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What extra-curricular activities do your primary-school-aged DCs do?

(12 Posts)
MummyDragon Thu 27-Aug-09 18:43:30


90% of the time I am the antithesis of a pushy parent, and generally I am fairly laid-back wrt my kids doing extra-curricular activities. I don't want to overload them. Currently, DS (aged 5) does after-school swimming once a week, and he learns French (!! oui, oui, c'est fantastique) at school as part of the normal timetable, and will start recorder in September too, again as part of the timetable for Year 1. If he wants to do football etc at school at the end of the day, that's fine, but it will be up to him, and only if it is free (he's at a private school, and they do loads of sport and music as part of the curriculum anyway).
At Junior age we will of course look at after-school sports, additional music lessons if he shows any musical inclination, Cubs/Beavers etc etc ... but up until now our feeling has been, let's wait until he's a bit older. 5 still seems so young.

DD, aged nearly 3, comes to a mother & child swimming thingo with me, supposed to be weekly but in reality we go when I remember (!), and we go to a painting/music class thing at the local play centre once a fortnight. Again, I am happy with this level of activity; she also goes to pre-school twice a week, and I have no intention of doing any additional activities, but I know plenty of mums who take their 2-year-old to an organised activity every single day hmm

DS' school is offering extra-curricular drama classes next term, at vast cost, and he is one of only 2 kids in the class who won't be doing them. What do you think about this? Out of all the kids I know, mine are the ones who do the fewest "structured" activities. Most of the time I am happy with this, as I want my kids to have lots of free time to relax, play with their own stuff, play with friends, etc etc, and DH and I have agreed that they won't do more than one paid-for extra-curricular activity each week until they are at Junior school (aged 7-8). But why does everyone else do so much?? Should mine be doing more??

What do your kids, aged 2-11, do?

Am happy for people to disagree with me and tell me that my kids aren't doing enough activities (I won't be offended!) - I would just love to know what the "average" child does. Thanks...

Karam Thu 27-Aug-09 19:02:19

You are doing the right amount, because you are doing what you are happy with! Each child is different, some children tire easily, some just like hanging about at home, some love doing hobbies - each child is different and you do what suits them.

My DD (5, going into year 1) does gymnastics (4 hours a week - 2 x 2 hour lessons) and one session of ballet/tap/modern. This means she does two after school classes and one class on a saturday morning, leaving her three after schools to play and 1 and a half days for free play at the weekend. She is a very active little girl and enjoys having the opportunity to let off steam at Gymnastics.

DD2 (almost 3) does one 45 min lesson of gymnastics a week and one 30 min lesson of Ballet. On top of that she will have 2 2 1/2 hour sessions at preschool. Other than that she is free playing.

My children love their hobbies, and are always asking to do more (DD1 wants to add horseriding and cheerleading to her list of desires), and I've said no as she does enough already, but I appreciate that for other children this would be too much. But for my DD, she needs lots of physical activities otherwise she is bouncing off the walls all day long!

There is no correct answer, its about whatever is right for you as a family and for your child.

thirtypence Thu 27-Aug-09 21:21:23

Ds is in year 2 and does swimming lesson once a week, cello lesson once a week.

He has to play a Saturday sport as it is part of his school requirement.

During school time he is in the ICT club, the music theory club and the junior choir.

He is the sort of child that needs lots going one, and I am not the sort of parent who wants to spend 10 years of my life driving him to things and so this is the perfect solution.

A lot of the children in his class do something every single day after school.

notanidea Thu 27-Aug-09 22:42:16

Apart from swimming DD didnot do any other activities till she was in year2 when she started her piano lessons.
DD will be going to year 4 - monday-piano,tuesday-cello(she asked for it), saturday-dance/swimming other days free free free for her and me.went to drama class briefly on sundays but stopped it as we decided that it should be a family day so we can all spend time together eg., going for wals etc.,
We had the same dilemma as other children were doing so many other activities- we really resisted to the idea of her doing lot of activities when she was very young.YOU ARE DOING THE RIGHT THING -CHILDREN SHOULD HAVE LOT OF FREE TIME.

MummyDragon Fri 28-Aug-09 15:25:29

And there I was, feeling guilty and lazy for not cramming my kids' days full of things to do! Yes, I agree - I might be a parent, but I am not a taxi service - there has to be a happy medium! My DS will also be doing several activities in Year 2 upwards as part of the school currciulum, like thirtypence - definitely the best of both worlds.

Thanks for your replies smile

trickerg Sat 29-Aug-09 19:28:37

(Just a matter of interest (!) :
How do Year 1s reach the recorder holes? I can usually only find about 30/60 Year 2s with big enough fingers!)

ThingOne Sat 29-Aug-09 19:37:04

My DS1 is going into Year One. Last year he did sport one day after school from January. He was too tired to continue it by the end of term.

This year he's doing one 8am sports club (we live very close and a late morning is 6am for him), and another 4pm sports club a short drive away. If I get my act together he'll have a swimming lesson on Saturday morning.

He's down to start Beavers (a very short walk away) at some point after Christmas so we'll assess then if it's all too much. I'm expecting him to drop at least one of the other activities. Alternatively we'll delay Beavers for six months or so.

My DS2 is three. He'll be doing three mornings at nursery. He has a busier schedule as he needs to do so much physical activity. But he's three and can have a nap if he wants!

thirtypence Sun 30-Aug-09 01:29:41


My trick is that I have around 30 pieces that only need the notes A and B and have very cool accompaniments. They learn to play in time and produce nice notes, but without needing to have massive hands. Many of them don't even question what the other holes are doing on the recorder.

trickerg Sun 30-Aug-09 17:22:49

Even in Y2, several of the children think you just have to hum down the tube! Sounds a bit like a demented camel.

MummyDragon Sun 30-Aug-09 17:50:33

<<bashes head against wall at thought of DS trying to play the recorder "in tune" ... aaaaggggghhhhh>>

snorkle Mon 31-Aug-09 00:05:35

Sounds good to me mummydragon. Doing lots of stuff at school as part of the curriculum is optimal at infant age imo. As I recall mine did regular swimming and occasional (pay as you go) trampolining at that age, but started doing much more after school clubs etc. in years 3-6 which seems to be when they have time and energy to do more and it's nice for them to try out stuff then.

franch Mon 14-Sep-09 20:04:52

Up till now, the DDs (4 and 5.5) have done no clubs/classes outside of school/nursery.

DD2 still does nothing; DD1 has just started Y1 and they are now offered clubs so she's chosen to sign up for karate and sports.

She gets French, swimming lessons etc as part of the school curriculum.

I think life is pretty intense for them sometimes and they need to just mess about randomly at home ...

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