Soccer Spot Shot

26 Soccer Activities For 5 Year Olds (2021)

So you want to teach your 5-year-old how to play soccer?


I’m not surprised. There’s a reason it’s the most popular sport in the world!


First, the basics of soccer are easy for kids to learn. Second, it’s a sport that keeps kids continually moving!


When a 5-year-old is beginning to learn soccer, it can be challenging because they are learning how to combine both the skills and the rules of the game.

Quick Links: (26) Soccer Drills for 5-Year-Olds

How can you make learning soccer fun but simple, so your child is interested in playing?


I recommend doing these THREE things!

  1. Focus on one/two skills each time you play.
  2. Plan exciting activities to practice those skills
  3. Stay positive with your children!


From personal experience, I know it can be hard to think of helpful drills to do with your child that won’t bore them after 30 seconds.


Luckily, with my experience of teaching elementary physical education to a wide variety of kids ages, I have developed a list of (26) FUN soccer drills YOU can implement today that also help teach valuable skills.


For most of these drills, you will need the following things:

1. Softer Soccer Balls


For younger kids or beginners, this type of soccer ball is best to learn how to do soccer skills correctly. It’s safe and lighter to kick!


Soft Soccer Balls for younger aged kids


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2. Real Soccer Ball


If you know your child’s soccer team uses a real ball during practices and games, you will want to practice with a real one at home to get them used to it. Real soccer balls are heavier and a bit harder to kick for younger players.


Youth Soccer Ball


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3. Cones

Soccer Cones for Agility Drills Youth


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4. Youth soccer goal

youth soccer goal

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5. Soccer cleats

Youth Soccer Cleats


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6. Goalie gloves

youth goalie gloves

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7. Shin guards

Shin guards youth soccer


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Dribbling and Ball Handling Drills


Learning how to dribble the soccer ball is one of the essential skills in the game because it allows you to move the ball up the field, move around defenders, and allow you the chance to score a goal!


Dribbling Tips


A. Use the inside/outside of your feet.


B. You need to use both of your feet.


C. Under control


D. Short taps


E. Keep your eyes up!


Drill #1: Dribble in an open playing field


This is as simple as it gets! But this is perfect for beginners.


Equipment: soccer ball




  • Find an open space in your backyard or driveway.


  • Have your child practice dribbling the soccer ball by using little kicks, keeping the ball in control and using the inside and outside of their feet.


Drill #2: Volcano


Once your 5-year-old has some understanding on how to dribble the ball, add some obstacles in the mix!


Equipment: a soccer ball and cones




  • In an open area, set up some cones randomly.


  • Your child should dribble throughout the volcanoes (cones) without hitting them!


  • If they hit a volcano, they should do a set of 10 jumping jacks or 10 ball taps before returning through the course.


Take a look at my daughter trying this activity for the first time!



Drill #3: The Tunnel


Equipment: soccer ball




  • Stand with feet in a straddle position, making a tunnel formation.


  • Have your child use the inside of their foot to kick the ball through the tunnel.


  • If you have other people in your family who are playing, line them up, so there are a few tunnels they have to go through.


Drill #4: Obstacle Course


Equipment: soccer ball, cones, exercise ladder, tunnel, hula hoops and passing arcs




  • Using the equipment listed above, create an excellent obstacle course for your child to dribble through.


  • The object of this activity is for the kids to use quick feet, which is essential for excellent dribbling skills.


Drill #5: Freeze!


Equipment: soccer balls




  • Let your child dribble the soccer ball freely in the playing area.


  • When you say FREEZE, they should stop dribbling and trap the ball with one foot.


  • This works on ball handling, dribbling and trapping skills.


Drill #6: Inside/Outside Circles


Does your five-year-old kick with their toes instead of using the inside/outside of their feet?  If so, this is a perfect drill to work that.


Equipment: soccer ball and poly spots




  • Tell your child that they can only use the inside part of their feet for this drill.


  • Place the soccer ball on the ground and have them kick the ball in a circle formation by placing poly spots on the ground, so they have an idea where to move the ball to.


  • After they have repeated this several times, switch to having them work on the outside of their feet.


  • They should practice using both feet inside and outside for better ball control!



Drill #7: Moving Tap Tap


Equipment: soccer ball




  • This drill works on using the inside of your feet for good ball control.


