National Hobby Month is a whole month when we can celebrate our interests, strengths, and hobbies outside of the classroom. Whether we like to collect shells, build models, solve challenging puzzles, or play a musical instrument, hobbies are a part of who we are.
As early as 1676, a man named Matthew Hale wrote, “Almost every person hath some hobby horse or other wherein he prides himself.” In modern-day language, Hale was talking about the pastimes or hobbies that tweak our interest.
Let’s celebrate our hobbies and share them with others!
Ask students: If you were not at school today, what would you be doing? Accept several answers that include both inside and outdoor activities. Ask the students to stand up, clap, wave their arms, or give a thumbs-up if they like to:
Continue until all of the students have expressed their interest in at least one activity or hobby.
Provide each student with a piece of mural paper and paints. Ask them to paint themselves doing something they like to do. Collect the paintings and make a mural for the classroom or school walls.
Remind students that having a hobby is a good way to keep their brain thinking, even outside of school!
Post some charts around the classroom with the following titles:
Provide students with stickers or markers and ask them to go around the room and place a sticker (or a checkmark) on the sheets that indicate things they like to do.
When students have finished, review the sheets and ask students who placed a sticker on the “Other” sheet to tell what their hobby is so you can list them on the sheet. Ask:
Explain that you are going to set aside a short period of time every day/week (schedule permitting) to allow students to share their hobby with the class. Explain that there will be a sign-up sheet and all ideas need to be cleared by the teacher in case of allergies, school rules, etc. Enjoy!
Ask students to work in small groups and brainstorm on chart paper what they like to do on rainy days when there is no school. Explain that although technology is a part of how many students spend their time, let’s not include it for this exercise. Post and share ideas.
Share that having a hobby is an important part of expressing who they are.
Read the charts and then ask:
Explain that January is National Hobby Month and share the brief history (see Intro). Engage students in planning a “What’s Your Hobby?” day for their school. As a class, arrange a date, time, and venue for the event and ask all classes to participate. Students advertise on the announcements and provide each school class with the details re time, set up, etc. Together, brainstorm any pitfalls and possible solutions (allergies, un-caged pets, etc.)
Set up the day, invite parents, and celebrate National Hobby Month!
Note: This may be done on a smaller scale, (classroom, grade level, etc.)
Also, students at this age may be heavily involved in technology. Express that you recognize this but that you are looking for pastimes that do not involve technology, as it is important to balance leisure time activities.