buy from a small business
buy from a small business

The holiday season has just started to kick up into full gear, and with it comes the shopping season. Buying gifts for everyone in your circle can be stressful during any year, but 2020, in particular, is promising to be a bit frenzied. A lot of businesses have undergone an unusual amount of economic stress due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which means that they’ll all be competing for your dollars. This in itself isn’t necessarily a bad thing for you; there will be a lot of great deals available this year! But it can make deciding where to shop a bit more difficult.

Furthermore, due to social distancing restrictions and safety concerns in general, you probably won’t want to visit any of the typical big box stores in person. This will have you shopping online, which has its pros and cons. Shopping online is convenient and certainly more straightforward than going through the maze of aisles in a big store, you may also feel like you’re missing out on the personal aspects of gift-giving this year. However, you don’t have to. When you buy from a small business rather than a big corporation, even if you’re buying online, you’re not only able to access a lot of unique gifts for your loved ones, but benefitting a business owner who may be struggling this year.

A lot of entrepreneurs planned on starting a new business this year without having any idea of what would happen. You could be prepared for virtually any eventuality as a business owner, but predicting a global pandemic that would have a lot of people out of work and even more staying home would have been virtually impossible. The small businesses that have made it through to the end of the year are now going up against major competitors this holiday season. When choosing to buy from a small business, you’re not only making a more ethical decision but potentially buying smarter.

Small businesses are known for offering a more unique selection of products than those featured in major big box chains, though they also often sell more mainstream products and brands as well. You’ll often receive a more individualized treatment from a small business, and quite often the products are more high quality as well. If you’re interested in a personalized gift, it’s easier to buy that from a small business than a big one. Those that want to give more unique gifts this year may be better off choosing to buy from a small business, of which there are 30.2 million in the United States alone, than a big one.

But unique gifts come in many different shapes and sizes. Some individuals prefer that donations are made in their names rather than receiving traditional gifts. You could not only buy from a small business but help them out in other ways that such gift recipients might appreciate. Donating to a small business is certainly an option, as is donating to charitable organizations. Let’s delve into how you can find great gifts through small businesses, and how you can explore alternative gift-giving options like donations.

How Do I Shop Around Small Businesses Before Buying?

One of the main concerns that shoppers often have before buying from small businesses is whether or not the small businesses they’re considering are reputable. Not every small business is necessarily trustworthy, and not due to any ill intent on the part of the people running the business. Some small businesses just aren’t ready to fully operate, and certainly not ready to undertake the influx of orders that can arise over the holidays. You don’t necessarily want to be among a business’s first 10 orders when you’re shopping for a Christmas gift. By all means, you should still buy from a small business. You just need to do your research before committing to a small business.

If you’re really beginning your shopping trip online for the first time, you may want to look at bigger websites that facilitate small businesses, rather than simply using a search engine to find a small business at large. For example, Etsy is a great option that hosts artisans and small business owners who sell their works online. Etsy is reputable, which means that you can feel more comfortable buying from a small business on that platform than a lesser known website. You can at the very least be sure that your payment information is secure and not accessible to the small business owners themselves. Furthermore, Etsy has a rating and review system. That way, you can use these ratings and reviews as a kind of guide for choosing a shop. If a shop doesn’t have many ratings, it probably hasn’t been in business very long and therefore might not be the best place for you to buy whimsical artwork or other such products.

Furthermore, there is a lot to choose from on this type of platform. You can buy brand new products or vintage or antique products. A lot of people who prefer more unique or eclectic gifts like the idea of receiving something pre-used. They enjoy the history of pre-owned products and the fact that these types of gifts are more sustainable and in a sense recyclable. Buying from an antique or vintage clothing store is still choosing to buy from a small business. So, when you’re considering buying from a fashion shop, why not see if you can find what you want to gift through an online vintage clothing store? You may very well be able to offer a nicer gift that was bought secondhand due to the discounts that tend to accompany these types of products. If you’d really like to support some of these sustainable small businesses that offer secondhand items, you may even want to donate some of these types of items to them. Donating such items is a great way to support small businesses.

