The Best Hobbies For Kids And Their Benefits
Photo via Pixabay by Venturaartist
Hobbies have been shown over the years to be wonderful tools for people of all ages. They increase confidence and self-esteem, build brain power and physical strength, reduce stress and anxiety, teach patience and fine-motor skills, and foster creativity, all of which can be hugely beneficial for both physical and mental health. For kids, having a hobby can help immensely with a feeling of belonging and learning important social skills, both of which are important in just about every grade level.
Hobbies can also point your child in the right direction when it comes to both finding a possible career choice and making healthy decisions. Studies have shown over the years that kids who are involved with sports, music, art, dance, or outdoor activities are at a much lower risk of making poor choices when it comes to getting involved with abusing substances or giving in to peer pressure.
Keep reading for some great tips on how to help your child find the right hobby and what the benefits will be.
Most kids love to be outdoors year-round, so it might be a good idea to look for hobbies your child can enjoy outside. These might include family-friendly activities like bird-watching, geo-coaching, or backyard camping, and there are many benefits, including daily exercise, fresh air, and a mental health boost. Look for ways you can incorporate your child’s favorite activities into an outdoor hobby, such as bike-riding or playing a sport, and think about getting involved yourself.
Play an instrument
Playing an instrument--whether it’s during personal time or at school--can have a wonderful effect on kids. Not only can it boost confidence and social skills, playing music can help with learning math concepts as well. It can also help your child learn fine motor skills, patience, and working with a group toward a shared goal. Help your child find the right instrument based on his age, and look for music classes or programs at school that will help him grow.
Many kids love science, especially when it’s hands-on, so help your child find some fun experiments he can perform at home. There are tons of great ideas online for all ages (like this one for creating “elephant’s toothpaste”), and these will help your child learn skills he’ll need both at school and in life, including a knowledge of following directions and how to plan ahead when you’re creating something.
Gardening is a wonderful hobby for kids; it teaches them how to be responsible for another living thing and the benefits of being able to reap the rewards from all their hard work. It’s also great exercise, and it can provide the perfect goal for summer break. Allow your child to choose several different types of seeds--whether they’re flowers or veggies--and start your garden together. Have him take responsibility for watering and weeding every day, and take pictures of the area each day so you can look back at all the changes it undergoes. You might even encourage your child to keep a garden journal.
photos via kidsgardening.org by Sarah Pounders
Helping your child find a hobby will allow him to broaden his horizons, boost his self-esteem and confidence, and help him gain social and academic skills that will benefit him for a lifetime. Take your time choosing the right one, and remember that parental interest in hobbies helps kids stick with them longer, in part because you’re showing your child that what they are doing is worthwhile.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
A friend of Handsocks, Maria Cannon, started her website hobbyjt.org because she wanted to share her passion for hobbies and how hobbies can impact our lives for the better, especially a positive impact on mental health/depression/anxiety. Thank you so much Maria for your insight on this subject!