Hobbies for life
One of the most common regrets that older people report is that they never had an absorbing hobby. Not having creative hobbies, like painting, ceramics, music or performance, or practical hobbies were particularly regretted, so it makes sense to introduce your kids to interests that could last a lifetime.
Hobbies that involve some form of making are a great place to start. Look for crafts kits or classes that help your kids try something new without costing a fortune. Similarly, you only need odds and ends of yarn and fabric to get started with knitting, crochet or sewing. There are even toy sewing machines and free toy patterns available online. You could have the next Dior or McQueen on your hands before you know it.
For musical hobbies, the choice of instrument is crucial, not just for reasons of cost and space. Some instruments sound much better when you’re just starting out than others do – as anyone whose child tortured a violin will testify! Drum kits should be equipped with noise-deadening practice pads, while anything that can be paired with headphones is a good call.
Baking can be another great choice. Biscuits and cookies are quick and easy to make and even the less than perfect will find an appreciative audience! So many chefs took up their professions after cooking and baking as a childhood hobby. Even learning the basics will be useful when they head to university or live by themselves.
Some hobbies lead on to careers or life-long fulfilment, while others can lead to an unexpected financial windfall. Coding may not seem that much fun to you, but it can be really absorbing and set your kid up for life, especially when AI makes profound changes to the landscape of work.
Collecting is another form of hobby that can spark a life-long interest. Just about anything is collectable, though fewer people collect autographs, stamps or coins these days. Early Magic the Gathering cards and Pokémon collectables can be worth a fortune, particularly if they are still in their unopened packaging. One unopened set of cards that was languishing in an understairs cupboard for thirty years sold for over £15,000.
All kinds of sporting activity, as well as dance and drama can make excellent hobbies offering a blend of physical health, mental wellbeing and social skills. Team sports and martial arts can teach discipline, strategy and result in lasting friendships. Everything from gymnastics to squash, rugby to judo is available locally.
It can take a while for your child to find a hobby that suits them, but it’s worth persevering as a hobby can provide a lifetime’s pleasure.