The benefits of hobbies for children
Having a hobby is something of a tradition, but it has become less common as technology has evolved and times have changed. Today, children spend their free time doing activities that are very different to those that were popular in years gone by. Despite advances in technology and changes in the way we spend our leisure time and meet new friends, there is still a place for hobbies, and trying new activities can bring a host of benefits, including:
Developing new skills and building confidence
Taking up a new hobby is a brilliant way to encourage children to develop new skills, expand their knowledge base and build confidence. There’s a vast array of activities on offer, and trying new things can open doors and boost self-esteem. From playing an instrument or learning to dance to taking language classes or learning to paint or draw, there are endless opportunities to hone skills at the same time as having fun.
Meeting new friends
Today, we spend more time than ever before online, and many children communicate with friends or acquaintances via instant messaging, chat or email. Taking up a new hobby offers a chance to communicate with people face-to-face and to meet new friends in a more traditional and old-fashioned way. Meeting new people can make children more comfortable in social spaces and equip them to deal with changes and life events, for example, moving school. Taking classes, joining groups or attending workshops or sessions can also enable children to meet like-minded individuals. This is particularly beneficial for kids who might not feel like they fit in at school.
Broadening the horizons
School curricula are varied, but there are rules and guidelines in place that govern what children learn and how they spend time outside of the classroom. Having a hobby offers children the chance to broaden their horizons and indulge interests or passions that might not be part of the average school lesson or extra-curricular programme.
According to research published in the Sydney Morning Herald, 47% of Australian school children are stressed. Stress is becoming increasingly prevalent in children, and it can be challenging for parents to detect and manage. Schoolwork, the pressure of exams, relationships and social media can all take their toll on youngsters. Having a hobby is proven to reduce stress among children and adults. Being creative, trying active pursuits and learning new skills can help kids to clear their minds, increase confidence and relax.