Enrichment classes offer the opportunity to try new things, develop social skills and learn while in a fun environment. And because a preschooler’s mind is like a sponge, it is a great time for children of this age to be introduced to these types of programs.
You may have considered enrolling your preschooler in an enrichment program, but have hesitated because of obstacles such as cost, time commitment or the timing of the program. While these are all valid and understandable concerns, here are some things to consider when weighing the pros and cons of enrichment programs.
Gain Social Skills
Enrichment programs are one opportunity for preschoolers to learn valuable social skills that will help them throughout their lives. They will learn how to interact with peers in small group settings, and follow instructions from grown-ups other than their caregivers in a structured environment. They also will learn more about the importance of sharing, taking turns, being respectful and kind, and how to follow directions to complete the task at hand. While it may take some time to learn these valuable skills, this is a great age to begin.
Expose Then to Challenges
Enrichment classes are not only enjoyable, they also offer your preschooler exposure to new challenges. Maybe it’s trying something new, or facing a fear, such as meeting new people. Maybe it’s learning how to behave in a structured environment, or how to participate in group activities. Whatever it may be, challenging situations are not easy, but we know they build character and help us to learn grit – even at this young age.
Try Something New
There are a plethora of enrichment classes offered for preschoolers. And the incredible thing about these classes is that they are designed to be both playful and fun. If you look online for the types of classes offered to preschoolers, the names of the classes alone says it all. From Little Scientists to Alphabet Art to Bug Bonanza — there is something for everyone. Some of the opportunities include physical activities, science, math, art, nature, music, learning a new language, playing an instrument, reading, stretching and so much more. The time commitment for most classes offered to this age group is usually only a few weeks at a time, so it’s a great opportunity for your little one to learn more about what they like, and don’t like, without a lengthy commitment.
Find the Program That Fits Your Needs
Cost, driving distance, time commitment, class hours and class size are all things to consider before choosing a program. There are preschool enrichment programs offered at all times of day, so be sure to find the one that fits your entire family’s needs. Classes usually have a maximum number of participants, which is great to look into for those kids who do well in smaller groups.
If cost is a concern, know that some programs offer financial assistance. If you want to have your child involved, but finances are tight, look around until you find the program that is best for your family. There is no need for the enrichment program to break the bank. If driving is a concern, consider signing your child up with a friend and carpooling. It will save both time, and money. Plus, how fun is it to ride to class with a buddy?!
Develop Lifelong Passions
It might sound silly to think of your 3, 4 or 5 year old developing lifelong passions, but it is definitely possible. Some kids are drawn to physical activity, others to learning. Some may discover they love to create things with their hands, while others find an instrument they pick up and can’t put down. Each of us is wired differently and are driven by different things — and preschoolers are no exception. How cool is it that they can find something that will continue to bring them joy throughout their lifetime at such a young age?