Kids come into the world with a wealth of curiosity to go along with all that energy. As a parent, one of the best things you can do for you children is to help them find ways to channel that curiosity into pursuits that help them grow and develop.
Exposing them to different activities is educational and feeds their desire to learn. In fact, kids who pursue a hobby develop skills that help sharpen their learning skills and general academic acumen. A hobby gives children an activity that’s just theirs, something that helps them build confidence and a strong sense of identity. In some cases, kids take up a hobby that parents or friends can share in, which only adds to the fun.
Whatever interests you child, encourage them to pursue it, and show a genuine interest in what they’re doing. Ask questions and offer to help, if needed. A parent’s interest can be a powerful sense of affirmation for a child.
Open a book
Few activities are better for a child’s developing brain and boundless imagination than reading. It builds verbal and comprehension skills that will come in very handy in every one of their school subjects. It’s also an enjoyable and healthy alternative to video games, social media and FaceTiming with friends if you’re worried about how all that screen time is affecting your children. Take a trip together to the library once a week, and encourage your kid to glance through as many books as she likes. You’ll be opening her to a lifetime of rewarding experiences.
Stamp or coin collecting
If you or an older relative have a stamp or coin collection, consider passing it along to your child or enjoy it together. Collecting and organizing stamps helps a child learn about world geography, different countries, and the flags and seals that identify them. Coin collecting offers many of those same benefits and helps a child learn the value and importance of managing money.
It probably won’t lead to a career in the circus, but balloon twisting can be a fun hobby for kids who enjoy making things with their hands. It takes practice, but it can help develop motor skills and produce a healthy sense of accomplishment once a child masters the skill and can make a variety of animal shapes. It’s also a fun way of teaching your child the value of patience and persistence.
Play a tune
Learning to play an instrument can put a child on the road to a rewarding hobby that provides a lifetime of enjoyment and a creative and self-expressive outlet. Music conveys both physical and mental benefits. It imparts manual dexterity and can even boost mathematical, verbal and problem-solving skills. Many of the world’s great musicians started out playing an instrument as a hobby, only to find they had a natural ability that needed nurturing.
If your child enjoys being out in nature, consider getting him started in hiking or camping, which are wonderfully relaxing and self-renewing activities. Geocaching and bird watching are also popular hobbies and can be done right at home. Invest in a pair of binoculars, buy a birdwatching picture book and help your child get started identifying different species. Another great activity for kids is rock collecting. Children can learn about geology and search for rocks in their backyard.
Science may not sound like a “cool” hobby, but if your kid knew she could make things glow, change shape or explode, she might change her mind. Get her set up with the glass of lava experiment, which only requires water, food coloring, oil and salt, and makes blobs of colored lava bob up and down in a solution. Or how about a science experiment you can eat? Sound good? Then check out the edible glass experiment.
Learning new things is an important part of growing up. Pique your child’s interest with a range of hobbies that open new worlds of possibility for your youngster. It can be a life-changing experience for both of you.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Maria Cannon is the author of the wonderful website HobbyJr.org
She is passionate about the joy hobbies can bring to young children and is a firm believer that it can help them with their development. She dedicates her time to inspiring parents with her website that is filled with great information and resources.