Activities For Shy Under 5s 

9th May 2024

We at Kixx have watched before our eyes hundreds of Under 5s grow in confidence through joining our football academy. At that age, almost anything and everything is daunting and as a parent, all you want is for your child to grow in character. In this blog, we will suggest fun activities which will engage your shy under 5 y/o.  

Shyness In Toddlers 

At this point, we must point out, that there is absolutely nothing wrong with shyness in under 5s. In fact, it’s totally normal! 

Have you noticed that your little one clings to you in social situations, cries when you leave their side or physically tries to avoid interaction by hiding behind someone or something? Please don’t start to worry about this. So many times, we have spoken with concerned parents who worry their child is too co-dependent and they have done something ‘wrong’… But this is just not the case. 

Some children are just shyer than others. For under 5s, it is just part of their evolving temperament. Whether it is something they grow out of, or they grow up to be generally more introverted, that is literally what makes us all different! Being shy or not shy isn’t a good or bad thing, it is life! 

That said, we can understand why parents want to bring their little ones out of their shells! As much as we might like to, we can’t use Mum or Dad as a human shield from unwanted interaction forever. 

There are activities which can help improve your child’s confidence and help them to feel more comfortable in social situations.  

Tips For Encouraging Shy Under 5s To Take Part! 

  1. Give them time to feel comfortable 

When it comes to introducing new people or a new activity to shy under 5s, they need to have enough time to adjust to that change. You can gently encourage something, without thrusting it at them. If anything, moving too quickly could make them want to recede more.  

  1. Stay nearby  

When your toddler is doing something for the first time, it is important for them (and most likely for you) that a parent is nearby. Just seeing your face or knowing they can run to you should they start to feel overly nervous puts everything at ease. 

  1. Validate their feelings  

For your toddler, things always seem more ‘okay’ when you tell them ‘it’s okay’. While it isn’t exactly rocket science, it is effective! Realising and talking them through their feelings helps children manage their emotions better.  

  1. Praise ‘brave’ behaviour  

When your toddler ventures out and does something out of their comfort zone, this is a big deal! They deserve all the praise for doing this. So, if, for example, your shy toddler was to, I don’t know, join a football academy… This is a cause for celebration!  

  1. Don’t over-coddle them 

There is a fine line between being encouraging and comforting and over-coddling your toddler. If you’re doing too much, it could be construed to your child that they’re in a scary situation. By accident, your good intentions could have an accidental effect and may encourage shy behaviour.  

What Activities Will Improve My Child’s Confidence?  

On any list you could find for activities that improve a child’s confidence, playing sports or being part of a sports team is featured as number one.

Through playing sports, like football, children are encouraged to work as a team and interact socially. This invertedly improves their empathy, group and social skills. They also learn to process feelings of frustration when they’re team does not win and accept a loss- a valuable life lesson!  

For some under 5s, the skill and discipline of football are not important. That all comes later. At Kixx, we prioritise fun, friendship, the development of motor skills and exercise.  

It is a valuable activity for your toddler to take part in before joining school, which can be a daunting time for any shy child. By taking part in our under 5s lessons, your child has already experienced meeting new people, making friends, wearing a uniform in pride etc… School will be a walk in the park! 

While we of course strongly advocate for football, this of course is not the only activity which will encourage your toddler’s confidence. Drama clubs, choirs, cooking, amusement parks, wilderness activities, and so many more all help to improve your toddler’s sense of independence. At such a young age, it is worth giving everything a go! As your toddler grows, they will be able to establish their preferences and build hobbies based on those.  

Image of a Kixx Football lesson for under 5s

Football Lessons For Under 5s 

We hope this blog has brought you some solace and given you some guidance on good activities for shy under 5s!  

At Kixx, we offer tailored football lessons for children aged 18 months to 5 years. In these sessions, we create a positive environment, deliver high-value lesson content, which is both consistent and welcoming.  

If you’re reading this and would like to know if there is an academy near you, then follow this link to become part of the Kixx family today!  

For more information about activities for under 5s or Kixx Football Academy, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. You can call us on 01302 618080 or email