Kids after school activities(121 Posts)
Is it just me or do kids just do so many classes and activities these days? I'm feeling the pressure to match others but also thinking how I never did all that stuff and I'm ok?
Swimming, gymnastics, football, ballet, beavers, rainbows.... the list goes on. Parents seem to have so much ££££ and kids are busy doing something extra everyday.
I'm not judging, but am genuinely less of a good parent if I don't jump on this bandwagon?
My children do all this sort of stuff...but I do sometimes wonder why. I feel I ought to give them the opportunities, but they would generally prefer to be playing at home and there is a lot of nagging g to get ready. I'm always secretly delighted when after school activities are cancelled - the post-school afternoon seems so much longer and more relaxed.
I think learning to occupy and entertain yourself is also a useful skill.
Depends on the child - I have one who thrives on lots of structured activity, and one who likes to have more pottering around time at home. Just try things out and stop them if they don’t suit in any way. But I do think it’s good to give children the chance to try lots of different things, if you can. How else will they find out about things they might enjoy, if they don’t get a chance to try?
I used to do a lot of activities as child doing sport and music and I loved it. The weekends competing with friends and playing in orchestras were the happiest.
My eldest is only 4 and she does swimming lessons and tots tennis. I will see what she wants to do as she gets older.
I don't think it's new? I was in two choirs, two drama groups, brownies/guides, and a youth club when I was younger.
You need to do what's right for your child, we stuck to one sport, choir and one instrument (which is a lesson plus orchestra on Saturdays), once older one played competitive sport so was twice a week and the other took up another instrument but they didn't need so much transport.
We like a balance. Swimming lessons are always allowed and not counted in the budget/time. None of my kids are doing swimming at the mo however.
Oldest does Cubs/Gym/Cross fit. She's very fit and genuinely needs to be moving a lot. In the summer she'll be in the garden anyway but as she does a lot of competitions it's important to her to keep training. She also rides, used to be weekly but her athletics is getting in the way a little.
Middle does Beavers and CrossFit. When the summer rolls around he does cricket too.
Youngest does nothing, he's 1. 😁
They're very good at occupying themselves, but having sporting interests is a good idea I think.
My DD is in reception. V limited after school clubs at school ( none for her year ). We used to do ballet and gymnastics, now we just do brownies. it's a choice if you want to do after school stuff anyway so how can you say there's too much?
Seems the norm here and I don't like it. Many many kids do something every night or most nights.
Two of ds's friends have only a Friday night available to come over and play because they are busy every other night.
Mine do a lot of activities but that's because they want to. Occasionally they might moan about going, I encourage them to go if it's just a minor whinge but if they are genuinely not feeling up to it I don't force them. The older one has just added a night through choice (so now only has one night off a week) and the younger has just dropped swimming as she doesn't enjoy it and I felt she was now competent enough that I was happy for her to stop.
If schools would do more PE and swimming than I think DD wouldn’t have started two clubs. But thanks to not doing a lot I as a parent have to make sure she exercised.
It goes down automatically in secondary and the ones they are passionate about stay. We dropped two classes and lots are now later in the day, three don’t start before 6pm.
It is expensive though and I think that was the reason i only did gymnastics and youth group when I was a child. Not sure but we never had the need to have proper kits for the club, neither my friend who did ballet. One reason DD never started dance was the need to buy all the kit, extra lessons for annual exams etc.
I think that some kids from this area don't get a life because they are out at clubs every night of the week or a practices. Seems a shame. One friend of my ds is allowed out one day a week after school for 30min then it's away to clubs. Shes barely around during the holidays either
My ds 7 attends 3 clubs a week. Football run by the school until 4pm ( this is currently off until after easter ) this still gives him time to go out to play with his friends or chilling at home with his toys etc
Swimming which is non negotiable it's a life skill in my opinion. It's not on till after teatime so again plenty time after school.
Beavers again not on till after 6pm.
Thats all he does and I think it's a good balance between clubs and free time.
I did Brownies at primary age, nothing at secondary. My secondary had a pool, so we did swimming twice a week in the summer term (outside, unheated ).
7yo does rugby (Thursday/Saturday morning), and will start swimming again after Easter on Fridays. After summer we hope he gets into scouts, big waiting list, that meets Saturday afternoons. (It's mixed here and ages 5-18). Depending on funds, come September we might put him in the robot club his school run at lunchtime, but it is pricey.
All July he'll be at horse club, as he did last year, they feed, care for and ride the horses, he frickin loved it! €100/week 9-4 including lunches.
