Author Topic: Activities/Hobbies for a 12-year Old Boy?  (Read 1821 times)

Michael in ABQ

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1497
    • Military Saints
Activities/Hobbies for a 12-year Old Boy?
« on: March 06, 2021, 05:49:53 PM »
Our 12-year old son has been noticeably bored the last few months. We're looking for some ideas of activities or hobbies he can get into. Right now he mostly plays with LEGOs and reads a lot. He's also interested in drawing and making maps.

Little bit of background. We have 6 kids and he's the oldest. The next two oldest are 9 and 11 so they do play together a lot (building LEGOs, battles, nerf gun fights, etc.), but three's a crowd so there's some inevitable conflict there. We don't have any phones or video games and the only time they're allowed on the computer is 15 minutes here and there to look at LEGOs on Amazon. They're usually allowed 1-2 TV shows on non-school nights from a streaming service. He really wants to be like most of his friends and play video games but that's a path we definitely don't want to go down. He can get a phone and play video games when he's 18 and uses his own money.


He had been doing a weekly martial arts class that has since moved on to Zoom. There's a lot of grumbling about that but once it starts he's pretty diligent. He definitely likes to be around other kids but obviously that's been hard the last year. Our oldest kids have all been in school in-person since August. But a lot of the other activities like the Chess club have stopped.


So any ideas of activities or hobbies we could introduce him too? 

ScreamingHeadGuy

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 264
  • Age: 42
  • Location: Down the street from the Frozen Tundra
Re: Activities/Hobbies for a 12-year Old Boy?
« Reply #1 on: March 07, 2021, 03:23:59 PM »
Sounds like your boy might take a shine to D&D.  (At least I did, and I was once a 12-year-old who liked to read and draw maps.) 

Getting friends together for a game might be tough for a bit, but he can always play with family members (family games are a real fun dynamic sometimes). 

Michael in ABQ

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1497
    • Military Saints
Re: Activities/Hobbies for a 12-year Old Boy?
« Reply #2 on: March 07, 2021, 03:33:57 PM »
Sounds like your boy might take a shine to D&D.  (At least I did, and I was once a 12-year-old who liked to read and draw maps.) 

Getting friends together for a game might be tough for a bit, but he can always play with family members (family games are a real fun dynamic sometimes).

We did try that. I bought a bunch of board games of Craigslist and one was a D&D starter set. I was the DM but it took a lot of time just to get things started and he tended to get frustrated with his younger brothers not paying attention.

Spiffy

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 248
Re: Activities/Hobbies for a 12-year Old Boy?
« Reply #3 on: March 07, 2021, 03:42:25 PM »
 Maybe join a sports team? I know it is hard now with covid, but soon it should be getting back to sort of normal. Or join a Boy Scout Troop.

gooki

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2588
  • Location: NZ
    • My FIRE journal
Re: Activities/Hobbies for a 12-year Old Boy?
« Reply #4 on: March 07, 2021, 11:46:28 PM »
Orienteering.
Geocaching.
Bouldering.
Tree climbing.
Fishing.
Competitive BMX.
Surfing.
Mountain biking.
Shooting.
Scouts.
Cooking/baking/grilling.
Electronics (start with building kits, learning to solder is pretty fun).
RC cars, boats, airplanes.



Hula Hoop

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1601
  • Location: Italy
Re: Activities/Hobbies for a 12-year Old Boy?
« Reply #5 on: March 08, 2021, 01:53:31 AM »
My kids do scouts.  We do it in person but outside, with social distancing and strict mask usage.  Yesterday it was raining but everyone just wore rain coats and rain gear.  We go on long hikes, play various outdoor games (yesterday's games were about team work).  During non Covid times we they go camping. 

My 12 year old seems to have outgrown lego but she's just taking up knitting and origami.  She's always been really into crafts.  The 12 year old boy across the street is similar and has started sewing (his dad taught him how to sew on their machine) and drawing his own fashion designs.  We allow limited video gaming and our kids both love Minecraft.  I find it pretty creative and much better than the shoot em up games.  Yesterday on the way to scouts my 9 year old saw a house that she took a shine to and she spent a couple of hours last night re-creating the house in Minecraft with a few modifications and flights of fancy (indoor pool with slide, pets etc.).

Loretta

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 615
  • Location: Sugar Town
Re: Activities/Hobbies for a 12-year Old Boy?
« Reply #6 on: March 08, 2021, 02:08:10 AM »
Is stamp collecting still a thing? 

