Organize an animated discussion with your group. Set a parachute on the floor and invite children to sit on it. Set different types of balls in the center of your parachute and ask children to name their favorite ones. Present a bag filled with a variety of items during circle time. To spark a conversation with the children in your group, you may also use pictures, illustrations, and pictograms representing various sports. Ask children which sports they enjoy? Does their father enjoy a sport? Does their mother?
Let’s talk about soccer…with a puppet
(Open puppets-Soccer) Print, laminate, and use the puppets to encourage children to speak about different topics related to physical activity. The puppets may help shy children or those who require language support to participate in the discussion.
(Open word flashcards-Soccer) Print and laminate the word flashcards in the format you prefer. Use the word flashcards to spark a conversation. Ask children questions about soccer.
Point to (or name) the items
(Open word flashcards-Soccer) Print, laminate, and display the word flashcards on a wall, close to your circle time area or glue them on a large piece of cardboard that you can easily move from one area to another. Children take turns identifying a word.
(Open picture game-Soccer) Print and laminate the pictures in the format you prefer. Use a hole-punch to make a hole in the upper right and left corner of each picture. Stack the pictures and insert a ring through each set of holes. The flipogram is easy to manipulate. Simply show children how they can lift a picture and flip it under the stack. Name each item with your group. Use the flipogram to encourage children to talk during circle time and to ask them questions about the theme.
Before children arrive in the morning, set several different types of balls on the floor. Use mats and ribbon to represent goals. Display pictures of soccer players on the walls of your daycare. Wear sports clothing, a pinnie, and a headband. Once all the children in your group have arrived and you have presented your theme, organize a game of soccer.
Print a variety of posters and use them to decorate your daycare. (Open thematic poster-Soccer) Print. Hang pictures of soccer balls from the ceiling throughout your daycare along with black and white balloons.
(Open stickers-Soccer) Print the illustrations on adhesive paper and use them to create an original sticker collection.
(Open educa-decorate-Soccer) Print, cut out, and laminate. Use the illustrations to decorate your walls. Hang a few from the ceiling too.
(Open educa-theme-Soccer) Print, cut out, and laminate. Use the items to decorate the walls of your daycare to set the mood for the theme.
(Open garland-Soccer) Print. Let children decorate the garland. Cut it out and hang it within the daycare or near your daycare entrance.
The pictures may be used as a memory game or to spark a conversation with the group. Use them to decorate the daycare or a specific thematic corner. (Open picture game-Soccer) Print, laminate, and store in a “Ziploc” bag or in your thematic bins.
(Open picture game-Soccer) Print two copies and use the cards for a memory game.
Activity sheets are provided for each theme. Print and follow instructions. (Open activity sheets-Soccer)
A different way of using activity sheets
Stick two crayons end to end. Encourage children to use one end to complete part of an activity sheet before rotating it and inching their fingers to the other end to complete it using the second color.
Different working positions
Stick activity sheets on walls, on the floor, under tables, etc. Invite children to stand up, sit, or lie down to complete them.
(Open educa-nuudles-Soccer) Print for each child. Have children color the sheet and use Magic Nuudles to give it a three-dimensional look. Variation: You don’t have Magic Nuudles? Have children fill the spaces designed for Magic Nuudles with bingo markers or stickers. To order Magic Nuudles.
(Open writing activities-S like Soccer) Print for each child or laminate and use with a dry-erase marker.
Creating your own activity binder
Laminate several activity sheets and writing activities and arrange them in a binder along with dry-erase markers. Leave the binder in your writing area and let children complete the pages as they wish. At the end of the day, simply wipe off their work so the activity binder can be reused.
(Open stationery-Sports) Print. Use the stationery to communicate with parents, in your writing corner, or to identify your thematic bins.
Use the flashcards to spark a conversation with your group, in your reading and writing corner, or to identify your thematic bins. (Open word flashcards-Soccer) (Open giant word flashcards-Soccer) soccer ball, net, pinnie, field, goalie, team, stadium, cleats, shin guards, coach, gloves, to run
Print and laminate the word flashcards. Children take turns picking a word (ex. goalie) and presenting it to the group. Encourage them to tell you everything they know about each item related to the theme. Ask questions to keep the conversation flowing.
Associating words and pictures
(Open giant word flashcards-Soccer) Print, laminate, and display the word flashcards on a wall within your circle time area or on a large piece of cardboard that can be moved around. Print a second copy of each word flashcard and cut each card from this series in half so that you have one set with words and one set with the corresponding illustrations. Press Velcro behind each card. Stick a piece of Velcro next to each complete word flashcard on your board. Invite children to match the words and illustrations and stick them on your board.
