Last updated on December 28th, 2021
Cultivating a hobby with your children is a fantastic way to get them off the screen time and into a skill-building activity.
The list of hobbies below certainly isn’t exhaustive but it will give you all the information you need to get your kiddo started on choosing a hobby that works for both of you.
If you’ve got a child with a creative side that loves to daydream or get crafty, then you’ll likely find their perfect hobby below. Creative hobbies are great for children who need an outlet for their imagination.
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Drawing is a perfect hobby for creative children whose parents may not have a lot of Drawing is a perfect hobby for creative children whose parents may not have a lot of money to invest.
Let’s be honest, hobbies can get pretty pricey but with nothing more than a piece of paper, a pencil, and some youtube videos, your kids can start learning to draw.
Best Age to Start: Although most kids get into drawing around 8-10 years old, it’s really never too early to begin. If your 3-year-old is showing interest then by all means encourage them to keep growing.
Painting is one of those hobbies that’s actually a lot simpler than it seems. In fact, painting is even easier than drawing because it’s much more abstract and really doesn’t require as much skill.
However, it still provides a great outlet for imagination and will absolutely help your child build new skills as they develop more advanced techniques.
If you are considering this hobby for a child, I would definitely suggest starting by learning to paint with acrylics first since the colors will last long-term but they are much more washable than things like oil paint!
Best Age to Start: Acrylic painting is a great hobby for children over the age of 8 because it can be quite messy and the artist-quality paints are usually not non-toxic. If you would like to start painting with younger children, go with a non-toxic craft paint version instead.
Creative writing is another great budget-friendly hobby idea for kids. If your child’s imagination is always amazing you then you may want to consider getting them into the habit of writing down their stories.
Building a habit of sitting down to write out short stories or poetry can be a fantastic outlet for creativity and also help them build necessary language skills that they’ll benefit from for years to come.
Not to mention, in order to write a great story, they’ll need to use some problem-solving skills! Using a “What if” prompt (like the ones in this book) can be a great way to get them started with problem-solving and story writing!
Best Age to Start: Creative Writing can be started as early as 4 years old. Around this age, children become capable of creating simple stories. However, around age 8 you’ll notice that children start developing and ability to create more complex stories.
Photography is a pretty versatile hobby for kids. There are so many different kinds of photography (from landscapes to macros to portraits) that it can be a hit for almost any child
When they are first learning how to shoot, they should start with a simple camera with some advanced features. When kids become more experienced, they will expand their repertoire to include things like photo editing and creating slideshows.
Best Age to Start: Photography is simple enough that kids can start as young as 4. However, it’s likely that most children won’t really be invested in this type of hobby until 10-12 years old.
Scrapbooking is a (somewhat) simple way to keep your kids organized, creative, and busy. Similar to the idea of journaling, your child will be able to document their life in the pages of their scrapbook. But there is an artsy element that comes with scrapbooking that kids tend to love.
Using pre-made stickers and layouts is a fun way to get started but in time, your child will likely grow into a style and may even start creating their own stickers or layouts.
Best Age to Start: This one can be done in a really simplified way so starting scrapbooking with a 3 or 4-year-old is completely feasible! Most likely, children will be able to begin to scrapbook independently between ages 6 and 9.
Knitting is a trickier hobby that should probably be reserved for a more patient and dextrous child. Although any child who’s willing to put in the effort can learn!
It does require quite a bit of time and patience to learn but using a knitting form will help simplify the process for newbies.
Best Age to Start: Knitting would be best started around age 10-12 but could potentially be accomplished as young as 6 if your child is mature and motivated.
Like knitting, crochet requires quite a bit of patience and dexterity. Some children may find it trickier than knitting but in reality, it’s easier in many ways. If your child has the patience to learn, then all they really need to get started is a skein of yarn, a few needs, and a good tutorial.
It does require quite a bit of time and patience to learn but using a knitting form will help simplify the process for newbies.
Best Age to Start: Crochet works best for more mature children like a tween or a teen 10-12 but could be started earlier if your child is particularly patient and motivated.
Cross stitch is a simplified version of embroidery and can be done by any child who has the patience to work on a project for several days. It does require the use of a sewing needle so keep safety in mind when considering this hobby.
Although the skill level behind cross-stitch is quite simple, it does require attention to detail. So teaching a child to complete a full cross stitch is a great exercise in patience for them and may encourage self-discipline.
Best Age to Start: Cross Stitch is great at any age as soon as your child can learn to follow directions and patterns. If you are working with a particularly young child, you may consider using a plastic form and a dull “needle.”
Fashion design is a fun hobby that allows kids to get creative with their wardrobes. Parents beware: your little fashionista may start “redesigning” the clothes in her closet.
