Monday, October 11, 2010

Over active-ity kids

Some of the rules in the our house are made and soon declared, "that will be best for the children" but really the answer is, that is what we can afford, that is what fits into the schedule, or that is all mummy can be bothered doing.

House rule number 865 is: Thou who does not earn an income, shall only be ferried around to one activity a week.

And as we are in Australia, and as I am a self confessed worrier of safety the lesson has had to be swimming. For a stint gymnastics was allowed too, but after a particular bad class where we left early, it was all over red rover.

But, for term 4 Popps won't be doing swimming lessons for the first time in three years. Why? Well, cos it is time Immy got in the pool too. But one year olds need to have their Mumma in the pool with them, and I don't really like to be in there with the muffin top floating about and singing nursery rhymes with people I don't know. I find the packed mouse sized change rooms too stressful with just Popps, so getting three of us dry and dressed  with 87 other kids is too much for me. Panic attack anyone?

Plus, at around two hundred smackers a term for one, that would make it four hundred big ones for two, just for ten weeks of lessons.

Instead, the money is going to a pass at the local pool, and for a fraction of the cost we get the whole summer to frolic about in the chlorine. For the last four weeks the three of us have been heading off for a swim, and so far we have always had other friends join us. It is fun for everyone, I get to chat with a friend, the kids all have a swim, the little ones get exposure to the water and we get out and changed at a snail pace without the pressure of the 87 other kids all finishing a lesson at the same time. It comes with an added bonus, Immy is exhausted and sleeps for two hours afterwards. Yahooooooooo

Extra bonus points just keep on coming, we also have money free to put towards the dance lessons Popps has been begging for, so I am on the hunt for a local dance class that isn't too serious and won't request I sew a gazillion sequins onto a leotard.

There is a lot of discussion about kids being over scheduled, taking too many classes, sports events, play dates, kinder, outings etc. How many activities do your kids do? If funds were no problem, would they do more? How much is too much, what wouldn't you let them do?

I am off to wash the chlorine out of my hair.


  1. Dardo's in childcare on a Wednesday, which is hardly an activity, but I chose Wednesday because that's when they do kinder sports at the childcare!

    When he's a bit older I'd like to get him into karate or capoeira, but beyond that it might just depend on what's happening at school. I'd like him to learn Japanese because of his heritage (same reason I'd like him to pick up capoeira - he's Japanese Brazilian on his father's side), so if the school he ends up in doesn't teach Japanese I might get him into a language class.

    I've read blogs/hear stories about people who have their kids in different activities every day of the week, and I'm like, woah Nelly, even uber parents these days agree on structured play time!

  2. As an ex swim teacher I think this is an excellent compromise. Early childhood aquatics is alot about water familiarization so by taking regular trips to the pool Pops is having fun in the water. The past swimming lessons have no doubt instilled some basic floating, kicking and water movement concepts which will further cement their way into her skill set the more time she is in the water, be it lessons or simply playing.
    Have fun. Splish Splosh splash! Maybe me and the bub will join you one day to. No laughing at my fat bits!

  3. Kerri B, would love to have you and the amazingly gorgeous M hit the pool with us.

    Fat bits, hairy bits, wobbly bits, all welcome around these parts, and one must not be laughing at those with transparent white skin.

  4. It all adds up so quickly doesn't it... both the money and the time!

    We are trying to limit extra activities too but it's so hard. I really want them all to learn to swim well (difficult for us because of illness and too many children per adults!) but our big girls adore ballet and have just thrived doing it. I let them do a term of netball too this year, and they are very keen to learn violin - but thankfully that is at school so we only have to find the $$ not the time!

    Definitely a great idea to buy a swim pass and just enjoy the pool!

  5. Ace idea, and so much cheaper with less stress. What's not to love about that?!

    If money was no option, we'd be doing no more than we already do! As it is, it's kindy two mornings a week and swimming one arvo a week, we have a play date with a friend less than once a week (I try to limit it to that because the invites can get so out of control and my head just spins with the co-ordination) and she does dancing - because that is what she absolutely adooooores.

  6. Good timing on this post as there is much debate in the Fibro about it at present. Both boys go to swimming lessons (but less than $200 for both for the term, so clearly not Gold Class lessons like your local ones). Mr6 and I go to guitar - $20 for both of us for half an hour, can't really complain.

    But then there's Ninjas. Twice a week. Too much if you ask me. But Mr6 just LOVES it. So I'm torn. But have warned him he has until the end of next week to prove he won't be too tired. Methinks he's going to lose.

    I hate being overscheduled.

  7. I want my kids to do one sport and music.

    Have you checked local schools and community centres for sequinless dance classes?


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