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Can you help me brainstorm some ideas that tick all these boxes please?


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My daughter is 12 and really needs activities that:

- use both hands and mind

- are purposeful

- are challenging

- aren't competitive

 

Crochet has been her go-to activity and it has ticked these boxes for a long time. However, the challenge aspect is waning, as she's mastered it now, and even amigurumi projects offer no new challenge. She also does some macrame, but similarly, the mental challenge isn't quite enough. She has her own Etsy shop with crocheted and macrame items, so this helps with the purposeful aspect. I've bought her supplies for tatting, but this hasn't interested her just yet.

It doesn't have to be crafty. She's enjoyed cooking and woodwork in the past, and currently plays two instruments. I've suggested coding and electronics, but this hasn't interested her.

Any ideas would be much appreciated :)

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gardening? Maybe raising some harder to grow plant? 

Bonsai? 

Rube Goldberg machines?

making beeswax figures?

If you are a conservative Christian, the Ruby Doll kit is kinda cute. 

How about baking and cooking? My dd has perfected apple pie. She loves The Great British Baking Show and gets inspired to try new recipes. 

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Felting

Stained Glass designs

Dog agility (there are competitions but it is competitive in a supportive sort of way in my experience. Not sure if that works for you)

Search and Rescue dog training

Raise a guide dog puppy

Furniture refinishing/repurposing

 

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27 minutes ago, chocolate-chip chooky said:

My daughter is 12 and really needs activities that:

- use both hands and mind

- are purposeful

- are challenging

- aren't competitive

 

Crochet has been her go-to activity and it has ticked these boxes for a long time. However, the challenge aspect is waning, as she's mastered it now, and even amigurumi projects offer no new challenge. She also does some macrame, but similarly, the mental challenge isn't quite enough. She has her own Etsy shop with crocheted and macrame items, so this helps with the purposeful aspect. I've bought her supplies for tatting, but this hasn't interested her just yet.

It doesn't have to be crafty. She's enjoyed cooking and woodwork in the past, and currently plays two instruments. I've suggested coding and electronics, but this hasn't interested her.

Any ideas would be much appreciated :)

It's the perfect time for gardening and landscaping.

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9 minutes ago, Ktgrok said:

Using various stamps and tools to put designs into leather, for keychains, purses, wallets, etc. https://steampunk.wonderhowto.com/how-to/quick-and-dirty-beginners-guide-steampunk-leatherworking-part-one-0140075/

Thank you! Looks fabulous.

 

ETA: The word 'steampunk' adds an extra cool factor!

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Now, with the glint of laughter in my eye...

Bed-making.  Handwashing dishes.  Dusting.  Mowing the lawn.  Washing the car.  Digging weeds.  Mopping the floor.  Mulching and raking and hoeing.  Handyman repairs.  Cleaning the pool.  

:0)

ETA:  Folding clothes.  Cleaning out the garage.  Cleaning up your room.  Power-washing.  

 

Edited by Patty Joanna
More ideas.
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1 minute ago, Patty Joanna said:

Beading.  Cross-stitch.  Needlepoint.  Pottery.  Gardening.  Quilting.

It is funny you mentioned the two-handed thing.  Hmmmm.

 

Sorry, I just re-read my original post. My wording wasn't at all clear. I meant that the activity makes use of hands and mind. Not necessarily both hands :)

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1 minute ago, Patty Joanna said:

Now, with the glint of laughter in my eye...

Bed-making.  Handwashing dishes.  Dusting.  Mowing the lawn.  Washing the car.  Digging weeds.  Mopping the floor.  Mulching and raking and hoeing.  Handyman repairs.  Cleaning the pool.  

:0)

Oh yes, these have been suggested in those moments of 'I'm bored!'

:)

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I just finished two Mini Rings of Change blankets. It's a crochet blanket that uses a different stitch type for each round. I found it interesting to work. You can find the pattern free on ravelry. I'm also doing a mystery crochet-a-long for fingerless mitts. Does she know how to knit? I find that more challenging/difficult than crochet. Would she be interested in designing her own patterns?

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44 minutes ago, ashfern said:

I just finished two Mini Rings of Change blankets. It's a crochet blanket that uses a different stitch type for each round. I found it interesting to work. You can find the pattern free on ravelry. I'm also doing a mystery crochet-a-long for fingerless mitts. Does she know how to knit? I find that more challenging/difficult than crochet. Would she be interested in designing her own patterns?

She has knitted in the past, but has found crochet more satisfying because there are so many different stitches.

I think that designing her own patterns is a wonderful idea. She's designed her own amigurumi patterns for some Pokemons before, but she hasn't written anything down, as far as I know. Even trying to design her own new stitches may be good. 

I'm off to look up Mini Rings of Change - thanks for the suggestion!

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21 minutes ago, gardenmom5 said:

piano  (or even a string instrument)

pottery -wheel

art -painting

 

define purposeful

 

She plays piano and cello :)

We haven't done pottery yet, so that is a great idea. Others have suggested that also. The sensory input from a pottery wheel could be perfect or horrid for her. Her sensory sensitivities can go either way. I'll certainly look into it.

Purposeful for her means that there's a real use for the product. She's not keen on fine arts in general, because she struggles to see a purpose for a painting on the wall, for example. I personally think that creating beautiful art for others to enjoy is purposeful, but that's not where she's at at the moment.

