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best activities for primary school girl please?

(36 Posts)
thankGodTheSunIsFinallyOut Wed 24-Apr-13 11:43:27

My DD is age 6.5 and has so far shown skill in music (can play drums quite well and a bit of piano so far but would have a go at anything) sports (always winning stuff) and fancies the idea of tap although have only found ballet locally so far.

Problem is I can only afford one or two lessons/activities for her as they are priced at £60-£360 (suzuki) a term. Just wondering what I should prioritise? Do any instruments or sports feature significantly in getting scholarships to good secondary schools? We live in East London if that colours opinion at all.

Thank you!

JiltedJohnsJulie Tue 02-Sep-14 13:42:48

Bit late to the thread but has she tried a Martial Art? Did you sign her up for Brownies?

pianoteacher1 Tue 05-Aug-14 11:23:37

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lljkk Sun 05-May-13 15:13:58

Nope not in London.
But salaries in London supposed to be higher, too.
Forgot to put Judo on my big list for DD, that was £2.50 for 1-2.5 hour sessions.

Schmedz Sun 05-May-13 14:53:37

lljkk. I don't think you live in London... No activities that inexpensive here apart from the Brownies! One DDs horse riding lessons £25 a week, other DDs violin lessons £300 a term (she has an private hour lesson with a highly qualified teacher, though). Both do lots of free clubs at school for their sport but one does Chess at £50 a term and the other does tap for £8.50 a lesson. These are also a lot less than other parents I know pay for similar activities.

lljkk Thu 02-May-13 18:05:54

Football is cheap, if either one gets into that. At least the practice & games are. It's the transport that adds up, although parents usually share lifts to spread the load.

thankGodTheSunIsFinallyOut Thu 02-May-13 13:54:39

The big expenses I have been quoted are the suzuki music lessons which for (admittedly both) my children were £45 a week plus bus fare across town three times, so roughly £2K a year! The cheapest is now tennis which is a fabulous £2 a go.

Ballet was kicking in at £70-90 a term on the high end also. So even doing just those two activities was the equivalent of buying a second hand car.

lljkk Thu 02-May-13 12:29:20

I aimed for 30 minutes of practice a week at that age,

bloody hell, find some cheaper activities. Age 8 DD was doing up to 10 activities a week and I still spent far less than OP describes a single activity costs.

For the record, DD was doing
Brownies (£30/term)
Brownies gardening badge (transport and seed costs only, every other week)
Trampolening (£2/session, £24/term)
Swimming (£75/quarter)
Skating (£2/session, £24/term)
Gymnastics (£50/term)
Violin lessons in school (£150/yr with violin hire)
Horse riding fortnightly (£15/lesson, so £75/term)
One or 2 free in-school after school clubs

I make that out as approx. £300/term.

thankGodTheSunIsFinallyOut Thu 02-May-13 11:55:34

thanks for all the very good advice everyone. I feel I have a much better perspective on the situation now. x

Am not bothering with Suzuki (money much too silly), have gone for piano lesson (no intrument rental) for now (with an eye on orchestral percussion) and cheap-ish tennis, basketball and gymnastics which I will prune this autumn as DD2 will deserve some attention at this point! blush . Nothing back from Rainbow people yet, they may all be full as well I guess.

Interesting points about summer holiday camp tasters will see what they have in my area.

Thank you all for your contributions x

EvilTwins Mon 29-Apr-13 20:35:24

Oooo, as for cost, drama is £30 per term, gym works out at £4ish per session and swimming is £70 per term. Perhaps you need to shop around a bit?

EvilTwins Mon 29-Apr-13 20:33:57

My girls are 6 and they do gymnastics, swimming and drama out of school. They used to do ballet but I they got fed up of it. I teach them piano, but that's quite ad hoc at the moment and they do recorder club at school. Three out of school activities is enough for us. We too missed out on Rainbows because we didn't know the right people and the waiting list at the other pack was too long.

I am waiting to see which they end up favouring. If they get good at gym, it will have to be that rather than anything else at some point because the club demands a lot of the kids who make the "squad". Drama is at our local (very good) theatre and that too gets more serious as they get older.

Lonecatwithkitten Sun 28-Apr-13 13:24:24

I would agree on fun. For my DD that fell to performing arts which she loves. So now she is 9 she plays clarinet and recorder, plays in orchestra,sings in two choirs and takes tap outside of school and does modern and street dance in school lessons. All of this is her choice and she loves it all.
Brownies round here is a closed shop disaster I don't know the 'right' people so even though she has been on the waiting list since she was three I hold out no hope of getting her in.

