Updated: December 2017
Football Reviews:Football is one of the great sports pasttimes in America and most kids play it at some point in their lives. I got started back when I was about 8 years old and my parents bought me a nerf football for Christmas. I slowly got used to throwing the ball and then moved up to a small, leather ball. The youth footballs are perfect for youngsters that can't quite grip a larger ball. If your child is playing in a junior football league they'll have to get used to the harder, leather footballs. Eventually they move on to college footballs and finally to the Official NFL footballs. I've tried getting my 7 year old son to move on from the nerf football to a NFL logo junior football - not much bigger than the nerf ball, but significantly harder as it's made with a rubberized compound. What I have found is that kids under the age of 10 have a difficult time catching the harder balls. Get them used to bringing the ball into their bodies and they will start catching better. With small hands, kids just can't grip the larger, leather footballs and throwing can be troublesome.
Choosing a Football - Size is really the most important thing when you are starting with children. Even the Poof Foam Power Spiral Football is a reasonable way to get toddlers or primary schoolers going. Lots of children have nerf footballs and that is fine, but they have to move on to larger balls that are made of different materials eventually. Baden makes a tire tread designed football that comes in 5 sizes - great for street football since the ball doesn't get damaged as easily. The Rookie Gear Pee Wee Football is made with composite leather and considered a great recreational ball for those 10 and under. A somewhat newer concept is the Spalding Never Flat Football. Yes, even I was skeptical after growing up with footballs that somehow went flat every week or so even when you didn't use them. Spalding created these balls with the idea that you never have to pump up the ball. I own both this football and the same styled basketball. So far, after 1 years use, no air leakage is visible on the football. Anyone that wants what the pros use, go with the Wilson F1100 Official NFL Game Football which is expensive at $70+, plus these footballs are meant to last and look great. Some balls come with a tee and small pump - football sets. You can find all of these footballs in most sporting good stores like Dicks Sporting Goods or Sports Authority as well as in the sports equipment sections of Target or Walmart. You can browse the best selling youth and official footballs here.