Crochet, macrame, sewing, cooking etc etc all have products that are genuinely 'used'.

 

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photography

martial arts

calligraphy

learning to ride a unicycle

She could contact places like dog rescue or the local animal shelter and find out their needs for blankets etc and make those things. 

raising chickens

fencing--although it can be competitive, it doesn't have to be

ballet

swimming

rock climbing

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1 hour ago, Patty Joanna said:

Bed-making.  Handwashing dishes.  Dusting.  Mowing the lawn.  Washing the car.  Digging weeds.  Mopping the floor.  Mulching and raking and hoeing. 

Except some of these are very mindless. I can think of several activities which keep the hands busy and are purposeful, but they are easy to get into a groove and do without thinking. 

Some of my kids listen to audiobooks while they build, sort, or draw. The action with their hands & the involvement of their minds are separated.

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How about quilting? It's a really great hobby with an end product that is very useful. She can quilt for herself, family and friends. When all of those folks have five or six quilts, she can make quilts for Quilts 4 Kids and other charitable organizations.

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Designing a board game

Painting miniatures or board game pieces

Learning magic tricks, face painting, balloon animals (event entertainment for hire!)

Polymer clay canes (beads)

Writing, illustrating, binding children's books, coloring books, comic books...

Decorative wreath making for all kinds of seasons/holidays

Insect collecting, ID, and curation :)

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Here's another suggestion of breadmaking.

You can become very expert at it and it is so practical. There are tomes written on breadmaking that one can dive into if one so desires. There could be a challenge: bake through every recipe in Rose Levy Beranbaum's The Bread Bible (she approaches baking as a scientist and you can learn so much from her).

Emily

ETA: I have two majorly crafty daughters. But there are only so many baskets or crocheted characters or sewn items one can use. Then you make stuff for others, but they already have a lot of stuff. When my younger daughter bakes bread, we design the whole meal around it and everyone looks forward to it. She bakes about 2 loaves a week and makes pizza dough once a week. My nutritionist friend highly recommends baking your own bread as a way to avoid the additives in grocery store bread.

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Knitting? It’s different from crochet but will have a familiar aspect to it. Cables, in particular, are a mental challenge; I’m working on a sweater right now that is going well, but I call it the brain-breaking sweater. 

 

Cooking?  Or baking or cake decorating?

 

My kids, daughter included, get a mental and physical challenge through martial arts. Their style isn’t competitive.

 

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4 hours ago, Ktgrok said:

Cake decorating

origami

leatherworking

dog training

 

 

If she takes up cake decorating and becomes good at it, she could make a business out of it decorating birthday and wedding cakes = purposeful.

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3 hours ago, chocolate-chip chooky said:

She plays piano and cello :)

We haven't done pottery yet, so that is a great idea. Others have suggested that also. The sensory input from a pottery wheel could be perfect or horrid for her. Her sensory sensitivities can go either way. I'll certainly look into it.

Purposeful for her means that there's a real use for the product. She's not keen on fine arts in general, because she struggles to see a purpose for a painting on the wall, for example. I personally think that creating beautiful art for others to enjoy is purposeful, but that's not where she's at at the moment.

Crochet, macrame, sewing, cooking etc etc all have products that are genuinely 'used'.

 

I totally get the useful part.  I love cross-stitching but it makes me frustrated because it’s nit that USEFUL.  Quilting and beading were satisfying for me.  Now I am finding a great deal of satisfaction and intellectual and artistic and other stimulation in photography.  I didn’t mention it when we were talking “both hands” but head-and-hands—it’s git that covered.   

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Jewelry can be fun.  There are a lot of different skills, potentially, you can just stick with simple stuff, but you can also get into casting, soldering, real metal work.  And it makes a nice small business as well.

Would she possibly be interested in something like amateur radio?  There are a lot of elements, you pass the test to get your licence.  Lots of people collect cards from contacts, but they also chat and there is a public safety element to that appeals to the practical focus.  And then some people get into building radios and so on.

Gardening also is a lot of fun.  There are often gardening clubs, or master gardener programs.

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15 hours ago, chocolate-chip chooky said:

She has knitted in the past, but has found crochet more satisfying because there are so many different stitches.

I think that designing her own patterns is a wonderful idea. She's designed her own amigurumi patterns for some Pokemons before, but she hasn't written anything down, as far as I know. Even trying to design her own new stitches may be good. 

I'm off to look up Mini Rings of Change - thanks for the suggestion!

She could do fair isle knitting which is color work. There are also patterns that utilize beads within the knitting. Lace is also more mentally stimulating. All could produce useful items that she could gift or sell.

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Fostering puppies or kittens for the humane society or other rescue

Learn a particular cuisine, then go on to another one. My father-in-law cooked his way through a French cookbook, I think it was Julia Child's. 

Has weaving been suggested?

Make a braided rug.

Pottery

Canning/preserving

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Building a dollhouse, or any type of architectural model, model car, ship, rocket, etc. 

Photography and/or photo editing

Learning a specific type of drawing - architectural drawing, fashion drawing, cartooning, etc. 

Learning to repair a specific item or type of item - one of DS's friends has recently started a business restringing/restoring/repairing baseball gloves and similar sporting equipment, after a year of doing it for free to learn the skills. 

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