10 Creative Ways to Sharpen Your Child’s Skills at Home During Lockdown
Given the current state of affairs across the country, we aren’t able to do a lot of the things we would like to. This unfortunately extends to football training and matches. During the lockdown, it’s important to keep kids engaged and entertained but it can be tricky.
The following article will rattle through ten creative ways you can keep your child’s football skills sharp during these tough times.
Jumpers for Goalposts
Using jumpers for goalposts is a great way to bypass the need for goals. Everyone has jumpers/coats/shirts that can be placed on the ground to make a simple goal.
Better yet, goalposts can be moved and adjusted however you see fit. If you’re playing a 1 vs 1 with your child, you can make your goal a lot bigger to compensate for the size difference.
Socks for Cones
Building off using clothes for goalposts, pairs of rolled-up socks make great cones. If you want to help keep your kids sharp, then dribbling around some cones is an excellent way to do it. Many households don’t have a set of cones lying around so pairs of rolled-up socks will do just fine. The brighter the socks, the better.
Cardboard Target Practice
You can get really inventive with this one. Most people will have cardboard lying around somewhere. If you do, use it to draw a target on and look for different places to stick your makeshift target. Kids will have loads of fun aiming for the target and trying to hit the bullseye. You can place or stick these virtually anywhere and make more than one if you want to present more of a challenge.
If you aren’t familiar with the sport of curling, it basically pits two teams against each other, alternating to see who can roll a ball closest to a target. This can easily be modified to use a football and see who can stop the ball closest to the center of a paper target with one kick.
If you don’t have multiple footballs, you can just mark where the ball stopped and use the same one!
This is best played in groups so if you have more than one kid this can be a fun game for them to play. This uses the same principle as musical chairs but with footballs instead. Play music from your phone and have the kids run around the garden. When the music stops the first to get to the ball wins. You can start with the ball on the ground or throw it randomly when the music stops.
You can also mix up this game if you have a bigger family. Have your children dribble the ball around a set of chairs. As soon as the music stops, all kids need to pick up their ball and sit on a chair.
Top bins usually refers to top-corner screamers but in this context, it is more literal. If you have a clean bin or basket that is not in use, you can adapt it to make a target. Ask your child to kick the ball into the bin and gradually move the target further away. If that becomes too easy, you can stand the bin upright and see if they have any success chipping the ball in.
All you need for this is a football, a wall, and preferably two people. Take turns in kicking the ball at the ball, trying to make the other player’s shot more tricky. The first person to miss their kick or the wall, loses. If your child wants to play this on their own, they can too. Football squash is a great way to keep their reactions sharp!
If your child is lucky enough to have a trampoline in their garden then this is a great use of it. Trampolines are perfect for goalkeepers and can be used in loads of different ways. You can test their reactions by throwing the ball towards them and having them catch it or save it. Alternatively, you can ask them to place the ball on the trampoline and bounce, using their reactions to push it away from danger when it pops up.
Plucked from the Sky
This will require a little bit of risk assessment on your part but if you’re happy to do so, this can be a fun drill for kids. Drop the ball from a window and have your child control it. To make this even harder, you can have your child turn away from you so that they don’t know where the ball is landing until it comes over their head. If you’re not comfortable with using a window, this can just as easily be replicated from the ground by throwing the ball.
For more simpler practices, you can create a 5×5 zone and throw a ball up for your child to control it. The idea of the game is that they must try to control the ball without stepping foot outside the box.
Shirts on Crossbar
If you do have a goal at home this can be a nice little way to mix things up a bit. Create targets at the top of the goal by hanging or sticking shirts to the crossbar. This will give kids something to aim for and requires little effort.
Sambola Skills Ball
If you’re after a football for your kids to play with during lockdown and beyond, look no further than the Sambola Skills Ball. This ball is specifically designed to improve kids’ skills and confidence and is perfect for Samba stars in the making!
A key idea behind the Sambola’s design is building confidence. This size 2 football is created with the intention of being accessible to children. Its bounce and sizing will help kids develop their skills, dribbling, passing and shooting.
For more information on the Sambola, click here.