Maybe some good quality time alone with just one parent going to a park or something else outside would be a special thing for him? 

Learning a foreign language online and study up on a specific country where that language is spoken while planning a trip there? 


Freedomin5

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4130
  • Location: China
Re: Activities/Hobbies for a 12-year Old Boy?
« Reply #7 on: March 08, 2021, 04:17:39 AM »
Boredom is not necessarily bad, and parents shouldn’t have to work so hard to make sure kiddo is always amused and entertained. He’s 12. Why can’t he think for himself and tell you what he’s interested in? Anything he wants to learn? A business he wants to start? Let him be creative and come up with the ideas, and you can help support him in turning his ideas into reality.

When my six year old tells me she’s bored, I usually respond with, “Oh really? Well, what are you going to do about it?” And if she can’t come up with anything, she gets to help me around the house — doing the laundry, vacuuming, watering the plants, washing dishes, cleaning her room, deep cleaning a couple closets, etc. Those are valuable life skills.

My kid has learned very quickly not to tell mom she’s bored. She’s quite good at coming up with things to amuse herself now.

reeshau

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1368
  • Location: Houston, TX
  • Former locations: Detroit, Indianapolis, Dublin
Re: Activities/Hobbies for a 12-year Old Boy?
« Reply #8 on: March 08, 2021, 05:28:34 AM »
If he really likes legos and wants some screen time, what about Mindstorms?  It would be a bridge to programming, and seeing computers as something useful, (and fun) and not just for video games.

2nd the nomination for teaching, particularly for a map maker.  And not just finding them, but setting some up for others.

Cezil

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 225
  • Age: 34
  • Location: Great Lakes region
Re: Activities/Hobbies for a 12-year Old Boy?
« Reply #9 on: March 08, 2021, 06:49:54 AM »
I saw above someone mentioned bouldering.  Is there a rock-climbing gym in your area?  We bought a membership in early January and there are a lot of kids, from young ones through high school, and they have a blast! (I do too!)  I actually wish I had come across this sooner than at 34.  It’s really good exercise, uses so many muscles, and a large part of it is the mental component (wow am I noticing a strength increase in my positive self-talk and confidence!).  It’s also very intellectually stimulating because while it’s a physical puzzle to be solved, sometimes you need to do it over and over and over again until you figure out what works for you – and also while you build up strength (sometimes it takes you 30 tries to finally be strong enough to get to the top, and during that you are exploring all the possible route/handhold options).  I love maps as well, and I find myself looking at the walls and routes, making mental maps, and if you want a real life example, google “possible el capitan routes” – lots of maps to get up the walls, and I love seeing how everyone solves these challenges in their own ways.  I find that this activity checks all my boxes, which makes me so incredibly happy that I finally found something that did that.  And we are meeting new people, making acquaintances of ALL ages, and that is inspiring.

He really wants to be like most of his friends and play video games but that's a path we definitely don't want to go down. He can get a phone and play video games when he's 18 and uses his own money.

I’ll mention that I am working through a video game addiction problem myself, worsened by the pandemic, and rock climbing as a hobby is so much healthier for me.  I can feel how much better it is for me in so many ways.  So yeah, if that's a concern, this is how I am combating that for myself: Rock-climbing/bouldering is the opposite, and I cannot recommend it enough.

maisymouser

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 394
  • Age: 30
  • Location: NC
Re: Activities/Hobbies for a 12-year Old Boy?
« Reply #10 on: March 08, 2021, 06:53:10 AM »
Our 12-year old son has been noticeably bored the last few months. We're looking for some ideas of activities or hobbies he can get into. Right now he mostly plays with LEGOs and reads a lot. He's also interested in drawing and making maps.

Little bit of background. We have 6 kids and he's the oldest. The next two oldest are 9 and 11 so they do play together a lot (building LEGOs, battles, nerf gun fights, etc.), but three's a crowd so there's some inevitable conflict there. We don't have any phones or video games and the only time they're allowed on the computer is 15 minutes here and there to look at LEGOs on Amazon. They're usually allowed 1-2 TV shows on non-school nights from a streaming service. He really wants to be like most of his friends and play video games but that's a path we definitely don't want to go down. He can get a phone and play video games when he's 18 and uses his own money.