  • Have your child kick the ball back and forth between their two feet using the inside of their feet.


  • At first, they will start slow, as they get good at this drill, they can do this a little faster.


Drill #8: Dribbling Speedway


This is a fun activity to do with a group of people!  I have done this in my physical education classes, and the kids enjoy it!


Equipment: Cones and soccer balls




  • A fun introduction to this can be to ask the kids if they have ever seen a NASCAR race and explain that they will all be pretending that they are racing on the speedway with their soccer balls!


  • Place the cones in a large circle formation to make the speedway.


  • Each child should have a soccer ball. On the GO signal, everyone will start dribbling at the same time in the same direction.


  • The goal of this game is to try to see how fast they can dribble while keeping the ball in control.


  • Explain that they should use the inside/outside of their feet because they want to keep the ball close to their bodies.


  • Kids should count to see how many laps they can get before the whistle is blown.


By doing these drills, your child is working up to be the next Cristiano Ronaldo! Look at some of his dribbling skills!


Passing and Trapping Drills


I’ll be honest; I didn’t play much soccer growing up.


But, once I started teaching PE, I realized the sport of soccer is a fantastic way to get kids active and continuously moving!


Has anyone ever heard that watching little kids play soccer looks like a whole bunch of amoebas chasing after the ball?


They don’t grasp the concept of offensive and defensive positions.


By doing these passing drills, your 5-year-old will start to understand the importance of teamwork to score a goal!


Passing Tips:


1. Non-kicking foot next to the ball.


2. Use the inside of your foot.


3. Contact the ball in the middle.


4. Follow through, so your kicking foot goes to your target.


Trapping Tips:


1. Get in front of the soccer ball to trap it.


2. Relax the body part you are trying to trap with (inside of your foot or bottom of the foot).


Drill #9: Partner Passing and Trapping


This is a must-do activity for young children learning how to pass the ball!


Equipment: a soccer ball and cones




  • Stand about 8 feet across from your child to start


  • Show them how to pass and trap using the tips above.


  • They will pass the ball to you, and you will trap it and vice versa repeatedly.


  • Take a few steps back if they are doing well and want to try to kick the ball a little farther!



Not challenging enough? Add in cones and pass back and forth trying to get the ball in-between the cones to your partner! 


Drill #10: Pressure Passing


Want to get your family involved? This is a great activity for even a small family to practice passing skills!


Equipment: Cones and soccer balls




  • Make a medium-sized circle formation with a set of cones for every person that’s playing.


  • One person will be chosen to stand in the middle of the circle while the others are placed near a cone on the edge of the circle.


  • A player on the edge of the circle will pass one soccer ball to the person in the center.


  • The player in the middle will trap the ball and pass it to someone else on the edge of the circle.


  • Another ball is added in after the first ball is passed onto someone else.


  • There should be 4 soccer balls added for this age level.


  • Switch who is in the center after a few minutes of play!


Drill #11: Pickle in the Middle


Equipment: a soccer ball and cones




  • You need to have at least 3 people to play this game.


  • Two players will be standing across from one another while the last player is acting a defender in the middle.


  • The people who are passing the ball receive 1 point for each time they can successfully make it to one another without getting the ball intercepted.


  • If the ball gets stolen from the player in the middle, the person who kicked the ball switches with them.


Drill #12: Looped Passing Drill

Equipment: cones and a soccer ball




  • Set up two cones a few feet across from one another.


  • Have your 5-year-old start with the ball, and they should pass the ball to the right side of the cone.


  • The person who is receiving the ball uses their right foot to receive the ball, passing the ball over to their left foot to pass the ball back to their partner using their left foot aiming for the left side of the cone to get to their partner. This is all going in a clockwise formation.


  • Repeat this drill as many times as you want and then switch to go counterclockwise formation.


To see this specific activity in action, take a look at 0:54 into the video!



Drill #13: Attack


This game focuses on teamwork and being aware that there are other people on the field that can help them.


Equipment: soccer goal and soccer ball


We use this soccer goal at home, and we love it!




  • This game requires the whole family to play!


  • One person will be standing near the goal (they will be the defender).


  • The other two players will be working together to score a goal.


  • On the GO signal, the offensive players will be passing to one another when you say PASS.


