In this age of social media, more people prefer to spend their free time with passive leisure activities, such as watching TV and surfing the internet. Active leisure activities like sports and hobbies are getting less popular, especially among youngsters nowadays. This is such a loss as sports and hobbies are great ways to foster bonding between your family members. When family members have a shared interest or hobby, they can do what they love together.

Let’s do this together!

When we talk about bonding through hobbies, it does not mean merely driving your kids to a dancing class or cheering them on the sidelines of the football field. It means doing something together that both you and your kids are passionate about. Working towards the same objective will encourage your kids to open up to you and this will create a strong bond with them. So, how can you do this?

  • Generate interest: Make them interested in your hobby by letting them hang around and watch you do your thing. Describe what you are doing and share your excitement when pursuing your hobby. Get them involved by asking for their opinion or simple help. Entertain his question using kid-friendly language.
  • Make time: Set aside a time in your schedule to commit to the hobby. For example, you can reserve every other Saturday evening for a session of badminton with your kids. It is important that the hobby is done in your free time so that it does not feel rushed; make sure that your kids do not feel forced.
  • Start simple: Start involving them with something easy and appropriate first. You can teach them the advanced part of the hobby, when they had shown greater interest and are more capable. If they show an interest in photography, let them use the auto setting on an easy-to-use camera first, instead of teaching them the manual setting on a professional DSLR camera.
  • Be patient: For your kids to enjoy the hobby, it has to be a fun, relaxed, and special activity. Understand that your kids may be slowing you down and you will not be able to perform at the same level you are used to. Keep your cool when they mess up your stuff. Remember that the purpose is to enjoy quality time with them.
  • Be supportive: If your kids are getting discouraged with the hobby (e.g. they keep failing to ride a bicycle without training wheels), compliment their effort and offer them advice. Give constructive feedback and encouragement, not criticism. When they have mastered a new skill, motivate them by giving a related tool, or visiting a place of interest.

What can we do?

There are many activities and hobbies that you can enjoy with your kids. Here are some examples.

Sports

This is a great way for kids to be physically active, learn how to cooperate, and develop body coordination. It is one of the most common hobbies, but make sure the type of sport is appropriate to their age and capabilities. Try: Football, badminton, basketball, swimming, wall climbing, running.

Outdoor

Spending time outside is a good way to exercise, reduce stress, and get some vitamin D from sunlight. It can also be a good learning opportunity for kids to appreciate nature. Try: Nature walks, stargazing, fishing, cycling, camping.

Arts & Craft

Kids can develop their creative side with arts and crafts. It is also a fun activity that can improve their hand-eye coordination. Try: Painting, origami, scrapbooking, model building.

Collection

Collecting a group of items can teach sorting and counting skills to kids. They will also learn to appreciate the beauty and uniqueness of each item in their collection. Try: Stamps, coins, postcards, seashells, or even bottle caps!

Games & Puzzles

This will teach kids critical thinking and problem-solving skills. They will also learn how to plan strategies. Try: Jigsaw puzzles, Rubik’s cube, chess, checkers, sudoku.

Performing arts

Learning how to perform can boost your kids’ confidence. It can also be a creative outlet to express themselves. Try: Singing, playing guitar or piano, dancing, magic tricks.

Life skills

Teaching them life skills from young will equip them with useful skills for the future. They will also learn to enjoy doing household tasks. Try: Cooking, baking, gardening, sewing, woodwork, engine works.

There are so many different hobbies that you and your kids can try. A hobby is a way to spend your time together in a meaningful way, hence creating a lasting bond and cherished memories in your family. Apart from that, having hobbies can help you create new connections, cope with stress from work or school, and develop your character. If you already have a hobby, try to include your kids as well; if not, find a new hobby together with your kids today!

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