Video games, Netflix and other tech seem to be the main hobbies kids pick up these days. They’re certainly fun but are they the best choices for your child’s development? Here’s 8 other hobbies they can give a go which will benefit their fitness, social skills and mind.
The thought of letting a kid in the kitchen can be nerve-wracking but don’t let it put you off. Cooking is a great supervised hobby for kids to enjoy. They’ll improve their reading skills with recipes and maths skills if they need to halve or double ingredients. They’ll learn to share by cooking for their family and friends. Plus it’s a great teaching method for healthy food choices and understanding what goes into their food. Inspire your mini chef with their own set of colourful measuring cups and mixing bowls from MyDeal home and garden.
Not many kids, let alone adults, know how fruits and veggies grow these days. Pineapples come from a tree? Peanuts are under the ground? While your home garden is too small for these adventurous plants there’s plenty to be gained from taking up gardening with your kids. It’s a long term hobby and a great life skill to begin building from a young age. They’ll learn responsibility with the need to care for plants and water them daily and patience while waiting for them to grow.
Gymnastics is a popular sport but it can become an expensive hobby if your kids aren’t taking it pro. One-off circus classes are a more affordable way to give them the opportunity to learn acrobatic skills. Many circus schools offer holiday programs where your kids can try out a session, if they love it you can enrol them for a full term or more. Bring their skills home to practice with a safely netted trampoline.
4- Laser Tag
For a fitness hobby they can practice in their own backyard try out a round of laser tag. Save yourself the hassle of buying a whole expensive kit by renting one instead. Nicole Lander from Laser Tag In A Box says it’s the best incidental exercise for kids:
“A fun hobby idea for kids is outdoor laser tag. Instead of hitting a boring treadmill, kids can run around and play high tech 'hide and seek' and get exercise without really even thinking about it. With a laser tag rental kids can run around the backyard, ducking and weaving in a modern game of tag.”
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Delon is a co-founder of Tutors Field Australia where you can book tutors and classes in everything from maths to piano and languages. He says many parents are taking up the option of music classes for their kids.
“Learning music is actually a great hobby. We have seen many parents finding beginner music classes for their kids. Learning to play an musical instrument requires patience and self-discipline and these are important life skills. In addition, kids love to create and that is what music is all about.”
Think carefully about the kind of instrument your child would enjoy such as drums for a highly energetic child or piano for a more structured, organised young mind. Also consider what skills your child would benefit from, such as boisterous kids learning discipline from the structure of piano. Most importantly ask if they have a favourite instrument - they may like the sound, look or feel and liking it to begin with means they’ll be more inclined to stick to playing it.
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6- Horse Riding
Horse riding and vaulting are a great option for adventurous or animal loving kids. Picking up a hobby that involves animals is going to be great for your child’s social skills and developing compassion. There are plenty of riding schools operating in Australia and some are even non-profit such as Salisa Horse Riding in Perth. Suitable for very young children, with beginners lessons at Salisa starting from age 4 and more advanced vaulting for ages 8 and up. They’ll learn a fun skill and also how to care for animals.
Stamps, coins, even postcards - if you notice your child has a penchant for a particular item consider helping them start a collection. Stamps are a great choice for learning history such as when a special edition was released, what different countries stamps look like and how the prices have changed (and why) over the years. They may find it helps foster a career-building skill such as an appreciation for graphic design. It’s also a great option for shy children as it helps them develop an area of expertise and is a natural topic of discussion with their peers and adults to help bring them out of their shell.
Practising this ancient Japanese art is a perfect opportunity to expand your child’s cultural horizons while also giving them a fun hobby. It’s creative, relaxing and provides quick results with basic folds able to be learnt in minutes. Best of all, it’s highly portable. All you need is a stack of paper which makes it an easy option for waiting rooms, long haul flights and anywhere your child’s patience will be tested.
If you want them to put down the game console the trick is finding an equally fun but more educational activity. Test out one or two hobbies with your kids and you may find more than one sticks.