By: Heather van Mil
It seems that life revolves around a school calendar (now that we have one in BC) whether you have school aged children or not, so while big kids are getting ready for class, September often means a return to classes for preschoolers too. But as we all know, time flies!
With October about ready to start it’s time to plan the next few months and you’ll find that your local community centre or privately run programs still has classes starting up or even to drop in to keep everyone busy and happy. (Or check out your local Modern Mama community for updated workshops every month!)
With so many different children’s programs being offered, from music to sports to languages and more, how do you know which one is right for your child?
How to choose classes for preschoolers
Give it a try!
Look for programs that offer a free trial class prior to commitment. While you often won’t know after just one class if your child is going to be a prima ballerina or black belt master, you will have an idea if the instructor and class format will work for you both.
Even if flexibility is not a prerequisite for your child’s class, it should be at the top of your check list when choosing a program. With nap schedules evolving on a seemingly daily basis and illnesses cropping up non stop, you want a class that offers drop in options or make up classes so you aren’t investing in something that you’ll be missing out on.
Go for the perks!
We’re all trying to maximize our spending, and children’s programs are no different. Find out what benefits the company offers with a class enrolment. Many top up the value with exclusive members only events, free drop ins or awesome discounts in addition the the weekly program. Ask about extra benefits ahead of time so you can get the most bang for your buck.
Be mindful of the age range when choosing a class for your little one. Children change on a daily basis and at this age a lot can happen in 6 months! A class that serves a wide age group won’t necessarily be able to meet your child’s individual needs and milestones. Under 3’s are best served in groups of children within 6 months of each other, and those over 3 years old should have no more then a 1 year gap to maximize learning.
We are lucky to be able to offer so many different experiences to our little ones so above all, have fun! Be open minded and you just might be surprised at what your child ends up enjoying and excelling at.
Do you have program suggestions to share?
Heather van Mil is the sassy, somewhat sarcastic, seldom sanctimonious mama behind Life, Love and the Pursuit of Play. She is a freelance writer and blogger at Life, Love and the Pursuit of Play. On it she chases Good Food, Good Finds, Good Fun……and 2 small children (which translates to yummy recipes, awesome product review, fun places to check out, a smattering of op-eds and lots and lots of her 2 gorgeous girls!). Just in case this wasn’t enough, she has just launched her newest baby – Word of Mom Marketing – where she consults and strategizes with companies on the best practices and vehicles to reach and engage the young family market.