Hobby activities have been found to prevent social exclusion, inequality and substance abuse. A meaningful hobby brings meaning to life, offers experiences of success and strengthens self-esteem. The hobby also supports school and working life skills because it teaches things such as communication skills, goal orientation and persistence.
Sometimes a child’s hobby demands a lot from the parents. The family’s resources are not always enough for a hobby such as football, which can require a lot of time in addition to financial resources, e.g. for transportation to practice and games.
There are also hobby opportunities with a lower threshold. In most schools, hobby activities are organised in the afternoons after school. You can ask your child’s teacher for more information about these opportunities. In the afternoons, many youth centres also have clubs run by various organisations, such as cooking, art and sports clubs.
Helsinki, Espoo and Vantaa maintain the website harrastushaku.fi through which you can conveniently search for hobby activities close to your home. In Helsinki, 3rd to 6th graders can participate in Easy Sport activities. The activity is free of charge, and you do not need to register for it separately. For those aged between 13 and 17, FunAction recreational sports are available in Helsinki.