Author Topic: Kid activities you're signing them up for this year  (Read 578 times)

Hula Hoop

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 40
Kid activities you're signing them up for this year
« on: September 13, 2017, 09:33:38 AM »
Can you have a thread to discuss what kid activities we're signing our kids up for this year?  I've always been frugal by nature but just discovered Mustachianism. 

Anyway, I have two kids - 9 and 5.  I already signed up the 9 year old for a girls only coding course on Saturday mornings since her school doesn't even have computers, let alone teach coding. She's generally nerdy and interested in science and math.  She did basketball twice a week last year and loved it but this year she seems to be losing interest as her favorite teacher is leaving.  Basketball is cheap and heavily promoted at her school (inner city, lots of concrete, no grass).  She also plans to continue with girl scouts this year.  I bought a decent second hand keyboard a few months ago thinking we might sign her up for piano lessons.  I have two close family members who are professional musicians - and others who have music as their side passion and I suspect she may have some of their genes.  But piano lessons are decidedly non-mustachian.  Around her they're generally euro 20-25 an hour.

Kid #2 is only 5 but she seems to want to do basketball.  I think she'd enjoy it and it's cheap so there's that.  Last year she did dance once a week but that doesn't seem to be her thing.  At 5 IMO one activity is enough but she may sign up to be a girl scout too if the troop re-forms from last year.

Anyway, scouts and basketball are both cheap but coding and music lessons are more pricey.  I don't want to overschedule my kids but I do think it's nice for them to try out different things to see if they like them while they're young.

What are the other mustache parents planning this year for activities?


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 13
Re: Kid activities you're signing them up for this year
« Reply #1 on: September 13, 2017, 11:02:54 AM »
I have my 5yo in a few activities. He is science crazy so I signed him up for the local ymca science class. Ymca members get half off so its $25 for 2 months. He also wants to be a ninja so we've tried both karate and gymnastics. Gymnastics was a major winner but it's more expensive at $72 for 2 months. I had him in year round swimming for safety reasons at $25 but now that I'm less worried he'll drown in the apt pool, I might cut back on swimming, I'm not sure. Right now that's about $61 a month for 3 classes a week.

I'm interested to hear what others do...


  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1112
  • Location: Mid-Atlantic
Re: Kid activities you're signing them up for this year
« Reply #2 on: September 13, 2017, 11:28:02 AM »
We had a rule for years:  one thing at a time -- plus swimming, until the kid was competent in the water.  Over the years, the choice has varied based on the kids' changing interests -- gymnastics, karate, softball, basketball, baseball, etc.  We focused on sports largely because my DD was extremely energetic and had to sit too much in school, so I wanted activities that would get the wiggles out.  I was also happy to sign them up for any after-school clubs they wanted, because they had activity buses/daycare, and so we could fit that in with our schedule -- but again, only one at a time, because I didn't want my kid to be totally overscheduled.

Music is fairly recent (our schools don't start instruments until 5th grade).  My rule with my kids is that I am happy to pay for music lessons, but only if they are willing to practice 15 minutes a day (which I consider pretty much a bare minimum of effort).  To date, neither one has been interested enough to take me up on that.  :-)  But the offer is still open.

Now DS is in middle school, and he has a lot more clubs available before and after school, so I imagine he'll try quite a few -- which is fine, the schoolwork isn't exactly overwhelming yet -- and then want to do basketball this winter and baseball next spring.  DD is in high school and is done with sports generally; band and engineering are more her thing, but now she is getting more involved with the various honor societies, which always require you to attend a number of events, so she seems to be keeping pretty busy with those.  Also, she is doing drivers' ed to be eligible for her license in a few months, and there will be PSATs/SATs this fall as well -- so I think that's enough for now.  :-)
Laugh while you can, monkey-boy


  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4291
  • Location: BC
Re: Kid activities you're signing them up for this year
« Reply #3 on: September 13, 2017, 11:40:37 AM »
Last year (grade 9) and this year are awesome for me.  My youngest is 15 this year.

High School after school clubs, including encouragement to enter science fair this year.   
Coursera programming course.
Signed up to take a school course on-line to allow an extra elective slot next year.  Our school has very good non academic elective choices. 
-- I need to help reinforce working on these on-line classes, however, very hands on parenting is required for it to work --
Instructions to find a part time job by the spring or he will be required to referee again this year (he decided he did not like it last year and wanted to quit). 
One or two summer camps.   
If he stops being helpful (e.g. attitude, sleeping in, video games, no homework ALL the time, not just 90% of the time) he knows it will be back to Cadets once to twice per week.  (Daughter was in girl guides for a while when younger)

My oldest started college now, but lives at home.  I just transferred over 3 months of her allowance and told her to manage it wisely, and she pays for everything now, including her Zumba class, bussing.  She will get allowance until she is 18.

I am so excited about this phase of our lives.   I commiserate with all of you, and posted this so you know how great it gets.  When the kids were ages 7-12, the goal was to find activities that did not require (much) driving, that did not cost a lot, and only 3 hrs a week, maximum, each, needed from parental support to make happen.   Elementary had almost nothing after school until grade 7 with volleyball /basketball.

