From the moment your kids are born, the kiddie-perfecting complex is pushing you to buy-buy-buy. And playtime is no different. You feel pressured to sign the kids up for an ever-escalating array of classes and clinics, send them to the right sleep-away or math enrichment camp, soccer clinic, ballet, art, and music classes—or else they’re doomed to fail. Right? Not so fast.

Lifestyle guru Rosalyn Hoffman knows that kids need balance: time to be bored and find their own inner resources, time to ride their bikes and shoot hoops, time to experience the joy of free play. And when it’s time to sign them up for organized activities, Hoffman offers sane guidance for navigating the world of lessons and programs, explaining how to get them in everything from art classes to music lessons to sports to camp—without breaking the bank.


Praise for The Smart Mamas’ Guide to Afterschool Activities:

From Mom Must Read blog by Kristen Kemp

The Deal: Parents shouldn’t feel pressure to sign their kids up for everything (a big theme in Fed Up with Frenzy, above), but when you do, make sure you get your money’s worth.
Who’d Dig This: The mom who is a chauffeur, constantly driving her kids from one activity to another and going broke while doing it.
What I Liked: This book constantly says that you should “play before pay.” Playing is free, and it’s our kids’ favorite thing to do anyway. She also has some good tips sprinkled in with the common sense stuff. For example, instead of enrolling your bright second-grader in an expensive math enrichment program, try the Kahn Academy first–it’s free online. Another thing I love about this book–it’s only $2.99. And that’s super smart.