In these tough times where everyone is living under the spell of the pandemic, it has been really taxing for every age group. From adults to kids, everyone is preoccupied with work from home or online/digital education. Spending hours in front of computers and mobile phones is a normal sight in every household right now.
But thank god hobbies exist! A hobby is a key via which people unlock their feelings. It’s a very important device which helps adults and kids to express themselves. It enriches life and brings freshness to everyday mundane life. We are living in fortunate times where parents are actively participating in cultivating new ways through which their children can indirectly speak for themselves and showcase their inner selves.
Children are naïve, innocent creatures. They can't speak for themselves most of the time as they lack the emotional maturity or vocabulary to convey their feelings. It is through their hobbies that they represent themselves. Even science considers hobbies very crucial for the holistic development of a child.
It's through such gateways a child moves on to the path of self-discovery. A child also earns self-esteem and self-confidence via such habits.
These traditional forms are not always the best medium for all the children out there. Such hobbies employ certain physical and cognitive resources which may not be present in every child. Thus they can be a limiting factor in the process of self-expression.
For example, not everyone has a good voice, rhythm, coordination, or other physical attributes to accurately express themselves. Physical disabilities or accidents can also act as a hindrance to self-expression.
Coding - Children of any age can make websites and games through which they can express themselves and have others interact with it! It's a new creative way to conquer the digital world.
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Blogging - Children can write blogs about their favorite topics or events; they can pour their hearts out through words.
Robotics - Learning robotics can help children design, and program their own robots. They can make different bots of their choice. It's a constructive way through which children can express themselves.
Vlogging - Vlogging involves creating videos to share one's skills and life with others. It's an excellent way of self-expression if a kid likes to present himself in front of others.
Coding in very simple language is a method through which one can communicate with computers. It can be a replacement to the traditional hobbies which limit a child from expressing themselves. Coding helps boost logical thinking and enhances creativity in children and helps them come up with creative solutions to complex problems later in life.
Unlike traditional art forms like painting, dancing, singing, coding can be taught to young minds in a very short period. In fact, traditional art forms require offline classes but coding can be made accessible to children even from the comforts of their homes.
MindChamp was one of the first start-ups to introduce coding for kids in India in 2016. MindChamp CoFounder, Manasi Kashikar said ‘Young minds are so creative today! We give them a blank canvas and they use it to express their inner self into creating games and websites of their choice. One student created a website for her grandma’s homemade oils! We as parents should ensure kids use technology in a positive manner and make something outstanding of it’.
MindChamp handpicks and trains its teachers to mentor beginners to advance students.
12-year-old Palash showing the game he created for MindChamp Code-a-bit contest held last year.
Despite all the positives of these new-age hobbies, they are not without their own drawbacks:
All these hobbies are there to provide children with an opportunity to showcase that part of themselves that they cannot communicate verbally. Thus, through these instruments, they can voice their inner spirits and give others a peek into their souls.