Hobbies are a way to celebrate personal accomplishment, build independent relationships and help us build self-esteem. I don’t know about you, but even as an adult this is still proving to be a vital part of my week and always there in my new year’s resolutions. Time to switch off from work (or school) and use a different part of my brain with like minded people. Bliss!
For today’s children, increased time spent in front of a screen; whether it’s playing games online, practicing endless Tik Tok or watching TV on a device, the invaluable social benefits of a hobby have never been so critical. By diving into a hobby, children learn to make decisions, set goals and solve problems – they can also mature into lifelong interests or even careers!
Therefore, encouraging them to take up a hobby that can give them access to outdoor activities, bring them closer to nature and provide an inspiring outlet to spark their imagination and interests, has never been more important.
Helping your child choose a hobby
A hobby can positively shape a kid’s personality by helping them become confident, self-reliant and independent. Not only does a hobby instil in them virtues such as team spirit, kindness, and endurance, but it also teaches various life skills that can turn them into healthy adults.
Children are prone to imitating their elders. So, by setting one personal example, you can generate his interest. By indulging him in a hobby of your own you can arouse his curiosity. If he watches you do something creative and fun he is more likely to join in. And what could begin as a fun and light activity could eventually become his hobby.
Another way to help your child choose a hobby might be to take him to visit interesting places such as art galleries, museums, plays and concerts. Not only will your child learn new things that will help expand his scope and level of awareness but he will also direct him to explore his area of interest.
Children who find it daunting to express themselves in a group benefit hugely from the creative, relaxed environment of the arts. Equally, when you know that you have a child who is bursting with imagination, find a place to help that flourish by encouraging them to pick up a hobby based on performance and creative arts. Some hobbies include:
Dance is a really fun form of exercise which allows children to express their creativity, imagination and emotion with their bodies rather than just their minds. There are a wide range of dance styles out there, such as jazz, ballet, salsa, street dancing and so on. At BYT, we incorporate movement in every one of our workshops and our original curriculum ensures children can help increase their flexibility, physical strength, stamina and body language.
Would you like to know more about the benefits of dance for young children? Click here.
Scientifically, singing is great for the soul at any age. If you think your child could get great joy from belting out some positive tunes whilst benefiting from the breathing control and musical awareness, help them explore their musical talent by encouraging them to sing with you in the car, with karaoke or even joining a school choir.
The power of drama is recognised as one of the most effective ways to develop soft skills and emotional intelligence in children and young people, skills that are often not developed through the traditional education system. At BYT, we offer a wide range of drama courses for children such as weekly classes by age group, holiday camps or the BYT Actor’s studio. To help inspire your child, you could also encourage them to devise their own plays, read scripts or even ask them to write a play.
4. Playing a Musical Instrument
Rather than seeing music as just another subject, if your child has a passion for music or is curious about learning more, create the distinction so your child sees music as something magically that he or she can explore anywhere, at anytime. The best way to shift your child’s mindset is to let them play an instrument that they are interested in.
Your child’s school should offer the opportunity to play musical instruments such as the violin, recorder, guitar or piano. We would encourage your child to get involved and if they do enjoy playing instruments as it is a great opportunity for any child.
5. Puppet Shows
To encourage communication skills amongst your children or their friends, they can interact with each other through collecting puppets and setting up a puppet show (remember Punch and Judy?!). For more information on puppet making click here.
There have been numerous studies to suggest that access to theatre and drama can help boost a child’s academic performance. A study carried out by Dr Natasha Kirkham focused on the effects of live theatre performance, uncovered three key benefits, which children as young as three years old can experience: improved social tolerance, improved academic performance and positive social change.
Dr Kirkham states that “Theatre can improve social bonding, allow for emotions to be explored in a safe space, develop the emotional and cognitive skills to deal with a complicated world and help kick-start conversations about important issues.”
To any parents out there who are thinking about getting your child into performance-based hobbies, why don’t you start encouraging them to write scripts or role play at home? With research suggesting that theatre and drama can help boost a child’s academic performance, we encourage you to get your child involved in a hobby just like BYT today!