Kiddie Activities: Worth It?

Just moments after clicking the payment button for my daughter’s swim team registration, I read a blogpost on spending money on kiddie activities. The post was on the Wells Fargo blog. Talk about an apropos post! You see I spend a great deal of money on

Siting and watching's what I do...

As a new mom I spent very little money. I was a practically full-time work-at-home mom raising my baby. My husband was a full-time teacher, part-time graduate student, and part-time volleyball coach. The three of us lived in a whirlwind of diapers, bottles, and naps with work squeezed in where we could.

All was well until my two-naps-a-day baby dropped her morning nap. As a work-at-home mom who worked while the baby napped I was beside myself. Once the shock wore off and I carved out time for work, I was faced with the longest mornings known to man. My daughter woke at 7 and I had to entertain her until she went down her nap at 1 p.m.

Mornings were endless until I spotted an ad for a music class in a local magazine. I balked at paying $120 per session for a Mommy & Me music class. Would the class be worth it? Would my toddler get anything out of the class? After one class, she and I were hooked. My toddler loved music and would dance and sing. I loved that one morning a week we had something on the previously empty calendar.

The Mommy & Me Class was money well spent. After the first session ended we signed up for another session and another. Soon we trooped in to class with the new baby. With the music class a solid part of our week, we soon added storytime at the library, kiddie soccer, and a movement class. I’m sure my husband must have wondered at the checks I wrote for this class and that, but his heart just melted seeing our toddler do a version of the newest song from class for Daddy. Just call it toddler interpretative dance.

And here's my trusty rusty hand dandy soccer chair ready for the game

My kids are all in full-day school and you would think that we wouldn’t have time for music classes, sports, and other activities. But you know what happens, you make it work.

When my oldest started kindergarten we weighed the pros and cons of starting her on a soccer team before eventually deciding to do a soccer class. She got to make friends with kids in her kindergarten classes while I met their moms. Win!

The soccer class was also half as expensive as the soccer team. By first grade she was ready to don her soccer jersey and strap on a pair cleats for her first soccer team. A friend of my husband gave us two pairs of cleats. My girls wore those donated cleats for a couple of years each…both were on the small side when they were in early elementary school. My daughter was about 9 before she needed a new pair of cleats!

We’re now in three stages of sports development. While my oldest is now a high school student contemplating whether she should play volleyball in college or not, my youngest is still playing multiple sports. I love that all I have to write on her column of the calendar is “VBall” whereas his calendar column is a pot pourri of soccer, karate, lacrosse, and basketball.

When your children are 10 or so you might have to put your foot down and make your child decide on a one sport. Or perhaps your kid will take longer to choose his sport. My oldest knew at 4th grade that she wanted to play volleyball for her high school. Her sister was still playing two sports when she was in 8th grade. At some point she told her dad that she didn’t want to play volleyball anymore. He was sad, but he knew that her passion was swimming.

Life is busy when you are the mom (or dad) of a kid. Some day you may look at the calendar and wonder how you will Kid 1 to Place A while Kid 2 needs to be in Place B. But you make it work.

I wrote this post for a judged contest. Contest is open to legal U.S. residents, 18 years of age or older as of the date of entry. Contest ends at 5:00 p.m. Pacific Time on 8/15/12. See Contest Rules for complete details. Void where prohibited by law.




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