The Best Hobbies for your Kids and How to get them started. Guest blog post by Julie Morris

Julie Morris is a Life and Career Coach. At 53 Julie started learning how to play guitar, saying that "It’s something that I’ve always wanted to do, but despite constantly telling my clients not to get in their own way, I’d been getting in mine for years. Telling myself that I was too old to learn an instrument and that I’d be terrible at it anyway.  Well, I’m still pretty terrible, but with each new chord learned, I feel a sense of achievement." 

Thank you Julie for offering to write another guest blog. If anybody else has ideas for a guest blog post please do not hesitate to drop me a line. 

Julie can be found at iuliemorris.org 

Here is Julie's post on the best hobbies for your kids and how to get them started. Enjoy!

In this day and age, with technology offering unlimited hours of online content, it is perhaps more important than ever for parents to develop a passion for specific hobbies in their children. Hobbies are extremely beneficial for child development, fostering creativity, problem-solving, intelligence, goal-setting and a sense of achievement and improvement. However, certain hobbies offer specific benefits, making them an ideal addition to your child’s interests. 

For Outdoorsy Kids 

If your child loves running around, getting muddy and exploring the outside world, this is something you should encourage. According to The Guardian, spending time in nature can benefit a child’s cognitive development, improve physical health and teach them important social skills. 

There are plenty of great outdoor-based hobbies you can do with your kids to get them excited about nature. Explore the stars with child-friendly astronomy lessons and a telescope designed just for your little one. Try Geocaching, a crowdsourced treasure hunt that allows them to explore the world through puzzles and orienteering, or start teaching them to identify local birdlife with a bird-watching app.  If you want to get them away from technology altogether, take them on a camping trip, even if it’s just in the backyard. 

For Science Lovers 

Sure, developing an interest in science in your kids is a great way to get them excited about a STEM career, but that’s not all. Even if your child doesn’t grow up to be a scientist, science-based hobbies are great for problem-solving and observation skills, and generally fostering a sense of enthusiasm about learning about the world. 

A great way to get your kids started in a science hobby is to start with fun at-home experiments, like this glass of lava. Another good example is cooking, which in addition to being a great life skill, can teach them about scientific principles like chemical reactions. 

For Artsy Kids 

Visual arts are a wonderful way of expressing emotion and imagination in kids. Artistic expression is also one of the easiest ways to help them develop creative-thinking skills. Luckily, kids will often develop these hobbies independently. After all, most kids will have been given paper and crayons, and those with an aptitude for it tend to naturally spend more time producing artwork. 

You can encourage this by providing them with a variety of materials so that they can explore what they like. You can also take them to a park or museum to sketch their surroundings, enroll them in a class, or even create a dedicated arts and crafts area in their room. Avoid activities like coloring books, as these limit a child’s possibilities for independent creative expression. 

For Musical Kids 

The benefits of learning an instrument as a child are extensive and well-documented. It’s good for confidence, discipline, cognitive development, and overall mental health. Plus, the earlier they start, the sooner their practice will cease to be torture on the ears. 

Of course, kids don’t always fit into neat categories. A kid can love science, drawing and going on hikes, and as a parent, you should introduce them to all of these options so they can choose what they like and build on it. It’s a good idea to encourage a balance between outdoor and indoor activities as well as active and sedentary ones, in the interest of their physical health and well-being. Be attentive to what your child responds to, and encourage the hobbies they seem to love most. Any hobby is a good one if it makes your child passionate, engaged and curious.

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