Learning by Doing: Hobby Ideas for Young People

| December 21, 2018 | Reply

Story by Julie Morris, Photos by Mary Jane Farmer

Hobbies can help children in many ways. There are educational—mentally and physically—beneficial activities that build self-confidence and help kids establish a sense of identity. Parents have a unique opportunity to steer a child’s interests in healthy and constructive ways by helping them find a hobby they can enjoy. This covers a very broad field—hobbies are much more than stamp or coin collecting (though those are wonderful hobbies). Consider the child’s personal interests and skill set—find a hobby that caters to his abilities and interests, and that will help him grow and develop many useful skills. Here are a few ideas to help get you started.

Create a hobby room

You can help a child get the most out of whatever hobby he shows interest in by creating his own hobby room, a safe space dedicated to his favorite pursuits. Include a table large enough to accommodate all the tools and objects he needs, and hang a display space (like a corkboard) where he can post samples of his work and track new ideas. Don’t forget storage space, including boxes and plastic bins for pens, scissors, and any other loose objects that could get lost or accidentally thrown away.

Music

A creative and sensitive child with a good ear for music is an excellent candidate for learning an instrument. Music helps children develop cognitively, improves memory and concentration, and can even strengthen math skills. Music is also a tremendously effective stress-relieving hobby and terrific for youngsters who suffer from a lack of self-esteem. Instilling a love of music in a young child can help him become a more successful student and a more self-assured individual.

The outdoors as hobby

Mother Nature offers a rich and varied list of hobbies for young people, from rock collecting and hiking to bird watching and stargazing. A hobby that gets a child outdoors is sure to benefit him physically (fresh air and physical activity are good things). Gardening can be an especially enriching hobby, because it imparts a love of growing things and a basic knowledge of botany and horticulture.

Woodworking

If the youngster loves making things with his hands, he may find woodworking to be an especially rewarding hobby. Woodworking is an excellent way for young people to sharpen their math skills, learn tool safety, improve their hand-eye coordination, and develop manual dexterity. Woodworking also enhances creative thinking, problem-solving, imagination, and creative thinking.

Bird watching

It’s important to instill an appreciation of our natural environment and an eco-friendly respect for nature conservation. Identifying species of birds, describing them and learning about their habits is an educational hobby. Kids learn about the importance of habitat preservation, what species endangerment and extinction mean, and how they impact the world around us. Consider investing in a kid-friendly pair of binoculars so the little one can observe wildlife up close and personal without disturbing any critters.

Science

What hobby could be cooler than one where you can turn a glass container into a lava-spewing volcano? Well, that’s the beauty of chemistry, one of the most interactive branches of science and a source of hours of fun for generations of young aspiring scientists. Kids learn principles of science, mathematics, and how to observe safety among chemicals and laboratory tools. With a glass beaker, food coloring, a little vegetable oil, a pinch of salt and some water, you can create a lava flow that’ll get plenty of hits on YouTube and dazzle their (and your) friends.

Encouraging a child to engage in a new hobby is a matter of paying attention to his/her personal interests and skills. Kids gravitate to what they enjoy most, so support the youngster’s interests, even if it means listening to him learn the drums by playing along to a YouTube video or letting him create a mess every now and then with the latest science experiment.

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