Soccer for Toddlers & Pre-Schoolers

Parent Q&A

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  • Soccer for 4 year olds?

    (13 replies)

    My 4 year old son really wants to learn soccer. We live in Berkeley. I tried calling and emailing Mersey Club a few times and have not heard back. Other programs seem like they start at age 5. Do you know of anything for 4 year olds? Thank you!

    Lil' Kickers at Bladium in Alameda has soccer for kids starting at 18 months.

    Soccer shots has been great for my kiddo, since age 2! They’re a private group but  host programs at lots of the Berkeley parks. 

    I believe the Albany-Berkeley soccer club has Under-5's:

    Yes! You can start Little Kickers as young as 18 months @ Alameda's Bladium. 

    Soccer2together ( is a wonderful program. The coach is kind and supportive and makes it fun for the little ones. The spring session is nearly over, but you can get on the email list for this fall.

    My child plays for Montclair Soccer Club in Oakland and started in the rec program when she was 5.  They have a U4-U5 program (under 4 and 5 year olds).  More info here:

    Soccer Shots has a class for kids who are 3 to 5 year old.  We've been doing Soccer Shots and enjoying it.  The coaches our son has had have been really good.

    Take a look at Bladium in Alameda. There are weekly 50 minute soccer clinics for the tinniest of tots! They all seem to be having a great time, currently with all classes taking place outdoors. 

    Depending on your location, check out Montclair Soccer Club (the rec side), Bladium, and Soccer Shots. Have heard the best things about Bladium at that age.

    Soccer Shots has group classes in Berkeley, Montclair  and at local private schools. Our 3.5 year old attends and has been learning the basics. I think they are enrolling for summer 

    Hello! UVRec in Albany just started their soccer classes for 3-4 yo last Saturday. See the link here. Looks like there are still spots open. Good luck!

    I highly recommend Soccer Shots! We've been doing it for a couple years now at Cedar Rose park. They start as young as 2, and it's a really fun and warm environment. We really love the program :) 

    We have used soccertogether and it's great for little ones to learn to follow direction. Under 5 though, not  a lot of actual 'soccer' happening!

  • I'm seeking an organized soccer team/league in Oakland or Berkeley for a preschooler (5 years old). Any recommendations?

    East Bay United Soccer has organized teams for Under 6. At this age, teams have between 10-12 players and play 3v3 for short periods. Games are "grassroots" style, with kick-ins (instead of throw-ins), no referees, no goalies, and no keeping score. We have loved EBUSC for rec soccer, and it continues as they grow.

  • Soccer league for 4 year old?

    (4 replies)

    My almost 4 year old wants to play soccer. Does anyone know of a soccer club or league for toddler? Preferably in the Hayward, Castro Valley, San Leandro Area.  Thank you. 

    Soccer Shots does programs around local parks. We were happy with the program for ages 4-6 in Berkeley, but they are at various sites.

    Check HARD. they run soccer programs for little kids year round (and older kids too). If he wants to join a team, you can check with the Hayward Youth Soccer League (HYSL) and the Castro Valley Soccer Club (CVSC). I know those leagues have divisions for kindergarteners, but I'm not sure about 4 year olds. 

    It doesn't include every soccer league, but you can search for clubs by zip code at  Also, Castro Valley Soccer Club is in your area and has a U4 program:

    Lil' Kickers at Bladium in Alameda.

Archived Q&A and Reviews

Looking for affordable tot soccer summer class

June 2014

Could anyone recommend an affordable tot soccer group for my 3 year old. I was hoping to find something that starts soon like in June. We are opened to pick up soccer if one exists. Thanks Evelyn

We're big fans of Coach Nitzan Yerovam and his Soccer 2gether classes! Nitzan has wonderful patience and rapport with all kids including those in our son's 3-4 year olds class. He is extremely supportive and encouraging, and he creates a fun environment that engages the tots/preschoolers and takes the opportunity to demonstrate and role play teamwork. Our son is not a very physical kid, but he's thriving in Nitzan's class and is excited to go every week. Who wouldn't want to pretend they're pirates, dolphins in the water, or play-eating ice cream cones of soccer balls on cones to work on balance? The community of families is wonderful and we plan to continue in the fall (we have a busy summer school and travel schedule). Nitzan has summer sessions for mixed ages (kids and siblings continue with him) and it's a great deal! I think he's also trying to gauge interest for a class of only 3-4 year-olds on Mondays. You should definitely contact him if you're interested. Here's his website  Enjoy! Wendy

Toddler Soccer for a 2.75 year old

April 2014

I'm looking for a toddler program for soccer that is both outside and accommodates young toddlers. I tried Oakland Parks and Rec, but they don't have anything for kids under 3 and 5 months. I know about Bladium, but it's all indoors. Does anyone have a recommendation? Catherine

Our 2.5 yr-old son is doing Soccer Shots on Sat mornings 9-9:30am at Cedar Rose park in Berkeley, April 5--June 7. He likes it! $125 Hooray for soccer

Weekend soccer for almost 3 year old?

