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Our Favourite Hobbies for Children

Remember that hobbies are meant to be fun! They can be hard work but should still be enjoyable. If one hobby doesn't work out, don't give up... try something new. Some people don't find "their hobby" until they are much older. It's also important to try a wide variety of things and not just introduce them to things you enjoy.

 

Whilst it can be difficult to find the perfect hobby for your child, the benefits can be incredibly worthwhile. Hobbies can be an outlet to relieve stress, boost self-esteem, develop creativity, promote exercise and ultimately, they can become the passion of a lifetime. Every individual (child and adult) will have different interests, skills and time. Hobbies are something can foster in your child- or something you can do together. Here are a few examples of hobbies that you could introduce to your children.

Photography

Photography can be hugely beneficial in many ways for your children -from nurturing their inventiveness to helping communicate their ideas and feelings. It is also a highly rewarding hobby for your child to begin and it all requires is a simple camera and patience!
Photography can go beyond unleashing your child's innovation though. It's a valuable skill that can help improve planning and presentation, become a relaxing extra-curricular activity and a means of boosting self-esteem. As Diana Nazareth - a Toronto based photography educator - puts it: "Photography can help develop a child's voice, vision and identity as it pertains to their family, friends and community".

Story Telling/Writing

Articulating is an important life skill and something children of all ages can build skills in. Storytelling helps nurture children's creative side, prepare them for future school exams, and even help them better understand the wider world and become kinder and more considerate to others
All children will be asked to write or tell a story at some point, whether at school, at bedtime, or even around a camp fire. Not only does it enable the imagination to thrive, but it helps children learn to organise their thoughts and use written language to communicate in a variety of ways.

Languages

Learning a new language can be fun and exciting as it opens up a whole world. While older children may have languages chosen for them at school, you can start tem off with something like makaton.

Makaton is a growing sign language skill used by over 100,000 children and adults to help those who have difficulty communicating. It can also be a vital help to those who struggle to pay attention, remember sequencing and more broadly, with listening and understanding speech. Not only can this help your child to articulate their feelings at a quicker rate as they develop, but it can also remove barriers with other people they encounter. It is an ideal skill to try and teach your children, even if it's just the basics!

Makaton is also very flexible too. It can help in a number of areas, from articulating thoughts and emotions to labelling objects, taking part in games, telling stories and providing directions.

Physical Activities

Be it a casual game of football around in the park or a silly race, keeping kids active can be fun and it gives us an excuse to pull out our trainers and harken back to the day we dreamed of being the next Andre Agassi or Steffi Graf.
Sometimes, despite our best efforts, our fitness regime takes a dive when we have more than just our own schedules to think about. So why not make a conscious effort to combine physical activity with family time. Spending one-on-one time with your children can be important in how your relationships develops and the amount of competition between siblings.

While joining sports teams can be expensive, they are a great way to help children expand their social circle and include children who have similar interests.

Gardening

Gardening can be a solitary experience or one that you share with friends and family. While not all children will have naturally green fingers, spending time in the garden and watching things grow can provide you with invaluable bonding time and fill everyone with a sense of pride. Even those who live in the city or have little access to garden space can start small, from flower window boxes to bonsai trees or kitchen herb gardens- there's no space too small.

We know that the summer months can be long ones to fill so if you have any garden space - from window boxes to vast fields - why not find a child-sized plot and start planting?

Gardening can also help children develop other skills. Use the experience to its fullest and get the children to record what they're doing; let them use a digital camera or smart phone to document their progress and the things they find, try different experiments and see where they take you.

 
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