Do you remember what your favourite hobby was when you were a kid? Probably playing badminton with your neighbours, playing masak-masak with your siblings, or becoming the envy of friends with your fancy collection of stickers. But if today you were to ask any kid on the street what their hobbies are, don’t be shocked if you were to find 7 out of 10 kids say "playing computer or video games". As parents, let's stop donating all that quality time to a programmed babysitter! Instead, let’s grow with our kids by starting hobbies together. Here are 5 character-building activities that parents and kids can share.

GROWING A GARDEN

Do you often find your kid playing with dirt? Is your child fascinated with plants? Gardening is a great place to get down and dirty for the right reasons. There's plenty one can learn from gardening, like how plants grow, their ideal environments, caring for them, and how they contribute to the ecosystem. It’s even better if you could grow your own fruits and vegetables so everyone can proudly enjoy the fruits of their own labour. At least when asked where fruits and vegetables are from, the answer will not be “from supermarkets”!

BAKING TREATS

Does your kid often bug you for cupcakes, cookies, and pies? Let them have it - as long as they learn to make it from scratch. Baking makes a great lesson in creativity, food appreciation, and following of instructions. Give them a budget to work within, and guide them with the recipes and sourcing of ingredients. Teach them how one ingredient can be swapped for another, and how that alters the taste. Who knows, if they have knack for entrepreneurship, this could even turn into a business venture in the future!

GET MOVING

Is your kid jumpy at home and can barely sit still? Get out there and give that energy a place to expend by cycling, hiking, swimming, or even running (or any activity that requires continuous movements)! The wonderful thing about these activities is that every participant needs to be an active one to keep up with one another. It’ll also be a great opportunity for them to learn about teamwork and to teach them that winning isn’t everything. Don’t forget to remind them about the safety protocols too, so everyone can move-it-move-it, worry-free!

STARTING A COLLECTION

Is your kid an inquisitive one? Try picking up a hobby in collecting coins or stamps. Especially with quieter kids, this gives parents and child the opportunity to bond with one another as they attempt to learn more about the item’s place of origins, year of make, the significance in design, and much more – together. Plus, there is always a thrill to completing a collection. Just be sure to allocate a proper place for the collection to reside at so there would not be any conflicts over who-put-what-where!

VOLUNTEERING FOR A CAUSE

Has your kid an altruistic soul, or displays a passion for a cause? There are numerous organisations, big or small, that are in need of volunteers that can benefit from an extra hand or two. Participation in voluntary work allows us to meet new people and teaches us to work as a unit to achieve a common goal. Recycling, for example, would make a good cause to volunteer for to conserve resources and reduce carbon footprints. Helping at soup kitchens to get things moving faster. Visits to the old folks’ home bring cheer to the inhabitants. And after all that, everyone might appreciate life a tad bit more.