Most afternoons after school he goes to the park with mates, then home for Lego/drawing/Minecraft/puzzles.
We'd like ds to try different things, but we are also not made of either money or time. Plus he is so happy at home chilling
Mine experienced a reasonably structured life as children. It meant they had same opportunities as independently educated children with the advantages of state schooling.
It was easier to manage them in a routine when my husband was working incredibly long hours to secure their future.
It allowed for more individual attention for each child.
It made clear expectations that continued into their teenager years.
Some were home activities and some were externally provided. They got the jumping waves in winter, the building dens, the playdough but they didn’t get ‘playing out’ or ‘hanging about’ as teenagers. I dislike the concept of feral youngsters.
We had toddler activities like gymbobs, coffee mornings and music that moved on in primary/ nursery to French club, instrumental lessons, swimming, ballet, choir, Cubs and rugby. They still had friends for supper, still completed homework, still rolled in mud, still baked fairy cakes but had very little screen time.
In their teens juggling all their various commitments sometimes proved challenging but was worth it to avoid them becoming sofa doughnuts, or hanging about on street corners. They have all retained a work hard play hard positive attitude to life as they have these have entered adulthood.
Tbh, if schools did more sport they might not need it as much. 🤷 Mine were home educated until last year and it's been a shock how little they do unless they are picked for a team.
I don't think this is new. In my family, anyway, it's normal to play at least one instrument, do at least one sport and at least one other extra curricular (like brownies, scouts, drama etc.)
Then when we were a bit older we "specialised" on something we were particularly good at or liked. Basically because it's more time consuming to do something at a high level (competitive sport, dance or music for instance)
Still the childhood I remember is long days in the house, park or garden playing and later hanging out on the fields with mates after school. So I think if it's balanced it works.
Mine only does one activity after school a week and not even every week and then she does rainbows one Saturday morning a month. She does go to an after school club one other day, but that’s purely for the childcare as we both work full time and have no family help, so means one of us can squeeze in and extra hour of work.
I can’t imagine living the sort of life where we are scheduled to death with activities. Kids need to play and be bored.
My Dd does swimming and rainbows. She also does two morning sport clubs before school. I think swimming is a a basic one, good form of exercise and its a life skill. Rainbows is good because she's making friends outside of school and learning new skills. I like the morning sport clubs because I only need to drop her in early. To be honest i don't find them expensive as they are paid termly and she enjoys them. I wouldn't force her to go and sometimes she will miss classes if she doesn't feel it or we are going out
My 11yr old plays football after school twice a week and he has extra maths lessons once a week. He couldn’t be bothered with this when he was younger but he asked me to find him a football club a couple of years ago and I was glad to as they only do Pe once a week at school.
I would love them to do more PE instead of RE. Far more worthwhile.
Three years old is at nursery 30 hours and does football for an hour once a week. He also does a forest school which we attend with him on a Saturday as he really enjoys it. That’s enough for this age I think.
Swimming I always made use of the intensive holiday courses for the older one as he came on far faster than doing it once weekly. They go for an hour every day for two weeks. I’ll be doing that in summer with the younger one too.
It's not new! Kids finish school around 3:30 in this country, they should all do at least 1 sport - or at the very least run around, cycle or play football with their friends, for a good hour after school!
I always wonder what kids with no activities actually do. My kids like to read, but I can't imagine them being stuck at home from 3:30 to bedtime at 8 or 9pm. They are stuck with afterschool clubs because we need childcare, but that include most of their after-school activities, it's all in the same place.
DD 5 does tap, ballet and rainbows
Swimming also once a week but that's a non negotiable until she's completely safe in the water .
She's virtually an only child so she enjoys the social side of them all. If she didn't want to go to any apart from swimming she could stop at any time.
I think things have changed since they started bringing outside agencies in for after school clubs.
When i was at primary school there was a different activity every day after school but it was one of the teachers teaching it so it was free. Ds2 8 does 2 after school clubs which I have to pay £3 per week per activity so it limits what other things he can do.
He choses football outside of school which also works out at £3 a week.
Obviously i can't remember what my parents paid for out of school activities but £10 a week back in the 90s went a lot further then.
When I was at school we were there until 430 every weekday and Saturday morning as well, then if you were picked for a team matches were sat afternoon. This was public school admittedly, but whilst it may seem that we didn't have as many extra curricular activities that was probably because they were curricular...and done in school time!
Join the discussion
Registering is free, quick, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Get started »
Please login first.