If you’re like most grandparents, you’re always on the look-out for activities to enjoy with your grandkids. A hobby provides lots of opportunities for learning, bonding, and having a grand time together.
Pursuing a hobby — whether an art, craft, sport, favorite pastime, or activities linked to a personal passion (horses, earth science, music, robots, whatever) — will help your grandchild discover and develop her or his unique talents. It will encourage creativity, curiosity, and problem-solving. It can help build self-esteem and even plant the seeds for a rewarding career.
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As a bonus, a hobby will get your grandchild away from the video screen for a while. Did you know U.S. kids spend, on average, 3 to 4 hours a day watching TV; girls spend about 6 hours and boys up to 18 hours a week playing video games; and many tweens and teens spend 8 or more hours a day glued to a video screen?
Here are some tips for sharing hobbies with your grandchildren:
- If your grandchild already has a hobby, participate in and support it. Kids love to share their favorite things with the people they love.
- If your grandchild doesn’t have a hobby, spend some time with him to find out what he or she enjoys and is fascinated with. You can also ask the parents for insight into their child’s interests. Then, help your grandchild choose a hobby that matches her or his interests.
- Share your hobby with your grandchild or take up a new hobby together. Talking about and doing something you love with your grandchild is a great way to find commonalities, forge connections, and have fun.
- Choose hobby-related activities and gifts that are appropriate for the age and abilities of your grandchild.
- Find different ways to enjoy the hobby together and to support your grandchild’s pursuit of the hobby on her or his own. Don’t just buy stuff. Learn about it, talk about it, and do it together.
- Encourage, assist, supervise, and participate — but do activities with, not for,your grandchild. Make sure your grandchild is really enjoying it. If he or she is not, find other activities or a new hobby that fits your grandchild’s interests.