If you're a soccer fan and love playing or watching games, you're probably excited to introduce your kids to the sport when they're old enough. It's never too early to develop a love of soccer in a child, and that's easier to do when you buy the right type of soccer ball for their size and ability. Here's a look at some options for soccer balls for small kids.
Mini Practice Balls
Practice balls are smaller than regulation soccer balls. They're also called mini soccer balls because they are the smallest size available. While they're not made specifically for kids, they are great starter balls for toddlers since they're small and have a layer of foam under the cover. The balls have covers just like soccer balls, so they look the same, they're just a smaller size and lighter weight. A toddler can handle and kick one of these more easily than a traditional ball. Buying a practice ball in a bright color could generate interest in playing with the ball and learning basic skills like kicking.
Pee Wee Soccer Balls
Once your child has developed motor skills well enough to walk, run, and kick a ball, then you'll want to upgrade to a pee-wee-size soccer ball that's used by beginning soccer teams. Even if your child doesn't play on a team, a pee-wee-size ball is the right size and weight for a small child to use for developing soccer skills. These come with a variety of covers that are attractive to kids. Some look like pro soccer balls and others come in neon colors. Bright colors are a good choice for kids so the ball can be found easily after giving it a good kick. These soccer balls contain an air bladder that has to be inflated and maintained. This teaches your child from an early age how to inflate a soccer ball and care for it so it lasts a long time.
Foam Core Balls
Foam core soccer balls are called futsal balls, and they're made for playing a variation of soccer indoors. These come in small sizes that are suitable for kids to play with. Because they're made of foam, they don't bounce like a soccer ball filled with air. If your toddler loves playing with the soccer ball in the house, then a foam core ball could be ideal since it hugs the floor better and is easier to control with the feet. One of these balls is useful for practicing soccer skills for outdoor games too, so your child can get used to foot-handling the ball while indoors without as much risk of causing damage to furnishings. A foam ball is suitable for learning and practicing skills in a gym when it's too cold to play outside on a soccer field. Practicing with a foam ball could help your child gain the skills needed to play on a team.
Choosing the right soccer ball for your child is mostly a matter of matching the right size with your child's size and age. That way, your child can handle the ball better and gain confidence as well as important soccer skills.