March 2013

Are there any recent recommendations for weekend soccer for an almost 3 year old boy(2 years 9 months) in the Berkeley/Albany/El Cerrito area? My son has been asking about playing soccer (he has some older friends who are going). I was looking at soccer shots but the Berkeley locations don't seem to start until age 3 and I'd rather not drive out to Alameda for the Lil Kickers program. If we do wait a few more months, is there a major difference between soccer shots at Cedar-Rose Park versus Codornices? Age group? Field? Coach? Thanks! never thougth I'd be a soccer mom

My 3-year-old started with Kidz Love Soccer in Albany shortly before his third birthday. He loves it, and so do we. Anon

Soccer for low-income 4 year old boy

Jan 2013

What options to join a soccer team/league are there for 4 year old boys in Berkeley/Oakland? I'm writing on behalf of a family friend, who could also use financial support. Thanks for your feedback.

I would recommend that your friend look into the Jack London Youth Soccer League which services the Oakland and Alameda area. I believe that most of the member clubs provide scholarship support and outreach for kids that wish to play soccer, but may not be able to afford it. Specifically, have them check out the Montclair Soccer Club. Great organization with great folks running it. Long-time soccer mom

2010 - 2012 Recommendations

Soccer for Toddlers

Aug 2012

Hi -- I'm sure this question has been posted a bunch of times, but I couldn't find anything recent/relevant. I am looking for a soccer class for my almost 3 year old. We are located in Piedmont, but the classes at the rec center are hard for us timing wise. Does anyone have any thoughts on Soccer Shots in Oakland? Or any other recommendations for classes that are popular? We did soccer shots at his old pre school, but it's no longer offered at his new school. Thanks! liz

We do Soccer Shots at a park in Berkeley for our toddler and love it. Really great program, great coaches! Soccer mama

Soccer for an Almost 2.5-year-old?

April 2012

Hi, there! I have a son who is 2-1/4 years old. He is very active and seems to love outdoor sports, particularly soccer I have witnessed. Is there some kind of organized activity that is for such a young age group, especially in the North Oakland/Emeryville/South Berkeley area? If not, are there any specific park and rec rules regarding use of field space or for starting an informal mini-club of some sort for such a thing? Thanks in advance! Non-Soccer Mom

We just started our 2.5 year old in the Soccer Shots class in at Codornices Park. We love the program! We love that it is outside, has a small class size, and the coach (Melissa) is fun and spirited. He loves it! - there are several locations around the area, we chose the one we go to based on the best available time for us. Happy Mom

Toddler soccer in or around Oakland

Nov 2011

My two year old son has loved kicking a soccer ball around since before he could walk without assistance (around 9 months old). We are looking for any soccer teams or programs that are for kids his or around his age. We live in Oakland and are hoping to find something not too far away. Thanks for any information. CL

Li'l Kickers in Alameda at the Bladium. It's right on the other side of the Webster tube from downtown Oakland. It's indoor, and they take em as young as 18 months. ''Soccer'' Mom

Soccer for a 4 year old!

Oct 2011

Suggestions for a first time soccer experience for a four Year old boy? We live in Richmond. Wanting to be a soccer mom

We took our 3 year old to Bladium in Alameda for soccer. He enjoyed it most of the time. But- make sure that you get there really early for the first session. The people at the desk are not that helpful and it took forever for my son to get his uniform. Then it takes a while to figure the place out and where you need to go. We had several frustrating experiences trying to figure out what to do and where to go. The place is really big and he ended up missing most of one class as we walked around to each field trying to figure out which one we were supposed to be on. Finally someone helped us but we ended up having to walk all the way back to the front desk and then back to the field. My son was tired and I was totally over it by the time we got to where we supposed to be (which ended up being one of the first fields that we had stopped at). Once we figured the place out, things were much better. Doing gymnastics now instead

Try Bladium in Alameda. They have a great program called 'lil Kickers. My son loves it. Kim

2007 - 2009 Recommendations

Soccer for 4 year old girl

May 2009

My 4 year old daughter is a good runner and I'm thinking about enrolling her in a soccer program. At what age are kids typically ready for soccer? Does anyone have recommendations for programs in or near Oakland? Thank you. Anna

Rockridge Soccer league. They have a U6 league that starts in the fall but you should sign up now. If you can, try to organize a team of kids she knows to all do it together - it's more fun for the kids that way. U6 in Rockridge is co-ed but we did an all-girls team so we could all stay together when they moved up to U8. soccer mom

Check out the various clubs that are part of the Jack London Youth Sports Soccer League (JLYSSL )

Many of them - Montclair, Piedmont, Rockridge - have Under6 programs. The catch is, the kids need to be ENTERING KINDERGARTEN, and should turn 6 AFTER July 31, 2009.

Each Club manages their U6 program differently. Most have co-ed U6 teams, which makes the transition to Under 8 easier (most programs are NOT co-ed for Under 8). Having one of each, I can safely say that my experience is the energy levels / playing ''levels'' of the different genders, is VERY different. YMMV.

Feel free to contact me directly if you want to chat more. Leslie

Soccer class for 3.5 YOs in Oakland/Berkeley?

