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Why Are Hobbies Important for Kids?

A Talk with Shana, Host of Balloon Builders

By Emily Martin

Writer at Noggin & Mom of 2

We love National Hobby Month! That’s because Noggin is all about expanding kids’ interests into hobbies – and hobbies into passions. Not only are hobbies a vital part of being a kid, they also help children build new skills, learn about specific topics, and expand and excite their curiosity and confidence!

We spoke with Shana Sharp, balloon artist extraordinaire and host of Balloon Builders, who shared how her artistic interests led to her career in crafting amazing balloon animals – as well as some tips on how parents can spark their own kids’ hobbies and passions.

Why is it good for my child to have a hobby?

Hobbies are a great way to learn something new! Kids feel motivated to explore and foster creativity – building confidence while helping them relax and strengthen their mental wellness.

Shana explained, “Hobbies give children a chance to develop a strong sense of self, to feel the exhilaration of self-focus and self-improvement over time – and it's so important that this happens outside of a regimented, assigned structure.”

(Plus, they’re really fun!)

What are some ways I can inspire my child to start a new hobby?

Shana said, “Explore the hobbies with them! Kids love to watch grown-ups learn – and fail – along with them. Let them see you working on your own passions. Invite your friends and acquaintances to introduce their hobbies to your children. Accompany them to an all-ages convention for their enthusiasm.”

What are some kid-friendly hobbies I can encourage my child to do?

There are so many great hobbies to choose from! Singing or playing an instrument, experimenting with art mediums, playing a sport, biking, and scooting all make excellent hobbies for young children. Start by inviting your child to join you as you garden, cook, bake, listen to music, or watch sports. Everyday occurrences, like going on a nature walk, can offer a great opportunity to discover a hobby, like collecting rocks or seashells.

You never know when an interest or activity can grow into a different hobby or passion. Shana said, “Would you believe at first I didn't like balloons? [...] But one magic thing about balloons: no matter how simple the design, they always get a smile!” She continued, I've always been pulled by two callings: visual and performance art. I really feel that balloon art allows for a unique combination of the two.”

How can I encourage my child to grow an interest into a hobby?

We all have seen how kids can switch from being excited to becoming bored within a few seconds of a new activity – and that’s okay. Exploring many different interests and hobbies is part of being a kid. But once they find something they love, how can you keep them motivated and engaged?

As parents, you can be their biggest source of inspiration. When you celebrate and cheer on their interests and hobbies, it helps boost their confidence and excitement. Shana said, “My parents have always strongly encouraged my creative spirit.”

Another way is to find classes for your child – or even a community or club of kids who share your child’s hobby. Shana said, “As I was struggling through the early stages of my practice, it was 100% the positive reinforcement that I was getting from people that kept me motivated. About 5 years after I started, I finally attended my first Balloon Art Convention, and that was when my art really evolved. I can't stress enough the importance of learning from ... even just socializing with other human beings who are called to your passion.”

How can my kids explore hobbies with Noggin?

Noggin has so many really fun, unique ways to encourage kids (and parents!) to try something new.

Practice Yoga

New to yoga? Our 7-Day Yoga Challenge was created for you! Stephanie of Yoga Friends will guide aspiring yogis through warm-up stretches, playful poses, mindful meditations, and breathing exercises. Choose from videos that practice balance basics, gross motor, self-care, and more.

Get Crafty

Visit our Crafty Corner for how-to videos of our favorite DIY activities. Your creative kiddo will love drawing, painting, cooking, and crafting alongside Blue, Dora, Marshall, and more friends.

Cook Together

From the School of YUM kitchen to yours! Measure, mix, and make or bake something new with Chef Dan and Spats. These printable School of YUM! recipe cards offer easy and tasty treats everyone will love.

Join Our Dance Squad

Hip-hop, ballet, jazz – we have all the moves to get you on your feet. Your little dancer will love learning different dance routines from Kevin, a real Ailey instructor, along with DJ Rubble, and our favorite dancing dino, Boogie!

Explore the Outdoors

Join Troop Dragonfly’s host Anakaren and Iggy as they embrace nature and explore the outdoors. Inspired by Tinkergarten, Troop Dragonfly takes kids on adventures while learning empathy and problem solving. After enjoying the show, try these off-screen nature-inspired crafts and activities.

About Shana Sharp

With a thriving 13-year career as a birthday party entertainer, Shana Sharp faced a turning point when the pandemic hit. Seizing the opportunity, she transitioned into digital content creation from her home studio. Currently residing in Los Angeles with her husband and 5-year-old son, Shana is always deeply touched to hear from the fans of Balloon Builders on Noggin! 🎈

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New content added weekly

Accessible on multiple devices

Downloadable books & games for offline play

About Ailey

Since its first historic performance in 1958, Ailey has been innovating and evolving the perception of American modern dance throughout the world. Noggin is honored to partner with them in helping kids all over get up moving, learning, and expressing their feelings through dance. Because movement has meaning when we dance how we’re feeling!