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(Dear reader, I'm very pleased to post another article from our guest blogger, Eric Kelley. Eric has his own blogging site, please, visit it for more DAD Ventures on mydadventures.com. You may also contact him directly at email@example.com)
Every parent has heard the age-old saying and knows it’s true — a child’s mind is like a sponge. Their brains soak up everything they see, touch, taste, hear, and sense as they learn to think critically about the work around them. You can support this growth by putting your kids in situations where they can make the most of their development milestones — in front of an instrument, behind a glove, or at a microscope.
Starting a hobby with your child might seem time-consuming or expensive, but it doesn’t have to be. Work on your own critical thinking skills by getting creative with these three tips for kid-friendly, budget-friendly activities, pastimes, and hobbies.
STEM careers — science, technology, engineering, and math — are some of the most rewarding (not to mention highest paying) occupations out there. However, decades of research has shown that there simply aren’t enough qualified people to fill these roles. Part of this — some researchers argue a large part — is due to a lack of access to and interest in STEM activities and classes in school. You can help your child develop a love for science and set them up for success with simple, safe kitchen experiments. From making a glass of lava to elephant’s toothpaste, turning your kitchen into a laboratory can be both fun and educational. Many of the ingredients you need are already in most pantries — vegetable oil, food coloring, baking soda, peroxide, and dish soap, to name a few — but you can stock up and save money on supplies by using weekly savings and online promo codes for major retailers like Walmart.
Childhood obesity is on the rise, affecting more than 13 million adolescents and teens between the ages of 2 and 19. While researchers can’t pinpoint one exact cause, most claim it is a combination of things, and a stagnant, stationary lifestyle is one of them. Whether your child is at a high or low risk, a hobby surrounding a sport can empower them to appreciate being healthy and strong. If your kid wants (or maybe needs) to learn about teamwork and cooperation, signing them up for a sport like basketball, baseball, or soccer will instill these soft skills and help them stay fit and active. You can save money on equipment by purchasing used gloves, bats, and balls from second-hand athletic stores like Play It Again Sports. If your child prefers solo adventures, then running, biking, and swimming are excellent ways to get moving without the burden of being too social. You can outfit your child in shoes and accessories without breaking the bank by using coupons and getting cash back for stores like Target.
Art is one of the most stimulating hobbies, from doodling and painting to drawing and sculpting. Building your child’s creativity helps them become stronger problem solvers and confident leaders. It also builds robust self-esteem while also encouraging compassion and empathy. Flexing our creative muscles helps us — especially kids — feel more connected and concerned for the world around us. Enrolling your child in an art class will give them the foundation they need to explore their creative side. If you want to save time and money, there are plenty of free online art courses that your child could take alone or with a classmate or friend. And if you need some supplies for at-home creativity, use daily offers and deals for retailers like Amazon to ensure your child has enough to keep them busy for days.
Hobbies of all shapes and sizes can help your child with social skills, cognitive development, fine motor, gross motor, and language skills. Most of all, they’re fun! Expand your child’s current interests by getting them interested — and invested — in a new, exciting hobby.