The Best Kid-Friendly Hobbies to Support Childhood Development
Hobbies offer more than just something to do in your downtime, especially for children. Hobbies can help shape kid’s personalities by increasing their confidence and contributing to their feelings of independence. Some of the best hobbies for kids are those that teach patience, encourage their creativity, and enhance critical thinking skills. You can help your kid explore various hobbies by letting him join you in your favorite pastimes or getting him the right supplies and materials he needs to pursue his passions. Here are some ideas to get you started.
If your kid is a creative mind who loves to draw or paint, he may also love activities like pottery, candle-making, sewing, and digital art. Making art is a wonderful way for your kid to express his feelings and learn how to see things from a different perspective. And, since art is a subjective experience, every kid can feel good about the art they create. This ultimately contributes to greater levels of self-esteem. You can help your child get started by taking him to art museums, celebrating his artwork by hanging it up in your home, and enrolling him in art class.
Some kids just love to run around and play games all day. If this is your kid, consider getting him excited about sports like basketball, soccer, or even skateboarding. Besides getting regular physical activity, these hobbies help your kid build social skills and learn how to accept constructive criticism at a young age. The lessons learned in sports can translate to academic success as children apply the same dedication to their studies in school. Try playing sports together in the backyard, taking your kid to local games, and signing them up to join a junior team in your community.
Reading and writing are two hobbies that can increase your child’s vocabulary and sharpen his writing skills. According to AptParenting, taking the time to read through a book helps kids concentrate on and better learn the message of a story. Take your kid to events at bookstores or libraries. You can even encourage your child to write a letter to his favorite author or make up a story of his own.
Did you know that learning an instrument can actually benefit your child’s academic performance? It helps kids with counting, recognizing patterns, and thinking mathematically. Kids who learn to play music may even process auditory and visual information faster. Scholastic recommends getting your kid to join the school band, enrolling them in music lessons, and using the internet to search for kid-oriented instrument tutorials.
Most children naturally love outdoor activities. Try to encourage their love of nature so it sticks with them as they grow up. For children, being in nature increases creativity as they engage in imaginative play, and is especially helpful for kids who have ADHD or problems focusing due to its calming effects. Spark curiosity for wildlife by taking your kids out birdwatching or camping. Geocaching is another fun type of outdoor adventure that anyone can take part in and is a wonderful bonding activity for parent and child.
If your child is too young to pick up an instrument or take a drawing class, you can still fuel his future interest and knack for certain hobbies with fun educational activities. For example, creating patterns with your child is a great way to improve his fine motor skills, and playing a simple game of Jenga can help hone his concentration and focus. Even playing with magnetic letters on the fridge can encourage your kid to get into reading as he becomes interested in learning new words.
Although encouraging your kids to pick up hobbies is a great idea, try not to structure their play. Free play helps kids learn to be creative and discover their interests on their own. If possible, provide the supplies, encouragement, and assistance that your kid needs to pursue his hobby of choice and then let him take off with it. You’ll be amazed at what he comes up with!
Article by: Maria Cannon