Articles Parents Zone

Hobby Time

Lockdown has given some of us a bit more free time than usual. No commuting, no going out, and for some: no work. Even if you don’t work lockdown means more time with your kids. Of course, some of this time is spent home-schooling (or trying to) but what do we do with the rest?

We always try to encourage reading but that can’t last forever and the games consoles and tablets come out eventually. I’m sure kids are loving all of this extra time they can spend playing games, but is there something else that can be done?

We have put together a list of hobbies that you can do with your child. Children having hobbies is important, but if you can share that hobby with your child it becomes a truly special thing and a way to make great memories together. Something that your child will remember for the rest for their lives.

Here are 15 suggestions for things you can do with your kids. Start a Saturday afternoon or after school tradition.

Gardening

If you have a garden or a yard you would like sprucing up, make it a project for you and your child. Make a plan for what to plant and where, and you could even get a small herb or veggie patch. If you don’t have a garden you want to change try small gardening projects like hanging baskets, potted plants, house plants, succulents (like cacti), and plants that grow well indoors.

This teaches great practical skills and you get to see your plan grow (literally) over time. It gives you something to show off and be proud of with your child.

Fitness

This has so many options and as we get into summer and restrictions are lifted, you might want to spend some time outside. What you choose is up to you it could be bike riding, football, tennis, yoga, dance, golf, running, anything you and your child want.

This has the obvious benefit of fitness and is also really fun and having a partner to exercise with makes it easier to form the habit.

DIY and restoration

This is one you for your older children (10+) but make sure you pick the project with our child in mind. Restoring and upcycling can be super easy. For a starter project take an old chair, sand it down, level out the legs, and give it a new coat of paint.

Move up to making shelves out of old wooden crates, just be careful of the jobs you give your child and supervise them at all time. This can be really cool for a child, getting responsibilities and making or fixing something you can use.

Stargazing

This one depends on where you live. If you are in a big city this would be tricky to do regularly, but you can drive not too far to somewhere where you will see a lot more. Of course, in the summer this would mean staying up late, so maybe wait until the winter if you’re doing this with a younger child.

Look up some facts and learn to identify what you are looking at. The constellations, key stars, planets, and the International Space Station. If you start to enjoy it quite a bit you might want a telescope eventually.

Sewing and knitting

Sewing is a great practical skill everyone should know. Knitting, sewing, stitching, crochet, quilting, and other similar hobbies each great skills and patience. At the end of your project you have a unique work of art you can make separately or together.

This is also a great way to talk to your child, you will have lots of time while you sew or knit.

Painting

Another classic hobby that lets you both develop your skills. Try some still life paintings, or portraits of each other, go out and paint the landscape. The possibilities are endless. You can get cheap paint sets to start off with and upgrade when you feel ready or give the set as a gift.

Book club

Doing a book club with your family can be great fun. You only need one copy of the book as you can share throughout the week, or even read aloud with your children. Once everyone has finished the book you can talk about what you liked and thought about the book.

Reading kids books can also be fun as an adult, and you get to make sure your children understand what they read.

Cooking

Cooking together is great and has options. Baking, sweet treats, simple meals, or family dinners. This is very rewarding as you get to eat after!

Film club

Watch a film together, and make sure everyone has a notebook and pen. At the end tell each other what you thought and give it a rating. This can help your child think more critically about what they are watching while still getting to watch movies.

Model making

This is a very traditional pastime that some kids and adults love. Going to an independent model shop and picking up a cool tank or plane or car has more broad appeal than you might think. This is stereotypically a boy’s hobby and a bit of a nerdy one. However, there is such a wide variety of models out there, not just military ones, that there might just be something for you and your kids.

You can get model kits at different levels from beginner upwards and shop owners are always happy to help.

Photography

This one is super easy as you don’t need any equipment, just our mobile phone. If you have a camera that’s great but phones often have a pro mode to make their photos look even better.

Take some macro shots, landscapes, portraits, and go for a walk taking it in turns to take photographs. This can get your child thinking about different kinds of art.

Get into nature

Nature can be its own interest. Long walks and picnics are relaxing and you get exercise. This can even work with other hobbies like photography or painting.

Origami

This is a fun small hobby that can be done at any time. If you have 2 minutes you can make an origami sculpture you know and if you have half an hour or more, you could learn and commit to memory a new design.

This one can be used as a sweet way to give a gift or letter, and a great way to impress friends.

Collecting

Collecting is a hobby that has existed for centuries and you don have to spend any money on it. You decide what to collect. 50 pence pieces with interesting designs that you get in change, buttons, metal detecting finds, stones, sea glass. The options are endless.

You can find, arrange, and talk about this with your child and create a regular bit of excitement that you share.