10 Great Soccer games for 2 year olds



Great soccer games for two year olds banner

You're wondering if there are any good soccer games for 2 year olds that you can run. Rest assured, you don't need any specialized training. The kids (and any grownups) that participate will be sure to have a blast with these fun introductory soccer games.

Whether you're coaching a soccer team of two year olds or a parent looking for creative games to play in the backyard, there are plenty of fun soccer games that will engage your average toddler in soccer, build their skills, get them exercise. Everyone will enjoy themselves. Parents should definitely participate in the games with their 2 year old children.

Important tip: when you set-up and explain the game it's super important for you to tell them AND show them how each soccer game works. Keep it simple and repeat. Repetition is the mother of learning. Watching how well they do and how much fun they're having will dictate if and when you'll want to adjust the game after a few minutes.

Praise their successes and show them how they can improve. Here are 10 fun and imaginative soccer games for 2 year old children. These games for the youngest soccer players go along with the follow soccer moves for beginners.

Tips For Playing Soccer With 2 Year Old Kids

The games for 2 year old children should be fun, above all else. Keep them age appropriate. Competitive scrimmages are not appropriate for 2 year olds. You want to introduce your toddler to soccer in an enjoyable way.

TIME:  Keep the games short. Toddlers have a very short attention span. Keep the games fresh by avoiding long games that drag on. Play a game and move onto a new once, especially if the one you're playing isn't going great.

PARTICIPANTS: Include grandparents, parents, siblings and other family members to play along whenever possible. It forms those lifelong bonds that go way beyond soccer.

POSITIVITY: Reinforce all the positive things your child is doing as they play. Letting your child know how pleased you are will strengthen their affection for the game of soccer and is great for their confidence and self-esteem.

Soccer Games Good For 2 Year Old Children

After coaching the very youngest of soccer players for over 10 years, I've found the following games to work great with two year old kids.

1. Red Light Green Light

Red light green light game

Red light green light is one of the all time classic games for kids and it's easily adaptable for youth soccer. I used it a lot as a warm-up for different age groups by adding some fun additions to the basic game, depending on the abilities of each age group. For two year olds, you must keep it simple.

Since two year old children may not understand enough about traffic light colors and their meaning, it's perfectly fine to use "stop" and "go" as commands. This game works best for the players to start them at one end of the soccer field, so that they can dribble their balls in a straight line toward the opposite end of the soccer field.

OBJECT: We want to get the kids running both with and without the soccer ball.

SETUP: Have your child (children) stand at one end of the soccer field. Tell them they can pretend to be race cars (any color they want) but they must listen to what you tell them. When you say "go" or "green light" they walk (older kids can run) toward you until you say "stop" or "red light." You can also trick them by saying red light while they're already stopped.

VARIATIONS: Tell them if you yell "traffic cop" they should run back to the start as fast as they can and you can chase them as a traffic cop while making the sound of a police car chasing them. After you've played a few rounds repeat the game but this time with the kids dribbling their soccer balls. Young kids should dribble the ball slowly so that it will be easier for them to stop it when you've called a red light.

The video below gives you a good example of how you can play this game with young soccer players.

Red Light Green Light Game

2. Busy Bees or Kick At The Coach

The kids I coached absolutely loved this game, although it may take a 2 year old a few trial runs to understand it. Once they do, with a little enthusiasm from you, they'll be giggling away. I've hear it called Kick At The Coach. We played a slightly more advanced version of the game known as Busy Bees with the older kids.

OBJECT: We want the kids to get practice dribbling and shooting at a target.

SETUP: The kids will be told and shown how to dribble around the field with the soccer ball toward the coach or other volunteer. When they get close they are to shoot the ball at the coach with their foot. Coach will react by jumping up in the air when struck and yelling "ouch" or "you got me."

VAIRATIONS:  The busy bee version of this game has the children pretending that they are busy bees, dribbling their balls while buzzing around the beehive. You, the parent or coach, or other volunteer enters the area and the kids try to shoot their stingers (soccer balls) at the intruder.

Coach should react in a silly way when "stung" by the soccer ball. The sillier the better. You can also reverse rolls and the coach will (gently) kick his ball to strike the children.

3. Race Cars

Like Red Light Green Light his game can be done initially without a ball first and then have the kids race with soccer balls. Kids naturally like competition. It comes naturally.

OBJECT: To have the kids be able to run fast while dribbling the ball and not let it get too far ahead of them.

