Fun Soccer Games For 5 to 8 Year Olds

Don't Feed The Monkeys, Ghostbusters and other really fun stuff for kids new to soccer
Keith Boanas

At the age of five you just want to have fun. Coaches have to create a fun, engaging and safe environment for the first-timers to enjoy themselves and learn without being put under pressure. If you’re new to soccer coaching, or new to coaching this age group, Fun Soccer Games for 5 to 8 Year Olds is smart resource to help you to create that environment.

Authored by Keith Boanas, a 35-year veteran of the game as an English Football Association Coach Educator, these are some of the favourite games tried and tested on generations of youngsters. They are designed to energise and excite your little players without putting too much pressure on you!

Keith’s skill in this best-selling and value for money manual is to convert basic soccer skills into games linked to fun and excitement such as games, TV shows, and movies. The games are not about barking out orders but encouraging effort, flair, teamwork.

In Space Wars, they shoot down the enemy, in Ghostbusters, they have to dodge the spooks, and in Don’t Feed The Monkeys, if they do the zookeeper gets angry – you get the idea!

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Children view drills for exactly what they are, boring and monotonous. If you keep running drills not only will you lose your player’s interest, ultimately, you will lose your players. No child is going to come to your sessions week after week if they are not having fun. So how do you overcome this? The answer is simple, play games.

What can Fun Soccer Games for 5 to 8 Year Olds do for your players?

– Teach basic soccer skills. Games are the best way to teach a range of skills. All of the basics such as passing, shooting, dribbling, heading are covered.
– Let them have fun. At this age, above all else, children want to have fun. That’s why the soccer authorities in the UK and United States back the idea of fun games.Games are fun which is why we continue to play them well into adulthood. Top soccer matches are still games, they’ve just developed a more competitive, and commercial, edge.
– Engage young children. How do you get a child to buy into your games? Make them engaging.
– Educate. Games can educate your players beyond the learning of basic skills. These games are based on simple rules and educate players in simple ideas such as right and wrong. They are introduced with achievable, desirable objectives.
– Promote teamwork. Young children can be selfish, they’re not always keen to share their toys and they strive to achieve objectives independently. The games introduce teamwork in a variety of ways, working independently, in pairs, and in a group. The majority of games require one ball per player so that everyone can be involved even though the games are all team based.

– Fire their creativity. These games work, but you should never be afraid to make changes, to the rules, the playing area, or even the premise of the game. If your kids would rather be a fighter pilot than a spaceman, go for it. You can even let them change the rules. It’s a case of how would they like to play the game as much as how should they play the game.

– Keep them coming back. If young children play a game and enjoy it you can be sure they’ll want to keep on playing – ever played peek-a-boo with a baby? Ever seen a baby get bored of it? Your children are going to latch on to these games and want to play them over and over again. At a very young age you don’t need to introduce endless variety. Ask the children what game they want to play and off you go. They’ll be back week after week, there’s a big difference between consistent fun and monotony.



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10 reviews for Fun Soccer Games For 5 to 8 Year Olds

  1. Andrew Griffiths

    I was able to utilize a number of the activities for my youth camp which attracts approx 80 players per year.
    The games were easy to understand and implement. The kids really enjoyed them, and it made my planning much quicker. Thank you for an excellent product and value.

    Dave Smith (and daughter Abbey) Fun In The Sun Soccer Camps, Indiana, USA

  2. Kirstie Tippe

    “I wish this manual existed when I started coaching 5 year olds!

    I have played for over 25 years, but the first piece of coaching advice I received was “line drills are a thing of the past”. That left me a little lost as to what to do. I spent hours and hours searching for “games” to play at practice.

    This is a great resource for those new to coaching small children! The drills and exercises are well explained with illustrations, descriptions and instructions. And most importantly, the players have fun playing the games.”

    – Kirstie Tippe, SBAA, Canada

  3. Kevin Jenkins

    “Having bought Fun Soccer Games for 5 to 8 Year Olds I would like to say how helpful I find it in making training easier to structure and get things across to my under 7 team.

