When you have three kids, you have to be a little bit selective about their extracurricular activities. When I just had one kid – Ben – I took part in kindy gym and swimming lessons and toddler bop and yoga for tots (sorry). I did everything, and a little bit more. These days, with three children aged between nine and two, I have neither the funds nor the inclination to fill my days and empty my wallet with endless activities. As I say, that’s why we’re really, really selective about what our kids take part in.
Potential activities have to tick a few boxes, as follows:
- Fairly close to home
- Not too early on a Sunday morning, by which I mean, not before 7 (when your kids get up at 5.30, that’s practically lunchtime anyway)
- Nice, smiley teachers (I had to take Ben out of swimming lessons once, ‘cos the instructor made him cry. Ain’t nobody got time for that!)
- The distribution of stamps and/or stickers at the end of each class. ESSENTIAL
- Energy burning (them, not me)
- And finally, the kids have to WANT to take part. You gotta pick your fights, friends, and life’s too short to force a screaming child to join in with something they really don’t want to join in with, and that you’ve paid $200 a term for.
Which is how it came to be that we found ourselves on a beautiful, sunny Sunday morning at a nearby school ready to take part in Grasshopper Soccer. Alice and Frankie (2 and 3) were trialling the 8.30 Sunday morning class at Connolly Primary.
Ben did Grasshopper Soccer at his own school when he was in kindy, pre-primary and year one. He adored it, not least because of the very cute little green uniform and the stickers, stamps and colouring sheets given out at the end of each class. Oh, and he LOVED the group cheer at the end, when all the kids put their hands into the circle and shout – LOUDLY – ‘Grasshopper Soccer’. That was his best bit, without a doubt.
I was so pleased to discover that Grasshopper Soccer has retained this sense of fun. ‘Cos it’s all about having fun, isn’t it? We weren’t there to mould our kids into the future Beckham (although that’d be nice, admittedly), we were there to show our kids a good time. Burn some energy, learn about teamwork, have some fun, not kill each other. Job done.
Technically Frankie should’ve taken part in the three- to four-year-olds’ Grasshopper Soccer class, which was run alongside the two- to three-year-olds’ class. But Frankie flies by his own rules, and stuck by Alice’s side, and towered over the little kids instead. The older class encouraged the kids to be more independent, with the parents sitting on the sidelines (my kinda class). I watched for a while and the kids were having a ball, with coach Ian keeping them in order. They looked like a proper little football team, which was all kinds of cute.
Our class, with the littlies, had two teachers plus the parents, which was pretty spot on. There were loads of short, fun games to keep the kids interested and teach them basic ball skills, plus a bit of teamwork and tower building (yes!). The 30 minutes flew by, and the kids were gutted when it finished, although the stickers and the stamps and the colouring sheets and the group cheer definitely softened the blow.
So, in answer to your question: YES! Grasshopper Soccer fulfils KidzaFamily’s extracurricular activity checklist, with a little bit of extra fun and energy burning for good measure.
Grasshopper Soccer is a non-competitive program for boys and girls aged between 2 and 12 years. For more info, call Ian on 0415 599 237 or Kristina on 0415 601 584, email [email protected] or visit the Facebook page.
To receive 25% off a Grasshopper Soccer birthday party, or 20% off a term’s enrollment, check out V228 and V57 in the latest KidzaBuzz book!