5 Hobby Ideas That Will Make Your Kid Smarter

by Shruti Shukla

The old adage gets it right; all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. If your kid is always busy with books, great, but there’s only so much books can do to help them grow. Children need tools that encourage overall development of the mind, making them quick, creative and sharp. But don’t make it sound like hard work.

Ask them to take up a hobby, something from the list below, so that they put their thinking caps on and get more creative in their approach. It’s as important as playing or studying, because these hobbies will help your child develop holistically.

1. Learn A New Language: Learning a new language changes the brain network, both structurally and functionally. A study published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Science says that learning a second language after the age of 10 improves cognitive functions, making kids smarter.

2. Enroll In A Music Class: Musical training not only gives young, developing brains a cognitive boost, but the benefits extend well into old age, when the brain needs to counteract cognitive decline. A new study published in The Journal of Neuroscience states that learning to play a musical instrument, or getting any form of musical training during one’s younger years, can help prevent the decline in the ability to recognize words and comprehend speech in later years.

3. Collect Coins/Postal Stamps: Collecting items like coins and stamps will help your kids understand the world they live in. Through these items, they will learn about the pictures on the stamp and why are they on it, currencies of different countries and their appearances, also spurring them to explore further. These things will encourage curiosity and excitement, while also teaching them the value of patience. Watch this video about Peter Hite’s postage stamp paintings, for inspiration.

4. Get Engaged In Educative Games: Good old puzzles, crosswords and word games are surely some good options that will give your kid mental exercise. However, getting them to play such games in a wired generation can be difficult. So turn to these smartphone gaming apps, which are fun and educative at the same time: Leo’s Pad, Tinybop Plants, Smart Adventures Mission Math, DragonBox Algebra 5+, Hopscotch, Vocab.com and Tinybop Human Body.

5. Read Beyond Schoolbooks: Give your kids a break from their curriculum and let them read other books. Reading widens one’s perspective. It will enrich your kid intellectually, socially as well as emotionally. Find out what interests your kid, and buy them books on the same subject. Reading them to sleep is a great way to start off. You can try these tips to help them build a habit of reading regularly.

What’s more, it’s always nice if you take on these hobbies yourself. They will delight and entertain you, and help you age gracefully. Plus, you get to set an example for the kids.

Images: Shutterstock

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