SETUP: It's easiest for 2 year olds to go in a straight line from one end to the other, so set up this game by starting the race at one end of the field. If they're old enough have them pick what color race car they're going to be. Remind them to start their engines, vroom, vroom, and give them a countdown: 5....4....3....2....GO!

VARIATIONS: You can challenge older kid by having them race around an oval of discs or cones. This will retire them to "cut" or "chop" the ball from the side to make turns around the oval.

Oval race trackOval Race Track

Having the kids race without the ball and enjoying it is beneficial to these 2 year olds. It teaches them that running is a big part of soccer fun even when they don't have the ball. It also gives them aerobic exercise without it seeming like a monotonous fitness "drill."

4. Follow the Leader

This game is another example of adapting a well known game to fit the game of soccer. Two year olds learn a lot by mimicking the activity of others.

OBJECT: The primary aim of this game is to teach the kids to improve their dribbling, specifically in changing directions as well as increasing speed and stopping the ball. 

SET-UP: Start by intruding yourself as the leader and tell the kids to follow you with their soccer balls. Dribble the ball slowly at first in a straight line. Frequently remind the kids by saying "follow me" or "kick it this way." You can change directions and add some speed as the kids progress.

VARIATIONS: Add in some simple soccer moves like stepping over ball,  gently stopping the ball with the bottom of your foot, or kicking the ball sideways. Remember to say what you're doing so that all can hear. The kids need to see you doing the ball skill AND hear you to understand what they are to do.

Change leaders and let have different kids lead the group. It makes it more fun and builds self confidence.

5. Animal Farm

Galloping horse

Children, young and old love animals and this soccer game is always a kid favorite. Kids enjoy pretending to act and sound like certain animals.

Kids love to imitate the sound an animal makes as well as to run like that animal.

OBJECT: The object of this game is to have the kids dribble the ball like their favorite animal.

SETUP: The playing area is the regular soccer field. Instruct the kids to dribble around the field. You can ask the kids what sounds very animals make, such as "what does a monkey say?" or what sound does a cow make?" Once they've answered, then tell them to dribble like that animal. Remind them to make the noise of that animal while they're dribbling.

VARIATIONS: You don't have to limit the game to just farm animals. You could ask about zoo animals, frogs, or birds. Once again, the enthusiasm and energy of the coach demonstrating and participating in this game has a huge ipact on the level of fun the kids will have.

6. Body Part Game

Body Part GameBody Part Game

The body part game can get quite silly. I used the body part game as part of the free demo sessions I did when promoting my youth soccer program at new locations because the kids had so much fun playing it.

OBJECT: Gets the kids moving, stretching, and also let's the kids know that the ball may come in contact with other parts of the body, but they can still have fun. This game is also a way for the 2 year olds to stretch their muscles without knowing it.

SETUP: Instruct the kids to dribble around, making sure to stay within the bounds of the soccer field. You'll instruct the kids to stop the ball with different body parts and then resume dribbling. Include the toes, bottom of the foot, belly,  etc. 

HINTS:  To keep it fun, remember to tell them to stop it with their other foot, or ear, or elbow. I'd ask the kids silly questions during their stops.

For example, after the kids had stopped the soccer ball with their noses I'd ask, How does it smell? and then loudly yell "YUCK!" After they'd stop the ball with their ear, I'd ask: Can you hear the ball talking? I'd answer Yes! The ball says dribble me again, and laugh out loud.

It can get really fun when you stack a few body parts back to back in rapid succession like, stop the ball with your knee....no, no, stop the ball with your belly.....no, no, stop the ball with your chin.

7. What Time Is It Mr. Fox?

soccer wrist watch

Two year old children are just starting to learn about numbers and counting, so this game fits right in. This game is also named "What Time is it Mr. Wolfe." I like foxes more than wolves. They're not as scary to young children.

OBJECT: To improve the children's ability to control the dribbling and to stop dribbling at times.

SETUP: Kids line up next to each other at the end of the soccer field. Encourage one (or all) of the kids to ask the question out loud: "What time is it Mr. Fox?" You are the fox and you answer with a number, let's say "3." The children then will dribble for 3 steps. Proceed with several different small numbers and count out loud to help the children.

VARIATION: You can add "Dinner Time" as an answer to the question on time. Instruct the children to dribble back to the start with their ball at dinner time or  else the fox will eat their soccer ball. Coach can chase the kids back to the start saying, "I'm hungry. I want to eat your ball."

