Unique Hobbies To Get Your Child Interested In
Playing video games and collecting stamps as hobbies for kids are passe. Instead of common hobbies, try unique ones such as plane spotting, candle making, comic book art and so much more. Explore!
By Ashwin Dewan
In today’s technology-driven world, kids are glued to televisions, laptops and smartphones for their dose of entertainment. With several research studies pointing out the ill effects of extreme screen time, it makes it all the more essential to involve kids in purposeful hobbies to provide them with an outlet for creativity and imagination. Getting them interested in activities that they can look forward to, tends to keep their grey cells working. Further, picking a worthwhile hobby could teach various life skills such as patience and responsibility to a kid, which may not be possible, if she plays video games or watches kid's shows all day.
Move over ordinary hobbies, make way for some unique ones!
There are a plethora of hobbies to choose from. And the popular ones include painting, drawing, crafts and music. While these are great options, how about trying some unique hobbies such as indoor gardening, magic tricks and even plane spotting! The ideas are aplenty!
And a hobby need not be defined by gender. Boys can rustle up culinary delights in the kitchen just as a girl can excel in horse riding. And today, the list of hobbies for kids are endless. However, instead of the common ones, we bring to you a collection of exciting activities that your kids would love and, at the same time, receive your stamp of approval.
6 unique hobbies for kids
1. Plane spotting
Anyone who wonders if watching planes take off into the deep blue skies or land at the airport is a waste of time, think again. It is more than just that. Plane spotting, which involves tracking the movement of aircraft and, in most cases, clicking photos or taking videos of the same, has become increasingly popular as a hobby over the past few years. And, kids simply love watching planes, thereby making it a fun hobby for them!
Check out the video below to understand why plane spotting is a hobby!
Why plane spotting?
Apart from the joy and thrill of watching planes soar off into the sky, plane spotting is a wonderful way for kids to learn and enjoy the nitty-gritties of the aviation industry. There are various types of planes, and they differ in their make, their size, their engine, etc. Over a period, kids will learn to distinguish planes based on these factors.
Viren Rajesh, a five-year-old, is one such avid fan of plane spotting. His father, Rajesh Viswanathan who himself enjoys plane spotting, loves to head off to the airport with his son during weekends.
“We are constantly on the lookout for different ways to enjoy the weekend. And plane spotting gives us that opportunity. Kids love planes and when they are little, parents imitate the sounds of a plane even as they hold a spoonful of food in their hands to feed the kids. For this hobby, all one requires is to head to the fields around the airport (not too far off) and watch the towering beauties take off and land. Usually, we take a picnic blanket, some breakfast and sing along even as we count the number of planes. It’s fun!”, shares Rajesh.
How parents can help
Parents can get kids started on this hobby by taking them to the nearest airport and keenly observe different planes. Kids can carry along a pair of binoculars, a pen and a notebook to keep record of the different details of each plane. An illustrated and informative book on planes might help add to the mix.
Note: However, as fun as it sounds, certain guidelines must be followed, as many airports consider plane spotting a slight breach of security.
2. Magic tricks
There is a reason why magicians are so popular with kids. Kids are bound to get mesmerised with the sight of a magician pulling a bunny out of a hat or seemingly make things vanish into thin air.
Magic provides kids with an escape into a fantasy world where they can explore, discover and show. Encourage your kid to perform a magic show for the family. Not only will he enjoy the whole experience, but he will get over his fear of speaking to an audience without any anxiety. Magic will increase his confidence and the more he shows off his tricks, the more he will learn values like sharing and bringing joy to others.
How parents can help
As parents, you can always start by buying your kid a starter magic kit. There are plenty of options available.
Note: Remember to keep an eye on him practising magic activities to ensure that he does not try to perform dangerous stunts.
3. Unique gardening ideas (terrariums and bottle gardening)
Teaching kids about nature and environment is a wonderful thing. Terrariums and bottle gardening can be a great hobby for kids, imbibing in them a love for nature. Especially, if you are living in compact apartments with restricted space, these gardening experiences can bring a little bit of green into your lives.
Why terrariums and bottle gardening?
Terrariums and bottle gardening are similar forms of gardening. Both involve creating a mini ecosystem inside a bottle. The biggest plus point is that they are easy to create and maintain, as compared to regular gardening.
12-year-old Abhiraj started developing interest in building terrariums after he watched a few how-to videos on YouTube. He started with simple ones and later slowly started to build elaborate ones. Abhiraj’s mother Kirti says the whole process can get messy with soil involved, but she is delighted that her son is involved with a wonderful activity.
