For children, hobbies are an important stage in their self-development. They’re the space they have to explore their passions, to make plans and create achievements they’re proud of for their own sake, rather than because they’re obliged to at school or because you’ve organised their time for them. Crafts help them make friends, help them build their self-confidence and most importantly to develop their personality and sense of self.
Craft hobbies are particularly good for children – they’re satisfyingly tactile, amusingly messy and when they’ve finished a project they can keep it, or give to a friend (or to you!) as a gift. Working on craft projects together can help to firm up friendships. They also help your children to learn that they can make and fix things with their own hands. If they start with a craft hobby early in life, whether that’s knitting, origami, or woodwork, they learn the principle that they can plan, make and fix things with their own experience, knowledge and hands!
Getting Your Children Interested
You can’t force your kids to develop a hobby or interest – indeed, too much parental pressure can have precisely the opposite effect so you can’t plan a hobby for your kids precisely. Instead you need to give them the space to discover hobbies for themselves and be ready to support them.
You could take them with you when you go shopping for supplier for your own hobby and let them explore the shop, ask questions and pick out their own tools and raw materials to play with at home. Even if their initial selections don’t give them everything they need for a full-fledged project, it’s a step on the journey, and one they’ve discovered for themselves!
You could also order them a starter project as a gift. A kid’s craft box subscription contains tools and materials for them to experiment with – and instructions, if they’ve got the focus to embark on a project from beginning to end. As it arrives sealed, you can allow them to discover and explore the contents, so they feel ownership of what’s inside – even if you planned and ordered it for them yourself.
Encourage and Help
You’ll likely feel moved to help by your parental instincts, but try to resist the urge to take control. To really own a hobby, your kids need to make their own mistakes, try to fix them, and only get help when they really need it!