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Friday, 20 December 2019

Hobbies: Kid's Interests to Conquer Boredom

Children's Free or Low cost Activities

I recently had this conversation with a group of mothers. They were asking what activities and places they could take their children to during the holidays. They were worried that their children would get bored. They wanted somewhere cheap or free as they didn't want to spend too much ever day. I thought about my own childhood and then my children's and was puzzling over these mum's need to fill their kid's days up with activities. So I suggested "Hobbies".
Let me explain why.

When I was little and it was the school holidays, my siblings and I just spent it at home. Occasionally, we'd go interstate to stay with my mum's sisters and their families (They were great times spent with cousins!). It was up to us kids to think up of ways to play. We never had to worry about not having anything to do. If we ran out of ideas then we'd sit in our own silence (or read books) and then came up with other things to do. Then once each holiday, our parents would take us out somewhere and it was a special treat for us.

OK, you might say, "But this is the modern age and kids these days have so many distractions such as electronic gadgets and games. Well I've always put a limit on these as well. They were allowed only 2 hours on it and they first had to do some reading and then some creative activities first.

But back to hobbies, I've always encouraged my kids to have hobbies. As they were growing up, I'd offered different activities in the form of hobbies for then to experience. Alhamdulillah, they've picked up a few hobbies and would spend time on them so I wouldn't have to worry about them being bored.

When they were in primary school, they did origami and paper planes and drawing, especially comic strip drawing with complete stories. They still have stacks of their books stored on the bookshelf. Drawing, rock collecting and reading are still on-going hobbies.


Ever since my youngest discovered that he could reserve books online, he'd had an endless supply of Star Wars books. You see, he used to always complained that the library had nothing but when he went online, he could see all the book titles from all the linked libraries. Now he does his own borrowing, his own reserving, his own extensions and returns (great for learning responsibility!).


We've also had stacks of board games and card games that we used for Family Game Time. If they wanted to they could choose from these stacks. Our favourites were: Monopoly, Jenga, Boggle, Uno, Pictionary and Billionaire. 

Since they've watched Ertugrul, they've developed a hobby of it too. They've tried to make their own bow and arrows out of branches. We've bought them foam swords and they would spend hours playing sword fighting outside in the backyard. They've also cut up my old leather bags to try and make their own leather armour. There's real creativity there, mashaAllah :)  

And of course, they love to code and animate so I've bought them courses on Udemy at around $12 each for them to learn from (just wait for one of their sales). They've got their own YouTube accounts where they put their animations and video editing etc. One game my son made for me was Helpful Good Deed Game. This was his first one and he's currently working on another way. InshaAllah, it'll be much easier to play next time lol.

If you don't know where to start then think about your child's personality. Does he like to sit or move about? Does he like to think or create? What are some things that he enjoys doing? What lights his days up and brings a smile to his face?

You'll notice that I didn't put down a sport. Yes sport is a good hobby to have but I didn't list sports because it's a hobby that requires you to drive them places. You'd want to encourage hobbies that they can do themselves. My son plays soccer and the other does kung fu so it's tiring driving them to practice and competitions. 

However, rollerblading, skateboarding, bike-riding and any outdoor activities like that is good to encourage. I remember spending hours rollerskating up and down our drive and down the street. And fun hours on my rollerskates hanging onto my brother's bike and he sped along the street. Yes, we've had plenty of falls and scraped knees and elbows. But they were worth it for the happy memories spent doing things that we enjoyed and costs next to nothing. 

Some other hobbies ideas for your children: 

Photography

 Gardening

 Knitting

 Crochet

Painting

Sewing

Cooking


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