He had been doing a weekly martial arts class that has since moved on to Zoom. There's a lot of grumbling about that but once it starts he's pretty diligent. He definitely likes to be around other kids but obviously that's been hard the last year. Our oldest kids have all been in school in-person since August. But a lot of the other activities like the Chess club have stopped.


So any ideas of activities or hobbies we could introduce him too?

Kudos and good on you. My four younger brothers have gone down that road and it's been pretty depressing to watch. If they spent even a quarter of the time they did (and now do) playing video games on just about anything else, they would be much more interesting and productive human beings as a result (imho). It's a real challenge in this day and age to raise a kid when all their peers are constantly video gaming for fun.

EricEng

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 604
  • Location: CO
Re: Activities/Hobbies for a 12-year Old Boy?
« Reply #11 on: March 08, 2021, 11:26:26 AM »
Kudos and good on you. My four younger brothers have gone down that road and it's been pretty depressing to watch. If they spent even a quarter of the time they did (and now do) playing video games on just about anything else, they would be much more interesting and productive human beings as a result (imho). It's a real challenge in this day and age to raise a kid when all their peers are constantly video gaming for fun.
Couldn't disagree more.  Video games can be very expanding of minds as long as you do more than 200 hours of Call of Duty.  Some of the smartest, most successful people I know are heavy gamers. I just finished a brilliant experience in Talos Principle where you solve ever trickier puzzles intermixed with a great story and philosophical debates with an opposing AI.  This isn't even touching on the brilliance that is Minecraft.  This is akin to saying no rock music, no fantasy books, or not art museums for you.  You are blinding them to brilliant worlds of interactive art, ideas, challenges.

Video games teach you to problem solve quickly, learn new situations, develop math skills and game theory, give them a broad exposure to variable art styles, learn new technology and IT skills (pc gaming).  They can also be amazing social experiences for families to share together (local coop of Nintendo Games are great bonding times). My entire career in computer science was born from my early days of exploring a wide swath of video games.  I learned to program and write stories from video game's with map/campaign editors like Starcraft.  Now they have Unity and Unreal Engine which are almost like art tools because you can create your own games, art assets, and coding.

As for cost, it has never been cheaper to video game.  You can go on Good Will's website and buy a used Wii U with 10+ games for typically under $200.  PC gaming is super cheap, most games are down to $5-20 a year after release.  Or you can look at HumbleBundle where you can get a set of 10 games (mostly indie) every month for $10-15 total and most of that goes to charity.  PS4 and Xbox1 systems are super cheap as well since everyone is moving off them.  Gamestop online is selling most PS4 games for like $5 now (watch for sales).

The worst results are when you ban everything and provide no guidance.  If you guide them to enlightening games in moderation, it helps them prepare for the real world.  This is like parents that forbid all sinful and indulgent activities until they are outside parental guidance.  They counter hard and swing back to far in reaction.  Given Covid restrictions, letting kids play video games with their classmates that they hardly see is one of the few humane choices.  It is how this generation socializes.  It is cruel to impose our social standards from our youth on them.  Yeah, my parents never watched tv and always played outside because that was all there was at the time.  Had they enforced that same standard on me I would have been very ignorant of the world (and I still played outside).

If you want suggestions on enriching video games I can gladly supply a curated selection for any age or interest. 
PS.  I'm not denying the existence of video game junk food (aka Call of Duty clones)
« Last Edit: March 08, 2021, 01:52:39 PM by EricEng »

maisymouser

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 394
  • Age: 30
  • Location: NC
Re: Activities/Hobbies for a 12-year Old Boy?
« Reply #12 on: March 11, 2021, 10:49:21 AM »
Kudos and good on you. My four younger brothers have gone down that road and it's been pretty depressing to watch. If they spent even a quarter of the time they did (and now do) playing video games on just about anything else, they would be much more interesting and productive human beings as a result (imho). It's a real challenge in this day and age to raise a kid when all their peers are constantly video gaming for fun.
  If you guide them to enlightening games in moderation, it helps them prepare for the real world. 

OK, I agree with all of what you said. I guess I should qualify my earlier post with the statement that there was a strong LACK of moderation in my household growing up. I totally do agree- video games are amazing, but it's really depressing to me that it's the *only* way a lot of kids 'socialize' these days. And there are totally a lot of junk games out there, so finding quality content can be tough.

