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Does your child do literally no after-school activities?

(182 Posts)
JessiCake Tue 23-Jan-18 09:27:10

DD is only just 5 (which is relevant, I hope!)

She does literally no after-school or weekend activities, because she doesn't want to.

I am adamant we will get swimming up and running this spring but apart from that I have decided to just leave everything/anything else.

A quick chat with the mums at the gate suggests that the majority of her class (Reception) are doing at least one after-school activity a week plus one or sometimes two at the weekends. Drama, swimming, tennis, ballet, mostly.

In addition most of them do a holiday club of some sort in half term/holiday, either for childcare purposes or just because they want to - multi-sport, drama, multi activity etc.

Is it worth me pushing DD any harder to take something up? She loves performing and dancing but is adamant she doesn't want to take a class. She occasionally says she would like to learn gymnastics so I investigate a class but then she refuses to go and try it.

fwiw she doesn't just sit around at home watching the telly, she loves to play endless imaginative games, she gets out the paints, the playdoh etc (plus of course she does watch a bit of telly grin every now and then) She's very happy at home!

I'm kind of vaguely hoping this will change if I don't push it!!? That maybe when she's in Year 2ish she will agree to go to something?!

But as so many of her classmates are booking in for half term clubs I wonder if she is going to miss out, she is struggling a tiny bit to form permanent bonds with classmates and it might give her a chance to bond with them a bit more?

What do your 5 year olds do and would you just leave it if they didn't want to do an activity?

Pinkkahori Tue 23-Jan-18 09:34:51

I just left it for a couple of years with dd2. She is quite a shy, reserved child and really didn't want to.
Her older sister is more out going and did various activities at 5 but dd2 is very creative and has a great imagination and was happier in her own company. She found school very full on to begin with and needed lots of down time.
She is 9 nine now and does a music class and a club once a week.

Armi Tue 23-Jan-18 09:35:49

We do swimming and that’s it. As a teacher, I’m too busy running round after other people’s kids, being berated by parents and sitting in meetings to be home in time to take DD to stuff after school.

JessiCake Tue 23-Jan-18 09:36:41

Pinkahori thank you - your description of your DD2 sounds very much like my DD. DD isn't shy as such but she can struggle a bit with full-on sociability and needs down-time.
she is tired after school too, it's only a term in and Reception is exhausting (!) for her at least.
Glad to hear your DD came round to it eventually!

Pinkkahori Tue 23-Jan-18 09:37:00

I forgot to add that the school she attends is very good for activities during the school week so she had plenty of music, sport, drama etc in school so I didn't feel she was missing out.
We aren't in the UK though and children don't seem to have as busy schedules here as they seem to elsewhere.

LiveLifeWithPassion Tue 23-Jan-18 09:38:03

My 5 yr old doesn’t do any. She had one term of swimming which she hated when it started to get cold so we stopped and we ll get back to that after Easter.
She also does plenty at home and we go for lots ofwalks, bike rides, play in the park and days out too so I’m not concerned.
I’ll try her with a few soon as she’s started to express an interest in a few things.

EggsonHeads Tue 23-Jan-18 09:38:28

Some people are just home bodies by nature. I never liked after school clubs. I was sent to everything and anything hung but none of it stick because I genuibely didn't enjoy any of it. I still don't like going out (beyond going for a walk) if I can help it.

Pinkkahori Tue 23-Jan-18 09:38:29

Glad to have helped Jessi. I think the thing that people sometimes forget that each child is different so what might work for one would be too much for another.

JessiCake Tue 23-Jan-18 09:38:39

Pinkahori, ah, that's true for DD too, she does dance once a week within school and they have music classes too.

TheBlackLodge Tue 23-Jan-18 09:38:57

Neither of mine did anything until end of Reception/start of Yr 1. They currently both do swimming and one other activity (Brownies for DD1 and gymnastics for DD2). DD1 has tried a few other things in previous years for a term or two - drama, French, cookery - but only when she showed an interest.

Lindy2 Tue 23-Jan-18 09:39:21

At 5 my children did weekend swimming lessons - learning to swim and having proper lessons is very important to me so they started young.
At 5 they started after school Rainbows one day a week.
That was enough for us at that age. School was tiring enough for the rest of the time.
Now they are older they each do 3 after school activities a week. Again that is enough for us.

Couchpotato3 Tue 23-Jan-18 09:39:55

There will be plenty of kids doing a merry-go-round of after-school activities (I well remember one child in my daughter's class who had more than one activity back to back on several days). It can seem like your child is missing out if you don't get on board, but if kids are constantly being taken to different classes etc, they miss out on down time at home, and being able to amuse themselves and work things out independently. Don't fret - your DD sounds fine, and if she's not interested in classes etc now, it would be pointless to push her. Just keep offering different opportunities and gently encourage her to try things, and something will catch her interest eventually (or not, and that's fine too, if she's happy doing her own thing). Just do what feels right for your child, and ignore the rest!

