If you find your little one favouring the television or iPad a little too much, perhaps it might be time to help them find a hobby. From learning to craft their own character in a comic to mastering the art of photography, here are eight unique hobbies that your child might be interested in picking up.
#1 Comic Art
A great way to help your child release his creative juices is to give him an outlet where he can draw and tell his stories. All children are artists in their own right and exploring the non-traditional aspect of art gives them an opportunity to capture it in drawings and words. This is a platform where it’s okay for their art to look imperfect or childish, and through constant engagement with this hobby, your child will learn to nurture his creativity and imagination without the fear of getting boxed in. Plus, creating his own brand of comics might also help your child develop a love of reading and bring an improvement of his handwriting without him even realising it!
Where to start: Association of Comic Artists Singapore
#2 Learn to Play the Ukulele
Picking up the ukulele is a great choice for children as it is simple to learn but still challenging enough for new musicians. Built with just four strings, the ukulele is smaller and easier to hold. Just like in playing the guitar, learning to play the ukulele relies a lot on hand-eye coordination—this will help your child in developing his motor skills. Not only will he learn how to independently move his fingers, coordinate rhythm, and read ukulele tabs, he can also benefit by confidently strumming songs from start to finish using chords and basic rhythms.
Where to start: Ukulele Movement
Perhaps a great skill to possess for the future, learning the art of photography at a young age does have its benefits. It not only encourages planning and presentation skills, but it also allows children to display their potential through creativity as well as provides them with the opportunity to be innovative and communicate their ideas through the photos they’ve taken. Photography also boosts a child’s self-esteem as it helps him to share his experiences using pictures.
Where to start: Panoramic Kids
Nothing feels quite as accomplished than finishing a handmade product of your own. Letting a child learn crochet not only gives him something interesting to occupy his free time, but it also benefits him in the long run. Although crochet may be a structured craft, it is also open to interpretation and choice, which gives a child the ability to express his creativity through colour choice and other project-making decisions. Crochet hones motor skills as well, helping your child learn to develop his coordination and muscle memory.
Where to start: WondersWork Singapore
#5 Organic Farming
Growing up in a concrete jungle like Singapore, children are often sheltered from the processes of how food is brought to the table. As such, providing them with a platform where they can get involved in their own form of gardening is a great way to engage kids in outdoor activities. A good way to start is through organic farming, which might change the way they look at food. Children of today lack the knowledge of where food comes from and how they can grow it, care for it, nurture it, harvest it. Learning the benefits of growing and preparing your own food through organic farming can help your child improve his knowledge on the environment and ecosystem as well as learn how to become more responsible when it comes to food.
Where to start: Ground Up Initiative Kampung Kampus
#6 Learning Magic
Picking up any performing art can help your child communicate better. But, learning magic not only helps him to increase his self-confidence but it also helps in developing conversational skills, especially when he is performing a trick. Since magicians require a good amount of creativity when coming up with tricks for their acts, this requirement will tap into your child’s creativity and imagination that will help him hone futures skills such as writing and critical thinking in school.
Where to start: Mr Bottle’s Magic Academy
#7 Picking Up Survival Skills
If your child has an adventurous spirit, perhaps he might enjoy picking up survival skills as a hobby. Survival skills refer to the mechanics that involve wilderness survival situations. Trainees will need to know basic skills, such as how to build a fire in less than favourable conditions, ensure their backpack is stocked with adequate supplies, and how to find or build a shelter. All of these skills will not only help to reinforce his character, but it will also give him the ability to be self-reliant and trust in his own skills. In the long run, your child will be able to calmly and rationally analyse a situation and act accordingly without panic.
Where to start: Training By Glen
Although Parkour is a sport and training discipline that is more popular with young adults, this sport form is a good alternative for active children looking to expend their vast store of energy. It combines gymnastics aspects such as tumbling with freedom of movement and encourages children to be creative, confident, and independent thinkers. They learn about balance, agility, and coordination as they flip and tumble, while also building their confidence and picking up quick decision making skills, using their imagination.
Where to start: Superfly Singapore
Featured image’s photo credit: Panoramic Kids