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Help a Mom: When should young kids begin activities, classes

Posted August 13, 2013

A local mom asked me this question when we met the other day: She's wondering when her son, now nine months, will be old enough for activities and outings such as music and movement classes or sports.

I shared that my younger daughter, nearly four, will start her very first activity other than preschool, library story times and a week of swim lessons, this fall. I've signed her up for an indoor soccer class.

My older daughter didn't participate in any extracurricular activities beyond day care and story times, when I could take her, until she entered kindergarten.

In large part, my decision was based on time. I was working full-time when my older daughter was young. My younger daughter has been in preschool or in a playgroup four to five mornings a week and, until recently, has been too exhausted to take part in anything in the afternoon. 

But, there are plenty of Mommy and Me classes out there for the younger set - from music and movement to art and sports classes.

What age did your children start participating in activities? Please share your tips in the comments box below. (If you don't see the comments box below, you'll need to log in or sign up for a WRAL account. You can do that by going to the top of the page and clicking on either "log in" or "register").

Help a Mom features questions from readers every Wednesday. If you have a question that you'd like to ask Go Ask Mom readers, click here to email it to me.


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  • hsiflee Aug 14, 2013

    I don't believe these moms r really asking these questions...Seems all embellished in order to write an article...Hopefully the big bad WRAL Gostapo censor machine won't ban me for an honest comment...Just keeping it real.

  • LRB Aug 14, 2013

    My daughters each started taking dance when they were 3 years old. And they each took a swimming lesson class during the summer. They youngest that can take without a parent being in the pool is 3 as well.

  • 2thebeach Aug 14, 2013

    My oldest daughter started dance when she was almost 4 and danced through college. It really does depend on your time and financial situation and the child. If it's a battle to get them there - I'd think again.

  • righthere1234 Aug 14, 2013

    Other than a week of swim lessons in the summer when he was 3 and 4, my son didn't start any activities until he was 5 and played T-Ball. My daughter is 3.5 and will start her first activity, ballet, next month.

  • hgaunc Aug 14, 2013

    We started our daughter in soccer and gymnastics when she was 4. I personally think it just depends on the child.

  • turkeydance Aug 13, 2013

    child begins when child's friends
    begin. it's really that simple.