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Hobbies: Why it’s so important kids explore extra curricular activities

If you took away their phone or iPad, how many kids would actually have a ‘go-to’ hobby, or interest they enjoyed? 

I have really been enjoying doing research for my fourth book –on kids’ hobbies and interests – employing a hands-on approach, of course.

So far we have explored: horse riding, ice skating, cake decorating, tennis, gardening, flower arranging, trampolining, and painting just to name a few. So why is it important for kids to have hobbies and interests?

Giving kids opportunities to try and develop new hobbies can bring so much enjoyment and enrichment to their lives, with so many interesting and beautiful hobbies for girls and boys to choose from, and the importance is far-reaching. 

It can be very exciting to try something new and it’s also about the challenge of trying a new skill set and then knowing that they gave it a go. The possibilities of hobbies these days are endless and every child is unique, therefore, their interests and hobbies will vary according to their personality. In addition, I would recommend having indoor and outdoor hobbies to suit any weather conditions.

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It can be exciting to try something new. Image: iStock 

Hobbies help you cope with stress

Hobbies can give children specific knowledge that they can then pass on to others, and possibly their own children. Hobbies also provide stories and experiences that can also be shared to enrich other peoples’ lives. I fondly remember my great grandmother teaching us knitting, dancing, acting, and card games, and telling us stories that went alongside them. 

Hobbies can help kids to de-stress during times of increased anxiety, as it gives them a chance to take their mind off school, work, or other responsibilities. I know for me, in peak stress times – like during exams – I used to do cross-stitch, painting, dress designing, cooking, and ceramics. My hobbies really helped me get through.

People’s patience has decreased in our increasingly ‘want it now – get it now’ society. Hobbies can help children become more patient because learning new skills associated with a new hobby involves patience. When you put time, patience, and effort into something it is so rewarding to see the end product.

Want more stories like this? Here are some at-home crafts kids and parents will love, here is how your kid can study online at Hogwarts, and here is how one mum let her kids’ Bluey obsession inspire a wohle world of creative play.

Hobbies help teach patience. Image: iStock 

The issue with screen time

When I was a girl, I was so eager to try different hobbies. I loved keeping busy expressing my creativity. However, 30 years ago our choices for hobbies weren’t quite as wide and varied as they are today.

Today, kids have more opportunities than ever to find exciting ways to express their creativity – the challenge is, however, to decrease screen time and show there are other creative things they could be doing. 

We need to keep encouraging kids to develop their skills and talents through hobbies so they are equipped to have things to do during those times of boredom and anxiety. Who knows, they may even turn their hobbies into a career.

With our kids perhaps at home with us more often at present, it really is a fantastic opportunity to introduce them to some of the hobbies you used to do or try new ones together. It also gives you something to share together, something you have in common, strengthening your relationship.  How many children if you took away their phones or iPads would have a ‘go-to’ hobby or interest to do that they enjoy?

We recently went away to an island, where there was no wifi in the hotel room. Shock horror! It was great, though: we played card and other games, spent time together on the beach, exploring rocks and climbing sand dunes, we played pool and table tennis in the games room, went on bush walks, and saw the most amazing native wildlife and flora and fauna. Yes, technology has a place in our lives, but it doesn’t usually involve or promote conversation – real conversation – or creativity together.

Getting away from screens can be a good thing. Image: iStock 

Do you know what your children’s talents/ interests/ hobbies are?

 Do they have any? At my last book signing a man walked up to me – a man I actually knew but haven’t seen for a while – and I shared that I had written a book series for girls that were story/activity books.

He was really impressed by the series and bought two sets for his grand-daughters.  Last week I was blown away when he called me (while he was icing cupcakes for his grand-daughters tea party – based on my book), saying how surprised he was to see how giving my book, The Lovely, Beautiful And Very Elegant Tea Party to his grand-daughter had brought out all of these talents and skills they all never knew she had.

She was delegating, organising, writing lists, cooking, and decorating, and she is only six years old.  I was just so amazed and very thankful he had taken the time to call and let me know. This also really brought it home to me just how important it is and how beneficial it is for girls and boys to have hobbies and interests, and to be allowed and encouraged to pursue them.

Jacqui Preugschat is a mum, homeschooler, children’s book author, teacher, and blogger. You can learn more on her website.

Image: iStock.

Give your children a chance and you might be amazed to learn their interests. Image: iStock 

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