Article by Jenny Wise
We all want to encourage our children to find things that make them happy but are also good for them. By picking up a hobby, your little ones can develop a healthy passion that can last a lifetime. However, you want to ensure that the hobby is something that can benefit them now, and in the future.
Connect the Dots
Think about any of your children’s interests. What are their most exciting passions? Do they love the outdoors? Or art? Perhaps certain animals such as horses, whales, or even sharks? Ask yourself how you could relate them to hobbies, and, in particular, activities that might be educational. Getting our little ones involved in the right type of hobbies — ones that can encourage interest in STEM subjects — can be pivotal to future success. Delve into their personal interests and see how they might help your little ones gain an appreciation for anything from science to technology. Speak to them about these activities and keep them involved at every step. Listen to their concerns but also explain how hobbies can benefit them both now and in the future.
Creativity comes in many forms and can positively impact childhood development. Among them is art, which can be used to encourage STEM learning while offering your child a sense of accomplishment. Patterns, for example, can introduce children to skills like problem-solving, math and symmetry. Your kids may already be eager to express themselves, so nurture an environment at home that encourages this creativity. Give them the materials they desire, an interest to experiment with, and a space where they might doodle, make patterns, or whatever else comes to mind.
Learning a musical instrument, meanwhile, can also offer STEM benefits, from a better understanding of math to improved analytical and language skills. Look to see if there are any music programs which your little one could enroll in, or have them start out at home by buying or renting a musical instrument.
Does your child love the outdoors? You may find that it’s the perfect environment not only to get them in touch with nature, but for learning, too. There’s a plethora of hobbies waiting to be discovered, and it’s easy to get them started simply by getting them out in the backyard. Camping can be combined with hobbies including astronomy, while you could go geocaching during the day. With the right activities, like scouring your backyard for small creatures or bird watching, your little ones can have fun and learn at the same time. Shape activities in a way that lets your children grow core skills while broadening their knowledge. For instance, looking out for creatures can improve motor and spatial skills, but you could also use nature activities to develop language comprehension and even math.
Collecting can encompass almost anything, and when it is done for the right reasons, it can equip children with a variety of important skills. It can lay the foundations for them to appreciate caring for something. As well, it can teach them the importance of organization and observation. After all, they need to know the value of an object before they add it to their collection. Depending on the subject chosen, it can be an easy pastime and one that can be started through gifts or even a find at a local park.
The natural world offers much to explore, and a hobby based in STEM, collecting or exploration can be beneficial. These are activities that can give them a lifetime of fulfillment and even lead to an engaging career. But even if it is simply something our children love to do, that in itself is worthwhile. Talk to your little ones and decide together what are the best hobbies to explore, and don’t ever be afraid to experiment with multiple hobbies.