Learning While You’re at It: Great Hobby Ideas for Kids by Maria Cannon

The days when kids took up hobbies like stamp or coin collecting, often due to the influence of an older family member, are surely in decline if not altogether dead. Computers, handheld devices, and gaming consoles appear to have supplanted traditional hobbies, the ones that taught kids something about self-discipline, thrift, and the world around them. If you’re a parent seeking to engage your children in something more enriching and educational than Fortnite or Grand Theft Auto, why not introduce them to a whole new world this summer while they have the time to devote to a new hobby? Here are some suggestions.


Learning to play a musical instrument develops cognitive functioning and enhances motor skills in children. If your kids are hesitant, try running over to the local music store so they can see and interact with musical instruments firsthand. Think of it as a way to encourage a child who’s always been interested in the guitar or single or double reed instruments. Most music stores will allow you to handle and sample any instruments that interest you, allowing your child to get the feel of a guitar, violin, or trumpet. In the meantime, check out some online instructional videos on YouTube to whet your kid’s appetite.

Play Ball!

Team sports offer many benefits and lessons that are healthy for young people. There’s physical exercise (a precious commodity among kids these days), hand/eye coordination, and learning to work collaboratively with teammates, which enhances social skills. Soccer, baseball, tennis, and volleyball are especially popular sports during the spring and summer. If socialization is a problem with your child, playing a sport is a great way to bring him out of his shell.


Invest in some art materials, such as sketchpads, colored pens, pencils, paint brushes, and clay, and let your kid’s imagination run wild. Summer’s an excellent time to introduce kids to art. If the weather’s good enough, allow them to get creative outdoors, instead of turning the dining room into a disaster area that has to be cleaned up every afternoon before dinner. Sometimes, being creative outdoors can produce inspiration in a way not possible in more sterile surroundings indoors. Best of all, it’ll give the kids an outlet for self-expression that diverts their attention from gaming online with their friends.

Haute Cuisine

Cooking isn’t usually considered a mainstream hobby for children — it’s something that mom and dad have always taken care of, so what’s the use? Well, it’s actually a terrific hobby that teaches kids to be self-reliant and grows their confidence. A child who learns to transform a recipe into a tasty dish has done something they’ve always thought of as beyond their ability. Cooking empowers kids because it encourages them to believe in themselves. Also, they learn kitchen and food safety, which are important lessons for anyone to learn.


Science is a broad field with many interesting branches if you’re looking for a hobby. Backyard astronomy is an increasingly popular choice, though you’ll need to invest in a telescope to make a go of it. The great thing about chemistry is it gives kids an excuse to make things fizz, make sounds, and change physical properties. There are many online experiments for kids to try, including homemade puffy paint and the glass of lava.

Think of hobbies as a way for kids to have fun while learning something useful. Spend some time exploring possibilities with your child. If he sees that you’re interested in a given subject, it might spur his interest as well. You might even find a hobby you can both enjoy together.


Image courtesy of Pixabay.com

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