Out of School Activities: How Many Are Too Many?

How many out of school activities does your child do? One a week? Five a week? As parents, we want to provide our kids with as many different experiences as we can. Out of school activities can form a large part of those. From swimming lessons to dance classes, Brownies to netball games, there are so many wonderful opportunities our kids can participate in. It can seem beneficial to sign them up for as many different activities as we can. But is this a good thing? Let’s explore it some more …

How Many Out of School Activities Should My Child Join? 

The benefits of out of school activities are plentiful:

• Increased confidence

• Helps build personal skills and interests

• Assists with the creation of time-management skills

• Provides social interactions

• Develop motivation

On the other hand though, too many after school activities can lead to:

• Anxiety

• Stress

• Reduction of unstructured playtimes

• Overtiredness and irritability

• Unable to get homework done

• Poor parents (some activities cost a lot!)

If having to weigh up the pros and cons wasn’t hard enough, you also need to find a balance of participating in the right number of activities too! So, how can you do that? Here are some ideas other families are using:

• Setting a limit – some parents only allow their child to have one or two after school activities per week. The child must choose their absolute favourite ones, which has the benefit of increasing their want to participate in it further down the track.

• Letting one child choose the family activity – if you’ve got a lot of kids, it’s going to be near impossible to drive everyone where they’re supposed to be all at the same time. Instead, have one child choose a family-wide activity each term such as art class or athletics.

• Make a list of other commitments – jot down all of things your child wants or has to do after school each day. Homework, TV, playing with friends and snacks are all important too, and if you have too many activities, something has to give.

• Consider your child’s predisposition – are they highly scheduled and good with managing time? More activities may be fine in this case. Do they struggle with changes and are slow to transition between activities? Less would be best then.

Tell me, how many out of school activities did you do when you were little, and what were they? Let me know in the comments below!

Out of School Activities: How Many Are Too Many?

Posted: Tuesday 15 October 2019


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