One area that worked for me was to use church-affiliated programs, like junior choir, youth groups, and of course sunday services / sunday school activities, to round out the "free" or low cost social times.   In the end, the church related youth activities naturally built DD's volunteer service hours tremendously and she was able to get two scholarships because of it, which I never expected.


  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 203
Re: Kid activities you're signing them up for this year
« Reply #4 on: September 13, 2017, 12:12:25 PM »
Mine are also older, and have a lot of energy. So "something physical" has always been part of the plan.

16-year old: Playing HS Soccer, will probably play club soccer in the spring with the reasonably priced club if they have an appropriate team. Otherwise, will play adult soccer. Part time job, 4 AP classes -- I think he'll be sufficiently busy. After HS Soccer ends, he'll possibly join a Tae Kwan Doe class taught by a dear friend and great role model.

13-year old: Club soccer (with the reasonably-priced club), instrumental music lessons. I made a deal with him when he started: I'll be in charge of paying, you be in charge of playing (i.e. practicing). He's been really good about it, and has gotten fairly proficient. He's currently waffling about whether he wants to stick with a youth orchestra he's auditioned into.  It's clearly not worth the tears and stress, so we're OK with whatever he decides -- although we'd prefer a compromise position of "stay with one of the two ensembles, not the other." Pretty sure we'll just have to eat the tuition (note to self, plan to pay in two halves the next time we try something new like this) but they're a good group to support, so I'll probably write it off as a donation.

We're not particularly interested in being cheap around kid activities, but we do prefer to pay for activities that (1) they're actually interested in, (2) with coaches who respect them and want to see them grow as people, as well as in the specific activity and (3) with organizations that have values aligned with ours. (4) if we can set up a giant honkin' carpool it's a giant bonus: currently I drive one leg per week from younger kid's practices: in previous years the kids were able to bike to the fields and each parent drove the pack of kids home once every two weeks (with a bike rack).

We try to hit the sweet spot of "you have enough to do" without wandering over into the kids being stressed out and over-scheduled. Both kids need some down time and transition time to be happy.

Hula Hoop

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 40
Re: Kid activities you're signing them up for this year
« Reply #5 on: September 16, 2017, 01:07:17 PM »
I just ran the number and am thankful that my girls seem to be interested in less expensive activities.  Also, the cost of all things kid related around here seems to be a lot lower than back in the US.

Basketball twice a week is Euro 32 a month per kid.  New uniform for younger kid will cost Euro 20.

Scouts for the older kid I costs around the same but we'll also have to get her uniform - not sure how much that will cost.  She already has the necessary camping equipment.

Coding course for older kid is 40 euro per two hour lesson for 7 weeks so kind of pricey but only temporary.


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 6
    • Chief Mom Officer
Re: Kid activities you're signing them up for this year
« Reply #6 on: September 17, 2017, 05:15:41 AM »
My three boys are of widely varying ages, so they're signed up for very different activities:

My 13 year old (14 next month) is very active in Boy Scouts. That's his main activity, although he is a part of an anime club that meets at our library. He also goes to an arts school with an extended day, so he doesn't get home until about 5:30.

My 10 year old is in cub scouts, but they don't do nearly the number of activities the Boy Scouts do. He also plays an instrument (mostly during the school day, but there are evening concerts) and will be part of the drama club (free).

My 2 year old mostly does free library activities but also does a swimming class with my husband (a stay at home dad).

Like Laura we try to have one main, paid activity each year. That way the kids can focus on excelling in that activity, and having fun with it, but still have plenty of free time to do schoolwork and have fun.
Mother of three boys, breadwinner & sole income earner with a stay at home dad husband. Writes at


  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 154
  • Age: 37
  • Location: Los Angeles, CA
    • Money Savvy Mommy
Re: Kid activities you're signing them up for this year
« Reply #7 on: September 18, 2017, 05:13:00 PM »
My daughter is only 3 so we've only signed her up for swimming lessons so far.  I've also thought hard about not having too many activities so am debating if I want to continue with the swimming or to try dancing lessons.  I think she is more interested in dancing but I want her to be more comfortable in the water before stopping the swimming lessons.  So might do 2 activities for a bit of time to see which she likes better.


  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 587
  • Age: 37
  • Location: Honolulu, HI
Re: Kid activities you're signing them up for this year
« Reply #8 on: September 18, 2017, 05:21:26 PM »
Oh arg the kid activities. We have a 3 year old and signed him up for Soccer Shots through his daycare. $150 for thirteen sessions. I was pretty ambivalent about it but he always loves to watch the kids playing soccer in the park next to our place, and plays with his soccer ball constantly. We'll see how it goes.

It's important to me to make family time a priority, so I'm pretty against team sports with intense travel schedules. Might be hard to stick to that once the kids get older and have an opinion on the subject.

Looking back, I appreciated my mom's approach to extracurriculars: only stuff that will clearly be practicable later in life. My 12 years of piano lessons have served me well (I do a lot of accompanying and playing for various functions; I'm not a great musician but competent enough to help out when necessary in various amateur-level ways). Years and years of swimming has paid off handsomely now that I live next to the ocean and have access to surfing.

