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How to Help Your Child Expand Their Interests

By: Isabella Carson

Does your child seem to be stuck on a few specific interests and that is all that they talk about? Do they only want to play with certain toys and forget about anything that doesn’t fall under the specific things they are interested in? For my son it is all about Star Wars and the television show Dinosaurs. When kids are young they develop an attachment to certain toys and as they get older don’t realize that there are so many things that they could play with because they are in a comfort zone. There are ways that you can help your child to explore and expand their interests beyond a few specific things.

1. When introducing something new to them try to incorporate their current interests as well. For example if they are extremely focused on cars, try to introduce them to something such as Legos where they can build their own cars and eventually can move on to building houses and towns. They will have an easier transition when they see that they can incorporate their current interest with something new.

2. If your child has trouble moving on to a new activity that is outside of their interest set a timer. Give them 15 good minutes of intense play where you are only focused on that one interest. When the timer is up tell them that it is time to move on to something new. This will help them to learn to transition to other things.

3. Plan out your day and make sure that their interest is included. If they want to sit inside and play with race cars all day they are going to be hesitant to jump into anything else. List out the things that you want to do that day such as go to a movie, go shopping, and play at the park. Make sure to add in time for the race cars and then let them choose the order of the day.

4. Realize that sometimes children are not ready to have multiple interests. Their brains are still growing and it can be hard to get them focused on something else if they are not ready. If you are home-schooling them and they are fixated on one subject try and incorporate it wherever possible in the work that you are doing with them. This will make them more apt to take in the information and want to do the work.

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