Yes, if like me you’re a child of the 80s here’s the classic line and opening sequence from Why Don’t You shown every holiday week day morning.
In today’s press there has been an article about the cost of children’s clubs, in the article one mother had calculated that she was spending £550 a month on extra curricular activities. This figure caught my attention, how could anyone spend such an amount on a child’s hobbies? Curious I decided to work out the costs of the clubs our children do. We have two children, Little Miss does guitar and choir at school and attends ballet, gymnastics and Brownies in the community, Little Man does football, cricket and Beavers. That is 8 activities a week. Whilst all are paid termly, I calculated that we are spending £20 a week in total for these 8 activities, which I think is a reasonable price especially as all clubs take place within a mile radius of our house, so there are no transport costs. In a small town like ours, clubs and societies are our entertainment particularly in the winter and equally as popular for adults as for children. They are also a vital community activity bringing generations together, at cricket club on Saturday morning (its indoors at present) there were 6 adults supporting the Under 8s and 9s coaching session and most parents watched and chatted on the benches. So many of our clubs are run by volunteers passionate about their interest and I hope that the children will continue to pursue their hobbies throughout their school years and into adult life, helping as they have been helped.
I try to avoid being tiger mum and have enrolled the children only in clubs that they have asked to do, I also think that they are doing enough clubs and would not want them to do any more at present. It is important to preserve some time for us as a family and to keep a school afternoon free for relaxing, playing and having a friend over for tea.
Despite the headlines, I think clubs and hobbies are an important part of a child’s social, physical and emotional development. An opportunity to enjoy sport and hobbies and meet new friends in a safe and friendly environment.