Mom was always adamant: no dance, gymnastic, or martial arts. Team sports were marginal, in her eyes. No lessons for anything you couldn't do after high school/college. There are people who'd disagree with that stance, (plenty of people play rec basketball/soccer/volleyball for life) but it wasn't a bad way of looking at things.
I journal at

Tales of a haole teacher whose futon washed up on Oahu over a decade ago.

Plugging Along

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 52
Re: Kid activities you're signing them up for this year
« Reply #9 on: September 18, 2017, 06:27:16 PM »
I find it quite hard to limit activities.  There are so many things my kids wanted and me too.  To try and fit them in, we try to get 'combined use'

Girl guides is a big one for both.   I find they do lots of different things tha I would never have thought ugh of.   I also lad both of my kids units which gives me time with them, a chance to give back to the community, and a chance to influence the type of things I want them to learn.

Piano - I wanted them to be  able to read music, and that will be a base for future instruments if they so desire.    They don't seemed o inter step, so this may be not ur last year.

Swimming - its a life skill, until they complete the final level.   I have been doing this in the summer camps just because of time. They aren't in it now

Skating - in canada it is pretty much a life skill.   So until they are adequate. Like swimming they are done right now.

Soccer - in the Spring.  I am a big believer of tam sports, and it's good exercise.

Skiing -  this is more of our family sport we do on weekends.  They takare lessons, then we meet them after to ski together, 

Math - this is one my kids begged for.   It's the most expensive, but they get extra challenging many h to prepare for competitions.   This is because my kids get very bored in school. , so they wanted this.   I have admit, I find it hard to say on this one, but it's a lot of work. 


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 7
Re: Kid activities you're signing them up for this year
« Reply #10 on: Today at 09:40:25 AM »
My 9yr old is only interested in horses. I've tried to develop other less expensive interests for her, but she eats, sleeps, and breathes horses. Her grades are excellent and she helps around the house so it is hard to say no to lessons. We can afford the $60/wk lessons, but I really wish she preferred goldfish!
Because this is an expensive activity it is her only one, which she is fine with. She spends all her extra time reading about horses or making out dog jump "fences" around the yard.


  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4558
Re: Kid activities you're signing them up for this year
« Reply #11 on: Today at 11:05:44 AM »
11 year old:
- baseball (roughly $400 / year for fall ball + spring ball.  Not good enough to travel.)
- flute (until this year was free at school + extra district band.  Now he's doing those 2 AND symphony, $225).
- probably skip chess club ($100) it's at the school though.

5 year old
- swim (until he's proficient in the water): $1250 for the year
- fall baseball clinic (first year) $50


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 11
Re: Kid activities you're signing them up for this year
« Reply #12 on: Today at 11:28:53 AM »
Our 6 year old (1st grader) is in karate and piano, and swimming in the summer.  4 year old joins in on karate and swimming, and possibly also piano in the new year.  1 year old takes advantage of the free music groups put on by the local library (2x a week) and an additional group music lesson (1x week).  With Sunday school, this is about as much as we can manage without undue stress for now. 

Karate and piano aren't terribly Mustachian, but karate kind of runs in the family (both my husband and I were quite serious, and the kids seem to have really taken to it) and it's important for me for the kids to be musically educated.  Now that the two oldest are old enough for parks and rec programs, we'll probably move to those and save almost half of what we're paying for karate.  Swimming is through our neighborhood pool, which runs May - September and has lessons 5 mornings a week for 8 weeks, which eliminates the need for any additional summer camps. 

The specific activities going forward will probably change as the kids find new interests, but 2 activities per kid (not including summer swimming) seems to be our max in terms of time and finances.  I'm not willing to compromise on a regular dinnertime or to have more than 1 activity scheduled after school each day (because homework/practice/chores need to be done too), so unfortunately we have to say no to a lot of other interesting extracurriculars like scouts, art, etc. 

I should probably get the kids to learn to ski and skate at some point but it's expensive, time consuming, and it just doesn't seem to be as big a deal where we live now than when I was growing up in Canada.  :)

Hula Hoop

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 40
Re: Kid activities you're signing them up for this year
« Reply #13 on: Today at 11:35:33 AM »
We had a big heart to heart with both girls and they've decided that they don't want to do basketball this year and both want to do roller skating, which I at their school and not expensive (40 euro a month for both kids).  So now it's:

9 year old - roller skating, scouts on the weekend and coding course.  After Christmas she'll probably start piano.

5 year old - roller skating

Seems reasonable.


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 34
Re: Kid activities you're signing them up for this year
« Reply #14 on: Today at 03:31:44 PM »
Way too many paid activities I know! I help coach their baseball and hockey teams and we ski together as a family so the paid activities are also time spent together. And we do plenty of free activities with the kids as well; hiking, backpacking, bike rides, berry picking, hunting, x-country skiing, outdoor ice skating, etc.

10yo son- hockey, soccer, running club (Boys Run), piano lessons, shooting trap team, downhill ski pass, baseball

 8yo daughter- hockey, soccer, gymnastics, ukulele lessons, downhill ski pass