Outside Activities – what is worthwhile?

Today I was chatting with one of my friends when she started telling me about all of the amazing classes her dd is in.  Her dd is currently going to preK 3 days a week and she has just signed her up for a gymnastics class and a ballet class.  She was telling me that her dd just loved the gymnastics class and then she told me that I should send my dd as well to this class.

Back when my dd was 2 years old I did have her go to a obstacle course/pre-gymnastics class because I was worried about her gross motor development.  She has always been on the other side of the curve in this area (crawling at 8 months, walking at 15 months, and not jumping very well when she was 2) and I thought that this class would help a little.  She certainly did enjoy the class and I loved how it was set up: obstacle course in the beginning and unstructured free time at the end of class.  However, I don’t think that it did very much to help her motor skills and the best part of the class for her was at the end: they chased bubbles around and had stamps put on their hands.

Fast forward to the present and I just don’t see the need for this type of class for dd any more.  The class for her age group is much more structured and really it is for children that will continue on with gymnastics at this gym.  Although I was in gymnastics when younger this is not something that I want for my dd.  I am more interested in getting her involved in martial arts and continuing her swimming lessons when the warm weather returns to this part of Florida.

So, I told my friend that the teacher is wonderful and that the class sounds like a lot of fun, but my dd will not be participating.  My gym currently offers a Fit Kids class for free where they get to play games and go through an obstacle course every week.  Also, we do go to the children’s gym every Friday for their Stay and Play session where the children get to run around for 2 hours playing on whatever they choose ($8 for the day). 

Part of me thinks about how much fun my dd would have in these other classes, but then the other part of me hates having to get to an activity at a particular time more than once a week.  I also think that going out for more structured activities than we do at home twice a week is sufficient.  And even though money is not a particularly big concern, you certainly do spend quite a bit when you have to pay monthly for these extras.  But, when you hear your friends talking about how wonderful these other things are you tend to second guess yourself.  I was very proud of my resolve today, but I am sure that I will seek reassurance from my dh when he gets home today.

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