ROUTINES AND TRANSITIONS
My soccer path
(Open transition games-Soccer) Print, laminate, and arrange the illustrations on your daycare floor, creating a path that leads to various areas children visit daily. The path can lead to the bathroom, the cloakroom, etc. or, if you prefer, you can use the illustrations to delimit different workshops.
Game-This is my spot-Soccer
(Open transition games-Soccer) Print each illustration twice. Using adhesive paper, press one copy of each illustration on the table. Set the other set of illustrations in an opaque bag. Children take turns picking an illustration to determine their spot at the table for the day. You can also use the illustrations for naptime spots or your task train.
PHYSICAL ACTIVITY AND MOTOR SKILLS
(Open bowling game-Soccer) Print and laminate. Use the stickers to create games. Create your own bowling game by pressing them on empty plastic bottles. Arrange your homemade bowling pins on a table. Children can use a soccer ball to make them fall. Give each child three tries.
The object of this game is for children to use only their head to keep balloons in the air for as long as possible. Give each child one inflated balloon. Use black and white balloons (soccer ball colors). When you give the signal, children toss their balloon over their head. As their balloon comes back down, they must use their head to bounce it back up towards the ceiling. As soon as a child’s balloon touches the floor, he or she is eliminated. The game continues until there is only one child left.
Select an adult or a child who will act as a referee. Give him or her a block of Post-it notes. Play music. Players dance around. Every time the music stops, they must pause and remain perfectly still. The referee must play close attention and spot the last child who stopped moving. The referee presses a yellow card (Post-it note) on the child, just like the yellow cards handed out for misconduct in soccer games. Once a child has been given two “yellow cards” he or she is eliminated. The last player in the game wins.
Arrange several plastic cones to form two lines. Divide your group into two teams. Invite children to dribble a soccer ball from one end to the other and back, moving in and out of the cones (slalom) before passing the ball to the next player in line. The first team to complete the challenge wins.
Set hula hoops on the floor (one per child) or use rope to draw circles. The circles must be big enough for children to be able to move inside them. Call out different types of instructions. For example, you may ask children to place their hands on the floor, to set one foot inside their goal and one foot outside of their goal, invite them to sit down inside their goal, etc. After a while, say, “Goalies, trade goals.” Children move to another goal and the game continues.
Fine motor skills-Crumpled soccer balls
(Open soccer ball shape) Print for each child. Have them tear pieces of black and white tissue paper. Next, help them fill their soccer ball shape with glue and press the crumpled pieces of tissue paper inside. Display children’s artwork for everyone to see.
Modeling dough activity placemats-Soccer balls
(Open modeling dough activity placemats-Soccer balls) Print and laminate. Let children pick a placemat and provide modeling dough. Encourage them to use the dough to fill or reproduce the shapes that are on their placemat.
(Open challenge path) Print for each child. Pick an individual challenge for each child in your group and write it on his or her challenge path. Together, prepare a list of small rewards. Also make a point of selecting a more important reward that children will earn once their path is completed. Every time a child successfully completes his or her challenge, have him or her add a sticker to his or her path. Whenever a child reaches a box with an illustration, he or she gets a small reward. At the end of the path, children get their bigger reward.
Organize a short stretching session to prepare children for more active activities. (Open stretching wheel) Print and laminate the wheel. Use it to present the different exercises that children are to execute.
Every morning, start the day with a 10-minute exercise session. Gather your group in a large room (or in your yard) and play fast-paced music. For inspiration or just for fun, use exercise DVDs designed for children. They will show you interesting ways to lead your exercise sessions.
Learning to weave in and out
Set up a long piece of string in your daycare, creating a path that children are to follow. Make the string go between chair and table legs, around large toys, etc. Explore items that are sturdy and safe within your daycare. Ask children to complete the course by following the string. Determine a start and finish line.
Secure a long ribbon on the floor to create a path that leads to areas children frequently visit. For example, the path could connect the playroom to the kitchen area. Following the path will represent a great way to get children moving.
1, 2, 3…soccer!
Have children stand at one end of the room. Stand at the opposite end of the room, facing the wall. The object of the game is for children to reach you. Every time you say, “1, 2, 3…soccer!”, turn around. When you turn around, children must immediately stop in their tracks, adopting a soccer goalie position. The game continues until children reach you.
The “Let’s move” die
(Open Let’s move die) Print, laminate, and cut out the illustrations. Glue them on the surfaces of a cardboard box that you have wrapped in colorful paper. Children take turns rolling the die you will have created. As a group, encourage them to execute the corresponding action.
