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To think pre schoolers don't need to go to loads of 'activities'

(50 Posts)
roseability Thu 18-Sep-08 13:41:50

Sorry this is along the same line as another thread

My DS 2.5 does one music group a week that is it. I do also take him swimming, to see friends and we bake/paint at home etc.

He doesn't go to nursery. Should I be doing more? Not trying to paint myself as any kind of mother here, just believe we are too child centred as a society and being at home pottering along with Mum is just fine at this stage.

There just seems to be so much pressure to stimulate, educate and encourage. Whilst this is important to some degree what is parenting about? To create geniuses who are better, stronger, cleverer. Or to trust children as social beings, who given freedom within a secure and loving environment will flourish in their own way and with their own talents/skills.

Seona1973 Thu 18-Sep-08 13:52:27

My dd (4.10years) didnt start nursery till she got her free place at the age of 3. Before that we went to a mini-movers group and a toddler group and we went swimming as a family at the weekend. My ds (1.11 years) goes to a mini-movers group and swimming with us but we dont go anywhere else. DD has just started school and is on half days so we are in and out the house all day anyway to get her to/from school, do the shopping, etc, etc. He doesnt go to nursery either and wont till he gets his free place too.

smallwhitecat Thu 18-Sep-08 13:58:25

Message withdrawn

imaginaryfriend Thu 18-Sep-08 14:07:23

It depends on the child and depends on the mum. Some mums don't like being at home all day and want other mums to chat to. Some kids like to be out and socialising. My dd was quiet and didn't like toddler groups but she loved to go to the park and there was a singing group at the library she liked. I used to try to take her out at least once a day to something somewhere but not usually a 'group.' My friend's dd was the opposite she was never happy unless she had other kids around. So they went to a lot more groups.

I wasn't aware that the groups were meant to be 'educative' though in any way, just fun social events. By baking and painting at home you are already stimulating a child but you wouldn't think of that as trying to create a genius would you?

bloomingfedup Thu 18-Sep-08 14:15:03

I don't know if you are BU or I guess what I'm saying is - you have to decide whats best for your family.

My DD's both went to nursey from being around 1 - more to give me a break rather than anything else. I did feel it was a bonus that when they got to be toddlers they did lots of activities there!

I also took them to singing group, swimming, did activities at home, toddler groups. TBH some activities were more for me, to get me out of the house than them.wink

thefortbuilder Thu 18-Sep-08 14:18:29

ooh i'm not sure which camp i'm in here - i don't think you are BU, but then we do more activities than that - ds1 is 2.2 and goes to nursery 3 1/2 days a week, music class, football, and toddler group. i also take him swimming once a week and we normally have 2 other playdates. ds2 is brill and fits in with it all blush

ds1 does have lots and lots of energy to burn off though (my excuse)...

Troutpout Thu 18-Sep-08 14:25:37

yabu...some do
My daughter needed to (because i needed to) because she drove me insane at home. She was (and still is) very very high maintenance compared to my first child. It was easier to be out sometimes.

naturalblonde Thu 18-Sep-08 14:25:42

My dd goes to toddlers once a week, we meet friends once a week and there's usually another playdate too. And we swim every week too.

Still try to get out of the house every day though, just to the park, or soft play or even supermarket, more for my sanity than for her!

EffiePerine Thu 18-Sep-08 14:35:47

DS needs to get out of the house at least once a day, preferably twice

depends on the child

also we don't have a garden whcih makes a different

don't do many 'groups', maonly take him to the park or somewhere else he can run around and shout a lot

Mercy Thu 18-Sep-08 14:44:43

Sounds like your doing fine roseability, as long as you and your ds are happy.

I used to know someone who one day realised she was spending £30 odd per week on activities - and her child wasn't even walking yet!

bythepowerofgreyskull Thu 18-Sep-08 14:48:59


DS2 does 3 organised activities a week the rest is freeform. I have the option of going singing and swimming as well but we do them if we fancy rather that as part of our routine.

mrspnut Thu 18-Sep-08 14:52:00

It depends on your child and what sort of facilities you have at home.

We don't do any groups really, although we might start our music group again and we do go swimming but we have a big garden with loads of equipment in so she gets to run around, bounce on the trampoline, use the slide and the sand pit at home and I can go on the computer do the housework whilst she's doing that.

She is also a very easy going child and doesn't seem to need much input from me.

Yanda Thu 18-Sep-08 18:18:18

My DD is 2.2 and she does swimming and nursery 2 mornings a week. I don't really see the need to do any formal groups with her, we just take life as it comes so we might bake, paint, wander down the riverside, go shopping, meet up with friends. I don't have the money or the inclination for all these group activities. However, when she is older if she asks to go to a group then I would consider that.

WigWamBam Thu 18-Sep-08 18:26:36

A lot of parents who take their pre-school child to "activities" don't do it because the child needs them.

They do it because the parent needs them.

I did stacks of stuff at hime with my daughter, but I was very short on adult company and the groups I used to take her to were often the only adult contact I had for days on end. I didn't want to create a child who was strong, clever or athletic; I just needed to talk to someone else.

Plus, taking a child to activities and giving them freedom within a secure and loving environment aren't mutually exclusive. It's perfectly possible to get a balance by doing both. For me, going to activities had the added benefit of keeping me sane.

justabouthadcurry Thu 18-Sep-08 18:33:31

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ajm200 Thu 18-Sep-08 18:36:51

Sometimes the mums need them though...

