This is a very common question. But a simple soccer ball size guide and comparison graphic should do the trick. There is nothing more cringe-worthy than seeing a tiny person struggling behind a huge size 4 or size 5 soccer ball.
Trying to do basic formation drill and dribbling but falling over and becoming disheartened.
In fact, this experience will surely make them second guess if they even like playing soccer! I watched it with my son when at 4 years old he ran straight over to the bright red size 5 ball and had a go.
Choosing An Age-Appropriate Soccer Ball
So what is the correct size soccer ball for a child age 5 or 6? Have a look at the chart below and I will explain what each size ball is for.
As you can see above, the best soccer ball size for a child age 3, 4, 5 or 6 years old, is a Size 2 ball. These have a circumference of 21-22 inches (53.5-55.5cm) and are perfect for little feet to wrap around and practice ball control.
It is virtually impossible to master ball control for their age with an oversized ball, although some parents might think they are preparing them or giving them a head start by giving them a larger ball. It simply does not work like that and, again, whilst it may actually hinder their growth it will also put the off the sport…
Tripping over a heavy ball when you go to manoeuvre it is not fun.
Some parents also make the mistake of going for the smallest ball available, size 1. While this is still a great size for little feet. The size 1 soccer ball was actually designed for skills training for all ages. The size 2 is also used for skills training but was designed for children age 3-6.
The Next Size Up
Your 5-year-old will soon be moving onto size 3 soccer balls which are 1-3 inches larger in circumference to the size 2. So you might want to start alternating between the two sizes once you sense that they are comfortable with a size 2.
The Extra Mile – Soccer Ball & Tether
To assist your child with getting good ball control at an early age, a good practice is keeping the ball close and getting maximum touches in the time that they play with the ball. Depending on their level, they might be too young yet for basic formation drills and will just want to play around and get comfortable with the ball.
The tethered soccer ball, also known as the kick trainer, is hours of fun as it is a very addictive and fulfilling exercise. Tethered soccer balls come in many sizes and some allow you to put your own ball into the harness and wrap it around your chest or waist. Just be sure to choose one that fits your child as some are made for adults.