I move my body
Organize an exercise session to help children recognize various body parts. When you are done, present a guided relaxation activity. Name one body part at a time and invite children to relax it, releasing their muscles one by one.
Hang soft objects (such as stuffed animals) from the ceiling with string. Children must jump to try to grab hold of them.
Hit and catch
Have children stand in a circle, around the game leader. The game leader tosses a soccer ball to one of the players and shouts “Hit” or “Catch”. The player who receives the ball must respond by either hitting the ball with his or her arms or head or by catching it, depending on the game leader’s choice. If a player fails, he or she must sit down.
Small basket, small balls… Large basket, large balls
You will need two baskets (a big one and a small one) as well as several big and small balls. Children must toss the balls into the correct basket per their size.
Hula hoop targets
Hang hula hoops on walls or fences to create targets. If you prefer, simply set them on the floor. Children can use them for target practice with balls or bean bags.
Friendship ball game
Set a ball on a piece of fabric or blanket. Children hold on to the edges and work together to roll the ball to each other.
Soccer for beginners
Set up two goals (cones or other items). Children must use only their feet to land a soccer ball inside the goals. To foster cooperation, you may add more complex instructions for older children. For example, you may require a certain number of passes before the ball makes it into a goal. Once children have perfected their abilities somewhat, you can organize a real soccer game.
Ball obstacle course
With your group, represent a maze-like path. Set up several obstacles such as a rope hung between two chairs that children must crawl under. You can also have them climb over the rope without touching it or set a bucket filled with water on a chair and have them crawl through the chair legs, without spilling the bucket. Incorporate whatever you have on hand. Organize your course so that children must move in a variety of ways (hop, crawl, slither, spin around, etc.). Of course, this obstacle course is to be completed with a ball.
I throw, you throw, we throw
It’s time to practice children’s throwing skills. Show them how to throw a ball and organize a series of friendly competitions to help them practice. Have them throw with their right hand, then their left hand. Have them stand in groups of three, forming a triangle, and throw the ball back and forth to each other. Encourage them to throw the ball as far as possible and measure to see who through the farthest.
Using sidewalk chalk, draw a giant hopscotch grid on asphalt in your yard. Children simply use a ball instead of the traditional rock to determine which square they must reach.
For this game, divide you group into pairs. Each child must stand a few feet away from his or her partner. The object of the game is to throw the ball back and forth for as long as possible, without moving. Their feet must remain in the same spot. Count the tosses to determine the winning pair. With younger children, invite them to stand closer to their partner and use their feet to pass the ball back and forth.
Man in the middle
Divide your group into teams of three children. Each team forms a line. The players at either end face each other and throw the ball back and forth. The player in the middle must try to intercept the ball. If he or she succeeds, the player who threw the ball trades places with him or her. With younger children, be sure to have them trade places frequently since the player in the middle may never intercept the ball.
Hula hoop target practice
Set several hula hoops on the floor, leaving approximately 12 inches between them. Give each child 5 chances. The object of the game is to toss balls so that they land inside the targets (hula hoops). You can associate a certain number of points to each hula hoop if you wish, much like a traditional bean bag game.
Soccer ball pyramid game
This is a simple and inexpensive game for young children. Cut several strips of felt or cardboard. Encourage children to decorate them as they wish. Wrap the felt or cardboard around several empty metal cans and use them to build a pyramid. Older children can throw a soccer ball towards the pyramid to make the metal cans fall. Younger children can simply sit in front of the pyramid and roll a soccer ball towards it. To challenge older children, have them throw the ball backwards, kick the ball, etc.
For this activity, you will need two bins filled with water and two 18-litre plastic bottles. Divide your group into two teams. One child from each team fills a frisbee with water in his or her team’s bin before running to empty it in his or her team’s bottle. Once all the children from each team have had a turn, compare the water level in the bottles to determine which team wins. Variation: Instead of using frisbees, you can use sponges. Variation 2: You can time the activity and let each team continue for a pre-determined period, for example 5 minutes.
(Open lacing-Soccer) Print, laminate, and punch holes all the way around the contour of each model. Children can thread a ball, a shoelace, or a ribbon through the holes.
(Open playing cards-Soccer) Print and laminate. Give each child the same number of cards. They can take turns hiding them throughout the daycare. Each child then tries to find as many cards as possible.
Roll and color-3D-Soccer
(Open roll and color-3D-Soccer) Print and assemble the die. Print a picture for each child. This game can be done individually or enjoyed as a group activity. Children roll the die and color a certain number of parts on their picture, per the number the die lands on. The first child who completes his drawing wins.
