How many activities is too many?

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How many activities is too many?

We live in a world that is very busy and in which there is a lot of pressure on parents to enroll their children in this enrichment activity, in this sport, in this special activity. And parents wonder how many of these activities does my child really need to be involved in, what is the good number. Certainly noticing what it is your child is interested in, helping them pursue that interest whether it is soccer or whether it is music or whether it is dance or art is always helpful to give children a chance to have opportunities to work with those materials. But children also need downtime. They need family time. They need kind of wants nothing time where they can absorb all of the stimulation of their day. They have huge amounts of stimulation at school. They usually have expectations after school about homework. And so, partly it is discovering in your family what is the right amount of activities. But one or two activities is plenty for children and also ensuring that they have time to spend with family. And sometimes that time is taking a walk. Sometimes that time is reading a book together. Sometimes it is talking about your day. It is not time in front of the television because families who are in front of the television rarely have conversations with each other, really listen to what each other is saying. So in addition to their enrichment activities that you provide for your child, it is important they get good outside time, good time connecting with their family where there is a chance for them to both talk and listen to the important members of their family.

See Janis Keyser, MA's video on How many activities is too many?...


Expert Bio

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Janis Keyser, MA

Early Childhood Education Specialist & Author

Janis Keyser currently works as a site director for a child development program in Mountain View, California. She was a full-time faculty member in the Early Childhood Education Department at Cabrillo College in Aptos, California for 30 years, teaching children, teachers and parents and coordinating a state demonstration infant toddler program. She has written a resource book for parents and one for teachers; and is a nationally recognized speaker at parenting, family and child development conferences, and has conducted workshops nationally and internationally for parents and teachers for over 35 years. She enjoys swimming, kayaking, photography, family games and cooking with friends of all ages.

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