17 Kicking Games and Activities for Kids

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Kicking Games for Kids

The best way to keep kids active is to provide them with a wide range of fun physical activities to enjoy. The best physical activities are games where kids throw or kick objects, because they can improve their fitness and coordination while they have fun. In this article, I’ll share several of the best kicking games and activities for kids!

Benefits Of Kid’s Kicking Games

So, why play a kicking game with your kids instead of other activities? Here are a few reasons:

Kicking Games Promote Better Physical Fitness

Kicking involves the use of several major muscles and various joints. Kids are often running towards the ball and have to maintain their balance as they kick it. This can dramatically improve a child’s cardiovascular fitness, muscular strength, bone strength, balance, and coordination levels. It also reduces the risk of obesity, postural issues, childhood diabetes, and several other health conditions.

Teaches Kids About Teamwork

Many of the best kicking games and activities for kids involve teamwork. By encouraging kids to participate in games with teamwork, you will teach them how to collaborate with other children, communicate more effectively, and achieve collective goals. They can carry these skills forward into the classroom and other aspects of their lives.

Developing Self Esteem

Several studies have linked participation in team games with the development of confidence and self-esteem. As a child enjoys a kicking activity, they are communicating with other players and having a great time. Every time they score a goal or receive praise from a team mate, it builds their self-confidence. They will also receive a boost to their self esteem as they discover they are improving as an athlete.

Better Social Skills

Most kid’s kicking games involve a lot of co-operation and verbal communication. Players often tell each other where to kick the ball and work together to create strategies to win the match. This type of communication is invaluable for improving the social skills of kids. They will learn to negotiate, share, listen, solve problems in a group, respect personal space, express their ideas, and use manners. They will also have plenty of opportunities to form new friendships and strengthen existing ones. The social skills they obtain will be vital for forming relationships and having successful careers.

Better Cognitive Function

One of the unexpected benefits of kid’s kicking activities is an improvement to cognitive function. Children who participate in athletics have been found to have better creative and strategic thinking skills. They also tend to have a better ability to focus and react quickly. Some kid’s kicking games can even improve their ability to perform maths, as participants need to count to keep score!

Learning To Accept Defeat Gracefully

Team sports are the best way to teach children about winning and losing gracefully. As the kids win or lose each match, you can encourage them to shake hands and congratulate their opponents. Instilling this mentality in children from a young age will help them succeed as teenagers and adults, because it builds resilience.

Improved Mental Health

Participating in athletic activities has been show to improve mental health in children. Kids who participate in kicking games and other sports are less likely to suffer form eating disorders, depression, and anxiety. Researchers have also discovered that kids who are active are less likely to participate in risky activities. 

Better Discipline

All sports require some level of discipline. This is also true of kid’s kicking activities, which usually various rules dictating what children are allowed to do. If a child fails to adhere to the rules, there are usually penalties involved. This quickly teaches children that playing within the rules of the game is the best way to win and avoid in-game punishment in the form of penalties. Kids will also learn discipline when it comes to practicing.

A collection of kicking games for kids.

The Best Kicking Games And Activities For Kids

We’ve gathered together a huge list of fun kid’s kicking games and activities. They are all exciting activities that can keep children active and enjoying themselves for many hours. There are activities in this list suitable for children of all ages and skill levels.

1. Soccer

Let’s start the list with the world’s most famous kicking game — Soccer. Soccer is an extremely popular sport that is traditionally played with two teams of 11 players each. The aim of the game is to score more goals than the other team in 90 minutes. Here is a quick summary of the most important rules:

  • The game is traditionally played on a field that is between 90-120m long and 45-90m wide
  • Teams consist of one goalkeeper and 10 outfield players. There can also be up to 7 substitute players
  • Players can only touch the ball with their legs, head, back and chest. If a player deliberately touches the ball with their hand or shoulder, it is a ‘handball’ penalty for the other team. The exception to this rule is that goalkeepers can catch and carry the ball within the goal area.
  • Goals are scored by propelling the ball into the opponent’s goal area. Each goal is worth 1 point.

