Ever since Santa gifted my sons an Xbox 360, I’ve been having major reservations about gaming as a whole.
It’s not because we’re an anti-gaming family, it’s just that even with restrictions on the kinds of games and amount of playing time permitted, I’m becoming increasingly aware of the negative impact gaming is having on my tween.
When I first began noticing undesirable changes in Boy Wonder’s behavior on account of his Minecraft allegiance, my worried mom mind went straight to video game addiction. While he thankfully isn’t exhibiting symptoms of compulsive gaming, his hobbies outside of gaming are noticeably few.
As with all things, moderation is key. I simply can’t allow gaming to become his first and only interest when there’s just so much out there.
Hobbies for gamers 1 of 11
Take a look at 10 hobbies that capitalize on the valuable skills acquired from video games that are sure to inspire your game-loving kids!
Magic: The Gathering 2 of 11
This trading card game offers the fantasy appeal of video games in addition to the social interaction that many video games lack. Two or more players engage in battle as wizards, while spells threaten their survival, and "lands" provide magical energy for survival.
Available from Amazon; $18.58
3-D Game Design 3 of 11
If your kids love 3-D games, now's their chance to learn the basics of this incredible design medium! At the end of Youth Digital's interactive online course, your kids will have created their very own 3-D world they can share with family and friends!
Check out Youth Digital to learn more.
Robotics 4 of 11
Gamers are accustomed to initiating commands that yield virtual results. Robotics offers kids a chance to witness the physical manifestations of these input commands and Lego Mindstorms are a fun way to get started! For more information on how to further encouraging a passion for robotics, check out this video from NASA.
Available from Target; $349.99
Basic Programming 5 of 11
It's no secret kids love interactive play, and with Scratch, kids can take their passion to the next level by programing their very own interactive stories, games, and animations! Developed by the Lifelong Kindergarten Group at the MIT Media Lab, Scratch is a free program designed kids for ages 8 to 16 that encourages kids to imagine, design, and share their creations online!
Learn how Scratch works.
Choose-Your-Own-Adventure books 6 of 11
Interactive novels are a great way to inspire possibility within your kids! The Choose Your Own Adventure series allows your child to decide what happens in each story, with 15 to 40+ possible endings, depending on the adventure book selected!
Available from Amazon; $6.29
Dungeons & Dragons 7 of 11
Long before every house had an endless supply of gaming devices, the fantasy role-playing game Dungeons & Dragons lured kids young and old into a world of open-ended fantasy. Adventures, campaigns, and modules - oh my!
Available from ThinkGeek; $19.99
Legos 8 of 11
With all that incredible dexterity and imagination, gamers are natural creators. Marry a love for gaming and building with fun Minecraft Lego sets!
Available from Amazon; $54.99
Movie making 9 of 11
Gaming in an alternate reality is one thing, but creating your own reality for entertainment is quite another! There's no telling where your child's imagination can take them once armed with a video camera and video editing software.
Available from Amazon; $239
App Design 10 of 11
App-loving kids are sure to love Youth Digital's online course designed to teach kids ages 8 -14 how to build their very own app! App Design 1 is the first course in their series using Multimedia Fusion 2. Relax Mom and Dad, all the software you need comes included in the course!
Visit Youth Digital to learn more.
Computer Animation 11 of 11
Your little gamers make great use of animated graphics every time they play, but maybe it's time to jump inside the screen to learn what it takes to produce such amazing computer animation!
Animation Software for Kids offers up their best picks to help your kids get started.