EricEng

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 604
  • Location: CO
Re: Activities/Hobbies for a 12-year Old Boy?
« Reply #13 on: March 11, 2021, 11:41:43 AM »
Kudos and good on you. My four younger brothers have gone down that road and it's been pretty depressing to watch. If they spent even a quarter of the time they did (and now do) playing video games on just about anything else, they would be much more interesting and productive human beings as a result (imho). It's a real challenge in this day and age to raise a kid when all their peers are constantly video gaming for fun.
  If you guide them to enlightening games in moderation, it helps them prepare for the real world. 

OK, I agree with all of what you said. I guess I should qualify my earlier post with the statement that there was a strong LACK of moderation in my household growing up. I totally do agree- video games are amazing, but it's really depressing to me that it's the *only* way a lot of kids 'socialize' these days. And there are totally a lot of junk games out there, so finding quality content can be tough.
Agreed, no parental involvement or direction leads to disaster.  Akin to kid being left with free reign to endless TV all day or general internet wandering.

I am a bit befuddled about how youth socialize today (age 10-20) as it has changed a lot.  I do hesitate to say it is wrong, but it is very different with so much less physical and in person.  I'm sure my parents generation had the same issue with long telephone calls.

I also agree there is a huge amount of junk food/garbage video games.  It is a huge advantage if you are a gamer yourself and can help curate what they experience or participate with them.  I see the video games being sold at consignment sales and just cringe at what parents had bought for their kids (terrible gameplay, terrible art, no learning, just cheap), although that might be why it was in a consignment sale.

MaybeBabyMustache

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3659
    • My Wild Ride to FI
Re: Activities/Hobbies for a 12-year Old Boy?
« Reply #14 on: March 11, 2021, 03:14:39 PM »
Kudos and good on you. My four younger brothers have gone down that road and it's been pretty depressing to watch. If they spent even a quarter of the time they did (and now do) playing video games on just about anything else, they would be much more interesting and productive human beings as a result (imho). It's a real challenge in this day and age to raise a kid when all their peers are constantly video gaming for fun.
  If you guide them to enlightening games in moderation, it helps them prepare for the real world. 

OK, I agree with all of what you said. I guess I should qualify my earlier post with the statement that there was a strong LACK of moderation in my household growing up. I totally do agree- video games are amazing, but it's really depressing to me that it's the *only* way a lot of kids 'socialize' these days. And there are totally a lot of junk games out there, so finding quality content can be tough.
Agreed, no parental involvement or direction leads to disaster.  Akin to kid being left with free reign to endless TV all day or general internet wandering.

I am a bit befuddled about how youth socialize today (age 10-20) as it has changed a lot.  I do hesitate to say it is wrong, but it is very different with so much less physical and in person.  I'm sure my parents generation had the same issue with long telephone calls.

I also agree there is a huge amount of junk food/garbage video games.  It is a huge advantage if you are a gamer yourself and can help curate what they experience or participate with them.  I see the video games being sold at consignment sales and just cringe at what parents had bought for their kids (terrible gameplay, terrible art, no learning, just cheap), although that might be why it was in a consignment sale.

My kids game, but they are very busy with sports and school, so any gaming they do has to fit in their limited "free time". They also have chores. For us (my kids are older - 14 & 15), if you've gotten everything else done (school, sports, chores), then you can use your gaming time. It is a social connection, particularly during COVID.

To the original poster, my kids play a lot of sports (soccer, tennis, volleyball, mountain biking, skiing, running). It's been a really important part of their development. Tennis has been particularly good during COVID - there's a free court down the street from our house. I'd recommend he get into something that friends want to do, and he has moderate interest in.

maisymouser

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 394
  • Age: 30
  • Location: NC
Re: Activities/Hobbies for a 12-year Old Boy?
« Reply #15 on: March 11, 2021, 07:02:33 PM »
Thought of an idea. A low-cost Arduino kit could keep a smart kid occupied for many hours and teach some coding/engineering skills!

Michael in ABQ

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1497
    • Military Saints
Re: Activities/Hobbies for a 12-year Old Boy?
« Reply #16 on: March 12, 2021, 05:46:28 AM »
Thank you for all the ideas so far. I've mentioned a few to him and they definitely caught his attention.

I should clarify that if this was just him saying "I'm bored" I wouldn't have a lot of sympathy as he's going plenty of books and toys and multiple siblings to play with. However, I can see that he does need something else to stimulate his mind and body - especially something involving other kids.

As COVID is winding down and more people are getting vaccinated, the possibility of just going over to a friend's house after school for a few hours is opening up. Unfortunately his school is located about a 20-30 minute drive away so most of his friends and classmates also live at least that far away.

