I show concerned parents who want to give their children the best start to life how to better understand their children.

24 Jan 2013

10 Kid-Friendly Hobbies

Kids are so plugged into technology these days that it can be hard to get them away from the electronics, but finding a hobby that interests them may help entice them to tear their eyes away from the screen. Here are 10 kid-friendly hobby ideas to consider introducing to your child.
  1. Stamp collecting. Stamps were first introduced in 1850, and stamp collectors, also known as philatelists, have been collecting them ever since.  To start your collection you need to buy a book that you can showcase your stamps in and some stamps; big bags of stamps are available pretty inexpensively.  If you’d like to start small, you can just watch the mail and cut off any interesting stamps that you receive.  Let your family and friends know so that they can make sure to send you interesting stamps when they run across them.
  2. Rock collecting. Beautiful rocks can be found almost anywhere you go, and collecting rocks is a fun way to remember the places you’ve visited.  Rock collectors are called rock hounds. You can save your rocks in a bag or box or tape your rocks to index cards and write down a few lines about where you were when you found the rock and why you thought it was cool enough to collect.  As your interest in rocks grows you can purchase a rock tumbler, which will allow you to clean and polish your rocks.  Special rocks can be purchased at certain travel or tourist stores or ordered online.  Some areas of the country have a rock called a geode.  Geodes are special because they look like an ordinary rock on the outside, but when you break them open they are hollow and full of crystals.  Where you find the geode will determine what color the crystals are.
  3. Scrapbooking. Scrapbooking is a great way to preserve your memories.  Whether you take the pictures yourself or get them from someone, scrapbooking is a safe and special way to preserve those memories for the future.  Scrapbooking has become quite popular in the last 10 to 20 years and there are a lot of fancy tools, papers and page adornments you can purchase to accompany your scrapbook pages, though basic scrapbooking is inexpensive and simple to do.  All you need to get started is a scrapbook, photos and some glue or double sided tape.  Make sure the glue or the tape is safe for use with photos.  You can embellish your scrapbook pages by matting the photos with cardstock, applying stickers or by rubber stamping.  Make sure to journal about the pictures.
  4. Paint by number art. Paint by number art allows you to create fabulous art even as a beginner.  If your child enjoys painting, get her started with a paint by number kit.  Check the package to make sure it is age appropriate because some of the painting will be too intricate for beginners.  Make sure that she has brushes in a few different sizes and let her get started.
  5. Digital scrapbooking. With kids who are computer proficient, you may want to consider digital scrapbooking, which is a simple way to document your photos. Digital scrapbooking allows you to use a predetermined layout, digital papers, digital images and various fonts to help you get great results from the beginning.  To get started just upload the photos you want to scrapbook into a scrapbooking program.  There are free programs, but the ones you pay for are a little more user friendly.
  6. Reading and collecting books. Reading and collecting books is an educational and fun hobby.  A collector of books is called a bibliophile.  If this hobby is continued and you switch to collecting rare or antique books you would be called an antiquarian.  Reading books allows you to explore any environment that you want.  Almost any fact that you want to know can be found in a book.  As electronic books become more and more popular, books will become rarer, so now might be a great time to start a book collection.   
  7. Coin collecting. Coin collecting gives you a glimpse into the past, and coins date back all the way to 550 B.C.  If you collect coins and start to study them and appreciate the beauty of the artwork then you would be called a numismatist.  The U.S. government is making collecting more accessible these days by coming out with new quarters for every state, new nickels and new pennies.  There are coin collecting books available at the dollar store, allowing you to get started on this hobby very inexpensively.  The library will also have a lot of books about the history of the coins that you find, so you can learn a little about each coin you collect.
  8. Trading card collecting. Card collecting has gone on since trading cards started being produced in the 1800’s, and these card collections allow you to build something for the future. Certain cards can acquire quite a bit of value over time, and baseball card collections from the 1960’s that are in good shape are being sold for thousands of dollars now.  Kids can read about their favorite players, connect with someone in their family that used to collect cards when they were a kid, and read about lesser known players.  You never know which rookie is going to make it big.
  9. Bird watching. Bird watching is fascinating and can be quite educational, and more than 75 million people in America engage in this hobby.  Birds may seem like simple creatures, but after watching them for a while you’ll see they’re actually fairly complex. Grab a book from the library or book store and start figuring out what kind of birds live around your neighborhood and then put out a birdfeeder to attract birds to your yard.  The type of food you put out will determine what kind of birds you attract.
  10. Photography. Photography is more accessible to children now, especially with the invention of digital photography, because you no longer have the expense of buying film and developing it.  Being able to simply upload pictures to a computer means you can take as many pictures as you want and save the ones that you like the best.  Once you’ve reviewed them and determined which ones are worth keeping, you can print them out at home or send them to a photo processor online and have them send you back your prints.  There’s usually a nominal per photo fee.
Syndicated, with consent, from http://www.shareananny.com/blog/10-kid-friendly-hobbies/

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  1. You know Daniel, I look at that list and see many that I did as a child...but wonder with all the TECH distractions how many of kids today will get that special joy of a REAL hobby?

  2. I'm with you 100% there Bruce.
    I chat to one of my fans (for my book) regularly via mail.
    And the other day she said something to the tune of, "I don't know how you get me to open up to you like this."
    Then she said, "Maybe it's because you ask."
    The point I'm making, although rather surreptitiously, is this: maybe if parents introduced these and other similar activities to their kids, they would be more inclined to partake, as opposed to being marketed the latest Play Station (version 29) and asking for that.
    Does that make sense?

  3. Of course it makes sense, but easier said than done. We introduced SO MANY things to our boys - they ultimately decided what THEY wanted to do - and, to a degree, it should be their choice. Our job as parents is to provide options. I tried sports - NONE stuck - but when I gave my son a guitar in 6th grade, "A Star WAS Born!"

  4. Parenting is a learn-as-you-go proposition, isn't it?

  5. Are these still good hobbies or are they outdated? My son loves to build with Legos, read, draw and play basketball. My daughter also plays basketball and likes to skateboard, play football and pretty much do anything outside. I'm just not sure that kids today do hobbies the same way they used to. I'm not sure if that's a good thing or bad thing. It seems like it's just different.

  6. You make a good point.
    In response: don't we (humans) determine if hobbies are outdated?
    I often post a message to get people to think (educate, inform).
    If it opens your eyes up and you actively participate in steering your children to hobbies that are beneficial, then I believe that's great.
    I think one of the worst things we can do is just go with the flow and let children sink into the 12-hour a day video game life (and others), without doing anything about it :)
    Good job on getting your kids outside: basketball, skateboarding, great!