Maria Cannon from hobbyjr.org gets us started!
Are you looking for activities that your kid can do that doesn’t involve a screen? Something that’s fun and educational? Hobbies are more than just fun for kids. When your child has a hobby they enjoy, it can play an important role in their development, help them build social and relational skills and boost their self-confidence. Here are five productive activities to consider for your child.
Yes, this hobby involves a screen, but it’s still great for kids. Along with exercising their individual skills such as goal setting, researching, technical experience, reading and writing, videography can help them learn to work well with others. People skills are a major part of making videos. Whether it’s for a school project or with the other kids in the neighborhood, your child will be working with a crew and sometimes need to schedule meetings and interview people. It’s also the perfect hobby to encourage creativity and teach leadership skills, especially if your child is the one writing the story and directing the acting.
If your kid learns to prepare a few good meals in their early years, they’ll be setting themselves up for success in the real world. Even for the youngest of chefs, who can’t actually help a lot and need constant supervision, exposing them to the kitchen could spark an interest that stays with them forever. It’s the perfect opportunity to show them what foods and ingredients are healthy and open a dialogue about the importance of eating whole foods. Teaching them to read nutrition labels will allow them to quickly tell the difference between real food and junk food. Cooking also teaches kids skills that can translate into other areas of life.
If your kid likes doing things outside, bird watching is the perfect activity, and it’s something the whole family can get in on. Birding is simply watching and observing birds in their natural habitats, and it allows your kid to get more vitamin D and calcium from sunlight. It’s also beneficial to their mental health, because developing the ability to identify different species sharpens their focus and listening skills, while increasing their power of observation and memory. Birding can literally be done anywhere. You can bird watch in your backyard, go for a day hike in the mountains, or even on your family getaway to the beach.
Transform your kitchen into a mini-science lab and engage your child in an eye-catching science lesson. You and your little scientist can use a few household items to create Rainbow Magic Milk. A few household items including a bowl, whole milk, dish soap, cotton swabs, food coloring and a baking dish are just the elements you’ll need to stir up an explosion of colors for your kids’ amazement. You can use this teachable moment to explain how dish soap interacts with fat molecules found in the whole milk to produce the magic.
Sketching is another great activity for kids. Most kids have an inclination toward drawing at a young age and sketching with a pencil anything their heart desires is a way for them to creatively express their view of the world around them. Along with developing essential fine motor skills, sketching helps to sharpen visual analysis, concentration, hand-eye coordination and creative problem-solving. Additionally, it can be satisfying and lead to improved self-confidence. To get your kid started, all it takes is drawing paper, pencils, colored pencils and imagination.
For hobbies that are done at home such as sketching or other indoor educational activities, it’s good for kids to have a workstation. Basements can be the perfect hobby room if you declutter and make the space for it. If you don’t have a basement, you can convert another area of the house with a little rearranging (i.e. an extra bedroom, a corner in the living room, etc.). The important thing is that your child has a comfortable place of their own where they can focus on the task at hand.
Finding a good hobby for your child not only provides them with enjoyment, it helps them develop and hone important life skills. Videography, cooking, birding, science and sketching are just a few examples of hobbies that offer such benefits. Consider your child’s personality and inclinations, and pick a hobby to try out. It may take a few times, but you’ll find something that sticks!
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