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Wednesday 26 May 2021

Is your child obsessed with football?

Is your child obsessed with football, or constantly telling you they want to be a footballer when they grow up? Are you wondering what kind of  gifts to buy someone who is football mad? Perhaps you’d like to understand the benefits of football, and how you can nurture this love of sport in a healthy way, whilst incorporating it into other areas of learning?

child playing football with text is your child obsessed with football

 Disclosure: This post includes paid promotion items

In this blog post I will signpost you to some unique football gift ideas, we will take a look at the physical and developmental benefits that football has to offer, as well as some ideas for promoting this interest into other areas of learning and a free print out at the end of the post too.
First up...

Gifts for football enthusiasts!

From baby booties for the very first football moments, a football that counts your Keepy uppys for you or magnetic football tables to follow your team from premiership to League 2 click here for a full list of unique and fun gifts for football fans of all ages - you wont want to miss out on these fab ideas...

gift ideas for football lovers

The physical benefits of football for children:

child dribbling football inbetween posts

Did you know that before a child can be expected to hold a pencil to write, they need to work on their gross motor skills as a pre-requisite to any fine motor skill development? Working on ball skills such as kicking, throwing as well as tackling and running can help children to build up the strength in the muscles in their arms, chest and legs as well as providing opportunities for spatial awareness and an understanding of forces in action. It's not just football either, other sports help with upper body strength workouts such as rugby, hockey, tennis, basketball - all require upper body strength and gross motor skills, so go grab your football boots, or your tennis shoes and let's delve a little deeper into the types of developmental skills that sports has to offer...

The prime areas of learning for young children are physical development, communication & language and personal, social and emotional development. Football helps to develop skills in all of these areas, from following instructions during training practise, working as a team and building relationships with others.

what starts off as those BIG gross motor movements eventually leads into the smaller, more refined, fine motor skills needed for things such as writing…or having the postural control to sit confidently on a chair or move with co-ordination around a room. If you miss out the big physical development skills, children will struggle with the smaller (but trickier!) physical development skills.

Children learn best when things are fun and playful, and football  is a great introduction to harnessing some of those important gross motor  skills because it requires such a number of different levels of planning and co-ordination!

  • Children must develop motor muscle planning by appropriately timing and sequencing body movements to reach a desired outcome.

  • Co-ordinating arms and leg movements requires a degree of postural control and balance as well as hand - eye / hand - foot co-ordination

  • Promotes team work and sharing  - collaborating and working together as a team is a key skill within football which links in with personal, social and emotional development fro a young age.  

“There is now a proven link between activity levels in children as young as 12 months old, while they develop their gross motor skills, and their physical, academic and emotional confidence in adulthood. Research suggests that children with poor motor coordination participate in less physical activity, have higher BMI and are at higher risk of cardiovascular disease.

Much like early learning techniques, where children must grasp the basic foundations of the alphabet before they can learn to read, children must establish essential movements, before moving on to more challenging physical activities and honing their skills.”

Experts now say they can see differences between children who had a varied experience of movement at a young age, compared to those who didn’t.

Using football as a learning tool:

Following children’s interests is the best way for them to learn and remember. If you’d like an explanation of what this means and why this is so important you can find an explanation of child led learning here. https://www.arthurwears.com/2021/03/what-is-child-led-learning-loose-parts-playdough.html

So how can you use football as a learning tool?

Obviously this will vary depending on the age and stage of the child, and your knowledge of their next steps in learning will help you to decide how to incorporate their football interest into their learning. Here are some examples:

  • Early maths: Can you keep a tally of how many goals you score? Can you find a total?

  • Early maths: Can you number the football shirts? Can you put them in order? Can you recognise the numbers?

  • Creative: Can you design and label your own football kit?

  • Early literacy: Can you write your name on the football shirt?

  • Literacy & maths : ticket shop role play - Can you make a football ticket? Can you sell your tickets? Can you find a total? Can you refund a ticket?

  • Phonics - Sounding out and eventually writing simple football team names such as L-ee-d-s, m-a-n-ch-e-s-t-er, W-e-s-t H-a-m, W-e-s-t B-r-o-m, v-i-l-l-a

  • Physical development - Malleable: Can you use the playdough to make your own footballs?

  • Literacy: Write a story about your favourite footballer

(Please feel free to download and print this sheet:)

blank football short for design your own football top

Do you have any other fab football activity ideas? why not share them in my facebook group for EYFS activity ideas? 

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Sarah x 

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