8. Volcanoes

Kids soccer conesVolcanoes or Witch's Hats

Two year olds don't know what volcanoes are but the game of volcanoes can easily be adapted to be a great game for 2 year old soccer players.

OBJECT: This dribbling soccer game is intended to teach the kids how to change the direction of their soccer ball while dribbling to prevent it from bumping into soccer cones.

SETUP: Spread the cones (or other objects) spaced apart around the field. Rather than the kids trying to avoid the hot, smoking volcanoes while dribbling, you can use your creativity and have them try to keep their soccer balls from hitting imaginary objects.

Describe the cones-or use other objects-as something fictional. The tall cones could be described as witches hats, upside down ice cream cones, or trees, or their favorite animal.

VARIATION: Once they've mastered avoiding the objects by dribbling around them, you can give the kids special imaginary powers. Give them volcano power or Superman or other superhero powers and they can kick their soccer balls to knock over the cones. Hint: this works best when the children are told to dribble up close to the cones before attempting to knock them over by kicking their ball. 

9. Stuff the marshmallows

Who likes marshmallows? That's the question to ask your soccer players as a way to introduce this game. Don't all kids?

Imagination soccer gamesMarshmallow game or
Dinosaur and eggs in the dinosaur cave

OBJECT: To teach the kids to score goals as fast as they can.

SETUP: Use one or two soccer goals, depending on the number of kids playing. This game is best played with as many soccer balls as possible, but it can be played by a single child with a single soccer ball.

The object of the games is to "stuff the marshmallow(s) into the mouth (the goal). You can peak the kids interest buy telling them that the mouth is really hungry and we have to feed it as  fast as possible.

VARIATION: Tell your player(s) that they are going to be dinosaurs and ask them to growl like a dinosaur. Instruct your young soccer players that they have to gather the dinosaur eggs (the soccer balls) and kick them back ingot the dinosaur nest.

10. Kick the Cones

This is a great soccer game for 2 year old children who are just starting out. You can make it more interesting for older players by creating a contest between the kickers and the fixer-uppers. 

OBJECT: This game is designed to get these toddlers familiar with one of the the most basic skills in soccer, the kicking motion. 

This can be done with or without a soccer ball but brand new two year old soccer players will have more success starting this game without soccer balls. Once they've got this down and their motor skills improve you can add the soccer ball to this game.

SETUP:  Set up the tall cones spread out around the soccer field. Instruct the children to run to each cone. Stop, and then kick the cone over. How fast can the cones all be knocked over. Tell them and then show them first. Emphasize how they stop first with their non-kicking foot being right next to the soccer ball.

VARIATIONS:  As  the cones are being kicked over you and/or a helper can "fix them" as the other players are kicking them over. You can change the number of fixer-uppers and make it into a contest.

Free PDF Download: 10 Great Soccer Games For 2 Year olds

Would you like to be able to use this list when you don't have internet access. You can copy and print this resource to use anytime you wish. Here is the link to the Free PDF Download: 10 Great Soccer Games for Two Year Old Children.

Final Thoughts on Soccer Games For 2 Year Old Children

Parents want to know if 2 year olds can play soccer, if they're old enough. It's a good question. Yes, 2 year olds are old enough to play soccer provided you take the right steps to make it fun and age appropriate.

2 year old soccer playerTwo year old children can play soccer

Two year old children are old enough to play soccer provided three conditions are met.

  1. The kids are closely watched by parents, coaches or teachers that know what to do
  2. Instructions are kept simple.
  3. The games are fun and age appropriate.

These games can be a lot of fun for parents, coaches, and the kids playing it. They'll work well with 2 and 3 year old children provided you show and tell the children the rules of the game in a simple, but enthusiastic way. One of the key components for these games to work is the energy and positivity of the adult who is running the game.

The kids will feed off the emotions of the adults. I hope you found this post helpful. Please share it on social media to other coaches and parents. To search for other useful topics on this website you can use the search box below.

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Soccer coach Bruce Lovelace started playing soccer in 1974 when, as a young boy, he constructed his own makeshift soccer goal. He played in high school, then in college and beyond. He started to coach his own children in the 1990s and then ran a Soccer Shots franchise for 12 years. Now, Coach Bruce publishes the soccer-for-kids.com website.  Find out more about youth soccer coach Bruce Lovelace  and what inspires this website.

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