Gubbins Fri 26-Apr-13 09:25:52

She's six! Focus on what's fun, and what she enjoys, not what's going to stand her in good stead for a scholarship. If you choose what instrument she plays based on that then it's quite likely that she won't enjoy playing it, it will be a fight to get her to practice, and you could put her off playing music completely.

Take her to some concerts, play her some records and let her decide what instrument she likes the look/sound of.

Taffeta Thu 25-Apr-13 23:06:59

My 6.5 yo DD has tried....French, ballet, tennis, swimming, gymnastics, multi sports, Rainbows, horse riding, recorder, cricket and tap. NB not all at the same time, over the last few years to see what she likes.

Rainbows is the standout. Her, and my, favourite by a country mile.

raisinggirls Thu 25-Apr-13 23:00:02

Brownies are non-denominational, churches are just usually convenient places for meetings, and not all attend church parade ever. There are girls of all faiths and none in Guiding.

I can't recommend it highly enough as an all round activity for girls.

If she is 6.5, she may well get onto a short waiting list for one of your local units as Brownies start at 7 years old (Rainbows are 5).

littleducks Thu 25-Apr-13 11:22:56

Can she swim? Swimming was a priority for us sports wise.

Perhaps whilst she is still young you could send her to a sports camp in the school holidays, instead of regular lessons these can be good for exposure for a variety of sports.

Brownies can be great but the waiting list is often long.

Are music lessons available at school? You could maybe start there and add in extra tuition later, our school loans out the instruments cheaply which I think would reduce the cost.

SanityClause Thu 25-Apr-13 11:13:06

At DD2's school, music scholars must have two instruments to grade 4 or 5 standard at a minimum. Drums would be fine, so long as it includes orchestral percussion. They also have to audition. Scholarships are not always awarded, and are only about 10% of fees, anyway.

Sports scholarships are awarded to very talented people. In DD1's year, the scholarship went to a girl who is very good at all sports and had competed for the junior school in Cross Country, Netball, Swimming and Hockey, as well as Gymnastics, where she is nationally ranked in the top 20. Again, the scholarship is 10% of fees.

The amount of money you save in getting a scholarship is barely likely to cover the cost of the music tuition or sports training. So, let her do the activity because she enjoys it, rather than to get a scholarship.

Re practise, 10 mins per day is unlikely to get you to grade 5 standard within the 3 or 4 years she has to achieve this, if she wants a scholarship. There are no easy ways to get really good. The only way to get to Carnegie Hall is practice! <kaboom tish>

thankGodTheSunIsFinallyOut Thu 25-Apr-13 10:46:31

OK, thank you.

KathySeldon Wed 24-Apr-13 20:36:20

we just go to our local cricket club where we live. Outdoor training in the summer, indoor from about feb half term until Easter if I remember correctly. Matches as and when.

thankGodTheSunIsFinallyOut Wed 24-Apr-13 19:35:48

I have just seen this site - are these the cricket clubs you are going to?

thankGodTheSunIsFinallyOut Wed 24-Apr-13 17:47:42

Thanks for these good tips everyone.

ThreeBeeOneGee Wed 24-Apr-13 15:16:48

I would say Brownies would be my priority, along with an instrument. Team sports will probably be available at school for free. DS2 qualified for a music place at a selective secondary school without learning an instrument (apart from recorder). He sang at his audition.

iseenodust Wed 24-Apr-13 15:14:52

Brownies does include church parade.

Wildlife watch is the junior arm of the wildlife trust and is free. (Think springwatch in action!) So making/putting up bird boxes, building dens, butterfly survey, pond dipping, getting to know about and usually hold small mammals, creepy crawlies, owls, you get the picture. It's usually lively, mixed and is great for creating an interest in the environment/wildlife/science.

Round here cricket is mixed under age 9, costs £2 per week for training and team matches are free.

Look also into tennis (see LTA mini tennis website). There may be free courts near you. DS plays tennis and his lessons are cheaper than swimming lessons at the council pool and have a much better coach ratio. You only need a racquet and trainers, no other kit.

KathySeldon Wed 24-Apr-13 15:13:50

Oh, and theatre arts.

Wow sounds a lot actually!!!

KathySeldon Wed 24-Apr-13 15:13:16

As far as music scholarships go - chose an unusual instrument like bassoon, french horn, trombone, oboe. However, a second instrument will be necessary too and piano is a good one for that.

I would expect 10mins practice (preferably every day) at that age.

Mind you, the instruments I mentioned above would be a bit old for her yet. But if she learns piano now, she should pick up another instrument quicker later on.

My nearly 8 dd does violin, cricket and tennis.

thankGodTheSunIsFinallyOut Wed 24-Apr-13 14:53:27

On a similar err.. note, I am also wondering how many hours on average you can expect/encourage a child aged 6-8 to practice an instrument per week?

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