Psychstache

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1258
Re: Activities/Hobbies for a 12-year Old Boy?
« Reply #17 on: March 12, 2021, 02:34:45 PM »
Has he tried the Trading Card Games, such as Magic: The Gathering? He's well within the typical age range. They are potentially great social outlets, and they have enough variants so whether you are looking to be super casual or extremely competitive, there are options for you.

MaybeBabyMustache

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3659
    • My Wild Ride to FI
Re: Activities/Hobbies for a 12-year Old Boy?
« Reply #18 on: March 12, 2021, 02:44:42 PM »
Has he tried the Trading Card Games, such as Magic: The Gathering? He's well within the typical age range. They are potentially great social outlets, and they have enough variants so whether you are looking to be super casual or extremely competitive, there are options for you.

This is another great idea. Both of my kids love MTG. There are in person meet ups (I don't know if they've restarted since COVID), a club at their school, and you can also play online.

Michael in ABQ

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1497
    • Military Saints
Re: Activities/Hobbies for a 12-year Old Boy?
« Reply #19 on: March 13, 2021, 05:26:19 AM »
Has he tried the Trading Card Games, such as Magic: The Gathering? He's well within the typical age range. They are potentially great social outlets, and they have enough variants so whether you are looking to be super casual or extremely competitive, there are options for you.

He has done Pokemon cards with his brothers. They don't always follow the rules, I think they like just making up their own a lot of times. But he hasn't expressed much interest in those in a while.

Frugal Lizard

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3805
  • Age: 54
  • Location: Southwest Ontario
  • One foot in front of the other....
Re: Activities/Hobbies for a 12-year Old Boy?
« Reply #20 on: March 13, 2021, 05:43:41 AM »
My now 19 year old loved legos and graduated into Lego mind storm. And still plays with them on weekends when he is home.  I loved the robot mop he made but he took it apart to make a whack a mole that was just loud.

EricEng

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 604
  • Location: CO
Re: Activities/Hobbies for a 12-year Old Boy?
« Reply #21 on: March 18, 2021, 08:00:30 PM »
Has he tried the Trading Card Games, such as Magic: The Gathering? He's well within the typical age range. They are potentially great social outlets, and they have enough variants so whether you are looking to be super casual or extremely competitive, there are options for you.

He has done Pokemon cards with his brothers. They don't always follow the rules, I think they like just making up their own a lot of times. But he hasn't expressed much interest in those in a while.
Pokemon might be a bit simple for his age.  It's like a gateway card game. 

I was huge into collectible card games back in the day, but that is a super expensive hobby.  There are some really nice video game versions of Magic that give you all the cards for like $10 and still let you play with friends vs spending the hundreds or thousands to get a real start in Magic.  Other downside is you need a good circle of friends to play it and if they lose interest or change your money is sunk.  Magic though has a pretty large player base at board game groups...

So maybe look into more advanced board games?   The Catans and Ticket to Ride are just the gateway to a huge collection of board games.

Taran Wanderer

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1011
Re: Activities/Hobbies for a 12-year Old Boy?
« Reply #22 on: March 18, 2021, 08:19:31 PM »
Model airplanes
Model cars
Chess
Guitar
Insect collecting
Painting
Writing
Yardcare business for neighbors - mow lawns, pull weeds, etc.
Carpentry (hand tools until he gets older... no sense losing fingers yet)

Laura33

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2921
  • Location: Mid-Atlantic
Re: Activities/Hobbies for a 12-year Old Boy?
« Reply #23 on: March 19, 2021, 07:59:01 AM »
OK, I cannot believe I'm saying this, but I'm going to put in a plug for giving him some access to video games.  Hear me out, please.

I was very much the "no screens!" mom, while my DH (the electrical engineer) was buying "learn to use the computer" games when our daughter was like 18 months old.  [insert eyeroll here].  He thought, reasonably, that growing up comfortable with technology was a life skill, so I tamed my inner Luddite and let him do it.  DH also likes gaming occasionally, and he introduced the kids to it -- again, earlier than I'd like.  I tolerated it, but with some rather smug disapproval.

What I did not realize until maybe 18 months ago:  for many teenage boys, gaming is how they socialize.  In pre-Covid days, they'd go over to each other's house and take turns watching each other play.  When they couldn't do that, they'd arrange to meet up online on a particular game at a particular time and play together, chatting through their headphones.  They'd follow the same e-sports figures and youtubers, and that was their special internal language that the out-of-touch parents didn't know.  They'd go to e-sports tournaments and follow their favorites and even try to play (and get booted in the first round, of course, but they'd come home bubbling over with excitement anyway).

