A child also needs down-time, unstructured free-play time where they learn to entertain themselves and play with others. They have their whole life for lessons.
We limit to swim lessons (because knowing how to swim is life-saving/we live by the water). We fill the rest of the time with play dates with Moms Club. I also take them on an adventure each day, where they learn from me. We visit the library, a farm, etc.
My children do not know the rules to soccer, nor do they have a shelf full of trophies, but they have flown an airplane, driven a back-hoe, grown a garden, and now in 2nd grade started their own 'club' of cleaning up trash around the school with friends.
If it's too much, you'll know. As long as she wants to go to almost all of the classes (there might be a day here and there that she complains), and is not having any meltdowns or other signs of it being too much, and you are getting enough family time, then its fine. I agree with you that it has to be something they want to do.
I think activities for preschoolers are great! My son has had 3 nights of activities a week (2 different activities) since he was 4 - now 2 years later he still loves both activities and they have really been good for him. He does do some informal playgroups/playdates but I've seen more development from the activities he does, and he has gotten to know the kids in his activities fairly well and gets together with some of them outside of class.
Lol, it's really not that much money. Both schools do a sliding scale where after the first class the second class is only about $20 a month. I tried doing play dates but it's nice to take her to classes because a) she wants them, b) perhaps now she'll develop better motor skills than I have - I'm such a klutz, c) I don't have to worry about watching or cleaning up after other kids and d) I have a hard time finding play dates for her that are weekends or weekday evenings. The girls in my neighborhood have invited me to their playgroup several times but it's Fridays at 10 AM - when I'm at work. She does play in the dirt at school and at home with me quite a bit.
Zorbs: Is there any reason you don't believe in extracurriculars for preschoolers? I figured they couldn't hurt as long as she's the one who wants them and enjoys them and it's for fun and not all crazy and competitive, but am open to different perspectives. I do see a few parents who need a sharp set down, yelling at their kids and making them go, but Alita would go to both every day if she could. One time, we went on vacation and she missed class and had to do makeups, so she had back to back dance and gymnastics one day that week in addition to her regular classes on other days. She wanted to do both EVERY DAY after that!
My preschoolers only had play dates with other kids. Their extracurriculars started in 1st grade for my daughter and kindergarten for my son.
Fitness Minutes: (112,383)
13,527 8/22/12 8:54 P
I don't believe in extracurricular activities for preschoolers.
Fitness Minutes: (14,252)
9,689 8/22/12 7:25 P
Extra curricular activities? My preschoolers just played in the dirt. ;) I wish I had your kind of money!
Seriously though, if she's having fun, and you don't mind, what's the harm? Kids that age have endless amounts of energy. As long as it's *her* idea and not yours, I say go for it. If she decides it's too much, let her pick her favorite.
How many classes/sessions does/did your preschooler take? What is too much? From 2-3, I started of my daughter with 1 Mommy and Me gymnastics. From 3-4, she had 1 gymnastics session and 1 basic dance (ballet/tap/jazz combo) session a week and she had a lot of fun and loves it so I asked her if she wanted another class. She said she did, so I had her choose an extra gymnastics class or an extra dance class. She picked gymnastics so this year she'll have 2 gymnastics and her basic dance class. Gymnastics sessions are up to six kids in a class and are 45 minutes, and dance sessions are an hour with up to 20 kids (the teacher has an assistant).
She's been doubled up on gymnastics all summer and had a 2 month break from dance while the school had a break for summer session (I couldn't take her to those classes since they were during the work day). Now that dance is starting again, she wants to take hip hop in addition to her 2 gymnastics and 1 basic dance. I think it would be a lot of fun, but maybe too much? The classes don't seem to tire her at all; she still bounces off the walls until bedtime regardless of whether or not she's had class that day, but I don't want to burn her out too early. Then again, hip hop is a totally different kind of dance so maybe it would be moot. How much did/do your kids do?
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