Finding the Perfect Hobby for Your Child
Author: Maria Cannon, for ‘Spot A Childcare’
As a parent, you have the incredible opportunity to help your children discover a lifelong passion through childhood hobbies. Every hobby, from swimming to rock collecting, can be nurtured and supported to become a long-term interest. With just a little patience and parental guidance, you will be able to help your child find the perfect hobby.
Formal and Informal Approach
Some children prefer highly-structured hobbies with lesson plans, training, homework, and instructors. Music lessons, sports teams, and extra-curricular activities are some of the more structured hobbies. Other children prefer an informal approach where learning proceeds at the child’s pace. Reading, crafts, photography, and collecting-based hobbies are just a few that lend themselves to the informal approach. There are also hobbies that can be taught either way. For example, dancing can be either highly structured or fundamentally unstructured. No matter which approach you take, ensure that your child is responsive to it. If you notice him/her losing interest, it may be time to change things up.
The Best Hobbies for Kids: Serving Body, Mind, and Soul
Hobbies are a great addition to a healthy lifestyle because they encourage self-expression. Through the pursuit of their passions, children learn confidence, resilience, and independence. Hobbies are also a great way for children to nourish and enrich their body, mind, and soul.
Studies show that one in three American children are now either overweight or obese, so getting movement into a child’s day is key to a healthy future. There are countless hobbies that encourage physical activity, so your child is sure to find one just for them. Joining sports teams or day camps can be a great way to encourage movement. Alternatively, you can incorporate swimming, visits to the park, and family soccer into their routine. Does your child have a passion for animals? Local 4H groups, animal shelters, or dog agility clubs may be an option. A passion for the outdoors? Consider the Scouts or another local outdoor organization. If your child prefers individual activities, consider biking, running, and gymnastics.
If you want to expand your child’s knowledge and understanding, consider cerebral-based hobbies, such as item collection and science experiments. Collection hobbies, such as rock, stamp, and coin collecting, engage children in reading, learning, and organizing. Rock collectors might delight in recreating a lava flowlava flow while learning about Hawaii’s latest volcanic eruptions. Want to get your child interested in science? Consider trying some science experiments and/or taking part in some backyard astronomy. Science utilizes mathematics, history, mythology, and reading, and will teach your child more about how the world works.
Any hobby that your child is doing willingly and independently is feeding his or her soul. However, hobbies in “the arts” are often considered to be particularly soul nurturing. Performing and visual arts, crafts, and music enrich our understanding of who we are and how we relate to the world around us. These hobbies can also help reduce tension, ease stressease stress, and facilitate relaxation.
How to get started
Over the course of a few days, have your child help you make a listof his/her interests. Talk about what each activity involves in terms of commitment to a team, to family, and to themselves. Next, have him/her narrow down their choices. If your child is hesitant about embarking on a hobby, explain that they do not have to do their chosen activity forever and can change direction, if needed. Next, make a final decision, and either enroll your child in their chosen activity or plan how to begin a more informal hobby. When helping guide your child’s hobby, remember that you are simply a facilitator in his/her hobby pursuits. Embrace the journey and remember that a hobby is meant to help your child become his/her best self. No matter what hobbies your child decides on, they are bound to learn a variety of invaluable lessons and skills.