Did you know your child desperately needs a range of creative hobbies and tools to amplify the capabilities of her brain? Yes, everyday tools and lifestyle hacks that will enhance her mental health for education, productivity, and life.
In this article, I will explain these hobbies, and discuss how you can use them to re-invent your child’s thinking. These creative opportunities may just be the catalyst she needs to discover her hidden potentials and calling.
Of course, this article is a cue only for parents who want to see their kids become ‘21st century smart’. Better still, these are creative hobbies to help your child make money in the future.
Question is, when can you begin to tap into these creative hobbies?
The earlier the better.
The ages 0 – 8, also called the formative years, are considered critical for initial learning, and upwards through 18, children have better cognitive psychology to internalize the skills they learn.
Start early, especially when your child’s fine motor skills begin to take shape. Even as she gets older, remind her to continue exploring these skills in order to age gracefully.
The creative hobbies your child needs for school, work & life
Like many parents, you sometimes ask yourself what creative activities at home can help your child whose brain seems… small, or missing certain ingredients! Below are just the pointers you have been looking for:
1. Get your child to play a musical instrument
We all know how listening to music is therapeutic to the body and soul. It touches us all differently, but above all leaves us at peace.
Well, it gets better when we transform from being listeners of music, to actually creating music through musical instruments. Of the few creative hobbies mentioned here, playing a musical instrument has been proven to activate the brain in what neuroscientists call a “full body workout.”
Recent scientific studies have shown how playing a musical instrument stimulates the brain in ways we have never imagined before. (Watch the TedED video).
When playing an instrument, all areas of the brain are fully engaged – at once! The most engaged areas being the visual, auditory, and motor cortices.
When we learn to use musical instruments from early on, the benefits to the brain stay with us for years to come.
According to PMC website,
Music practice during childhood is associated with more robust neural responses to sound in adulthood. For adults with no past musical experience …, the brainstem frequency-following response is diminished in amplitude … relative to adults who started playing a musical instrument around age 9 years …
Playing an instrument such as a guitar, piano, violin, and drums requires the brain to create, store and recall musical chords that create beautiful melodies. Besides, playing an instrument allows the brain to coordinate with other instruments and vocals for meaningful harmony.
Your child will excel in the following areas when she learns to play a musical instrument:
- Enhanced executive function skills
- Good working memory
- Good short and long term memories
- A boost to the brain’s auditory pathway
- Better concentration
- Better mathematical skills
- A great team worker
- Great fine motor skills and coordination
- Better multitasking skills
- Enhanced self-expression
2. Your child should learn a new language
Knowing and speaking a second or third language is beneficial today, as 21st century children grow up in an increasingly connected world. A global village, so to say.
The additional language(s) gives your child the power to communicate directly with diverse cultures and communities. A child who learns a new language before 5 can almost communicate perfectly as native speakers.
Mastering more than one language allows your child to think and innovate in multiple languages, excel in multitasking, and solve tasks with ease.
Your child will benefit in the following areas when she learns additional language(s):
- Improved perception of diverse languages and cultures
- Easily connects with new people
- Has improved memory skills
- Has a better attitude towards other cultures
- Can have diverse opportunities as she grows up
3. Your child should learn to dance
Dance is integral to all global cultures and a pleasurable jigsaw for cognitive nourishment. Besides its traditional role to entertain us in a synchronized rhythm and movement, dance is actually a performing art beneficial to the working of the brain.
Dancing integrates several brain functions at once — kinesthetic, rational, musical, and emotional — further increasing your neural connectivity.Socialdance.stanford
In a study published in Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience, researchers from the University of Illinois targeted 60 and 70 year olds to find out the effects of dance and other physical exercise on their aging brains.
They found that the cognitive demands of dancing like learning choreography can affect brain tissues, and boost the wiring and thickness of the white matter in the brain.
People who dance most of their lives tend to have a healthier and dense white matter of the brain compared to sedentary individuals. And just in case you are curious about the importance of white matter,
This neural information highway is now known to be involved in a range of conditions and diseases and play vital roles in brain function, learning, and the coordination of far-flung brain centersMEDICAL NEWS TODAY
Next time, allow your child to try out dance routines such as ballet, ballroom, foxtrot, breakdance, folk dance, etc., and see how positive she becomes.
