Getting social after school
By Dana Hall
Posted on June 21, 2021
Children moving to Canada will grow up with more than one culture. Some of them might be old enough to have memories and friends from their home country. Some of them will come when they are very young and grow up in Canadian culture.
It is important to give your child opportunities to be social. It will help them make friends and adapt to their new home. It is socially acceptable for any child to do children’s activities in Canada. It is OK for girls to be interested in “boy” activities. Boys can be interested in “girl” activities too. For example, most girls like to play sports in Canada. Many sports even have all-female teams and leagues. If boys are interested in things like figure skating or dancing, this is also OK.
Here are a few popular activities in Canadian culture:
Swimming is a very popular summer activity. It is common for children to invite their friends to go swimming at a public pool or beach. Some families have pools in their backyards and will have social gatherings called “pool parties” where people hang out and go swimming. Teaching your child to swim will help them feel comfortable partaking in these kinds of activities when they are invited.
Swimming lessons are available at public swimming pools. The national swim program has 10 levels and is run by the Canadian Red Cross. It will teach your child how to swim and how to do first aid. You can learn more about the swim program here.
Knowing how to swim is also important for safety. Canada has many lakes, rivers, and beaches. It is a good idea to know how to swim in case there is an accident and someone ends up in the water.
Skating is a popular winter activity in Canada. In the winter, cities have outdoor ice rinks where children like to skate. In small towns, people make their own ice rinks for people to use. Skating on frozen lakes and rivers is also normal in Canada. In Ottawa, the Rideau Canal turns into the biggest ice rink in the world. Some people even use it to skate to work!
Teaching your child to skate will help them take part in certain social activities. Kids will sometimes invite friends to play ice hockey or to go skating on a rink near their house. In addition to other activities, like sledding and snowball fights, skating can be a fun way for kids to socialize outside in the winter.
Canskate is a nation-wide program that teaches children how to skate.
There are many opportunities for children to play sports in Canada. Most sports will have a league for your child’s age group. Ice hockey and soccer are two of the most popular sports that children like to play.
Sports are a great way for your child to join a team and meet other kids. Individual sports like gymnastics are taught in groups, so there is still a lot of interaction.
Most sports leagues offer competitive and non-competitive options. Usually, kids start in non-competitive leagues, which are called “house leagues” or “recreational leagues.” In a non-competitive league, you will just need to sign your child up and pay a fee for the sport’s season. The fee will depend on the sport you choose. Signing a child up for summer soccer, which is three months, will cost about $160 to $250 depending on the age of the child. If this is too expensive, many leagues have programs where parents can apply to let kids join for free. This is to make soccer accessible for as many kids as possible.
If your child would like to join a competitive league, they will need to pass a try-out and be asked to join. There will also be a fee. Children on a competitive team need to attend practice more often. You will also need to travel to other cities for games sometimes.
Sports like gymnastics will be more expensive and will usually cost $250 to $350 for three months.
Theatre is a good way for children to meet friends and be part of a team. Most cities will have a “children’s theatre” where kids can act in plays with their peers. Children who are not ready to perform right away might like to take acting classes.
Performing is a good way for children to become confident.
Summer camps are a great way to meet friends and develop skills. There are two different types of summer camps.
Day camp: These camps are open during the day, and children return home at night. Day camps usually focus on one hobby, like soccer or art. They are good for kids who are interested in learning about one thing.
Overnight camp: These are camps where children stay overnight. Overnight camps are seen as more of an “adventure.” Kids will play sports, do crafts, and learn life skills. They are good for kids who want to be social and try new things.
A lot of universities offer day camps for kids to learn about things like science and technology. Children will be able to use some of the university facilities, which is a great way for them to learn. Check with your nearest university for summer camp opportunities.
Girl Guides and Boy Scouts
This is a popular youth program for girls and boys. It is divided by gender, but girls are allowed to join Boy Scouts if they want to. Guides focuses on skills like knitting and crafts. Scouts focuses on building things and teaches outdoor skills.