I have a very active toddler and need to take him out every day to retain my sanity and to stop him climbing the walls. The park has limited appeal for me. 3 or 4 times a week is fine but I don't want to go everyday.

I like the organised activities as it has allowed me to make some friends locally and have some adult company during the day.

I moved here to work, worked long hours and didn't know anyone locally when I had DS so the playgroups/activities were a godsend.

mazzystar Thu 18-Sep-08 18:45:53

I do something planned with my two [3.11 and 18 mo] every day I'm not working. Although if we don't fancy it we just don't go.

I think pottering along with mum IS fine, if you and your children are happy doing that. But never in my life to date have I stayed in very much - I like to be out and about meeting people, doing stuff - not necessarily structured stuff, just being about and exploring the world.

imananny Thu 18-Sep-08 18:49:56

all depends on child and parent

most children dont start nursery till the term they are 3, and by that time, most need that extra bit of stimulation

my 3 does 3 ams at nursery, and then has tumbletots one am, and an am for playing with friends

blackrock Thu 18-Sep-08 18:53:52

DS is 2.4, he wouldn't be at nursery for 2.5 if i wasn't working. i would've just waited until 3. No point rushing, we do as you do...occasional play group, meeting friends, baking, gardening, talking, reading books. playdough, painting, drawing, etc all in our own time, relaxed and ease.

When DS is three he will just continue 2.5 days a week

Elkat Thu 18-Sep-08 18:57:19

I agree with Wigwambam. Staying at home with my DD (Before she started school) all day was pure hell. She would get bored and naughty and just needed to let off steam. Park is quite a distance from our house, and not great for toddlers. So we did lots of clubs. I had the benefit of meeting other mums (two of whom I have become quite pally with), DD thoroughly enjoyed her classes (ballet / tap <1 class>, gymnastics and trampolining). And, she still had the other 31 waking hours a week as free time - plenty of time for just hanging about.

Some children need a bit more structure I feel, my daughter is one of them and she was a lot happier once she was at preschool / school. So I think it depends on you child.

That said, My daughter does hobbies that she enjoys, some of which she is totally useless at, but she enjoys them and thats all that counts in my book... I do find it weird when I hear other parents say that they are not going to let their child do X hobby or Y activity because their child would be no good at it. Surely its all about what the child enjoys at this age??? Or maybe I'm missing the point!

shootfromthehip Thu 18-Sep-08 19:31:50

I think the OP is trying hard not to be a bit pointed about how some P's take their LOs to _Baby Yoga/ Baby Einstein/Baby Mozart was a little bit slow compared to my baby/ Write your first novel in French by the age of 4/ Expressive theatre for your potential X-factor reject_ type classes. Correct me if I'm wrong

We moved away from a large city 3 yrs ago and all my Mummy friends who are still there are constantly trying to out-do each other about what classes their LOs do. I am now in the country with a spectactularly easily bored DD and classically energetic DS. DD (4.5) goes to 2 lots of dancing and swimming with us and a lesson. Busy busy. She also goes to Nursery 5 afternoons a week and does lots at home with me. DS swims with us, will also start dancing at 2.5, but other than playgroup that's it for him until Nursery. I do have to take him out for hours and hours as he loves the outdoors (great in this weather). I think you can provide a suitably busy and active life for your kids at home and don't need to fall into the trap of paying someone else to teach them how to tie their shoes. (But saying that, they may get a certificate and a class high five if someone else does it.Hmm. Tricky)

They need to run large open warehouses where kids can run about nuts and the parents can chat. I'm up for that wink

chickenmama Thu 18-Sep-08 19:48:54

My dd is very easy going and would probably be quite happy staying in all day but it would drive me mad!

We do an activity every morning - toddler groups, a music group, singing at the library, swimming, messy play. I'd do more if we could but she needs her afternoon nap! We also meet up with friends (soft play, park etc) and I childmind so she has friends here to play with before and after school.

Reading that back, it makes me sound like I push her to do lots, but we only do things she enjoys and as she's pretty clingy (and an only child to a single parent) I've found it's really good for her (and me!) to get out and about to socialise.

One thing I won't be doing is putting her in nursery until she's 3 - she totally isn't ready yet, and I want her to be able to enjoy it when she does go.

nickytwotimes Thu 18-Sep-08 19:52:07

My ds is 2 and we do similar things to the op. He has started playgroup once a week which I stay for, because I get to chat with the other Mums and watch him being cute. We usually meet up with a friend every day for company and we go to toddlers once a week. i am not a fan of these 'teach your kid latin' - esque groups, but I understand people using them for company.
I prefer just to potter about with others.

llareggub Thu 18-Sep-08 19:59:25

I did loads when I was on maternity leave. I think there was something every day but it really was for my benefit.

Now that I'm part-time I like to spend one day pottering at home, doing little jobs that DS can help with. We usually go to the park or similar that day too, as DS has lots of energy to burn! On the other day we meet up with my NCT group. We've met every week since birth so the toddlers know each other well, it's great.

I go to the odd playgroup but more because I feel I ought to. Neither DS or I enjoy them at all.

mazzystar Thu 18-Sep-08 20:02:09

I think the bottom line is childcare in company is - for most people - easier than childcare solo.

If you have a lot of family about its also easier.

Activities are what a lot of us have instead of extended families.

I don't think that I have encountered the pressure to educate/stimulate mentioned in the op, nor indeed the pushy mums.

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