For all of us who have a cherished hobby, we know the value of having something in our lives that we can be passionate about, whether it is collecting something, creating some art or craft, bird watching or other nature activity, gardening, cooking, reading; the possibilities are literally endless.
So what better can you do for your child than to introduce him or her to a hobby or an activity that he or she can enjoy through life! And you can introduce the concept of a hobby even to a toddler, and make it a fun time as well. [activities for toddler]
As soon as a child is old enough to grasp the rudiments of the growth process of a plant, you can start off your child on gardening.
A child as young as three or four can be given their own pot or patch in the garden to ‘cultivate’. A seasonal flowering plant is a good thing to start out with.
They grow quickly and sprout flowers also fairly rapidly, so that the child can see the progression from planting to flowering. Help with the planting of the seed, supervise the watering and tending and encourage the child to do whatever possible by themselves.
With the internet, explaining to your child about different kinds of birds, their nests, their migratory patterns etc, has never been easier. Or you can get a book that gives pictures and details of birds which you can then show your child how to identify.
Perhaps a basic little bird house can be put up to attract birds to the garden and then the visitors to the bird house observed. An early interest in birds will also make a child more aware of and sensitive towards nature and wildlife which will make for a responsible adult citizen later.
While it may be a while before a child can actually cook a meal, you can get a child interested in the dynamics of cooking and healthy eating by letting him or her participate. [child cooking activities]
You can enlist help to fetch and carry, to measure and mix, and slowly add more responsibility. This will be educative and enjoyable for your little one.
There is no better gift you can give your child than the habit of reading. You can start with a bedtime story, and make sure that the child turns to books whenever possible, so the child views books as friends; and never has cause to feel alone!