We recently enrolled Georgia into a football club for toddlers called Little Kickers and she is loving it…
Little Kickers isn’t just for boys and tomboys
At 2, my daughter loves playing with her dolls and in her kitchen. In that respect, she’s a ‘typical’ girl. But more important than that, she’s smart, funny and loves to run around. She’s her own person.
So why did I choose a Little Kickers class for her to join when she could have gone to ballet, or swimming?
I chose Little Kickers for Georgia to join as I wanted her to start a club where she could play a sport and do something at the weekend that didn’t involve boring grown up things.
The mum guilt was coming down hard and fast as we spend most of the weekend seemingly doing chores.
To me, it didn’t matter that it was football. I didn’t choose it because it’s going against the grain, to show how ‘gender neutral’ I am as a parent, or because my husband is one of those crazy fools that likes watching football.
No, I picked Little Kickers because SHE likes kicking footballs.
I’m not gender neutral, I’m just a mum wanting the best for my daughter
It doesn’t really matter what I think about football. That I don’t really care if Spurs lose against Arsenal and that you’ll never find me yelling at the TV unless it’s the Crystal Maze. What matters to me is giving my daughter opportunities. If she likes something, I want to enable her to try it and do her best.
I don’t want to ever hear someone say that she can’t or shouldn’t do something because she’s a girl (unless it’s peeing while standing up… that’s just physics).
For me, it also selfishly means that as she goes with daddy, that I get to go to ParkRun and have some time to myself! It’s time that I’d otherwise feel a bit guilty about doing my own thing.
One of the main reasons I chose Little Kickers (rather than any other football club), was that the age range of the classes weren’t too intimidating. Unlike other local clubs I’d looked into, this one didn’t just have an ‘under 5’s – where my petite 2 year old girl would be swamped by bigger children. No. Instead, they have a much smaller age range, no bigger than a year at this age.
This also helps the classes to focus on different, age appropriate activities.
What do they do at Little Kickers (other than kick a ball)?
As well as looking adorable in the kit, each week the kids learn basic football skills as well as develop great people skills.
I cannot recommend Little Kickers enough for these extra skills. Little Kickers is about so much more than just learning how to play football.
So far, they’ve helped Georgia to stop, listen to instructions and then be able to carry out basic tasks. Sure she listened well enough before – but not quite to the same level as she hadn’t been practicing.
It’s also been a great confidence boost as she’s being challenged in a new environment. The look of sheer pride when she does something right and gets a stamp just makes your heart melt.
Importantly, Little Kickers also teaches her patience. I don’t know any parents who would say that their kids don’t need to learn a bit more patience (and a few adults too!).
As for the format of the lessons, each lesson, the toddlers pretend that they are different things – sometimes it’s cars, sometimes it’s astronauts or dinosaurs. You never know… they may one day pretend to be mermaids and mermen. They use the scenarios to ask the children to do different things – whether that’s to find the dinosaur eggs, drive around the roundabout or jumping over planets.
Each involve ball control, balance, co-ordination and a lot of fun.
She loves Little Kickers so much that she asks when she’s going again from the Tuesday after her class to the Saturday! It’s also a hardship to get her to take off her football kit and into normal clothes for the rest of the day without some form of battle.
Can she kick it?
It doesn’t phase me that there’s only two other girls in her class – there are about 3 boys to every girl at the minute. That doesn’t stop her having fun and didn’t put me off her joining.
But I’d like to see that change.
There’s no reason why more girls shouldn’t join and I’d actively encourage girls to have a go!
Little Kickers isn’t just for boys, it’s for kids who want to have fun.