If you’re looking to keep your kids entertained through the vacation period while they’re stuck at home, or you’re simply looking to spend more time with them as they get older and more independent, finding a hobby to share together can be a hugely valuable way to do just that. However, what hobby should you try getting into with them?
Model trains, collecting them, putting them together, and building tracks and environments for them to go through can both be a lot more inspiring, fun, and educational than many might think at a first glance. Here, we’re going to look at some of the reasons you might want to give them a try with your growing kid.
It helps them develop fine motor skills
It’s not something that you might think about very often, but a lot of kids do grow up rather clumsy and unsuited to practical work with their hands. It can even affect their self-esteem as they get older and have trouble completing tasks that so many people find relatively easy to do. However, this is something you can fix with hobbies that improve their fine motor skills, just like building model railroads, putting trains together, painting them, and so on. You need to be patient with beginners, allowing them to make mistakes while supporting them.
They can learn about technology and history
There is a real educational benefit to working with model railroads, as well. Most model kits are based on historical trains, like the G Scale range of trains. Learning more about these trains can also help them learn more about the times and places that these trains were operational in, how they affected society, and so on. Given that rail was at one point responsible for a massive change in how people worked, lived, and travelled, it can offer a fascinating insight into the past.
The value of a hobby doesn’t need to be much more than “you enjoy doing it.” As such, model trains can be a great way to relieve stress and to get away from the responsibilities of the world for a little while every day. Spending time building, painting, and putting together tracks like some of the most famous displays in the world can all help you keep your emotional health on an even keel. Given how much pressure teens are under due to school and the approaching questions of their future, this can be a valuable respite for them.
It can connect them to a whole community
Some kids have a harder time getting in with the crowds around them. Those who have more introverted personalities or niche tastes might not have the disposition to join in whatever the fad is at school. However, if they get into model railroads, then it could also be a stepping stone to join things like the clubs that can be found either locally or online. Having the opportunity to share a hobby with other people and to talk deep about your passion is something that every kid should experience.
It teaches patience and planning
Delayed gratification is a skill that is a lot more valuable than it might sound on first hearing it. The ability to understand that you’re putting in work and waiting now so that you can enjoy a better reward later is naturally valuable in our educational and work lives, as well as for attaining any kind of personal goal. Building model railroads and train kits, much like building elaborate LEGO structures, encourage you not only to be patient, but also to actively plan, to visualise what you want to build, and think about the best ways to go about it.
It allows for creative expression
Not every kid latches onto creative expression easily. While music, visual arts, and writing might capture some immediately, others might have trouble working with forms that are free and limitless. Sometimes, giving them the opportunity to play around, such as with a train set, can help them start exploring that creative side. They can start making adjustments and adding onto the model railroad, shaping the environment at a whim. This can help to unlock the creative thinking side of their brain a little better, which is just as important as any logical part.
If your child is the kind to enjoy indoor hobbies, to enjoy getting hands-on and loves playing with grown-up toys as much as tons of men, then it might be time to introduce them to model trains and get working on some projects together.
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