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Smart Parenting

Practical advice about raising children


3 Ways to Save on Hobbies for Kids

Hobbies are excellent ways for kids to personally develop, learn skills and techniques while enjoying themselves. Even better, productive hobbies keep kids away from the couch and keep them from becoming bored. In order to avoid racking up expensive bills to support these hobbies, parents should consider the following tips.

young girl drawing in bedroom
Photo by Fotolia.

Encourage Intellectual Hobbies

A good place to start is by encouraging children to pursue free or inexpensive hobbies. For example, intellectual hobbies, such as reading, writing and drawing, require minimal amounts of money, but can help increase IQ and competency.

As children grow older, they understandably become more obsessed with technology and the Internet. Rather than of allow them to spend hours gaming or wasting time online, encourage them to learn software programming—knowing how to develop websites or online games could turn into a lucrative career later in life. For those who enjoy writing and surfing the web, encourage them to start their own informative blog, podcast or YouTube channel.

Encourage Craftsmanship

Hobbies encompass more than just killing time or spending time with friends. Many hobbies allow children to develop skills, knowledge and craftsmanship. For example, a coin collector could easily become an educated expert in foreign currencies. A child who collects military medals can gain in-depth knowledge of historical wars, battles and events. On the other hand, there are hobbies that provide more hands-on skills. A child who enjoys cooking could be encouraged to explore different ethnic foods and actually develop diverse cooking skills. A child who enjoys dancing could be encouraged to learn more about the physics and mechanics of their own body. This may result in them gaining lifelong, valuable skills that will help them later in school and work.

Don’t Encourage Competitiveness

Many parents make the mistake of encouraging too much competitiveness. As a result, children expect and then demand the best supplies and equipment in order to surpass others. For example, biking and cycling are great hobbies that deliver plenty of exercise and fresh air, but the most expensive bikes will cost thousands of dollars. Instead, focus on the simplistic and straightforward benefits of the hobby. Have children bike with friends or family, instead of just participating in competitions. This will enable them enjoy the hobby while maintaining meaningful social connections and staying within the family budget. Be prepared to explain that their equipment is equally useful as high-grade, name-brand parts. If they truly enjoy and excel in their sport, take advantage of promotional codes for gear that offer savings to help ease your budget.

There are many easy ways to encourage inexpensive hobbies, such as guiding children to intellectual pursuits, encouraging craftsmanship and discouraging extreme competitiveness. With their interests in mind, have your kids try different hobbies that may lead them to a future career or lifelong skill.


Brooke Chaplan is a freelance writer and blogger. She lives and works out of her home in Los Lunas, New Mexico. She loves the outdoors and spends most her time hiking, biking and gardening. For more information contact Brooke via Twitter, @BrookeChaplan.