Read the complete set of Soccer rules or watch this video describing soccer rules.

The great thing about soccer is that it is a highly adaptable sport, with rules that can be tweaked to suit the number of players available and their skill level. If you only have 4-6 kids interested in playing, you can simply set up some small Soccer goals in your back yard and have them play two halves of 10 minutes each. You can even have 1 vs 1 games, using small targets like poles or buckets as goals, so it is harder to score.

The best thing about teaching young children how to play soccer is that it will help them get into organized sports – where they will meet new friends and obtain all of the benefits that organized sports provide.

2. Monkey In The Middle

This kid’s kicking game has simple rules, which makes it ideal for young children. To play Monkey In The Middle, you will need at least 4 players and a ball.

Start by having three of the children form a large triangle. The last player is the ‘monkey’ who will stand in the middle of the triangle. The players who make up the triangle will then kick the ball to each other, with the monkey attempting to intercept it. If the monkey manages to get the ball, the player who last touched the ball will become the new monkey. You can adjust the size of the triangle to suit the skill level of the players involved.

3. Kickball

This is a classic ball game that most children learn while in elementary school. Kickball is usually played outdoors on a baseball or softball diamond, but you can use any flat surface with markers to represent the pitching mound and bases.

Before the game commences, players are split into two teams. There should at least 5 players per team. A coin can be flipped to decide which team is kicking and which team is fielding. The team that is fielding will designate someone to be the pitcher and 3 players to be assigned to the bases.

The game then plays out in a similar way to baseball. The pitcher will roll the ball to the kicker, who will attempt to kick it, then run to the first base. They must make it to the base before one of the fielders rolls the ball there.

If a kicker misses the ball, that will be a ‘strike’. Similar to baseball, the kicker only gets three strikes before being called out. If the kicker kicks the ball out of bounds, it is a foul. They are allowed four fouls before being called out.

The game is scored in a similar way to baseball with 6 innings, however, feel free to modify the rules based on how many players you have and their ages. Checkout the official Kickball rules for some inspiration. If you want to play Kickball while on holidays or at the beach, check out this the Wicked Big Kickball set. It includes a super-sized kickball and all of the equipment you need to play kickball anywhere!


4. Wall Target

This is a simple game that can be played with any number of players.

Setup:
To play Wall Target, you will need:

  • A ball (soccer ball or similarly-sized inflated ball)
  • A wall
  • Some chalk

Prepare for the game by drawing 5 to 6 circles on the wall. They should include a combination of small circles and large circles. Have some of the circles at ground level and others a little higher. Write a number inside each circle, which will be its point value. Give the larger circles a lower value than the small ones. 

Gameplay:

  1. The first player will attempt to kick the ball at the circles on the wall. They will receive the designated point value of the circles they hit.
  2. After 5 kicks, the next player gets a turn.
  3. After everyone has had their turn, the player with the highest point total wins!

5. Slam!

This is a fun kicking game that soccer players often use to improve their skills. It can be enjoyed by children of all ages as the rules are simple.

Setup:
To play Slam, you will need:

  • A ball (soccer ball or similarly-sized inflated ball)
  • A wall
  • Two markers which are used to designate the ‘goal’. They should be set a few feet apart. You could also mark out the goal by using chalk to draw on the wall.


Gameplay:

  1. At the start of the round, each player is given 3 lives
  2. The player with the ball kicks it into the wall’s goal area so it rebounds outwards
  3. The other player must attempt to return the kick into the goal before the ball stops
  4. Play continues until one player misses the ball or doesn’t manage to get the ball to hit the goal area. That player will lose a life.
  5. Once a player has lost all three lives, the other player is declared the winner.

You can make the game more challenging by having players use their less favored foot or by asking them to only use a certain part of their foot when kicking.

