thread: Kids Activities - How Much Is Too Much?

  1. #1

    Jul 2009
    Out North, Vic

    Kids Activities - How Much Is Too Much?

    I know everyone will have a different opinion and each and every child is different and would cope differently but I'm after some opinions on how much is 'acceptable' for extra curricular activities / hobbies / sports for kids of different ages.

    DD1 - 5yrs old:
    School (foundation / prep) 5 days a week 9:00 - 3:30
    Gymnastics - Wed 4:00 - 5:00pm
    Swimming - Thurs - 5:00 - 5:30pm (just re-enrolled after first term gap to adjust to school)
    Auskick - Sat 9:00 - 10:00am (starts her first one this week)

    I don't doubt DD will cope, she loves her sports and she's quite good at Gymnastics and swimming, I'm hoping the 5pm lesson wont be too much for her though and it will be a matter of wait and see.
    Once she progresses in gymnastics her coach has discussed the option of her training 2 nights a week but that wont be for a while (I hope)

    DD2- 4yrs old:
    Kinder 3 days a week - Mon & Thurs 9:15 - 2:45 and Tues 8:30 - 12:30
    Swimming - Wed - 9:30 - 10:00am
    Gymnastics - Wed - 12:30 - 1:30pm

    She wanted to do Auskick also but I've told her she's too young and to wait until next year, I don't doubt she would cope but I think it will be nice for DD1 to have something of her own to do this year as a 'big girl'

    I'm sure there are kids out there the same age who do a lot more or even a lot less... just looking for opinions.

  2. #2
    BellyBelly Life Subscriber

    Dec 2008

    Re: Kids Activities - How Much Is Too Much?

    If it works for you and the kids, I don't see a problem.

    My kids play 1 sport each, so 1 night of training and 1 game per week for each of the 3. That works for us because I work and can't get them to where they need to be every night.

  3. #3
    Registered User

    Jan 2006

    Re: Kids Activities - How Much Is Too Much?

    Acceptable is having them awake and able to learn for school and activities. If they are enjoying and not too tired to participate, it is fine.

    Some children can do more than others.

  4. #4
    Registered User

    Apr 2008

    Re: Kids Activities - How Much Is Too Much?

    That sounds similar to dd2 - she is 5 and in prep. She does netball for 45 min Tuesday, swimming for half an hour Wednesday and jazz for 45 min on Saturdays. She has done so all term and is fine with it.

  5. #5
    Thankful for the kindness of my 2012 RAK making me Life member

    Jul 2007

    Re: Kids Activities - How Much Is Too Much?

    DS1 has school 5 days a week and attends before and after school care 3 days a week.
    Thursdays he has swimming 1630-1700.
    Saturday Auskick 1000-1130
    Sunday Tennis 1300-1330

    DS2 has CC 3 days a week 0730-1715
    Thursdays Gymnastics 1100-1200
    Thursday Swimming 1630-1700
    Auskick 1000-1130

    They both cope fine doing all that they do.

  6. #6
    Registered User

    Jan 2014

    Kids Activities - How Much Is Too Much?

    DD1 who is nearly 5 and in Foundation year has done one activity per week since she was 3 (varies each term, music, ballet, swimming).

    I won't do any more than that because we have three other family / community activities that we attend as a family, so that's enough for us!

  7. #7
    Registered User

    Sep 2005
    In the middle of nowhere

    Re: Kids Activities - How Much Is Too Much?

    I agree, it's totally up to the child and the family.
    I dropped swimming in the last year (they still do other stuff though), and I didn't realise how tired and over structured they (and I) were. I love not having to be somewhere every afternoon after school, and they have benefitted from extra down time. So, each to their own I say.

  8. #8
    Registered User

    Aug 2006
    On the other side of this screen!!!

    Re: Kids Activities - How Much Is Too Much?

    It really depends on whether the activities are in balance with the rest of the family's commitments.

    My DD1 at the same age only did one activity per week (sport on Saturdays) - this was enough for our family since we were both working full-time and she was in afterschool care all week. However, the care provided a number of different activities and so I figured she was getting plenty of variety, if that makes sense.

    When she was a bit older, she joined Scouts and then Guides. Guides was a winner and has been a constant since. She has also done a variety of sporting activities since then as well. So for us, the balance has been for the kids to do one sporting and one other activity - with one of those usually being on the weekend.

  9. #9
    Add Rouge on Facebook

    Jun 2003

    Re: Kids Activities - How Much Is Too Much?