  • Once they have done a few passes, yell out ATTACK!


  • The defensive player goes into the field to try to steal the ball from the offensive team.


  • If they steal the ball before you say PASS again, the person that they took the ball from will become the defender and the defender will now be on the offensive team. 


  • When the offensive team scores a goal, play will restart, and roles will be chosen again!


Shooting Drills


What does every kid want to do when they are on the soccer field?




That is the most exciting part about soccer, especially for little ones.


Developing good shooting skills will help them be able to learn how to aim when kicking the ball.


Shooting Tips:


1. The non-kicking foot should be next to the ball.


2. Contact the ball below the middle.


3. The ball should be kicked by your shoelaces.


4. Follow through and kick hard!


Drill #14: Ghostbuster Soccer


I love this game because it works on shooting and goalie skills.


Equipment: pins and soccer balls




  • Try to have an even amount of people with soccer balls and people with pins.


  • Players that have a soccer ball are attempting to kick the ball with the front of their foot to knock down pins.


  • The players that have a pin are guarding that pin from being knocked down (they can do this by kicking the ball away or using their hands to pick up the ball).


  • They can’t hold up their pin with their hands or feet to keep it from falling.


  • If their pin falls, they must do 10 jumping jacks before returning into play.


  • After a few minutes of play, switch roles!


Drill #15: Pin Knock Over (Soccer Style!)


Equipment: soccer balls and plastic bowling pins




  • Divide teams equally. 


  • To set up the game, each team should have an equal amount of pins on their side.


  • The goal is to knock down the other team’s pins without crossing the half-court line.


  • The students can only KICK the ball to knock down the pins. 


  • If all of the pins get knocked down, set them back up and play again!


Drill #16: Poly Spot Shot


Equipment: poly spots/cones, soccer goal, and soccer ball




  • Set up poly spots/cones around the goal.


  • Have your child place the soccer ball at the first spot, and they will attempt to shoot the ball into the goal.


5 year old soccer spot shot


  • If they miss goals from certain spots, they should go back and practice those spots a few times.


  • You can repeat this as many times as you want. To make it a bit more challenging, you can always move the spots/cones back.


Drill #17: Receive and Shoot

Most of the time in soccer, the ball is not placed on the ground to just shoot and aim.


This drill works on shooting a ball when it’s rolling!


Equipment: soccer goal and ball




  • Pass the ball to your 5-year old gently.


  • They will run up the to the ball and attempt to kick it in the goal.


  • Repeat this drill several times.


Drill #18: Dribble and Shoot!


Equipment: cones, soccer goal and soccer ball




  • Set up cones in a formation where your child has to weave through them with a soccer ball and a goal at the end.


  • Have your 5-year-old dribble the ball through the cones and tell them to stop at the spot in front of the goal.


  • From that spot, they are to shoot the ball into the goal.


  • This drill works on ball handling and shooting. They should pretend that the cones are defenders that they are trying to get around.


  • Too easy? Have someone jump into the goalie position and see if they can get it past the goalie to score a goal!


See how my daughter did with this activity!  

Drill #19: Target Shot


I just came across this amazing target shot goal set while looking through a learning catalog for my kids.


Target Shot Soccer Goal


Check Amazon


Why this goal is awesome:


A. This goal comes with a target shot tarp you can put over the goal.


B. You can take it off to just practice shooting in a normal soccer goal.


C. There is another tarp provided to act as a rebounder, so the ball will automatically come back to you, I mean how cool is this thing!


If your child is really interested in soccer and you think they may play it for the years, this soccer goal is for you.



Defensive Drills


What’s more critical offense or defense when playing soccer?


It’s a fabulous question, and people have great arguments for both sides.


Defense is just as important as offense in my opinion because that’s how you stop the other team from scoring a goal!


Take a look at these FUN defensive drills that your 5-year-old will love.


Drill # 20: Pirates and Sailors


Equipment:  soccer ball(s)




  • Depending on how many people are playing, try to choose an even amount of pirates and sailors.


  • The person with the ball is the sailor, and the one defending them is the pirate.


  • Pirates are trying to steal the ball away from the sailors using correct defensive techniques.


  • There should be NO pushing or kicking.


  • If the ball is stolen, then the players switch roles!


