With football practice, matches and kickabouts in the park with friends on pause, keeping your football mad kids entertained at home can be challenging.
Give boredom the red card with these Game Changing stay-at-home football activities for children!
Keeping Your Football Mad Kids Entertained at Home
An Old Fashioned Kickabout
It may not be the National Football Stadium at Windsor Park, but if you are fortunate enough to have an outdoor space at home during lockdown, nothing beats an old-fashioned kickabout in the garden – a great way to get the whole family involved!
- If indoor activities are more suitable, keep reading or check out Football Workouts from Home for ideas that you can adapt to suit your children’s age and ability
If your children are part of a football club, their coach may provide some at-home coaching via the team’s social media pages. If not, here are 3 fun ideas to keep your kids ahead of the game - feel free to improvise!
1. Football Obstacle Course
- Gather any household objects, or football equipment if you have it available - toys can take the place of dribbling cones, chalk marker can take the place of nets etc.
- Draw out a map for your child to follow, moving from one obstacle to the other with a simple description of what they need to do to pass each stage.
- The first task could be dribbling the ball around 6 toys, without touching. Next, circle the ball around the water bottle three times without losing control of the ball or knocking the bottle over. Finally, run with the ball to the chalk line and shoot into the ‘net’ - score a goal between the chalk markers.
2. Football Circuit Stations
- With household objects or football equipment, set up 3-10 different circuit stations in your garden or around different rooms in your house.
- Map out a plan which lists the order that your child should complete their circuits in, with a simple description of the activity at each station
- For example: Station 1: Do as many keepy-ups as you can without dropping the ball. Station 2: Pass against the wall/to a partner 20 times. Station 3: 15 Toe Taps. Station 4: 20 Fast Feet.
- Want to increase the difficulty? Set a time for each station e.g. how many can you do in 20 seconds or keep a record of the total number of achieved movements at each station.
- Bonus activity - creating a progress chart could be another fun football activity for an arts and crafts activities session with your children, as well as keeping them engaged by showing their improvements over time!
3. Position Specific Skills
Consider the position that your children play to adapt their skills practice e.g. Midfield – changing direction with the ball and moving around obstacles. If you have more than one child at home, they can play together and take it in turns.
- Increase the difficulty by challenging your kids to practice working on different skills to help them play anywhere on the pitch or take up different positions in their football team
- Show off their skills! Who knows, your children may even be recognised by some of the world’s best footballers and goalkeepers - David de Gea has retweeted some at home football practice spotted on Twitter!
Set your children daily or weekly football challenges to keep up their interest and progress their skills.
- Check out our #GameChangersNI challenges on our social media. Your kids may recognise some familiar faces in the form of Northern Ireland Senior Women’s stars like Marissa Callaghan and Megan Bell, as well as Northern Ireland U19s Joely Andrews and U15s Abi Sweetlove
- The Irish Football Association also post weekly Electric Ireland Shooting Stars Home Football Challenges here
- Follow your children’s favourite players and clubs on social media to see what football related activities they are completing at home
Watch, Play and Learn
There are plenty of online and offline football-related activities available.
- For creative children - The Irish Football Association have downloadable colouring in sheets, including one from ni4kids – enter our colouring in sheet competition for a chance to win an Amazon Fire HD 10 tablet and a Northern Ireland Football kit!
- What to watch - previous football matches and highlights to watch online; FIFA YouTube channel & UEFA's video portal, football documentaries on Amazon & Netflix, as well as our favourite Game Changing Women’s Football Films
- What to play - Video Games - although you may want to limit screen time, an hour or two of FIFA or Football Manager here and there can be a great reward for hard work!
- Virtual football practice – stop your kids missing their teammates by setting up a virtual skills session where they can show each other their new tricks and practice ‘together’!
- Home activities for the whole family - get the whole family together for football book club or quiz night!
Have any of your own Game Changing Football Ideas to keep the kids amused during lockdown? Make sure to share them with us using #GameChangersNI!