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What age is good to start extracurricular activities for toddlers without parents?

My daughter will be three in May and we are looking into signing her up for ballet classes for her birthday. She'll go one day a week for an hour, but it will be without us. She goes to day care now, and does fine, but she's been there for almost two years. I don't know if she'll be ok or if we should hold off a year - suggestions??

 
Anonymous

Asked by Anonymous at 6:31 PM on Feb. 28, 2011 in Preschoolers (3-4)

This question is closed.
Answers (9)
  • I felt similarly - my son just turned 3 and I wanted him to have physical activities while learning to listen to other adults. (I've stayed home this whole time and he's not in preschool yet.) I started him off with gymnastics (45 minutes) and swimming (30 minutes) twice a week. The first couple of classes were cringe-worthy, as far as my kid's craziness and general inability to sit still ;) But we're now in our 3rd week, and the teachers tell me he's already come a long way. Obviously a lot depends on each child and their interest in the subject, but I think at 3 it's worth trying out.
    phoofy

    Answer by phoofy at 3:07 AM on Mar. 2, 2011

  • Have you asked your daughter if she wants it to be a class with you or just for her with other children? Any studios that my friends send their kids to have the parents in the room or watching so it's not really leaving your child. I suppose it's up to you if you are comfortable with that. I wouldn't be and my daughter is the same age. I'd want to be right there.
    Nonoluna

    Answer by Nonoluna at 6:48 PM on Feb. 28, 2011

  • My son started at about 3 1/2 but I would have started him at 3 if we would have been back here in time for classes to start. They have a program where we live called Smart Start, for 3-4 year olds, every 6 weeks is a different sport but ours are parent participation classes. They just pretty much play around, lol, but it is to get them learning the fundamentals of all the sports. I wish ours were with no parents I think my son would pay more attention ;) I think you should try her in it! If she doesn't like it you can always take her out, but you never know if you don't try! And since she is already used to being at daycare, she should be just fine!
    ILoveCade

    Answer by ILoveCade at 6:50 PM on Feb. 28, 2011

  • I would wait another year or two, and all the ones I've seen with kids that young the mom's stay there and watch.
    countrygirl06

    Answer by countrygirl06 at 6:50 PM on Feb. 28, 2011

  • I think that would be just fine. I started my oldest daughter (now 5) in gymnastics when she was about 3 1/2 and I will enroll my youngest (2) in class as soon as they'll take her! She cannot stand sitting in the waiting room while her big sister is in class. It drives her crazy to hear the music and see the class' activity and not be a part of it. I kind of agree with UpSheRises, that it is probably unnecessary, but she enjoys it, she gets to be very active, she socializes, learns to follow instructions, etc. I don't see anything wrong with it.
    Mom-2-3-Girlz

    Answer by Mom-2-3-Girlz at 6:53 PM on Feb. 28, 2011

  • The biggest thing for us is that she NEEDS something active, where she needs to listen and learn! :-) We decided on dance because she is always spinning around with her hands in the air dancing her little heart away. We figured it would be a good activity for her, but I just don't know about not being there. We can wait in the other room, which is fine.
    Anonymous

    Comment by Anonymous (original poster) at 7:02 PM on Feb. 28, 2011

  • Are you worried that she would be scared without you or more apprehensive about sending her off with someone you aren't too familiar with? I know where I go, there is a window where you can watch the kids practice or at least peek in. For the first couple weeks, my daughter would come out claiming to need to go potty or something, but mostly just to see that I was there. Now she could care less where I am! lol

    I think, being that the classes are an hour or so, it is a good transition for both parents and children...especially if you will be sending her to school or daycare down the road. You are still there, so she isn't "alone" but she is learning how to cooperate with another adult and peers, and you feel better knowing that you're right there if anything went wrong or you saw something you didn't like. (Never been a problem in my experience, but I understand the worry)
    Mom-2-3-Girlz

    Answer by Mom-2-3-Girlz at 7:28 PM on Feb. 28, 2011

  • why would she be there without you? Most parents can stay and watch?
    whoreallycares

    Answer by whoreallycares at 3:58 AM on Mar. 1, 2011

  • Toddlers don't need classes, they need to play and create.

    It seems like dance class is creative because dance certainly is art, but for a 3 year old it's just a lesson on how to follow instructions.
    UpSheRises

    Answer by UpSheRises at 6:42 PM on Feb. 28, 2011

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