Extracurricular Activities Beyond Child Care

As a working parent you probably rely on child care for your children. But don’t you sometimes wish your kids could do more extra-curricular activities? Getting your kids to day care and yourself to and from work seems hard enough, let alone planning for any additional evening enrichment. Luckily, we have some tips for how to strike a balance:

1. Look for child care that already offers enrichment activities.
Some daycares incorporate enrichment activities like dance, music, sports and technology into their program whereby kids can enjoy an activity without leaving the child care facilities. Be sure to ask when you are interviewing child care providers if these and other services are available. Most child care providers offer some sort of extracurricular activities as part of the curriculum. Others, however, might offer these classes at an additional cost because they invite outside companies to lead these special classes.

2. Take weekend classes you can do together as a family.
Many busy working parents reserve the weekends for family time and are reluctant to schedule kids into additional activities. That’s why we recommend planning activities you can do together on Saturdays and Sundays. There are many activities parents can do with kids like swimming, yoga, art, soccer, or music. Find an activity that you and your child, or even the whole family, can enjoy together.

3. Know your kids, sign them up for activities they enjoy.
Look for activities your child enjoys. Perhaps your baby is a tumbler, or your toddler is musical, or maybe your preschooler simply likes to get dirty!? Whatever it may be, find an activity that exposes your child to experiences they won’t get at daycare. Ideally, it would be a place where your child could also practice their social skills. Look for activities that are close to home in order to reduce lengthy drive times and additional time spent in the car. Since little ones also tend to have short attention spans, I would also recommend activities with shorter durations, a 30-minute as opposed to a 60-minute class.

 Ilene Miller is the co-founder of Activity Rocket, a one-stop free website where parents can search, find, compare, share, sign up, and get deals for activities for metro DC kids ages 0-18.

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