I have really been enjoying doing research for my 4th book –on children’s hobbies and interests – employing a hands-on approach of course! So far we have explored; horse riding, ice skating, cake decorating, tennis, gardening, flower arranging, trampolining and painting just to name a few. So why is it important for children to have hobbies and interests? Giving children opportunities to try and develop new hobbies can bring so much enjoyment and enrichment to their lives, with so many interesting and beautiful hobbies for children to choose from, and the importance, as you will read, is far reaching. 

It can be very exciting to try something new and it’s also about the challenge of trying a new skill set and then knowing that they gave it a go. The possibilities of hobbies these days are endless and every child is unique, therefore, their interests and hobbies will vary according to their personality. In addition I would recommend having indoor and outdoor hobbies to suit any weather conditions.

Hobbies can give children specific knowledge that they can then pass on to others and possibly their own children and provide stories and experiences that can also be shared and enrich other peoples’ lives. I remember my great grandmother teaching us knitting, fishing, dancing, acting and card games- but along with those things – were her stories  – as we were engaged in participating in her hobbies.

Hobbies can help children to de-stress during those times of anxiousness as they are engaged in in an activity/activities they enjoy and helps them take their mind of school, work or other responsibilities. I know a peak stress time was during exam time, I used to do cross stitch, painting, dress designing, cooking and ceramics and it really helped me get through that time of study.

I’ve also really noticed over time how peoples patience have decreased, due to the obvious contributing factors of an increasing ‘want it now – get it now’ society. Hobbies can help children to become more patient, because learning new skills associated with a new hobby involves patience. When you put time, patience and effort into something it is so rewarding to see the end product.

When I was a girl, I was so zealous to try different hobbies and loved keeping busy expressing my creativity, however 30 years ago hobbies were not as in abundance as they are today. Today children have much more opportunities than ever before to find exciting new was to express their creativity – the challenge is however to decrease screen time and show children there are other creative things they could be doing for some of their time!

Decreasing screen time and encouraging children to explore different hobbies helps prevent bad habits and in turn wasting time. We need to keep encouraging girls to develop their skills and talents through hobbies so they are equipped to have things to do during those times of boredom, anxiousness etc. and who knows they may even turn their hobbies into a career!

While some of us may find our children at home with us more often at present, it really is a fantastic opportunity to introduce them to some of the hobbies you used to do or try new ones together. It also gives you something to share together, something you have in common, strengthening your relationship.  How many children if you took away their phones, Ipads etc. would have a ‘go to’ hobby or interest to do that they enjoy?

We recently went away to an island, where there was no Wifi in the hotel room! Shock Horror!! It was great, we played card games and other games, spent time together on the beach, exploring rocks, climbing sand dunes to then run back down, playing pool and table tennis in the games room, going on bush walks and seeing the most amazing native wild life and flora and fauna. Yes technology has its place in our lives, however it doesn’t usually involve or promote conversation – real conversation or creativity together.

Do you know what your children’s talents/ interests/ hobbies are? Do they have any? At my last book signing a man walked up to me, who I actually knew and haven’t seen for a while and I shared that I had written a book series for children that were story/activity books. He was really impressed by the series and bought two sets for his grand-daughters.  Last week I was blown away when he called me (while he was icing cupcakes for his grand-daughters tea party – based on my book), saying how surprised he was to see how giving my book ‘The Lovely, Beautiful And Very Elegant Tea Party’ Bk.1 to his grand-daughter had brought out all of these talents and skills they all never knew she had! She was delegating, organising, writing lists, cooking, decorating etc. and she is only 6yrs old!  I was just so amazed and very thankful he had taken the time to call and let me know! This also really brought it home to me just how important it is and how beneficial it is for children to have hobbies and interests.