March 2007

Can anyone recommend one? The postings I've seen on the web are pretty old, and I don't see much for 3 1/2 year olds except in Alameda and Albany. Thanks for your help, ljz

Check out the offerings from Oakland Park & Rec ( They have programs all over the city from age 3.5 on up. Our son did soccer and tball last summer at age 3.5 and loved both. They're enrolling now for classes starting in April onwards. soccer mom

2004 - 2006 Recommendations

Soccer for 3 yr old?

Dec 2006

I have an almost 3 yr old ball crazed son who wants nothing more than to kick a ball all day. Are there options, such as soccer, for this age group besides me and his dad? We live in the Montclair area. Thanks Tired of Kicking

When he's 3.5, he can do the Tot Soccer class at the Montclair Rec Center - see the Oakland Park & Rec website at or stop by their office in Montclair Park for more info. Our son (who actually was only 3 when the class started) just completed the fall session there in both soccer and t-ball and had a blast. They also periodically do an all-sports class where the kids try soccer, t-ball and other sports in a single class. Other options: Piedmont Park & Rec summer programs, Lil' Kickers at Bladium in Alameda JP

Soccer for 3 1/2 year old

Jan 2006

Does anyone know of a an organized soccer club/team for preschool age children? My daughter is 3 1/2, will be 4 years old in June and really wants to play soccer. Our local recreation department doesn't offer anything on the eves or weekends for her age group. Looking for something preferably in East Bay area (Oakland, San Leandro, Castro Valley, or Orinda) Thanks for your help. Patti

The Bladium sports club in Alameda has a great soccer program for preschoolers (and older). It's called Lil' Kickers. My 5- year-old and his friends have been doing it for over a year now and they love it. The program costs about $120 for a 12-week session (but you can try a class for free). They have weekday afternoon and Saturday classes. For information, call the Bladium at 814-4999 and ask for Lil' Kickers program director John Kelly. soccer mom

I've heard good things about the tot soccer classes at The Bladium in Alameda on the old Navy Base. I don't have the specifics though.

Kids Love Soccer offers lots of classes all over the Bay Area. Helena

I highly recommend ''The Lil' Kickers'' indoor soccer program at the Bladium Sports Club in Alameda. My son has been in the program for the last two sessions and loves it!

Coach John Kelly, the Children's Soccer Director is very professional and WONDERFUL with the children. The program has many different levels starting at 18 months and allows for a very non-competitive fun experience. However, the children still learn the basics soccer skills like dribbling and even scrimmaging through really fun games. Also, Coach John teaches the kids the fundamentals to being on a team such listening to instructions, taking turns and encouragement for one another. The fee even includes a free uniform that my son is so proud to wear every week! The next session starts on March 15th and lasts 12 weeks...(510) 814-4999 ext 122

Soccer for 3 year old

April 2005

I am looking for some sort of weekend Pee Wee soccer progam for my daughter. She is 3 years and 3 months old. We live in Kensington, so would want something somewhat local. I have found some programs though El Cerrito, but most of their games and practices seem to take place on Monday afternoons and we really want something on weekends, as my husband wants to partake in the fun! Anyone that has any info on good programs in the community would be greatly appreciated! Thanks in advance. julie

The City of Oakland Parks and Rec offers pee wee soccer. Helena

Soccer for 4-year-old

Sept 2004

I have looked at the archives and saw all the different ages, but I don't see anything for 4 year olds. Where I lived before they had soccor starting at 3.5. Is there anywhere around berkeley or the surrounding area that offers soccor for 4 year olds (5/00). Thanks kristi


  • Montclair Rec Center

    2003 & Earlier

    Nov 2003

    Hi! I'm looking for a soccer ''team'' for our 3.5 year old, to begin now or in the new year. I did hear of something in El Cerrito but it is on Monday afternoons from I think 1:15 to 2:15 -- right during my son's nap time. I was really hoping to find something on Saturdays. Thanks! Colene

    The city of Albany has a tiny tots (3-4) soccer ''team'' starting 11/14. You can sign up online at:

    Soccer for 4 year old in Lamorinda

    Nov 2003

    My 4 year old son would LOVE to play soccer, but I think I've ''missed the ball'' for this year's sign up or have I? I've heard there are fun/instructional (non-competitive) leagues out there. We live in Orinda and are not very savvy to the where, how and when of the Lamorinda soccer leagues. Could anyone fill me in? Maya

    My boys have been playing OYA (Orinda Youth Association) soccer since they were 4 and 5. This season is almost over, but you might consider it for next year. Fun T-Ball, too, in the spring. See Kathy
    All the info you need is at

    Soccer for 4 1/2 year old


    I KNOW I saw this on the recommendation list in the past year, but I can't find it on the web or on my own archives of this list. Someone mentioned a Saturday morning soccer league for little guys (mine are 4 1/2) that was fun, not overly competitive, and run by a great guy. Does this ring any bells with anyone? Any idea how I can find out more? Thanks, Kristin

    Recommendations received:
  • Soccer Basics
  • Norm Freidman Albany
  • Albany Berkeley Soccer Club
  • Mersey Soccer Club