1. Test the waters with short term, low commitment options
Sign up for a short number of sessions. Some places offer a free or low cost trial session to give your child a taste of whatever the activity is. This helps avoid the reality of the child or you thinking they’ll LOVE soccer or ballet only to find them in tears absolutely HATING it and you gulping thinking about the hefty amount you plunked down for their four months of classes.
2. Find opportunities to expose your children to different kinds of activities to see what resonates with them
Many orchestras have short concerts or meet an instrument events geared to young children of different age ranges.Art museums often have fun free or low cost events or classes. Many preschools bring in different specialists ranging from yoga to little scientists. Ask your preschool teacher or caregiver what seemed to interest your child most.
3. Check out different options and places to pursue your child’s interests based on their needs and your priorities
Balance key issues like cost, child-friendly teachers/coaches, safety, and nurturing environment. Expensive doesn’t necessarily mean “best” for your child, but ratio of teacher to child is an essential factor. Many recreation departments, community centers, and preschools/schools offer a broad variety of cost-effective, fun activities with excellent staff or volunteer parent coaches. A shy child or a child with a learning disability might have particular needs; be sure to discuss those ahead of signing up to make sure you feel the center can meet them.
4. Let your child take the lead
It’s always a good idea to let your child take the lead when it comes to choosing her passions and talents. Your role is to be her coach or guide. You can make suggestions based on what you are seeing and hearing from your child. You can encourage your child’s talents and passions. You can expose your child to different activities, but it’s up to your child to know whether he wants to participate on a long term basis or not.