Children's Creative Hobbies

Help your child choose a hobby that can help promote intellectual stimulation, recreational relaxation, and a fun time with others.

Many kids can benefit from having a hobby. Some have one without realizing it. They may enjoy reading, collecting toy models, or building things with modeling clay. Tap into their interest to help them develop expertise through hours of enjoyment.

Helping your child consciously choose a hobby can provide a number of benefits, such as critical thinking skills, creativity, and a shared experience with others who also enjoy the pastime. To help your child choose a hobby for fun, here are a few tips that may help:

1. Match your child's interests. If she likes to cook, buy her a specialty cookbook. If he enjoys collecting baseball cards, buy him a special scrapbook for that purpose. Show your interest in and support of their interests. Taking them seriously suggests respect and helps to build bonding relationships.

2. Try something different. Introduce a new hobby as a birthday or holiday gift. Sign him up for trumpet lessons. Register her for horseback riding. In trying something completely different, your child may develop a taste for it or at least for being open to new experiences.

3. Share a hobby with them. Take an art or decorating class as a family. Study a foreign language one night week and practice it at dinner, with no English allowed. Enroll in a fall hiking program together. Spending quality family time doing fun things that help everyone meet a goal promotes a healthy, interactive relationship.

4. Take it to the next level. Travel to the state convention for a particular hobby like stamp collecting or bird watching. If they prefer pop music, visit a performer's Web site to collect facts. Take in a concert. Make it fun and worthwhile for everyone.

5. Invest a little money. On occasion you may want to spend a few dollars in purchasing supplies, memberships, or other support materials for your children's hobbies. Don't overdo it, of course, since a hobby is a great way to build personal responsibility. But adding a little bit of support to their interests shows your involvement in their well-being.

6. Encourage them to compete. Displaying a home canned jam, newly made dress, or just weaned goat at the county or state fair lets your children share their talents and skills with the public and possibly earn awards or recognition. Be careful not to push them in this direction unless they want to do it for themselves. If they do win an award, post it at home for others to admire.

7. Don't push hobbies that interest you. Let kids choose their own interests, though you can always introduce them to a new one on a trial basis. Don't verbalize your disappointment if they choose something different from what you feel would make a better hobby. Be understanding and accepting, unless, of course, the hobby is illegal or immoral.

Hobbies are a great way for kids to learn new things. From kite building to songwriting, encourage your children to experiment with a variety of interests until they settle on one they want to explore in greater detail.

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