What topic captivates your child?
Dinosaurs? LEGO? Trucks?
What activity do they love to do?
Baking? Chess? Pottery?
Most kids have at least one interest that truly captivates them. No doubt you have started a sentence with "My kid is so obsessed with [fill in the blank]!" It is absolutely delightful to watch your children develop their own special interests and hobbies. Sure, they may talk obsessively about dinosaur facts that you will never remember. Or, they may make a big ol' mess in the kitchen with an experimental cookie recipe. But you love how they are discovering their passions.
A great way to encourage your children's development is to help them keep a hobby book. A hobby book is slightly different from a traditional writing journal or art journal. It doesn't have to be complicated; it's a way for them to document what they've learned, and projects they've made.
How to Make a Hobby Book
What you need:
- A blank notebook. Any kind will do, but this one is our favorite.
- Glue stick or tape
- Markers, pencils, etc.
- Enthusiastic children
How to get started:
Explain to your child that the journal is for recording their passion and hobbies. They will no doubt have their own ideas for how to fill the journal but offer up a few ideas for pages such as:
- photographs your child has taken of their hobby
- drawings of ideas
- notes and thoughts on their experiences
- traditional diary pages
- cut out and paste articles from magazines about their interest
Other ways to personalize a hobby book:
- attach envelopes to a few pages to keep souvenirs
- ask family members to contribute comments on certain pages
- decorate the outside of the notebook
Benefits of a Hobby Journal
Children will love to take ownership of making a record of their hobbies. It increases self-expression and self-esteem, giving them a secure knowledge that their interests are important.
In addition, the process is an excellent outlet for creativity, especially if your child isn't naturally drawn to traditional art projects. Not to mention, there are obvious literacy benefits of writing, labeling and storytelling.
Need a hobby idea? Try origami:
So instead, he has started his own bird hobby book by taking photos of the birds he sees. We print them out and he pastes them into a journal. He labels each photo and I encourage him to write a few facts and suggest he write down where he saw each bird.
He even took his book (which is always a work in progress) to Show and Tell at school. He was so thrilled when he came home that day and told me all about how his friends had asked him about the birds, and he even found out one of his classmates was a fellow birder.
More creative literacy ideas: