Summer is here, which is the perfect time to explore a new hobby with your child.
Child hobbies and interests benefit kids in many ways.
Hobbies give kids an opportunity to express themselves doing something they really enjoy, allowing them to discover what they like and build self-esteem. Focusing their energies on activities that they enjoy and subsequently excel at teaches children how to set and achieve goals, solve problems and make decisions. Hobbies can also set the course for what your child becomes later in life, as they often turn into lifelong interests and even careers.
Hobbies are also great educational tools. A child interested in rock collecting learns about geology and science, and a child who enjoys writing stories learns about sentence structure and proper grammar. Here is an opportunity for your child to spend quality time on the Internet as he or she learns to investigate his or her chosen hobby online as well as interact with peers interested in the same topics and activities.
No matter what your child’s age is, you probably have a good idea of what his or her interests are. Perhaps your child prefers craft activities over science experiments. He or she might enjoy playing an instrument over playing a sport. These interests may change over time, but even temporary ones have a significant impact on a child’s development.
Summer is the perfect time to find a new interest. How can you help your child find a hobby that is right for them?
- Make a list of your child’s interests. Have a conversation with your child about what he or she is most interested in right now and make a list. This will help you find ways to develop those interests through related hobbies.
- Introduce your child to new things on a regular basis. Trying new things is the best way to get life experience and discover interests that your child never knew about. Get creative when you help your child try new things: go on field trips to see new things, present books on various subjects, and try plenty of fun crafts, experiments, and other activities at home.
- Try several child’s hobbies and interests before making a final decision. Even if you identify a hobby that seems perfect for your child, start slowly. There’s no guarantee that a certain hobby will be a good fit for your child. Let her try it for a couple of weeks before you make a big commitment.
- Give your child the freedom to explore the hobby. This means giving him suitable space for the hobby and allowing her to commit time to it each week.
- Help your child learn and make progress. Depending on the hobby, your child might not be able to progress without your help. If she isn’t sure what to do next, work together to come up with ideas. If your child already knows what steps to take next, offer your support.
- Know when to let your child move on. Some hobbies last into adulthood, while others won’t last long at all—even if your child enjoys them. Younger children often grow out of the hobbies they found early on. When your child is ready to quit, don’t pressure him to continue. Just be ready to help him find something new to help him explore and grow.
Get inspired and enjoy your summer!