We are starting to think about our plans for the fall, and I'm afraid that we are signing up DD for too many things. I have always been of the mindset that free time at home to play should definitely outweigh the structured activities. She's 4yo (5 in November). Granted, she is possibly a gifted 4 year old, with lots of different interests. She is also an only child and very, very social, and we do not have as many in-home play dates as we used to, since moving last year. I am working on that, but most of the kids she has become friends with have two working parents, and weekend play dates never work well for us.
When she was a baby and toddler, we did Music Together. That was the only 'structured' activity we had (other than library storytime, which I don't count).
This year she is in her 2nd year of Montessori preschool, but her first time going for a full day (they took away the 1/2 day option this year, which really bums me out, but not enough to leave an otherwise great school). So she will be in school Mon-Fri 8:30-2:30.
Then, we've got:
- Piano lessons - We started these 2 months ago and she loves it, so that is sticking around. Music really does seem to be her gift, and her passion.
- Dance - I have dragged my foot on this for ages. This would be the first time she is doing dance. She lost an interest in soccer in the spring, at that time she asked to try dance. In a moment of weakness (or strength for saying yes to something I didn't really want her to try?) I said yes.
- Spanish - This is a one-hour, once a week immersion program. Her and I both really want this. She was in an immersion 1-day a week preschool before moving here, and she has asked multiple times when she can do Spanish again (she happens to have a close friend at preschool who just moved here from Mexico, too). We did a trial class in the spring and she loved it. Neither DH or I are bilingual, but I know the importance of starting a language at a young age.
- Sports - She was playing soccer in the past, but this spring was moved up from clinic to an actual league. She hated it. So we are cutting that out, but now she wants to try tennis (my sport, which I've played with her a tiny bit).
Piano and dance are 30 minutes each at the same location, they can be scheduled back-to-back on the same day. Spanish is one hour, so that makes two days with after-preschool activities. Do you think adding tennis would be too much? I do, but at the same time I want to expose her to a new sport after her disenchantment with soccer. Wwyd?
When she's at home, it's mostly free play: tea parties, dress up, lots and lots of reading, puzzles, helping me make dinner, running around the backyard, going to the playground, playing with our cats, and occasionally workbooks (her choice). I just want to make sure I'm giving her all the free play she needs (and that I need, too! I get overwhelmed with too many commitments!).