6. Jianzi

jianzi game instructions

Jianzi is a traditional sport of China that is played by millions of people throughout Asia. The aim of the game is to keep a heavily weighted shuttlecock in the air using any part of the body except for the hands. It can either be played with a pair of players standing across from one another or several players standing in a circle.

Skilled players perform a variety of kicking techniques to keep the Jianzi afloat, sometimes using both feet. This videos explains how to perfect some basic Jianzi kicking techniques. To play this game, you will need to buy some Jianzi shuttlecocks from Amazon.


7. Short and Long Kicks

This is a simple kid’s kicking game that is a ton of fun. It can be tailored to suit the age of the children playing and can be played with a small number of children. To play Short and Long Kicks, you will need a ball, an open space and several targets (can be anything from letterboxes to buckets).

At the start of the game, choose a starting point, which is where the kids will kick from. You will also need to assign point values to the various targets in the yard, with smaller targets and those that are further away being worth more points. 

Players will then stand on the starting point and attempt to kick the ball at the targets. You can give each player several kicks, then tally up their score. The great thing about this game is that it can be easily adjusted to suit the age and skill levels of the players.

8. Knock It Off

Knock It Off is a competitive game that tests participant’s ability to kick a ball accurately. It is played with 2 or more players and can be played indoors or outdoors. To play Knock It Off, you will need a kick ball (or soccer ball) and objects that can hold targets. The targets could be traffic cones with a tennis ball on top or boxes with plush toys on top.

You can either have players compete against one another as individuals or split the group into teams of two. Each team will have 3 minutes to kick the ball at their targets and knock them over. After kicking the ball, they must run and collect it, then dribble it back to their starting point.

After the 3 minutes are up, you can move the targets further back so they are harder to hit. After a few practice rounds, you can start eliminating teams based on how many targets they have left at the end of each round.

9. SKLZ Star Kick Soccer Trainer

This is the perfect kicking activity for kids who play soccer and want to improve their kicking accuracy. It is a belt that attached to a soccer ball with an elastic cord. The player simply kicks the ball using either foot and it is propelled before the elastic cord brings it back. The harder you kick the ball, the faster it returns.

It is a great way to rapidly work on kicking technique, foot coordination, and trapping the ball. Check out this video of the SKLZ Star Kick in action or learn more about it here.


 

10. Hover Soccer Ball 

This a fantastic kicking game for those rainy days when the kids can’t go outside. Hover Soccer Ball is like a combination of air hockey and soccer. It uses a floating disc that hovers just off the ground and can move at high speed. The disc has soft rubber bumpers on its sides, which allow it to bump off hard surfaces like walls and furniture. 

Hover Soccer Ball can be played in a hallway, garage, lounge room, or any other area with a hard floor. Simply set up some goals and use the rules of soccer to play a game. If you want to learn more, checkout this Hover Soccer Ball Set.


11. Alphabet Ball

Alphabet ball is a wonderful kicking activity that combines learning with kicking skills. Playing is simple. Just have all of the participants stand in a circle. In the simplest version, the player with the ball says the letter ‘A’ and randomly kicks it to another player, who responds with ‘B’. The game continues as the players go through the alphabet. 

This activity can be used to memorize all kinds of information in a fun way.  For example, you could use:

  • Times tables (the kicker says two numbers and the receiver has to multiple or subtract)
  • The names of state (the kicker says the name of a state and the receiver says it’s capital)
  • Rhyming words  

12. Soccer Maze

Soccer Maze is a competitive kicking game that tests how well each player can control a soccer ball. To play, you will need to set up an obstacle course featuring several goals, ramps, and cones.

Players need to dribble the ball around the course, kicking it through the goals, going up and down ramps and zig zagging through cones. You could also set up challenge stations, where players need to keep the ball in the air for three kicks or successfully header the ball into a target. 

