The month of January is National Hobby Month. But do preschoolers need hobbies? Yes! Your three-to-five year old is just the right age to start a hobby. Some ideas include:
- collections - rocks, stickers, certain types of toys (Transformers, Barbies, Legos, etc)
- playing sports - basketball, gymnastics, ballet, karate, soccer
- creating - painting, crafting, sewing, playing an instrument, science experiments
The key to finding a hobby for your child is to understand what he/she finds interesting. A child that has boundless energy and is very active may want to take up soccer. Another child that likes to work puzzles might be entertained by doing hands-on crafting. Zone in to your child's personality, and list the things that make them happy.
Hobbies are not only fun for young children, but they also have several benefits. According to Better Homes and Gardens' article Why Kids Need Hobbies, increased self-esteem and self-discovery may be found by participating in a hobby. Kids can also "learn to set goals, make decisions, and solve all sorts of problems. Finally, hobbies often mature into lifelong interests, even careers."
Indy Parks has a variety of activities for children that could potentially turn into hobbies. Classes offered include swimming, ballet, nature discovery, basketball, and even fire safety. You may have a future firefighter on your hands!
Beginning in February, various Indianapolis-Marion County Public Libraries are offering free yoga classes to children age six and under. Perhaps your little one needs a quiet, peaceful activity, yet one that still involves some sort of movement. This could be the perfect hobby for slowing down and learning self-control.
Does your child love all things music? For an up close look at instruments of the orchestra, be sure to snag a ticket to North Central High School's annual Tootsie Pops Concert. Two showtimes are available (9:30am and 11:00am) on Saturday, February 9th. This event also features a musical petting zoo and musical crafts. Your child's interest in playing an instrument might just be sparked at this show.
So take an interest survey of your kid, and try out a new hobby. Don't worry if your child ends up not liking it - you can always try something different. Sometimes finding the right hobby takes time. Be patient, and your child may even discover an activity that he/she really loves!