Top Soccer Toys for Toddlers [Little Messi at Home 2024]

It’s never too early to start playing soccer! Every parent says that they want their kid to love the activity they do. I’ve heard the same saying about piano, painting, basketball, cooking, knitting, or soccer. Doesn’t matter what it is, it has to be fun and they have to like doing it. The best way to do that is through games. While we can make up games at home, it’s useful to have the right tools, in this case, indoor soccer toys for toddlers, to achieve that quickly and effectively. You can have great soccer experience through rain and snow, but you can have it at home without worrying, too. Let’s make sure our loved ones are safe, engaged, and challenged, all at the same time.

What are the best soccer toys for toddlers?

We’ll start building our toolkit of toys by figuring out the playing field first. If you have a dedicated space in your home that has enough space without fragile items and windows (backyard acceptable), then you have to get a small soccer ball. Having a plush soccer ball is also a great substitute, that can work for both indoor and outdoor settings. While you don’t have to shoot on a goal, it instantly brings excitement to the kids, so just get one if you have the space. You might not need soccer shoes indoors, but having a pair at least for the backyard sessions is needed. Finally, if your kid already loves doing art, try to merge the two activities by painting soccer art. Let’s get into the best items we have found in these categories.

Plush Soccer Ball

We keep hearing about the lack of unstructured play that the kids have these days. All of a sudden coaches are “forced” to dedicate half of the practice to the players just kicking a ball without much structure. Instead what they need is a soccer ball just being around the house that they can kick whenever they want. While watching TV or waiting for dinner to be ready, just have it be there. The great thing about this plush toy is that you can use it from a very young age. Most kids have a plush toy they are attached to. They go everywhere with it, eat with it, fall asleep with it… Sometimes it’s a dinosaur or a bunny, but imagine if it’s a soccer ball. Give it a try and you never know – maybe it’s going to develop an instant love for soccer!

Small Soccer Ball (size 2 or 3)

Kids need to have fun, but they need to see a ball moving and be able to kick it. So, regular soccer balls will not do because they are too heavy. Neither would random balls because they just have different physics. Instead, get the right size balls, size 2 or 3, that are appropriate for the feet size. The kids love them and they can practice hitting it differently. You want as realistic a representation of the soccer world as possible but in a controlled environment. I would definitely recommend having at least one ball for indoors and one for outdoors.

Soccer Shoes

This one is a bit tough because they grow so fast! If you are playing only indoors, then you don’t need them right away. If you see that the kid loves playing, you can use it as a stepping stone to get them playing outside with other kids or maybe a rec league. However, once they get on the grass, get them the shoes. If you are wondering about the soil – get one level below the recommended one. If they play on grass, get the turf shoes. If they play on turf, get the futsal one. They will feel more comfortable, have better control, and can use their shoes outside of soccer. You don’t want them to outgrow the shoes after 5 practices.

Soccer Book

Human brains are good at synthesizing information and signals. Kids need to have multiple stimulants to develop affinity and interest. Obviously, one is to have the family around – playing with parents and siblings is vital at the beginning. But also, unlike pro athletes, you can’t have them play for hours and hours. Instead, you can read books to them about soccer. Of course, you can also do other things like watch some videos or even bake cookies shaped like soccer balls. Those are fun. However, you want to grow persons first, and soccer players second. Let me not convince you why books work. They do at this age and hopefully for the rest of their lives.

Soccer Goal

It’s not a soccer game without a goal! The reason why I like this goal is that it’s scalable. Firstly, it’s a popup goal that can be folded and transported whenever you need to. Secondly, it has options to either work as a full goal or be marked with holes on the sides. This is so crucial as your kid gets too good for the open goal or needs to challenge themselves. Thirdly, this goal works great for the backyard or park. There are pins you can use to ground it and bring stability. I have used many other goals and they are good if you have large groups of players. However, this is the one you want for your kid – it’s great for indoors, great for beginners, and excellent when they get better and want to play outside.

Soccer Ball Lamp Kit

Not everything needs to be about playing soccer. Whatever your kid needs to be engaged, you should do that. If the kid needs to do a dance with the ball, that’s ok. Sometimes you might need to include a candy, a song, or a goofy outfit. For those into the arts, we found a great idea to paint a lamp with their favorite colors. The actual painting is interesting, but also it keeps reminding the kid of soccer because it’s there all the time. Don’t forget that they need multiple inputs and reminders to inspire them. There are other ideas for painting and decorating, but we liked this one as a great reminder on a daily basis.

What to avoid? What are not soccer toys for toddlers?

Soccer Disks – there are some made-up home games with two goals and gliding soccer disks. While fun, they really have different physics than the real soccer balls, both in how they move and how they are being kicked. We want the kids to have fun, but we want them to have some correlation with soccer. It’s fine to buy these toys if the kids enjoy, but don’t think that they have real connection with soccer.

Excessive soccer video time – again, I am not here to decide how much screen time your kid should or shouldn’t have. All I am saying is that they will not really benefit from watching others play soccer without them playing with the soccer ball. They need the ball around their feet as much as possible at this age.

Individual practices – when they are this young, they simply don’t need them. Don’t make soccer a chore until they become professionals. Just make sure that it looks like a game and that can last for a long time.

Time to get your soccer toys for toddlers

Now that we have reviewed that top soccer toys for toddlers, it’s time to build the right environment. I’ll repeat again – your main goal is for them to enjoy and fall in love with the sport. Their skills will not matter now, but their feelings toward soccer will. There is enough time to get good at it and it will not be a straight line. However, you want them engaged and challenged, so that the line is directionally upwards and not downwards. Keep trying by adding one piece at a time and it will work out. And don’t forget to have fun!

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