I am learning to count-Soccer balls
(Open I am learning to count-Soccer balls) Print, laminate, and display at children’s level. Using Velcro, children associate the correct number of soccer balls to each number.
Race to find soccer balls
(Open playing cards-Soccer) Print and laminate several playing cards and hide them throughout your daycare or in your yard. Divide your group into two teams. When you give the signal, children race to collect as many cards as possible in a pre-determined period, for example three minutes.
(Open association game-Summer Olympics) Print, laminate, and display at children’s level. Using adhesive putty or Velcro, children associate each card to the correct sport.
(Open educ-math-Sports) Print and laminate for durable, eco-friendly use. Children must count the objects in each rectangle and circle the corresponding number.
MORAL AND SOCIAL ACTIVITIES
Introduce your group to a wide range of physical activities throughout the theme by letting them manipulate and observe a variety of accessories during circle time each day or, if you prefer, before naptime. Use pictures, illustrations, etc. Parents can help you gather material representing different sports.
Perpetual calendar-Special Day-Soccer
(Open perpetual calendar-Soccer) Print and use the calendar to display the day, date, and month when you plan to present a special soccer-themed day. Ask parents to make sure their child is dressed in comfortable clothing. Set towels or exercise mats on the floor and use them for different activities. For example, children can eat their snacks on the mats.
(Open photo booth-Soccer) Print the accessories. Cut them out and stick a drinking straw behind each one. At your local dollar store, purchase additional accessories such as headbands, scarves, ribbons, etc. to complete your photo booth. Set up a special corner by hanging a piece of fabric, a large cardboard background, or a special soccer-themed décor. Let children choose the accessories they prefer and photograph them. Invite parents to have fun with your photo booth too. Print and display the pictures. They will represent great souvenirs!
(Open name tags-Soccer) Print the name tags and use them to identify the children in your group. Punch a hole at the top of each name tag so you can thread a piece of string through. Children can wear their name tag around their neck. If you prefer, simply print the name tags on adhesive paper.
Bake cupcakes or muffins with your group and let them spread icing on them to represent different types of balls (soccer, baseball, basketball, volleyball, etc.). Enjoy the cupcakes at snack time.
ARTS & CRAFTS
(Open puppets-Balls) Print the various models on cardboard. Ask children to cut them out and decorate them with arts & crafts materials. Glue a Popsicle stick behind each one to complete the puppets.
(Open models-Balls) Print the models and use them for various activities and creations throughout the theme.
Crumpled soccer balls
Find several pictures of black and white soccer balls. Print them and let each child pick the one he or she prefers. Have them tear pieces of black and white construction paper. They can crumple the pieces and glue them on the ball.
My soccer hat
(Open educa-decorate-Soccer) Print and cut out the items. Have children glue them on a strip of paper. When they are done, they can glue both ends together to form a headband.
Give each child a white t-shirt and let them paint the logos of their favorite sports teams all over it.
My water bottle
Have each child bring an empty water bottle to daycare (a sports water bottle). Let them decorate it with soccer-themed items, confetti, stickers, etc.
Ball cutting practice
(Open balls for sports) Print. Have children cut out the balls. If you prefer, simply trace a circle on a piece of white cardboard for each child and have them cut it out. Encourage children to paint certain sections of their ball black to
represent a soccer ball.
My 3D hanging ball
(Open balls for sports) Print each ball twice. Staple identical balls back to back, leaving an open section at the top. Have children stuff each ball with newspaper, cotton balls, or other materials before stapling the remaining section. Hang the balls within your daycare.
(Open coloring pages theme-Soccer) Print for each child.
DIFFERENT WAYS TO USE THE COLORING PAGES
Identical coloring pages-Soccer
Print the same coloring page for each child and an additional copy for your model. Color only certain parts of your picture. Present the model to your group and ask them to color their picture to make it look exactly like yours.
Print and laminate several coloring pages and arrange them in a binder with a few dry-erase markers. Leave everything on a table for children to explore.
Play musical drawing with your group. Give each child a coloring page. Have children sit around a table. When the music starts, they must pass the coloring pages around the table. Every time the music stops, they must color the picture in front of them until the music starts again.
Give each child a picture to color. When they are done, cut each picture into pieces to create unique puzzles.
SONGS & RHYMES
(Open songs & rhymes-Soccer) Print.
By: Patricia Morrison-Sung to: Here we go loopty loo
Make a pass to your right
Make a pass to your left
Do your best as a team
Kick the ball into the net
The educatall team