What Are Some Great Gifts To Source from Small Businesses?

There are a lot of things that you can buy from a small business; not just products, either, but services as well. Like we mentioned earlier, it’s often easier to find unique gift ideas when shopping from small businesses. Why not explore some of these ideas?

If you’re really interested in the idea of offering something different from the typical appliances for foodies, you may want to consider hand-crafted wooden cooking tools. Old school cookware is still available, but often more from small businesses like Old World Kitchen versus big ones. These are usually crafted with traditions in mind, making the products hardier and certainly more unique than what you might find in the aisles of a major grocery store. Unique, hand-crafted ceramic products like salt and pepper shakers could also be a good idea, as would cookbooks made up of family recipes from around the world.

You may also want to think about the types of gifts that can be facilitated through virtual platforms. A lot of small business owners who’d usually offer in-person classes or sessions are struggling right now. But their services can frequently be offered on a virtual level. If someone you love is trying to start off the new year on the right foot, think about giving a gift certificate for a personal trainer‘s virtual sessions like those offered at BodyLove Pilates. On the other hand, those foodies we mentioned above may appreciate a virtual cooking class, similar to those offered by Nonna Live. These types of virtual classes offer resources for people who want to remain connected to the outside world while at the same time social distancing.

There are also practical gifts to consider. There is always someone in the family who asks for things that they need, rather than things that you’d think they would want. You can still honor their wishes while giving a comfortable spin on the product. For example, the electricians in your family, whether they work at home on their own projects or professionally, may appreciate a well-crafted denim or leather bag for their tool kits. Similar products are available for plumbers, as well as people who just want to handle their renovations on their own.

Speaking of working on your own, there are plenty of small businesses that cater to those who have crafting on the brain. You may want to buy your crafty loved ones clothing patterns like those from the Friday Pattern Company that they can work on at home. If they love vintage clothing, some vintage stores even offer old-fashioned clothing patterns that have been preserved for decades. The thrill of this kind of gift is that it allowed your loved one to make authentic clothes. If you know an artist, you may want to consider buying them handcrafted brushes and tools like those found at Martha Mae, which often last longer than those that are mass-produced. On a simple level, yarn and knitting supplies are often appreciated, especially around the holidays. The Knitting Tree, LA is a small business from which they can buy all their knitting supplies!

Of course, you may very well want to offer a gift to those in your life who may want to be entrepreneurs someday as well. What better time to buy from a small business than when you’re attempting to shop for the future small business owner that you know personally? Sustainable wooden desks like those found at small business Masaya are certain great gifts for those who are trying to brainstorm their business ideas. And if they’re really staying up late trying to get their plans off the ground, a heated coffee mug could be a great gift as well. You may also want to give a donation to a young small business owner if any of your loved ones count themselves among that bracket. That’s an amazing gift that literally keeps giving. Imagine choosing to someday buy from a small business that you helped grow!

How Can I Give Back With My Gift?

How do you shop for the person who just really wants to give back? A lot of that will depend on their own charitable interests, of course. Not everyone wants to support the same causes. Now, there are a lot of ethically-minded small businesses that focus on giving back through their products. You could buy a gift from a business that offers a certain amount of its proceeds to charity or helps people in need by offering them jobs.

For example, you may want to consider ethically produced clothing. Nisolo produced ethical footwear, socks, and accessories. The big concern with clothing, in general, is that, when it is mass-produced, it may be created through the use of sweatshops or labor that is otherwise unethically sourced. Working with small businesses like this one allows you to buy great products while knowing that they were created ethically. In a similar fashion, small business ART ARK offers ethically-sourced Australian Aboriginal artwork. This business allows the Australian Aboriginal community to continue their artistic traditions while being able to benefit from it on a financial level.

