We’re pleased to share this guest post from our friend Maria Canon of Hobby Jr. about an interesting, and practical topic.
A hobby gives a child an outlet for self-expression and a means of self-accomplishment. They will learn basic principles like “practice makes perfect” as they discover that the more time they invest in their chosen hobby, the better they get at it. According to Better Homes and Gardens, this can boost self-esteem. Some kids may even turn hobbies into careers.
As a parent, you want to guide your child towards hobbies that are healthy, useful, and educational. Read on to learn how you can support your child in finding a pastime they love.
Explore different educational, healthy hobbies with your child.
There are many different types of hobbies suited to all kinds of kids. Does your little one like to hang around the kitchen when you’re cooking? Teach them to cook and bake (with parental supervision, of course). As Kids Health explains, cooking teaches kids basic math concepts, boosts language skills, and can lay a foundation for nutritious eating habits.
If your child loves music, find a hobby that transforms them from passive listeners to active creators. Bright Horizons reveals that musical experiences can promote positive brain development in kids. Simple counting and singing games are an easy yet educational starting point. Combine singing with dancing and your kid will get some exercise, too.
If your child has expressed an interest in science, look for ways to nurture their passion. There are plenty of do-it-yourself experiments you can conduct in your own kitchen. Earth Science Jr. offers handy guides, like this tutorial to creating your own “lava.” All you need is a clear drinking glass, food coloring, vegetable oil, salt, and water.
Gaming is another great hobby for kids. While you want to limit screen time, gaming can actually help kids improve fine motor skills and problem-solving abilities. Social games played online with others also enhance teamwork. Plus, there are so many different types of games available, your child is sure to find an option that matches their interests.
Sports are another educational and healthy hobby that teaches teamwork. Plus, Edutopia reveals that participating in team sports can boost academic success in school. One study showed that 97% of high school student-athletes graduated, compared to 87% of non-student-athletes. Teaching your kid a sport now can set them up for later success.
Try different ideas. Scale up when you find a winner!
The above list provides many different possible hobbies to choose from. Encourage your child to explore options by trying these activities together. This is also a great way to get quality time. Time provides further tips on getting children to try something new, like framing new experiences as opportunities instead of challenges.
It may take some time to find a hobby that “sticks” and that your kid pursues actively on their own. That’s perfectly fine! Give your child the time and space they need to try out different options. As Fatherly explains, forcing your children to do something tends to backfire. If your kid wants to drop a hobby, let them! Forcing them to continue can build resentment.
When your kid does find a hobby they want to pursue more seriously, encourage them. Invest some time and money to scale up their resources. For example, if they’re into a certain sport, buy the higher-grade equipment they need. If they love gaming, upgrade to a gaming-friendly 5G internet connection to ensure uninterrupted play.
Follow the tips above to help your child find a hobby that he or she will enjoy — and that will benefit them physically and mentally. Be patient. With some time, your little one is sure to find a suitable activity that they can pursue with passion.
Check out Maria’s blog for more ideas about kids and hobbies.