our ability to give children these chances to grow in confidence. We have put together the key ingredients to the confidence pie, something we want all of our children participating in sport to have a slice of.

  • Encouragement: Nothing will get your little ones beaming with a smile more than being told you are proud of them. Encouraging them to keep trying their best and supporting whatever they choose to do will no doubt turn them into a confident, risk taking individual.
  • New experiences: It can definitely be daunting going to a new place for the first time, even for us adults! However, the longer we put this off the harder it gets. Introducing children to new people and places from a young age will set them up for later challenges in their life such as starting school.
  • Team work: Team games help to teach young people how to work with others and share responsibility. Teaching the children to share and communicate with their teammates is one of the most important elements of our classes. Enforcing this from a young age means our children grow into kind, confident young adults and form blossoming friendships within their teams.
  • A sense of belonging: a part of being confident is feeling like those around you appreciate and support you. With increased self-esteem, our children will naturally fit into team settings, making them a great listener and giving them the capability to work well with others. Having a sense of belonging means children are likely to be less shy and nervous when facing new challenges.

Becoming confident in these environments can help children to develop friendships and bonds with others that will help them to grow and gain new social skills. Watching your little one grow in character, along with their new friends is enough to put a smile on any parent’s face. Introducing children to peers at a young age not only helps them understand others and grow in confidence but may also set them up with friends for life.

Confidence is something that needs to be acquired, not inherited, start today by widening your little one’s horizons and helping them discover new and exciting challenges.

Commenting Laura Erskine, spokes mum for Mummypages.co.uk said:

“As parents, we all want our children to grow up and become confident, resilient and happy people. There is no better way to foster confidence and improve self-esteem in children than through sport. And of course, the younger they start, the more they are likely to carry this love of sport through their primary and secondary education, helping them with much more than just their physical development. Physical exercise is vital for healthy mental development and coping skills, as well as those all-important motor planning and basic gross motor skills that are lacking in so many young children these days.”

Increase Your Kids Confidence with SoccerDays Football Classes

As you can see, sport really does have a positive affect on our little ones physical and mental wellbeing. If you think your child could benefit from flourishing in confidence and skill through football, why not book in for one of our football classes for toddlers? We offer 45 minutes of fun for FREE with no obligation at your Essex and East London venues! Find your nearest venue and book a trial today. We look forward to seeing you soon!