Of course, you may also want to jump straight to donating to charitable organizations rather than choosing to buy from a small business that is ethical or charitable. This can be a great option too! Immediately, you may want to consider donating to your local SPCA. SPCA donors are often gifted with a photo of an animal that they helped, or something like a bag or t-shirt. You can offer this as a gift so that the recipient can know that you donated in their name.

Other great options include your local women’s shelter or homeless shelter. A lot of these types of organizations work to not only help people in the present but enable them to live happier and more productive lives in the future. They may offer career counseling services or even professional alcohol interventions for those struggling with substance abuse. But it’s difficult to do so without charitable donations.

Bigger organizations that help the global community are great options as well. Heifer International helps struggling families in rural areas across the world by donating livestock; donors can also fund a girl’s education. The World Wildlife Fund helps protect endangered animals across the globe as well. The International Rescue Committee uses donations to supply refugee camps for people who’ve had to leave their homes.

There are so many options for you to choose from as you buy gifts. So whether you choose to buy from a small business, donate to help a small business grow, or donate to a charitable organization, prioritize thinking about how your gifts can give in more ways than just one this year.


If you ever happen to find yourself in a situation where you’re in jail or you need to help a family member or friend get bailed out of jail, it’s important to remember that getting bailed out is a viable option. While it’s true that bail can sometimes be very high, fully trusting a person will show up to their court date is essential before you make the decision to help them out.

If you need bail bonds explained, here is the nitty-gritty: a bail bond is an avenue for a defendant to pay bail. In legal proceedings, bail is an amount of money determined by a court that a defendant must pay to be released from custody before a trial. It’s important to note that bail is not a fine, nor is it a punishment. It’s very simply a way for a person to not have to stay in jail before their time in court.

In some cases, defendants have the option of paying the full bail amount, assuming of course that the bond amount is small. In cases like these, defendants can use a credit card to pay their bail amounts.

If a bail amount is too large, defendants also have the option of working with a bail bond company. Many times, this is a more viable option because defendants only have to pay a part of the bond upfront. In cases like this, friends or relatives of a defendant. The important thing to remember when working with bail bondsman services is that a bondsman writes up a contract that makes the defendant responsible for showing up in court. If a defendant fails to do so, the defendant is responsible for the full bail amount.

How Do Bail Bonds Work?

If you need bail bonds explained, you also need to know how bail bonds are supposed to work. Firstly, you need to know that the right to bail is provided by the U.S. Constitution. In fact, the Eighth Amendment provides defendants with the right to reasonable bail and protection against cruel and unusual punishment.

People can get arrested at any time, day or night. Thankfully, most bail bond agencies are open 24/7, so any defendant needing to post bail doesn’t have to wait. Essentially, a contract is drawn up between a bondsman and a defendant. The contract spells out that the defendant understands they agree with the amount of bail they’re posting is a means to ensure they will show up for their court proceedings. The contract also spells out any fees involved, as well as if a defendant has to put some form of collateral.

bail bonds

Another key point of having bail bonds explained is understanding that if a defendant fails to show up in court, the bail agent will be responsible for paying the full bail amount to the court. In cases where a defendant may try to evade authorities, a bail agent will most often hire a bounty hunter to track a defendant down.

Understanding Bail Hearings

At bail hearings, a court sets a bail amount. The amount of bail is determined by the details of a case and the nature of the crimes involved. The hearing is typically the first appearance by a defendant after an arrest and the judge takes into account the nature of the crime as well as a defendant’s history and character. If a defendant has criminal defense attorneys, this is their opportunity to discuss different bail factors and they may even be able to have a bail amount lowered by talking to a judge.

Bail Bond Amounts

As you have bail bonds explained, one question you probably have is how much bail bonds are. That really depends on where you’re at. Different states have maximum fees that bail bonds services have to follow. Those fees also depend on the situation involved in an arrest. This affects the amount of risk that a bail bond agency takes on, in much the same way an insurance company takes on risk when insuring a car or a house.

