Our blog this month was written by guest author Maria Cannon of http://hobbyjr.org/ Enjoy!
Hobbies to Inspire the Kids Without Hurting Your Wallet
Having kids is expensive, we all know that. Keeping them entertained, active, and engaged can also cost a pretty penny. However, it does not have to if you know where to look for deals and the types of hobbies that won’t break the bank. Why is this important? Because kids lose interest quickly, and there’s no use in investing hundreds of dollars into something they will sit on the sidelines next week. Keep reading for affordable and creative pastimes for kids of all ages.
Art Is Amazing
Arts is one of the easiest hobbies to get little ones interested in. From T.A.G. Art Company’s SmART Classes to simply finger painting on the kitchen floor, children as young as one can have fun creating something straight from their imagination. A few inexpensive art ideas include making pictures with natural materials from your backyard, animal painting kits, and jewelry making, the latter of which is best for older children. You can stock up on art supplies at your local craft store or, if money is tight, at major retailers. You can look online for Target coupons or for deals and discounts at your favorite big box store.
Music offers many benefits, including being an excellent stress reliever, which is something we can all use more of. Children can also use music to help them in school (remember The Alphabet Song?). A few great instruments for children to learn include the keyboard, guitar, drums, and recorder. If you can’t find something new within your budget, you can always check out your local thrift store or search online for garage sales near you. Some music schools even offer loaner instruments for use during class, which can be a great way to introduce your child to something new without an investment beyond a month or two of lessons.
Science is fun. From having kids make their own “elephant toothpaste” or homemade volcano to more advanced science experiments, such as building a potato clock, science as a hobby is a great way to captivate children from preschool to college. The No-Guilt Mom blog notes that there are many simple science experiments that you can do with the ingredients you have on hand. Making your own lava lamps, slime, and invisible ink are all quick, easy, and completed with stock from the pantry.
Everyone has access to some form of camera. From our cell phones to the kids’ gaming devices, high-definition cameras, which were once reserved only for professional photographers, are everywhere. Let your children get creative behind the lens. Their love of people, places, and things may turn into a fruitful career in the future. You can even buy used gear and make your own accessories to gather to create a mood or adjust the lighting to suit your artistic endeavors. Also, when your children grow up with an appreciation for photos, mom and dad, who are usually the ones taking the pictures, will have a chance to be in the pictures.
Writing is free and is one of the best ways for your children to express emotions and thoughts. All you need is a journal or word processing software to get started. If you want to do something really entertaining, start a story together. Allow your child to write the first paragraph and then alternate between members of the family until you have a beginning, middle, and end. Your collaboration can take many different directions, and everyone will have fun.
You don’t have to spend your life savings to give your kids awesome experiences. Hobbies are cheap, entertaining, expressive, and educational. The above ideas can get you started, but look to the world around you for further inspiration. You never know what might pique your children’s interest and give them a passion to pursue.