Your child will achieve the following physical, mental and social-emotional benefits through dance:
- Enhanced coordination and balance skills
- Has better memory
- Team worker
- Develops better social skills
- Is better at memory, planning and organization
- Has confidence and self esteem
- Reduce chances of stress and boredom
4. Teach your child to read every day
I know you may say reading is not a fun activity anymore – not in the 21st century, at least. Yes, the reading culture has hit a huge low, and it is upon you to ignite this beautiful culture in your child.
According to the famous English novelist Jane Austin, ‘The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid.‘
And according to Dr. Suess,
The more you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.I Can Read With My Eyes Shut
Yes, reading is like a hidden locker of magic waiting to be unleashed in your child’s brain!
Once your child learns to read wide and do it without pushing, you will be amazed how eager she will await the new paperback by her favorite author.
Generally, reading gives children the opportunity to discover who they are, and appreciate other people, cultures, and the world.
Besides reading paperbacks, your child in the 21st century can read her favorite books using her smartphone, the Kindle and other screen screen technologies.
Values that your child will gain through reading:
- Strengthens connections in the brain
- Boosts visual processing
- A therapy against stress
- Boosts memory
- Opens a Pandora’s box of stories
- Makes your child knowledgeable
- Improves language and communication
- Teaches empathy
5. Let your child experiment with Arts and Crafts
Arts and crafts are creative forms of expression and skills to create paintings, cartoons, sculptures, moldings, pottery, doodling etc.
Whereas art is the creative expression of emotionally visual items such as paintings, craft is the creative skill to output handworks such as pottery.
How about arts and crafts and the brain?
The two visual forms of expression are known to activate the reward pathways in the brain by releasing the serotonin neurotransmitter. Arts and crafts can also boost math concepts such as size, shape, comparison and spatial reasoning.
By making arts and crafts, your child challenges her brain to wander far and wide in search of creative ways to present her thoughts.
The benefits of arts and crafts for your child:
- Express her feelings and emotions
- Lowers stress and cortisol levels
- Boosts fine motor skills
- Masters socialization skills
- Develops patience and focus
- Is always imaginative
- Is attentive to details
Arts and crafts can open a plethora of opportunities and skill placement when your child finally enters the workplace.
6. Allow your child to play computer/video games
Computer and video games will definitely boost your child’s cognitive health, in addition to making her creative and innovative.
Research to date suggests that playing video games can change the brain regions responsible for attention and visuospatial skills and make them more efficient.Sciencedaily
A good number of games present its players with puzzles and thought provoking ventures that need solutions.
Players can be challenged to traverse treacherous terrains, cities and waters to hunt down a villain, or escape from one. These ventures require speed, critical thinking skills and creativity in order to succeed.
According to Elon Musk, his love and immersion in video games is what started his journey to become who he is today. He says video games are ‘incredibly engaging‘.
They made me want to learn how to program computers. I thought I could make my own games.IncAfrica
A child playing video games is constantly planning, coordinating, and applying cognitive skills to maneuver through challenges and puzzles.
Importance of computer games in the health of your child:
- Develops critical thinking and problem solving skills
- Registers improved attention and focus
- Has marked improvement in visual spatial competence
- Develops memory management
- Excels in fine motor skills
- Master communication skills
- Builds team work and collaboration skills
Should you take these creative hobbies seriously!
By all means yes.
When you help your child learn the creative hobbies described above, you will not have to scratch your head that much when she finally starts her professional and personal journeys.
She will have a plethora of options to choose from, and is aware of what she wants to do with her life. Like mentioned earlier, these are creative hobbies that will help her make money, as well.
Your child will also develop, master and excel in executive functioning skills. The executive functioning skills describe your child’s higher-level mental abilities to manage and regulate tasks, actions, and emotions. They are helpful in keeping her professional, and emotionally secure.
Of course, all the above goodies will not happen miraculously. Do other things right at home to ensure your child is healthy and ready to go.
- Ensure she eats nutritious meals
- Let her get sufficient sleep at night
- Take her outdoors to see the sun and nature
- Create a conducive learning environment at home and school