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Just because school is out for the summer doesn’t mean that the learning has to stop. In our house, we encourage each child to try to learn a new skill or hobby while they have a bit more time on their hands. Summer hobbies for kids help them try hard things, learn perseverance, and discover new interests and skills.
Here’s a peek at how summer hobbies work in our house.
We started by sitting down as a family and brainstorming a list of possible hobbies. One of the kids acted as a scribe and wrote down all of the ideas everyone mentioned.
Here are a few of the items that made our list:
- Learning a new language
- Making stop-motion movies
- Playing an instrument
- Writing stories
- Walking on stilts
- Learning yo-yo tricks
The list went on and on. We had so many great ideas that it was hard to narrow it down to just one per person.
Thinking About Options
To make the decision easier, we talked about what interests they currently had. It’s much easier to commit to a hobby if it’s something you’re already interested in.
We also encouraged them to pick something that was realistic to learn in a short time frame or something that they’d have time to continue practicing when school started up again. That way, they didn’t invest a lot of time in something they might not be able to continue.
For the summer, we asked each child to commit to working on their hobby for at least one hour a week. It’s not a ton of time, but if they do it consistently, they’ll learn the basics. And, it’ll be enough for them to decide whether or not they want to continue.
Finally, we gave them a budget to help them make their decision. We were willing to spend up to $30 per child to help them get started on their new endeavor. If they wanted to purchase something more expensive, they could chip in from the money they had saved up. This way, the summer hobbies didn’t break the bank.
Choosing a Hobby
Once we had our list and guidelines, we worked with each child individually to pick the summer hobby they wanted to try.
Here’s what they picked:
Jeffrey: Designing a new board game
Ellie: Riding a unicycle
Sydney: Decorating cakes
Simon: Wood carving
Brynna: Making spritz cookies
As littles, Bryson, Tyler, and Ezra are still a bit young for summer hobbies that require a lot of time and consistency. They’re still building skills and busy exploring the world around them.
But we got a craft set for both Bryson and Tyler, and that way they have something creative and new to work on while the older kids are practicing their hobbies.
And we always encourage them to try new things and work on developing their existing skills.
Investing in Summer Hobbies
After we had decided on our hobbies, we helped the kids look for resources to get them started.
For Jeffrey, we found a simple online course on board game design from Intentional Homeschooling. He also selected this game design set from Amazon. It came with everything he needs to create his first game.
Ellie really wanted to learn something completely different that wasn’t from the initial list at all. So after talking about several unique skills and watching some YouTube videos for ideas, she decided to try riding a unicycle. The initial investment was more than $30, but she wanted to spend her savings to make up the difference.
After a bit more research and sizing help, she went with this 20″ model. Since she enjoys riding bikes, she already had a helmet she could use for safety.
Sydney wanted to work on both baking and art. So she decided to do something that combined both. She picked this cake decorating set. There were several options that were under the $30 limit, but she really liked that this particular set came with pans and all sorts of other things in addition to the basics.
Simon had a hard time choosing, but once he saw this wood carving set on Amazon, complete with safety gloves, he knew what he wanted to do. YouTube videos have also been helpful for him as he tries to learn.
Brynna wanted to bake, but she didn’t want to do the same thing as Sydney. So I shared a story with her about the cool cookie press I’d used as a kid and she thought that sounded neat. So, she picked a Wilton press with some fun discs.
The little boys picked out this cute paper plate craft set. They each got one, so they can make a project or two each week this summer. Ellie has volunteered to help them out, which has been fun to watch. She’s thinking she might want to be a kindergarten teacher when she grows up, so she thinks this is good practice.
Beginning To Practice
Once the kids’ orders arrived, they got started right away.
Jeffrey is still in the planning stage for his game. He wants to have a rough draft done before he starts using the supplies from the kit. But first, he has to think about the type of game he wants to make and what kinds of mechanics it will have. He’s been having a blast reading about different game design concepts.
Ellie took her unicycle out for a spin as soon as the UPS truck drove away. She has definitely been practicing a lot more than the minimum hour per week. She even asked if she could bring her unicycle along with us on our unexpected road trip to Washington. She’s still very wobbly and can’t go very far, but she is sure trying to learn.
We helped Sydney bake a cake and watched a few basic cake decorating tutorials. Once the cake cooled and we mixed up frosting, she gave it a go. After sharing her results on Facebook, one of the residents here at Missionary Acres messaged and said she’d be happy to help Sydney with this hobby. So we’re excited to get them together when we get back to Missouri in early July. In the meantime, Grandma helped her decorate this cake for Father’s Day:
Simon had a few safety rules he had to follow with his wood carving set. But once he understood what he could and couldn’t do, he was able to try it out. He’s learning what each knife in the set does. And Jeffrey has a wood carving set of his own from a few years ago, so they’ve been practicing together.
Brynna also had some safety rules to follow while using her cookie press, since she’s not as experienced in the kitchen as some of the older kids. But once she understood those, Ellie helped her whip up a batch of spritz cookie dough, and then she was able to try the press for the first time. Each consecutive batch has looked better than the last.
Fun Summer Hobbies for Kids
Summertime is the perfect opportunity for kids to get out and explore new hobbies. With so many options available, there’s something for everyone.
From game design to unicycling, and baking to wood carving, there’s no limit to what your child can learn. And best of all, these summer hobbies can be enjoyed all season long, and even beyond if the kids choose.
It’s been a blast watching them learn new things and dive into the learning that they’ve selected.