Since there is a risk, bail agents often require collateral or anything of value that the person who hires a bail agent owns. This includes homes and cars.


While bail is a serious matter, there are many advantages to using bail services and reaching out to bail agents for help with bail bonds:

  • By working with a bail bond agency, a defendant can shift their attention from a court appearance to other things. With that peace of mind, a defendant can spend time meeting with their lawyers and focus on day-to-day priorities.
  • Posting bail also gives a defendant the chance to keep working and earning a living before their court date.
  • Posting bail also gives a defendant time to plan for the future. Depending on the nature of the crime committed, a defendant may need time to get their affairs in order and bail allows them to do that.

Different Bail Laws

As you have bail bonds explained, it’s also important to note that there are many different state laws regarding bail. Many states such as Wisconsin, Illinois, Maine have alternative bail systems in place. Some of the different bail laws include:

state laws


In Nebraska, a jail takes on the role of a bail bond agency. When bail is set, a defendant has the option of paying a 10% non-refundable fee of the amount of the bail. That fee is then sent to the jail. Prior to a trial, the state will sometimes also monitor a defendant, especially if there’s reason to believe they won’t show up in court.


There are many different bail laws by state, but Illinois has by far one of the strictest systems against private bail agents in place. In Illinois, bail bond agents are banned and an auto accident attorney or another type of criminal defense lawyer can’t post bail for a defendant. Any money paid for release prior to a trial is given to a circuit court clerk and the amount is 10% paid in states like Nebraska.


Kentucky was actually the first state to ban commercial bail, but defendants still have several options for securing a pre-trial release. Defendants can put up in-state property that’s equal to twice the amount of the bail, so if the bail is $50,000, the property put up must be at least $100,000. If someone misses a court date, the state then puts a lien on that piece of property.

Other options include a family member paying the full amount of the bail; usually in cases where the bail is small. Yet another option is paying the 10% amount, which is paid directly to court.


In Maine, a bail commissioner determines a defendant’s bail. That amount can later be forfeited if the defendant fails to appear in court. Another difference in Maine is that if a defendant makes all their court dates, they don’t have to pay a dime for pretrial release. The only exceptions are cases involving assault, such as felony assault and sexual assault. Maine allows defendants to put up in-state property for release. This is what’s called a surety bond.


In Georgia, state courts work together with bail bondsmen and those in the commercial bail bonds industry to manage and enforce the state bail system.


Bail bonding in Oregon is essentially the same as it is in Nebraska, where the state takes on the role of the bail bondsman. The biggest difference is that if a defendant makes their scheduled court dates, then at least 80% of their pretrial release fee is returned. The remainder typically goes toward covering different court costs.


There’s no commercial bail bond industry in Wisconsin, but the 10% of the total bail amount option exists and can be put up by friends or family.


As you have bail bonds explained and different bail laws by state, you’ll learn that Massachusetts has perhaps some of the most unique laws. In Massachusetts, magistrates oversee a defendant’s first appearance in court. If a person is found to be releasable, they pay a $40 court fee. In other cases, a person may be released simply on their own recognizance.

What If You Can’t Pay Bail

Although it is helpful to have bail bonds available as an option for bail, there are times when a bail amount may just be too much. In many cases, folks have been in jail for months or years because they haven’t been able to make bail. As you have bail bonds explained, you’ll come to find out that, in many cases, a bail amount is based on precedent. In minor cases, bail might be as little as $1,000. For more serious crimes, bail might be $100,000 or higher.

bail bonds

A defendant that isn’t able to pay bail still has several options on the table:

Using Collateral

As you have read and had bail laws and bail bonds explained, you’ve learned that many states allow a defendant to put up collateral for release. It doesn’t always have to be a piece of property. It can be other items of high value such as cars or jewelry. