Monday, October 18, 2010

Kid's Activities

This week I was discussing with a friend which activities her kids were trying out this year : hockey, boxing, music lessons, skating... and I admit it, I was a bit jealous (except maybe about the hockey, I would not want to spend that much time at a rink!).

I have always been a person who believes that kids should not be in more than one activity at a time, a philosophy my husband and I discussed before we even had kids.  We both grew up in the country, and our parents were not going to drive to town everyday.  Besides, with each of the three kids in my husband's family being in one activity, it was already lots of trips into town.

Plus, I totally understimated the cost of kids activities before we actually had kids.  Soccer must be about 40 bucks, right? Um, where we live its more like $150, plus equipment.  Lacrosse and skating are about the same.  Not sure how much baseball is.  My daughter's ballet last year was $37 a month for ten months, plus a $60 costume, $20 registration fees, and pictures and a video of recital.  My son wanted to look into Scouts Canada's Beavers program.  It's $160, plus uniform.  It's basically a great playgroup with crafts and activities, but none of the badges, skills and outdoor education that we would want.  So I guess it's not for our family.  With three kids, the cost of activities gets prohibative pretty quick!

I want my kids to get to try things they are interested in, to develop skills.  Sports and activites teach so much more that you might think.  Ballet taught my daughter about being part of a group, following directions, listening to the beat of the music, and more.  Plus she looked really sweet in her fluffy white tutu!  We decided not to put her in ballet this year, since we can't really afford it.  Besides, she can always take more ballet lessons in a year or so.  Tiny tot ballet is not exactly critical.  My kids are all pretty young still, how early do they really need to be enrolled in stuff?

I'm also a homebody, and don't want to be away every evening of the week.  I believe firmly in the value of large quatities of time spent just being together as a family.  Plus, with three kids, its hard to find windows of time to participate.  I'm still scheduling around naps and an early bedtime.

So why, if that's what I believe, is this hard for me?  I think partly, because we can't afford it.  It doesn't always feel like this is what we are doing because we want to, but because we have to.  Also, I worry that my kids won't get the opportunities others will.  I know my son, who is in school, often mentions all the neat things some of his classmates get to do.

My kids have seven grandparents and six great-grandparents (seriously), so we've asked them to consider this year, as a Christmas gift, paying for an activity instead of another toy.  But, lots of activities start in the fall, and my kid's birthdays all fall after Christmas too.  I suppose they will just have to pick a spring sport, or a summer camp at one of the many awesome local bible camps.

I'm still looking for great low or no cost kids activities.  Our library has a great book club program, but, in my opinion, it runs at dumb times.  One is mid-afternoon, which is nap time for my youngest, and the other is 7:30, which is bed time at my house.

So for now, I guess I will wait and keep looking.  Do you have a limit on number of activities or days you will be away from home? When do your kids start activities?


  1. Just wanted to let you know that Jumpstart and Kidsport will completely fund and sport/activity that your kids (yeas all 3) want to do. You just have to apply.


  2. Wow, thanks, that is an awesome tip! I will be checking into that!

  3. Hey,
    ball was not too bad $80.00 for six weeks, although half got rained out this year. Better than the 140. For six weeks of soccer.

    If you know more about boxing and the kidsport thing please let me know.

    Thanks Kylee

  4. Ok, I looked quickly into both. They have certain application times, which seem to both be June and January. Jumpstart is through Canadian Tire, and kidsport is its own thing. Both take applications. Kidsport asks you questions to determine your level of need. I'm assuming this is some financial stuff. Kidsport asks for certain types of people, like your coach, to sign that they agree you need help with the funding.
    I'm not sure how they determine who "can't afford" the costs of sports, or what the cut off income might be? I'm going to look into it a bit further!


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