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Hobbies That Benefit Kids

Guest Post from Maria Cannon

You can find more articles by her at her website: http://hobbyjr.org/

Hobbies That Benefit Kids

As parents, we want to help our kids make the best choices for their success. And one of the best things we can do is to help them choose is good hobbies. Hobbies are more than just a pastime. They have real benefits that help children grow into mature adults. Let’s learn what those benefits are and which hobbies are best.

Overall Benefits of Hobbies

Constructive, useful hobbies can teach kids life skills, set them on a career path and nurture their creativity. Hobbies are also a good way to avoid unhealthy temptations. They fill a child’s life with goal-oriented tasks that allow him to pass up the temptation of troubling problems such as overeating, trying drugs, and bullying other kids. According to the Child Development Institute, LLC, hobbies:

  • Teach kids about goal setting and achievement,
  • Allow them to learn about themselves, and
  • Build their self-esteem.

Read more benefits that hobbies offer kids in this post from Parent Circle.

As a parent, you may wonder, which hobbies are especially beneficial for your child. Recent research has plenty of answers. Here are a few of those ideas.

Learning A Musical Instrument

A recent study showed that “children who learn to play musical instruments are better able to control their emotions, reduce anxiety and focus on any given task.” Playing music has also been shown to induce what’s called the “Mozart effect.” Research has shown that simply listening to Mozart’s music seemed to enhance cognitive abilities.

If you are going this route, you might want to buy your child an instrument so that he can practice it whenever he likes. Having the instrument at home can encourage him to practice and it might end up being less costly than renting one. If you are buying a woodwind instrument, like a clarinet or saxophone, it’s actually safer if he is the only one using it.

Journaling And Blogging

Journaling has long been known as a tool that helps people to cope with their emotions. It has other benefits, too, such as helping kids  to see the world in new ways and helping them recover from scary and traumatizing events. Read this mom’s advice on how to help your child start journaling.

Surprisingly, blogging may be even more beneficial, especially for teens. Time reports on new research that shows that blogging benefited teens who struggled to socialize or who felt isolated.

Martial Arts

Martial arts provides countless benefits for a child, including discipline, self-esteem, and even concentration. Children also learn to keep physically fit but it has also shown to be beneficial specifically to kids with ADD or ADHD. Read more about that phenomenon at Yahoo.

Video Games

Surprisingly, according to this article from the American Psychological Association, certain video games can provide mental health and social benefits as well as cognitive benefits. Those include improved spatial navigation, reasoning, memory and perception. Even a game like Angry Birds has been shown to improve mood, promote relaxation and fend off anxiety.

While your child might love this suggestion, we suggest you limit your child’s screen time as much as possible. Encourage him to play interactive video games that teach a skill, like programming or deductive reasoning.

If you still feel hesitant to indulge your child in video games, traditional games and crafts are great hobbies to stimulate his brain, creativity and interest. Here are seven educational activities for young kids from Earth Science Jr.  You can engage your little mad scientist in experiments such as how to make your own edible glass. Turn your home into a lab as you and your kid use household items to make the magic happen.

Getting Your Child Started

Once you’ve chosen a hobby you think would be a good fit for your child, how do you get him started? According to BHG.com, it doesn’t have to be difficult. You can:

  • Get him excited by setting up a special space devoted to whatever he wants to try.
  • Work with him or give him helper tasks with one of your own hobbies.
  • Provide some introductory guidance and then step back and let him take the wheel on the activity.

Introducing your child to a hobby has lots of benefits for his mental health and personal growth. Start today by finding a hobby that suits him just right.

For more hobby inspiration by Maria Cannon, go to Hobby Jr.!
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