    With both my kids I gave them prep year off so they can settle. Over the years they have had up to 3 things a week. DD, now in high school has 4 things a week and DS has 2. Soon to be 3.

  10. #10

    Oct 2004
    In my Zombie proof fortress.

    Re: Kids Activities - How Much Is Too Much?

    We are keeping them to a minimum for financial reasons and family happiness.

    They are allowed 1 paid activity, plus they can do a free Active After school session. I admit to pushing the Active After school, as I want them to be physical and participate in a range of activities. Plus from a selfish mummy point of view, I only need to pick up, not drop off, which gives me some breathing space once a week to not have to rush out of work.

    We also want to keep weekends fairly free, so we can do things as a family. Even though we will be fine with something like Scouts, which is mid week with some weekend activities. DD1 really wants to join(and we want her to), but she wants to continue with recreational gymnastics

  11. #11
    BellyBelly Life Subscriber

    Oct 2008

    Re: Kids Activities - How Much Is Too Much?

    Our guys are 2 and 4 so not at the stage you're talking about. But we seem to have kept it to one paid activity each. That is on top of kinder hours and playgroup. Both boys were doing swimming on a saturday but we're a little over the rushing to get there each week! So are now looking into replacing that with something else, Rookie Sports for the 4 year old and possibly Gymbaroo for the toddler.

  12. #12

    Jul 2009
    Out North, Vic

    Re: Kids Activities - How Much Is Too Much?

    Thanks everyone, I like to see what everyone else does.

    Swimming is a must for us a must for us as we spend a lot of time around the water.

    DD1 got her first pair of footy boots yesterday, she was a little excited
    Soooo cute!

  13. #13
    BellyBelly Life Subscriber

    Apr 2009
    Epping, VIC

    Re: Kids Activities - How Much Is Too Much?

    My DD is 4- she does normal kinder hours.
    Swimming on a Tuesday- half hour
    Dancing on a Saturday- 1 hour

    Not sure about next year- even though she starts school, I'd also like her to play a team sport.

  14. #14
    BellyBelly Life Subscriber

    Sep 2008

    Re: Kids Activities - How Much Is Too Much?

    I think all families and situations are different. The way I think about it is to attribute a value to time for free play, and free time spent in the outdoors - and then look at whether the activity you are doing is meaning that these are getting squeezed out and then also if activity itself you consider more important (e.g. swimming I think is particularly important). I think concern around too many activities is not really about the number of activities but around how much time is left for free time/play - and for each family this will be different depending on other commitments. I personally don't like the term 'down' time which is often used because I think it kind of doesn't embrace the value of time not spent doing activities - and I think that time is very important (particularly time spent outdoors not doing a sporting activity).

    DS does none, DD does an art class and swimming (which I am not totally convinced that I count in the same way as I see learning to swim as a necessity at the moment).

    I do think the child's enthusiasm for the activity comes into play as well when deciding on how many/what

  15. #15

    Jul 2009
    Out North, Vic

    Re: Kids Activities - How Much Is Too Much?

    She went really well at Auskick, was the only girl in the prep section but that won't deter her.

    She was a bit out of whack with swimming but will get it all back.

  16. #16
    BellyBelly Member
    Add ~clover~ on Facebook

    Sep 2007

    Re: Kids Activities - How Much Is Too Much?

    We have government funding in wa for sports. So mine are entitled to $200 worth of fees/uniforms/equipment.

    Ds is 6. He does netta training/active after school for an hour on Tuesdays, then auskick Thursday's. He also plays a game of auskick most Saturdays. Which often includes up to 4 hours round trip travel.

    Dd will be starting both of these sports next year also, but will only be 4, as well as 2-3 days at kindy.

    She will possibly join in a netta game on Saturdays as well as the auskick game.

    I'd let my kids do something every afternoon if I knew they were enjoying it. Dd1 does hockey & netball training on a tuesday, 2 hours straight. Then joins in our training & sometimes footy training Thursdays, as well as playing games for both hockey & netball on a saturday.

    Dd2 does 2 hours netta/netball on a tuesday & a game saturday. She's just told me she wants to have a go at footy. ..she may last a training session lol.

    Dd1 is the only one who takes her sports seriously in any way. But she loves it & is quite talented. We are all involved, but it is all fun. If they don't want to play, then they don't. They all want too.

    Sport is all we have available though. With swimming & basketball during the Summer. No dancing/karate etc.