Keeping Kids Active on a Budget
My kids love to take extracurricular classes. Every time I turn around it seems they are telling me they want to try this (karate, soccer, dance) or do that (play an instrument, take an art class, learn to play basketball).
I am ALL FOR getting my kids involved in a variety of activities. I want them to be musically inclined. To appreciate art. To know how to play a team sport, and to know how to do things like piano on their own. I want them to be active and outgoing, doing things that do not include technology or the television, things that include the outdoors.
At the same time, those things cost money. So how can you keep your children involved in learning about art, music, and sports – or other things you feel are important – without spending the money you’ve saved for their college education?
Here are a few ideas; add your own in the comment section!
- Check local recreation departments. Some of the best sports in our area are available through the rec department. They are inexpensive and, what I really love is that the rec department rotates the sport according to the season. So far my kids have tried T-ball, softball, basketball, AND soccer! The department also offers cheerleading classes/clinics as well as swim lessons and yoga for moms AND kids. Check with your local recreation department to see what assortment of classes yours offer. (Best of all, these classes are incredible inexpensive!) One word of caution if you are interested in having your children really learn a sport: sometimes rec departments are more about having your kids get out there and play than teaching them how to become major league players. I am okay with this; for me it is about introducing them to the sport and letting them get out with peers and exercise. If you wish for your child to compete, for instance, you may want to look at official leagues instead.
- Look at the local Y. Our local YMCA offers classes for kids who are members as well as for kids who aren’t. (Members get a discount.) This summer our Y offered karate twice per week as well as some camps in the afternoons. Call your local Y to see what activities yours offers for children. And if they don’t offer classes, ask them who might, as they may know who to recommend.
- Look for individuals who teach music rather than music schools or stores. Our girls are taking piano because we want them to know how to read and appreciate music. We found a local lady that teaches classes rather than going through a music store, which was much more costly. If you want your children to learn an instrument, ask around. Find someone local who teaches out of the home. You can even try asking at your church or school; I’ve found several additional people through these places that offer classes on the side.
Are your kids involved in extracurricular activities or sports? If so, where do they attend these events?