    I find I have more control of the session because the players easily understand what they are asked to do because it is more on their level and they find it enjoyable while I am getting an improvement in their skill levels and concentration levels bringing improvement and enjoyment for both the players and myself.

    Having not coached children this young before I have found this book a great help and would recommend it to all coaches of young teams.”

    – Kevin Jenkins, Parkway Eagles, Peterborough, UK

  4. Elliott Taylor

    I can honestly say that having had Keith as a coach mentor for both my level 2 and 3 (UEFA ‘B’) I can identify with everything that he has put down on paper.

    The sessions were easy to follow from both a coaches’ point of view and from a young player and watching parent.

    I have used many of the sessions throughout for my younger groups and they have loved participating in each session.

    The book is exactly what it sets itself to be FUN!!!!

    I have made a few changes to some of the sessions just to keep the kids guessing but have committed nearly all to memory to use as and when.

    Thanks for the opportunity to comment.

    All the best to both Keith and yourself.

    – Elliott Taylor – UK

  5. Ilana Toweg

    I am an Israeli “soccer mom” and last year volunteered as a coach for my six year old daughter’s soccer team.

    In search of a fun way to teach the 4-6 year old girls soccer I purchased Fun Soccer Games on-line through your website.

    The purchase was user friendly and instant as I just downloaded the manual to my computer and immediately printed the colourful guide.

    This books has proved extremely helpful with a wide range of games all clearly explained with aid of pictures, explanations and goals and I used the guide almost every session – the girls loved the games and the parents were thrilled with the variety offered with the games.

    I highly recommend the guide (and indeed have recommended it to peers), it is a great source of games and very reasonably priced.

    Thank you and good luck,

    – Ilana Toweg – Azarya, Israel

  6. Scott Haynes

    Just wanted to say thanks for the great resource.

    Several of my friends around the U.S. have used your material and highly recommended it as I start coaching my son’s U6 team.

    Thanks again!

    – Scott Haynes – USA

  7. Westleigh Wilkinson

    I am a development coach in South Africa and with the help of Keith Boanas’s Fun Soccer Games manuals the kids I coach are learning at a much faster rate then before, they are enjoying themselves and learning at the same time.

    His manuals have been a massive help in changing the way I coach my kids and how my kids play the beautiful game.

    – Westleigh Wilkinson – Chairman of Fourways Phoenix FC

  8. Jim O Callaghan

    I’m the academy manager for Ballincollig soccer club in Cork in Ireland.

    I have been involved at this level now for 7 years, and prior to purchasing the fun soccer games, my own drills started to become a little bit mundane, not only for the kids but for me also.

    When I plan my training session, it now only takes a few minutes, whereas before, I could be leafing through reams of folders before I came up with a novel idea, to keep the kids interested.

    I would recommend purchasing these games, as it’s another great tool to have.

    – Jim O Callaghan – Ballincollig Soccer Club – Ireland

  9. Andy Marriott

    More than happy to endorse Fun Soccer Games.

    I was interested in Fun Soccer Games to try to re introduce some actual games into the drills that I had been doing with my team.

    They had all turned 11 and were more concerned with talking about X Box and going out at training, although they were still putting in the work.

    Using some of the games in the manual meant that they were learning important and useful skills and activities without realising it which made them a lot keener to listen and actually improved their individual and team play.

    I like the format of the manual, it is small enough to carry around on the training pitch if necessary and robust enough to stand up to being dropped in and out of my kit bag constantly.

    I would highly recommend coaches at this level to have a look at the manual.

    – Andy Marriott – Leigh Town Under 12 coach – UK

  10. Marc Geary

    The Keith Boanas Fun Soccer Games manuals are great for players & coaches as they are fun practices while learning the various fundamental aspects which make a great soccer player.

    I have personal experience of being coached by Keith on my F.A. Level 3 course where I gained confidence & knowledge from his vast coaching experience.

    – Marc Geary – Coach – Halliford Colts F.C. – UK

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As the head coach of Surrey County FA Keith is responsible for all coaches studying the UEFA B licence in the county. His coaching career was built in the non-league game and more recently Keith has made a name for himself coaching women’s soccer. At Milwall, the Estonia national team and now Watford.

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