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7 Best Footballs for Kids (2022 Reviews)

4 boys having fun jumping in the air

Whether your child has decided they want to learn to play football or you’re just planning to toss around the pigskin in the backyard, buying a football for your child is exciting.

However, kids have little hands and trying to grip a regular football is difficult. That’s why it’s best to get your child a football made for kids. I’ve created this list of the 7 best footballs for kids, with options for all ages.

The Best Footballs for Kids

  • 1. Franklin Sports Grip-Rite 100 Rubber Junior Football

    (Best for older Kids — $)

    Why it’s great: This football looks like a standard ball, but it also comes in four different color options for fun. It’s made of rubber and has a pebble surface material for a better grip. The raised laces also make it easier to throw accurately. The rubber material is water and weather-resistant, making it a great choice for playing outside, even in the rain. It’s also durable and can handle whatever you can throw at it.

    Keep in mind: This football is junior-sized, designed for ages 9-12 years old, but can be used by younger or older kids if it fits in their hands.

    Good for: Kids ages 9-12 years old who want to learn to throw a football correctly.

  • 2. Rawlings NFL Downfield Youth Football

    (Best for football fans — $)

    Why it’s great: This football comes in team colors with the mascot and logo decorating the ball. They have every NFL team, so you can choose your child’s favorite. It’s made of rubber with five times the pebble as traditional rubber footballs for a better grip and traction. It has raised laces for better control and accuracy. It’s durable and water-resistant, so it’ll last for years to come.

    Keep in mind: This is labeled as youth-sized, but it’s probably closer to a junior size and best for kids ages 8-12 years old.

    Good for: NFL fans who want a football to throw around while supporting their favorite team.

  • 3. WILSON NFL Super Grip Football

    (Most official — $$)

    Why it’s great: Wilson makes the official football for the NFL. This ball comes in two sizes, so you can choose junior or official. The junior size is perfect for kids ages 9-12 years old and will fit easily in their hands. It’s made of composite material that’s highly durable and water-resistant. It has a pebble texture and raised laces for the best grip and control. It comes in black and gold or the traditional brown.

    Keep in mind: The logo area is slick, so it does affect your grip a little.

    Good for:Kids who want a football from the makers of the official game-day footballs.

  • 4. NERF Weather Blitz Foam Football for All-Weather Play

    (Best for casual play — $$)

    Why it’s great: This football is made of foam and is great for beginners who want to learn to toss the ball. It’s has a gridiron pattern that offers a better grip for little hands. The foam is designed to be weather resistant, so your child can play with this ball in the rain, mud, snow, or sand without fear of damaging it. It’s lightweight and soft, making it easier for kids to throw and a little more gentle if they get hit with it.

    Keep in mind: This is best for younger kids ages 6-9 years old and casual play, as it doesn’t have laces or the usual grip that official footballs have.

    Good for: Kids who want a football to play catch at the park or in the backyard.

  • 5. GlowCity Glow in The Dark Football

    (Most fun — $$$)

    Why it’s great: This is definitely not your traditional football. It has a high-bright LED light that’ll have this ball glowing for 30 hours! It’s the perfect ball to toss around at night, whether you’re at home, the park, or a beach. The light automatically turns on with a tap of the ball and turns off on its own when it’s not in use. The ball itself is made of rubber, which is durable and water-resistant. It has a pebble texture and raised laces for accurate control and grip.

    Keep in mind: This is a youth-sized football, so it’s best for kids ages 13 years old and up.

    Good for: Teens who want a fun, colorful ball to play at night.

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  • 6. Rubber Younger Football

    (Best for young kids — $)

    Why it’s great: This football is the perfect choice for young kids. It’s small at only 8.5 inches, making it easier for little ones ages 3 years old and up to grip. It’s made of synthetic leather, which is durable and water-resistant. Your child can safely play with this in the pool or at the park. It has a pebble texture and hand-sewn laces, giving it the feel of an official football. This one comes in a variety of color options, so your child can choose their favorite.

    Keep in mind: This one doesn’t handle the heat well, so keep it stored somewhere cool when not in use.

    Good for: Little kids ages 3 and up who want to toss a football.

  • 7. Franklin Sports Flag Football Flags and Ball Set

    (Best set — $$$)

    Why it’s great: This football comes with everything you need to play flag football with ten players. The straps on the waistbands are adjustable to fit both kids and adults for family fun. The football is made of composite materials with a pebble texture and raised laces for a firm, steady grip. It also has 13 different routes embossed on it, teaching your child different plays. The belts are easy to put on and tear off, making for a great game of flag football.

    Keep in mind: The ball is pretty small, making it great for kids ages 6-9 years old.

    Good for: Families that want to play a game of flag football together.

Best Overall

The Franklin Sports Grip-Rite 100 Rubber Junior Football is our overall top recommendation. It's the highest quality product we have found with the most affordable price making it the best value on our list..

FAQs about Footballs for Kids

  • 1. Can my child use a regular football?

    A regular football is going to be too big for your child’s hands. While they can certainly play with it, they’ll have a harder time gripping and throwing it correctly. It’s best to get them a kids’ or youth-size football if they’re serious about learning the sport.

  • 2. What type of material is best for a kids’ football?

    This varies based on your child’s age and their goal when playing with the ball. Foam is great for younger children, as it’s softer and lightweight, making it easier for them to throw around. Rubber or synthetic leather is more durable than foam but cheaper than genuine leather, so it’s a great choice for kids. Genuine leathers are the highest quality and the most durable, but they’re also pricier.

  • 3. What size football is best for my child?

    Again, this will vary based on your child’s age and size. Pee Wee footballs are best for kids ages 6-9 years old. Junior size is best for ages 9-12 years old, and Youth size is best for ages 12-14 years old. Each of these is the proper size for this age group and will help your child get the fundamentals down as they grow.

  • 4. Are laces important on a football for kids?

    If your child is genuinely interested in the game and wants to learn the fundamentals, laces are important for throwing accuracy and control. If you’re just looking for a football to toss around the backyard or take to the beach, they may not be as important.

  • 5. At what age can my child start throwing a football?

    Your little one can start tossing or throwing a football from an early age. This will depend on your child’s development and coordination, but they should be able to throw a ball by age two. However, if we’re talking about throwing a football correctly, your child likely won’t be able to learn that skill until about six years old.


Football is a national pastime and a fun sport for the whole family. While there are many different brands, styles, sizes, and types of footballs on the market, choosing the right one for your child doesn’t have to be complicated.

Think about your child’s goals and age. This should give you an idea of which football to choose. Whatever that is, this list offers a variety of choices, so you should be able to find one that’s right for your child.