This past year, it has been a total lifesaver.  My DS is doing very well, but he has lost a lot and been very isolated.  He lost his BMOC end-of-8th-grade status and concerts and ceremonies and events.  He started HS without ever setting foot in the building or having an orientation or meeting his teachers in person -- it's all online.  Baseball and basketball and summer camp were all canceled.  And he hasn't been able to go to friends' houses or do any of the other stuff he would usually do for a solid year.  And yet he has maintained his connections to all of his friends, because they have been able to continue meeting online to play videogames together.  And he is happy.  The stupid games that I railed against have been the one constant source of connection with his friends. 

Now, obviously, you can't let gaming become the be-all, end-all; he does music and arduino and rides his bike and bowls with dad and Fitbit challenges with his friends and all sorts of other stuff.  But I feel compelled to write this simply because it had quite literally never occurred to me that there could be anything positive about gaming.  Because I am not a 15-yr-old boy, I had not realized that meeting up online is such a key part of their social lives until I saw for myself what a positive effect it had on DS. 

Taran Wanderer

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1011
Re: Activities/Hobbies for a 12-year Old Boy?
« Reply #24 on: March 19, 2021, 10:00:21 AM »
I was going to suggest letting him buy the video game system and games with his yard care earnings, but I wasn’t sure how to make a case for the games because I’m a skeptic. It can be a black hole time suck, for sure. But like Laura33, online access has been the main way out 12-year-old DD has kept in touch with her friends for the past year. It might be worth letting your son make the video game choice now (with parental oversight and time limits) rather than age 18 — if he can earn it through his own work.

Frugal Lizard

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3805
  • Age: 54
  • Location: Southwest Ontario
  • One foot in front of the other....
Re: Activities/Hobbies for a 12-year Old Boy?
« Reply #25 on: March 19, 2021, 10:04:22 AM »
@Laura33 - The only thing my 19 year old is missing is team sports and opportunities to meet new people for romantic interactions.  We didn't even permit screen time during the week when he was little and school didn't revolve around the google classroom but discord has been a sanity saver for him.

EricEng

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 604
  • Location: CO
Re: Activities/Hobbies for a 12-year Old Boy?
« Reply #26 on: March 19, 2021, 07:01:39 PM »
I will add this article here for the discussion on screen time.  Not all screen time is the same.
https://families.google/articles/how-much-screen-time-is-ok-for-my-kids/

There's 4 main types of screen time:
Quote
Passive consumption: watching TV, reading, and listening to music
Interactive consumption: playing games and browsing the Internet
Communication: video-chatting and using social media
​Content creation: using devices to make digital art or music
I think your, rightful, fear of the passive consumption is clouding the other uses.  Content creation and interactive consumption can be very good uses of screen time that expand their minds.  Content creation could also include things like Unity and Unreal Engine where they can design their own video games (lots of career opportunity with this skill set).

GuitarStv

  • Senior Mustachian
  • ********
  • Posts: 18825
  • Age: 40
  • Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Re: Activities/Hobbies for a 12-year Old Boy?
« Reply #27 on: March 20, 2021, 12:03:59 PM »
Can you build on the weekly martial arts class?  Theoretical form and knowledge is one thing, but the rubber hits the road in martial arts when you start applying technique with force.  I'd look for some equipment (pads/gloves/heavy bag/speed bag/BOB/etc.) so that he can practice with contact.  Then you can slowly introduce him into the strength/endurance training required for competition - skipping, jogging, weight lifting, etc.  This would supplement and likely significantly improve what he gets out of the zoom classes.

9patch

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 47
Re: Activities/Hobbies for a 12-year Old Boy?
« Reply #28 on: March 24, 2021, 02:40:44 PM »
Are things opening back up in your area? My 11 year old is on swim team. They were swimming outdoors, but just a few weeks ago started indoor practice again. My son is also really into solving Rubix cubes. We let him buy one a month with his own money, and now has the 2x2 up to 7x7, the clock, the megaminx (a dodecahedron) plus random other ones. He likes learning how to solve a new cube time, then bringing those times down. I also organize get togethers with his friends in parks, like yesterday, we went to a new skate park and playground with one of my friends and her two kids.