3 Cheap, Fun, and Highly Beneficial Hobbies for Your Screen-Addicted Kid
If you’re like most parents, the battle to get your child to put down the phone and pick up anything else is never ending. Although there are some educational games and apps with truly beneficial properties out there, most kids would benefit from a fun, educational hobby that doesn’t involve a screen. Here are some that won’t break the bank.
Let Your Kid Play the Guitar
There are few hobbies more beneficial than learning to play a musical instrument.  If your child is committed to becoming proficient at reading music and translating that to an instrument, they will reap lifelong benefits. While professionals pay thousands for an instrument, finding one for a child doesn’t have to be expensive. Check for special sales, coupons and online offers before you head over to Amazon. Try free online-lessons (there are many) before transitioning to professional in-person instruction.
Turn Them Into a Budding Scientist
The benefits of developing a scientific mind at an early age are widely noted. Learning about science piques a child’s curiosity and opens up a whole new world! Once they pick their own educational pathway, STEM fields produce some of the greatest rewards in terms of career choices. Fortunately for you, it’s cheap, easy, and a lot of fun to get your child involved in at-home experimentation. Buying things like telescopes, microscopes, and chemistry sets can become expensive unless you scout for weekly savings and promotions at retailers like Target. You should also look into science starter kits, which will allow your budding scientist to begin their adventure without breaking the bank.
Let Them Play Chef
In the hobby world, it doesn’t get much more convenient and cheap than turning something you already have to do into a fun, educational experience. The family has to eat, and you know that cooking is healthier than ordering take-out. Teaching your kids to cook and/or bake not only gives them a lifetime hobby, but also keeps them fit and healthy.
Make sure you get your kid a great age-appropriate cookbook, or simply look online for free, easy recipes for them to try. If you decide to try cookbooks, you can save some money by using coupons and deals to find great books appropriate for your child. However, if you’re not that much of a chef yourself, one smart way to make cooking fun and easy at the beginning is to invest in a meal kit delivery service like Blue Apron. Your child will receive specific instructions alongside with pre-packaged ingredients. It’s great for the novice chef.
And as the New York Times points out, cooking with your kids has the added benefits of helping to bring you closer together. You share in the successes as well as the failures. Very few things in life are more enjoyable than eating a delicious bite of food that you prepared yourself, and experiencing life’s most pleasant moments with your child is relationship-building.
These hobbies will not only get your kid out from in front of that iPhone or computer screen for a few hours a day, they will also help them learn and practice a skill that will benefit their childhood development and give them something beneficial to do for the rest of their lives.

Jenny Wise created Special Home Educator as a forum for sharing her adventures in homeschooling and connecting with other homeschooling families. She enjoys providing advice to parents who are considering homeschooling their kids.