Creativity isn’t the only thing they’ll get from this hobby though! Fashion design actually requires a good amount of problem-solving and fantastic visual acuity. Grabbing them a fashion design workbook will help them start building the necessary skills.
Best Age to Start: This one can truly be started at any age, in fact… the younger the better. When you are working with very young children, consider using
Singing is one of the noisier hobbies but it’s a great one for minimalists who don’t love having rooms full of crafts or equipment. It’s also great for helping kids become more confident!
Most people think that singing is more of a talent than a skill but in reality, there is a lot of technique involved. So whether you decide to go with a DIY approach or you sign up for in-person singing lessons, your child will learn to control their vocals and their breathing. In-person lessons have the added benefit of recitals where your child can show off their skills.
Best Age to Start: Most vocal coaches prefer to work with children over the age of 8. Some even reserve lessons for age 12+. However, younger children can often get started by joining a church choir or a drama club.
Drama, like singing, is a great confidence builder. Your child will learn to control the voice, their body language, and much more. In addition, they’ll likely have an opportunity to memorize lines and perform on stage which means that they’ll be building skills necessary for things like public speaking.
If this sounds like it’s right up your child’s alley, then your first step will be to look for a drama club near you. Unfortunately, these can sometimes be difficult to find and you may end up needing to travel a bit, especially if you live in a more rural community. As an alternative, you could consider starting your own!
Best Age to Start: Drama clubs usually allow children to start around age 5 or 6. However, keep in mind that young children will usually receive small non-speaking parts in shows.
Piano (or other Musical Instruments)
As far as hobbies go, Piano has to be one of the best ones for a child’s development. Not only does it require concentration and discipline but also creativity and imagination.
This is another one of those activities that people mistakenly believe requires a natural talent when in reality, Piano is a learned skill. If your child is interested, motivated, and able to follow directions then they’ve met the necessary requirements to start lessons.
Best Age to Start: Piano Lessons can begin as early as age 4 but most teachers prefer to work with students who are a bit older. Once a child can read they may find learning a bit easier seeing as how piano is usually taught from a book.
If your child is creative and also a bit of an entrepreneur, they may find Jewelry making to be just the ticket. This hobby encompasses everything from string bracelets to beautiful silver or gold jewelry.
The good news about this hobby is that it can actually return a profit if you teach your child how to market their finished products at craft fairs and trade shows. However, it can also be a bit of an expensive hobby, especially if your child tends to lean towards more expensive pieces like Swarovski crystals.
Best Age to Start: Simple string and bead bracelet making can start as early as age 3. But more advanced jewelry making will require a steady hand, good organizational skills, and a lot of patience. So you may want to wait until your child is around 10 before investing in more advanced materials.
Magic / Sleight of Hand
We sometimes overlook magic when it comes to hobbies but it’s actually a great option for creative kids. What child doesn’t like to see a magic show? How much better would it be if they could participate in creating that magic!
This one also doesn’t require you to purchase and store a lot of supplies and there are really no classes needed. Getting started is as easy as grabbing a beginner’s magic kit and letting your child get to work practicing.
Magic tricks are exciting enough that most kids will be self-motivated to practice.
Best Age to Start: Although sleight of hand may seem like a child’s hobby, it’s actually quite challenging to accomplish. It would be best to wait until your child can understand somewhat complex concepts before investing in a magic kit. Somewhere between ages 8 and 12 would be the most appropriate.
Brain Building Hobbies
If your goal is to start a hobby that will help your child with academics, then these are the hobbies for you!
When people think “chess” they probably wouldn’t categorize it as a hobby but anyone who actually plays the game knows that it really is more of a hobby than a simple board game. Although it doesn’t require anything more than the purchase of a chessboard, it’s the kind of activity that requires quite a bit of time and effort to learn.
The strategy aspect of the game is a great skill builder for kids and it is largely believed to increase children’s executive functioning skills over the course of time.
Best Age to Start: Chess does require some complex thinking skills so you may want to hold off until at least age 8 before you introduce this hobby. Alternatively, you could introduce checkers to younger children to help them build the foundational skills they’ll need for chess later on.
Puzzles aren’t just a fun activity, they actually are a great hobby for many people. In fact, some people go as far as to frame their completed puzzles to create a gallery wall in their homes. The best part of puzzles is that they can be done as a family hobby. If you have natural problem solvers in your family then this can be a great way to spend some quality time (especially with your older children.)
Best Age to Start: This one is pretty common knowledge! Puzzles are sold in the infant section of the department store. So obviously, it’s really never too early.
Teaching kids of a young age to code could be considered both a hobby and a life skill. In today’s modern world, there are very few things that are untouched by the world of computer programming/coding.