This hobby has also taught him to be patient and do things in an organised manner, as making terrariums requires proper planning and step-by-step care. Additionally, the idea of creating a miniature garden that they must tend and care for daily, can do them a world of good. It teaches them the lesson of responsibility.
Read also: Terrariums that kids can make
How parents can help
Not much is involved to create a terrarium or a bottle garden. All you need is a glass bowl or jar, and a plant of your kid’s choice. Add sand, few pebbles, attractive garden decorations and the whole setup is good to 'go green'. However, there are a few things to keep in mind, like hygienic practices to prevent the spread of bacteria and spores, and the use of a gentle growing medium. Kids should also be taught to not over-water and avoid flowering the plants. Withering plants should be removed, and the mini garden should be placed away from direct sunlight.
4. Candle / Soap making
Teaching kids to make candles and soaps is an interesting activity that will keep them engaged for hours, and teach them patience and discipline.
Why candle and soap making?
To begin, it is not difficult to make candle or soap at home provided one has all the ingredients at hand. Else a run to the store is inevitable. What's more? even kids can take part in this activity that requires time and patience, and the end product is sure to delight kids. All you need is a melting pot that has been specifically designed for candle making. Do ensure it has a handle and a spout for easy pouring.
An even simpler process involves the use of sheets of honeycomb textured beeswax, which come in a variety of colours and involves the creation of tapers by laying a wick across one end, rolling it up and trimming the wick.
Also read: How to make soap for kids
Homemade soaps can be a wonderful gift to give as well as use in the home. Kids can be involved in the whole process that can be divided into steps or sessions. From scooping out the fats and oil into a dish to crafting the soap, and to watching the temperature at the right level for melting the oils, it makes for one fascinating process that kids will adore.
How parents can help
Just get all the ingredients in one place and keep a watch on the kids at every step of the process to guide them.
5. Comic book art
Kids love comics – there is no two ways about it. So, why not turn it into an interesting hobby? This also helps kids develop their imagination and creativity as they learn this style of artwork and even create their own stories.
Ishayu Harichandan started to write and develop his own comic books from the age of eight. “It has helped me a lot with my imagination as I was able to express and put my ideas into a visual art form. My language skills also developed along the way”, says Ishayu who has even brought out a comic book based on the adventures of a superhero who is half boy and half cat.
Why comic book art?
This craft enables kids to utilise their creative ideas and convert it into a comic book. Since this requires a lot of brainstorming such as creating story lines, plots and characters, the thinking skills of kids are greatly improved. Kids can even turn this into a full-time profession and become cartoonists or animators.
How parents can help
Parents can begin by helping their kid choose what kind of genre he wants to dabble in comic book art. Then, they can get them drawing materials and sketching pens to get their creative juices flowing.
6. Unique collections (coins from across world, seashells, clothes tags, etc.)
Kids love to collect anything and everything. From plastic wrappers, to shiny little objects and broken pieces of things. How about collecting coins across the world? Or seashells? Or even brand tags of clothes!
"It all began with my daughter being fascinated with the pretty brand tags on her new clothes, shoes and toys. Especially when it comes to kids' products, these tags are quite cute, vibrant and eye-catching. My baby girl began to collect them and I got excited and involved too. Now we have a collection of over 200 brand tags. It became a thing that we do together. And yes, we do shop a lot, and try to do so from different brands, just to get our collection growing!" says Deepthi B, mother of 7-year-old Zaina.
Why coins, seashells, clothes tags and things?
Coin collecting, also known as numismatics is an interesting hobby for kids. They get to learn about the history, politics and society of a country through a coin. Seashell collecting is more of a fun activity. The next time you are on the beach, let your little one collect different types of sea shells and add to their collection. Collecting tags of pretty clothes is another interesting hobby for your child. Whenever new clothes are bought, the tags can be collected. Further, you may collect anything according to your whim and fancy. It could be sweet wrappers, dried leaves and flowers, rocks and pebbles, etc.
How parents can help
Start by getting your child interested in the idea of collectibles. Explain to them the excitement of about possessing a collection and how it can be a wonderful activity. The joy of growing your collection is a delight meant to be experienced!
Hobbies benefit kids in a number of ways. And, when the hobby is a unique one, it is all the more interesting. So, go ahead and let your kids indulge in these distinctive hobbies.
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