The good news is that kids aren't just glued to computers all day! They're getting back to nature, according to Laura Payne, Assistant Professor of Leisure Studies at the University of Illinois. Payne says hobbies that bring kids into the great outdoors as well as art-related hobbies are getting popular again.
Fiber arts, such as knitting and crocheting are becoming wildly popular these days, especially with elementary-aged school children, according to the Craft Yarn Council of America. And, remember collecting stamps and baseball cards? It's as hot as ever.
Here's a rundown of the current "hot" hobbies:
- Making birdfeeders and birdhouses. This remains a popular nature-related hobby, according to family activities expert Dr. Bra Vada Garrett-Akinsanya, a guest expert on HGTV.com. Kids love the idea that they are positively impacting the natural world.
- Gardening is also something kids seem to take to like a cat to catnip. Kids are rarely averse to getting muddy, and seeing sprouts grow to seeds is pure magic.
- Insect interest Several popular products on the market also allow kids to grow butterflies from larvae.
- Geology remains fashionable among kids. Collecting rocks is interesting and finding out what makes those rocks geologically interesting is even better. Kids love to recognize patterns in nature.
Read more fun ways your kids can help protect the environment.
- Astronomy remains a fascinating science for children. Learning to identify constellations will never go out of style and mobiles of our solar system will always be fashionable bedroom accessories (and they're fun to build too!).
- Meteorology, or the study of weather, is booming. Gone are the days when the weatherman on your local news program just reported the weather. Meteorology is about science and weather events! There are quite a few weather gadgets out there of varying costs that allow kids to predict the weather for that day.
Film and Photography
- With the digital revolution, videography and photography are easier than ever to master.
- Software allows kids to edit their pictures and videos. If you are cash-strapped, your local public access TV station or library often has video equipment that kids can use.
- Traditional stamp and coin collecting is still a favorite with young kids. It hasn't gone out of fashion!
- Collecting as a financial investment that will reap monetary rewards in the future should not be the point of encouraging your child's collecting impulses.
- According to antiques and collectible expert Terry Kovel, the point of having kids collect is to have fun with them, to share in their enthusiasms, and to teach kids how to properly care for the things that are precious to them.
Crocheting, Knitting, Needlepoint and Other Fiber Arts
- The Knitting Guild Association reports that it has seen a resurgence of interest in knitting among young people in the last six years or so. Everybody is talking about "fiber arts" these days, a term that was previously known only to folks studying tapestries in art history class. Books on knitting are also gaining popularity.
- According to MoneyCentral, The Food Network is now a very popular destination for many kids. Chefs are becoming celebrities and many of them (like Rachael Ray, Giada De Laurentiis, Jamie Oliver and Bobby Flay) are appealing to kids, offering positive role models in subjects other than sports. The fact that cooking is currently a major hobby for kids may have something to do with the celebrity chef trend.
Steve Penhollow frequently writes about leisure, arts and entertainment and family-related issues.