So teaching a child to code at a young age could actually help them land a great job in the future!
Services like Tynker provide a game-like platform that allows kids to learn to code at their level. As they grow and become more advanced, the lessons will grow too!
Best Age to Start: Coding is a language all its own and that means that the earlier you start learning, the better! So whether your child is 3 or 13, this is a hobby they can start digging into right away.
If you think you may have a budding scientist in the home who dreams of being an inventor, then they will love this hobby! Kids naturally explore the world around them and learn to experiment with things but some children like to take things to another level.
If that sounds familiar, don’t shy away from the idea of having a miniature inventor in your home. Instead, nurture that interest by grabbing a science lab or robotics kit that will let them build, create, and even tinker until they end up with something amazing!
Best Age to Start: Children start learning many of these skills by the time they hit 4. However, a true hobbyist would probably start at a bit of older age, likely around age 8.
Geology / Ecology
Although it’s not a very common hobby, this one deserves a bit of attention! Most kids (especially boys) love to play in the dirt and discover all sorts of creepy crawlies.
It’s actually a great idea to let them dig around and get dirty but it never hurts to provide a little guidance in the form of a tool kit and guidebook to help them “dig” a little deeper.
Best Age to Start: Most children will begin showing interest around ages 4-7.
If your child was the type that just couldn’t put the blocks/legos down then you may just have a miniature architect on your hands. Letting your little engineer work on those skills could potentially equip them for lifelong success!
Unfortunately, this isn’t the simplest hobby for children to pursue because there aren’t a ton of materials that teach children how to build “real-life” buildings. In addition to building toys like blocks and legos, your child might enjoy an ArcKit for practicing and learning.
Best Age to Start: Your child will most likely start this hobby on his or her own by playing with blocks and other building toys. In fact, you may notice your child’s interest as young as age 2!
Journaling can be as simple as documenting your day or as complex as using guided prompts to analyze your thoughts about specific topics. Either way, journaling can provide an outlet for children who enjoy getting there thoughts out of their brains.
It may also save you from listening to hours of rambling about their new favorite TV character or the way their little brother gets on their nerves!
The Best Age to Start: Journaling can be started as soon as your child learns how to hold a pencil. However, usually around 8 years, old children begin showing the interest and self-discipline they need to start journaling.
I think we all know the benefits of reading. But some of us may forget that reading can be more than just an educational activity. If your child loves stories and is a decent reader, you may want to encourage them to dive into this hobby by finding materials that they’ll love.
Reading doesn’t have to be limited to picture books or chapter books. Some kids prefer a good comic book instead. You may even want to consider letting them join an online book club!
The Best Age to Start: I’m sure this one goes without saying, but the love of reading usually starts early in life. You may notice an increase in interest around age 8.
Sports and Games
Team Sports are often some of the least expensive and most accessible ways to start a new hobby. However, sports that focus on individualized instruction actually tend to be some of the most expensive options for a hobby. Whichever you choose, the list below will give you the info you need.
If your goal is to get your kids moving then soccer is definitely one to consider. Of all the different kids team sports available for kids, soccer is probably the one where your children are most likely to get a good workout.
The best way to help them build the necessary skills for soccer is to encourage them to practice at home by having them kick between 10 and 100 goals per day (depending on their skill level). This way they’ll be prepared when they have to kick the ball past an actual goalie!
Best Age to Start: You can start working on kicking as young as 2 but team sports are generally not available until age 5. You may be able to find an instructional league that starts a bit earlier at your community gym.
Baseball is a great sport/hobby for kids who like things that are a bit more structured and less chaotic.
Although the ball moves fast, the kids are given a placement on the field and an exact job to do which means that they may feel less overwhelmed when just starting out.
Best Age to Start: Like most team sports, leagues typically start around age 5. T-ball may be available a preschool level. However, you can start working on hitting a ball off as early as age 2.
Basketball is perfect for kids who like a bit more action than baseball but aren’t quite ready for the full-on workout they’ll get with soccer. They’ll spend some time running up and down the court but since only a few players are on the court at a time, they’ll spend a good portion of the game watching from the bench.
If you’re hoping for a basketball star, you should start practicing getting a ball into a hoop as soon as possible. You can start with toddler toys for really little ones or grab an adjustable hoop for older kids.
Best Age to Start: As with all team sports, leagues generally begin around age 5.
Dance is an interesting mix between an individualized hobby and a team sport. While most dance classes have 10+ children, each child will receive some individualized instruction.
One of the biggest downfalls of dance is that between the lessons, costumes, books, recitals, and fundraisers, it can get pretty expensive and time-consuming. If that’s an issue for you, you may want to look into dance schools that focus solely on instruction and forego the yearly recital.