JessiCake Tue 23-Jan-18 09:40:00

LiveLife thank you for the reassurance - like you we do days out, park, scooter rides etc. She loves art stuff at home and will put on 'plays' for us. But wild horses can't drag her to a drama class, for example!!

MinnieMousse Tue 23-Jan-18 09:40:06

I wouldn't push her at that age. My younger DD is 5 and does several activities but that's mainly because she's been used to trailing around after her older sister. I would give her the opportunity at some point to try some things out but it can wait until she's older. As an aside, though, both my children are quite shy and reserves and extra-curricular activities, mixing with different children, seems to have helped.

Passthecake30 Tue 23-Jan-18 09:41:30

Mine do swimming and cubs/Brownies although they are older. Not interested in doing anything else and it doesn't really work with my working hours/budget

metalmum15 Tue 23-Jan-18 09:41:43

My eldest is a teenager and she's never done any after school clubs, she just prefers to come home and chill out. Lots of parents will have you believe there must be something wrong with your child if they don't want to join x/y/z clubs, there really isn't. Every child is different.

SandSnakeofDorne Tue 23-Jan-18 09:41:48

Our school actually recommend not doing any for the first year as they’re so tired getting used to school. We got told off!

Marcine Tue 23-Jan-18 09:41:53

God no, not in Reception! Mine did one thing in Year 1, a couple in Year 2 and DS1 who is in Year 3 does a sport and beavers every week and a club every other week.

JessiCake Tue 23-Jan-18 09:41:56

Thanks couchpotato and everyone else.

V reassuring.

I am a bit astounded at the sheer amount some seem to do but I was starting to wonder if doing NOTHING was equally odd.

I am definitely going to get her started on swimming as that's just a skill she needs to master.

Other than that I think I will carry on as we are until she wants to start something.

steppemum Tue 23-Jan-18 09:42:34

ds was never one for after school activities. I pushed him to do scouts, and then swimming etc.

when he was 10 he finally joined a football club, and still does that (age 15) but he has never been one for after school stuff.

It took me a long time to back off to be honest, and I wish I had left him alone earlier! I realised finally that he is the sort of kid who if he joins, he does it properly, he is very well behaved and tries his best for the 'teacher' After a whole day at school doing that, he just didn't want to do it any more for an after school club. No benefit was cost effective to him against the effort of joining in and being 'good'.

He once said about cubs for example, that it was like having another school lesson. And his cubs was not really like that at all.

After school he liked to kick a ball around, go out on his bike, lie on his floor building lego, read, anything unstructured. It was the structure he was kicking against.

So, I would still push swimming, as it is alife skill, but I would let he choose with the rest, as 5 is young, they are knakcered after school at 5. Some schools even have a no clubs for reception kids rule.

tellybear Tue 23-Jan-18 09:44:21

At that age DD had a swimming lesson on Saturday morning. She used to go ballet 1 day after school but kept falling asleep on the way there so stoped it.

She was also going to a childminder so not getting home until 6.

Unless you're DD is really keen to do something I would just leave for now. They get really exhausted at this age and personally I think down time is good.

She's in y5 now and has got more interested in other things which I have encouraged. But I still wouldn't do something every day as I think it's important to relax.

HangingRock Tue 23-Jan-18 09:44:48

I would probably leave it a bit. I've always let mine decide what they wanted to do. Dd1 (13) does lots. It's not cheap! Dd2 (10) is a homebody but has gradually added clubs run by the school and now does 4. (All free - yippee!)

Micah Tue 23-Jan-18 09:45:11

My own personal feeling is that kids should at least try swimming (obvious) and ballet or dance for motor control, spatial awareness, musicality, learning to take instruction, lots of benefits. Mine did ballet as a school run lunchtime club.

Gymnastics is also worth a try as it’s fun physical activity in a save environment. They need to start before 5 really as every club round here has a 2 year waiting list.

Thing is, i know parents who thought young kids and activites were “pushy parents”, and were foing to wait until their kids asked to try an activity. My argument was a) how does a young child know ballet even exists, unless you expose them to it, and b) about 7-9 is peak time for realisation and requests, by which age there’s usually a massive waiting list. Which held true when those parents came to me in years 3 and 4 to ask if i could get their kids into dd’s classes, as everywhere was full. You say abouth performance and dancing, but if she’s never been to a class how does she know if she’ll like it? Many do free 1st session, so maybe arrange 1 and see how it goes?

It’s up to you. I do think physical activity is a good habit to set up though.

steppemum Tue 23-Jan-18 09:45:13

just to say by contrast, his sister would be out 7 nights a week if she could, she is the ultimate 'joiner in' type person.

JessiCake Tue 23-Jan-18 09:46:13

Thanks steppemum that is very well put and I can see exactly what you mean. I can see that DD just wants to kind of potter around at the end of the day in her own space and doing totally her own thing (with me involved too, usually) which makes sense after a long day of obeying rules and structure.

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