The best personal qualities we can have beyond school don't simply define what we've learned...
Everybody needs a hobby, so it's said. But even if you're busy enough as it is (and what teacher and student isn't), you can still benefit from exploring this list of creative hobbies for building critical thinking skills.
Some of them you may already be doing. If not, consider starting out with one that interests you. Learn about it as much as possible before you dive in—creative hobbies can grow to be more than just a hobby if they resonate with you.
No matter if you write by hand or use a word processor, blogging covers many critical thinking exercises that also require a creative touch. It includes research (using Information Fluency), linking and referencing, content curation, proper grammatical structuring, a sense for creative formatting and layout, and more.
If you're blogging, you are always learning. Creative hobbies like blogging that also allow you to share your knowledge can be beneficial to others as well. Here's how you and your learners can get a head start.
This ranks right up there with blogging in terms of the knowledge sharing and writing/researching aspects. The difference, of course, is the inclusion of a dynamic audio platform that literally brings your voice to a chosen audience every week (or however often you choose to cast).
Now you have a whole new set of considerations to make—effective recording techniques, editing content for time, online publishing strategies, voice conditioning, and other things that will make a podcast truly stand out. This is a great place for beginning podcasters to learn a few things.
3. A YouTube Channel
Teachers are doing it; students are doing it; enthusiasts are doing it; Pewdiepie and Phillip DeFranco are doing it. And you can do it to. YouTube receives over 300 hours of uploaded content from its users every minute, and there's still plenty of room for everybody. If you have something to say, learn, or teach, YouTube is the way to go.
It's no surprise that YouTube is easily one of the most visited educational sites in the world for seeing both quick and in-depth tutorials on just about anything you'd ever want to know. You can produce personal videos that are instructional, artistic, or just plain expressive.
4. E-Book Publishing
Another great way to share your knowledge and hone your writing and critical thinking skills is to consider writing and publishing an e-book. Self-publishing mediums make this one of the easiest creative hobbies for budding writers to get into. Here is a great article from Amy Lynn Andrews that will help you to begin.
E-books are cheap to write and publish, and just as cheap to download. You can expect to spend at least less than half of the money you'd spend on a traditional paper book when buying titles. But if you're writing and publishing (and we hope you are), then you'll benefit from a list of digital publishing platforms that can help make it happen.
Learning to code is one of the most popular and sought-after modern skills we or our learners can add to our repertoire. But as far as creative hobbies go, why would anyone want to take up coding? It doesn't seem like an obvious choice, but what coding knowledge can allow you to do could surprise you.
In addition to prepping students for opportunities in the future STEM marketplace, you can be very creative with coding. Web developers must also be graphic designers, and if you know how to code you can build pretty much anything online. There are multiple languages you can choose from, and this article from Lifehacker breaks them down nicely.
Editor's note: This post was originally published in 2019 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.
Originally published May 22, 2019, updated September 21, 2021