Best Age to Start: Classes for Dance usually begin around age 3. They are typically set up in a progressive format so starting later than age 5 or 6 may mean that your child is placed in a class with younger children.
Unlike Dance, gymnastics is typically focused more on instruction and less on the annual performance. In gymnastics, kids focus on learning specific tumbling skills, as well as balance activities and strength training.
Gymnastics is a fantastic option for kids who like to move but don’t always work well inside of a team dynamic. This is also a great option for kids with hyperactivity issues as it does a great job of balancing the brain and the body.
Best Age to Start: Classes usually begin between ages 4 and 5. Like dancing, classes are typically set up in a progressive format so kids who start later will likely be placed with younger children.
Cheerleading isn’t just a school sport! It’s more of a spin-off of Gymnastics. In fact, some gymnastics programs focus solely on cheerleading techniques and floor routines rather than balance beams and parallel bars.
One of the major benefits of cheerleading is that, like other team sports, it has the potential of earning your child a school scholarship.
Best Age to Start: Private classes begin around age four and are usually available as a “gymnastics” program. School/team cheerleading ages are available at all different ages depending on your school but most schools start no later than Grade 3.
Running is a great option for kids who want to be active but aren’t into team sports. It’s also incredibly inexpensive as long as your child has a decent pair of shoes.
Unfortunately, there aren’t a lot of running programs for young children so this is one that you’ll have to DIY until your child hits late elementary or middle school where track and field programs may start to be offered.
Best Age to Start: Although group programs aren’t typically available until around age 10, running can be started at any age. As soon as your child is able to run with some stability, you may begin a daily routine. Just remember to start small and work your way up.
The great thing about hiking is that, as long as your child has some sort of footwear, they can get started. It’s not only a great family activity but also a fantastic workout.
Typically, new hikers would want to start by trying out some simple trails, and then over time your child can level up to more challenging options. Eventually, they may even combine this hobby with rock or mountain climbing.
Best Age to Start: This is one of those hobbies that you should start as early as possible. The more time you spend on this hobby as a child, the more interesting you’re likely to find it as an adult!
Biking is not only a fun kid’s past-time, it also makes for a great family hobby. If you can find a great bike trail in your area, you and your family may find that they enjoy getting outdoors for a few hours to burn off some energy.
Best Age to Start: Most kids will start riding some form of a bike by age 3. As soon as your child is able to ride at the same speed as an adult, you may want to begin trying out a bike trail.
Remember that children who are still using training wheels may have a difficult time with an unpaved path so if you’re child isn’t balancing on their own, look for a bike path that is paved from beginning to end.
Racing isn’t a popular sport in all areas but it’s quite common in the Southern part of the United States. Typically, children start by race things like boxcars and eventually move up to real vehicles.
This is one of the more dangerous and expensive hobbies out there but for some people, it’s well worth it. Also, it does give children a really good sense of the responsibility that comes with driving so maybe there’s something to be said for this sport!
Best Age to Start: Boxcar Derbys usually start as early as preschool and they can move up to a go-kart as soon as you are comfortable with it. The strict age limits that are placed on street driving don’t exist in the racing world so your child may be driving a full-blown racecar as early as age 8.
Karate / martial arts
Martial Art is a fantastic hobby for discipline, balance, and strength building. Some programs focus on teaching fighting techniques while others, like hapkido, focus on teaching children self-defense so that they could ward off even an adult offender.
If you’re interested in Martial arts, be prepared for the cost. Right up there with dancing and gymnastics, this is one of the more expensive lessons that you could choose for your child.
Best Age to Start: Most dojos have classes that start at age 4. Kids who are starting later will be lumped in with younger children.
Getting your child onto a swim team is great for strength and endurance building and it can also be a fun hobby that they can practice at home if you have or are willing to purchase a pool.
If your child wants to pursue swimming as a hobby, they’ll likely need to start with instructional lessons and then try out for the swim team once they are ready.
Most swim teams practice multiple days per week so be prepared to be a bit consumed by this hobby if it’s one that you and your child choose to pursue.
Best Age to Start: Instructional swim lessons are available all the way from infancy. However, swim teams are typically not available until age 8.
Choose a Hobby and Reap the Rewards
Getting kids into a hobby will not only have fantastic benefits for their brains and bodies but it may also have the added benefit of creating a more disciplined child.
Jodi and her husband Wil live in rural Pennsylvania with their three children. A teacher by trade and a life-long learner at heart, Jodi pivoted her career to work from home when her twin boys were born. Since then, she has founded 2 websites and assisted in the development of many more.