Have all of the players run the course as you time them.  The winner is the player to complete the course in the shortest time.

13. Get To The Base

This game is often played as a training exercise soccer, but is fun enough to work as a stand-a-lone game.

Setup:
To play Get To The Base, you will need:

  • A large, square playing area
  • Four differently colored markers (cones, flags or signs) which are placed in different corners of the playing area
  • A soccer ball for each participant

Gameplay:

  1. Have the players assemble in the middle of the field and dribble their balls
  2. After 30 seconds or so, call out a color at random
  3. All of the players must then attempt to dribble their ball to that corner. 
  4. After a couple of practice rounds, start eliminating the last person to make it to the nominated corner.

You are several variations you can add to this game, like including several defenders to guard the corners or allowing players to kick other player’s balls while defending their own ball.

14. BULZiBUCKET

Although this game is meant to be played by throwing a bean-filled bag, it also works well as a kicking game. The goal of BULLZiBUCKET is to score more point than the opposition, with points being scored by successfully landing balls in the other team’s BULLZiBUCKET.

Each bucket has three layers which vary in size. The largest layer is worth the least points and the smallest is worth the most. The players in each team will have four bean-filled bags to throw. So, if they land a bag in the bottom layer of the BULLZiBUCKET, they get 1 point, with the middle layer giving 2 and the top layer giving 3. The 4th bag is worth double points. 

Instead of throwing the bags, players can kick them, hacky sack style. It’s the perfect game for playing during a visit to the beach or local park.


15. Cat and Mouse

Cat and Mouse is another soccer training game that can be played just for fun.

Setup:
To play Cat and Mouse, you will need:

  • 6 or more players
  • At least 6 soccer balls (more if more players are involved)

Gameplay:

  1. Divide the players into two teams — cats and mice.
  2. Have the teams form a circle with a 3 meter radius. Each team should stand together as shown in this diagram.
  3. The players on each team are given a number, so there will be a ‘1’ on the cat team and a ‘1’ on the mouse team and so on.
  4. All of the balls are placed in the middle of the circle. They are the pieces of cheese.
  5. As soon as you yell out a number, the mouse with that number will run into the centre and start a dribbling a piece of cheese back to their starting point. 
  6. As they do so, the cat with the same number will run into the centre also and obtain a ball. They will take that ball back to their starting point and begin dribbling it around the entire circle.
  7. When the cat reaches his or her starting point, the mice stop collecting cheese and count how many pieces they collected. 
  8. The balls are returned to the centre and the next number is called. After all of the mice have had a turn, their total cheese collection is calculated and the roles are swapped, with the cats becoming mice. The winning team will be the one that gathered the most pieces of cheese.

16. Soccer Bowling

Instructions on how to play soccer bowling.

This is a simple variation of 10 pin bowling that children of all ages will enjoy.

Setup:
To play Soccer Bowling, you will need:

  • A set of plastic bowling pins
  • Two soccer balls (or similarly-sized inflated balls)
  • A piece of paper and pen to keep score

Gameplay:

  1. Set the pins up on a flat surface
  2. Standing approximately 5 meters from the pins, players will have to kick the ball in an effort to knock over the pins.
  3. The rules of bowling apply, so they get 10 points for a strike and so on.
  4. The winner is the player with the highest score after ten frames


17. Red Light, Green Light

Try this kicking version of the classic Red Light, Green Light, the next time you are hosting a kid’s play group or there is a family get together. Each child is given a ball to dribble. Turn your back to the kids and yell out “Green Light”, which means they are allowed to begin dribbling the ball to a designed finish line in front of them. 

When you say “Red Light”, they must stop dribbling their ball. You will quickly turn around and anyone still moving or not in possession of their ball is disqualified! The rules of this game are so simple that children of any age can play.

Thanks for reading 17 Kicking Games and Activities for Kids! Not enough kicking? Learn how to play kick the can. For more kid’s activities, bookmark the website.

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