Drill #21: Sharks and Minnows


Equipment: soccer balls and cones




  • Create a playing area by using cones, so the kids know where the boundary lines are.


  • Choose 1 or 2 people to be the sharks (defenders), and they should go to the center of the playing area.


  • The other kids will line up by one set of cones.


  •  On the GO signal, the kids will attempt to dribble their ball across the playing area to the other set of cones without getting their ball stolen and kicked away from the shark.


  • If they get their ball stolen and kicked away, they join the other sharks.


  •  The goal of the game is to be the last one standing!


Drill #22: King of the Ring


Equipment: cones and soccer balls




  • Create a playing area with cones making a large square formation.


  • Everyone playing will have a soccer ball.


  • Players are trying to kick other people’s soccer ball outside of the ring while keeping there’s in control.


  • If a players ball gets kicked out of the ring, they are “out” for that round (you can have them do jumping jacks, sit-ups, push-ups, mountain climbers, etc. to keep them moving).

  • The goal of the game is to be the last one standing in the ring!

Goalie Drills


Look, ma, I can use my hands!


That’s right; goalies are the only ones in soccer that can use their hands to stop the ball from entering the goal.


If you are interested in having your child learn how to be a goalie, check out these goalie gloves.


Since the goalie position is different, there are some specific drills that goalies can do to enhance their skills!


Drill #23: Basic ball handling


Equipment: soccer ball




  • Rolling figure 8’s- have them complete figure 8’s repeatedly by rolling the soccer ball around their feet, keeping the ball in control as quickly as they can.


  • Figure 8’s around legs- pick the ball up off the ground, and complete figure 8’s around the lower legs.


  • Ball around the waist- have the ball go around your waist making a circular formation 5 times one way then go the opposite way 5 times.


  • Throw and catch- Have them throw the ball up in the air and catch it.


Does your child ever get frustrated when they can’t do something right the first time? See how I calmly handle and encourage her to keep trying!



Drill #24: Goalie practice


Equipment: goal and soccer ball




  • Set your 5-year-old up at the goal, a little bit in front of the goal not directly inside it.


  • Start by kicking the ball gently towards the goal to give them practice on how to stop the ball from entering the goal.


  • Depending on how well they do, you can up the intensity on how hard you are kicking the ball.


  • In the beginning, try to keep the ball on the grass and not kick it up into the air until they are ready.


*Tip: If your worried about your child getting hurt during this drill, use a soft larger dodgeball or lighter weight kickball before using a real soccer ball. 


Drill #25: Partner High Ball


Equipment: soccer ball




  • Stand a few feet away from your 5-year-old.


  • Explain that you are going to toss the ball in the air to them and you want them to catch it and bring it close to their body.


  • This activity will help them learn how to hold onto the ball when it’s kicked up into the air near the goal!


Drill #26: Movement Drill


Equipment: soccer ball, cone, and soccer goal




  • Set up two cones a few feet away from each other in front of the soccer goal.


  • Have your child get the idea of what to do first by running up to the first cone, keeping their head up go around the cone and shuffle their feet backward, repeat this until they get this step.


  • Once they understand the footwork piece, add in the soccer ball by rolling it towards them.


  • They should try to stop the ball from entering the goal with their hands.


  • You can roll the ball right to them at first then once they get the hang of it, try having them move to either side to stop the ball.


See how this is done!



Final Thoughts and Conclusion 


Playing soccer is such a fun way for 5-year-olds to get active and enhance their gross motor skills!


Unless you are a soccer coach or a physical education teacher, it could be difficult and time-consuming to come up with activities for your child to learn about soccer.


Thankfully, you won’t have to spend too much time researching drills and activities because my list of (26) age-appropriate soccer activities will teach your child the main skills, rules, and terminology of soccer!


I would love to help your family learn about the exciting game of soccer! Since I am a physical education teacher, I am very knowledgable about the activities and skills needed for each age level.


If you decide to do one of these activities at home with your child, I’d love to hear how it went!


What are some of the soccer drills or games that you do at home with your 5-year old that have been successful? Please share them with us by leaving a comment below!

One Comment

  • Sara Avanelle Russell

    THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THIS!! I’m starting a little soccer club after school with 4 little ones and I am not at all sure what I am doing. This post with all these skills, drills, and games laid out is going to be a lifesaver. Wish us luck!

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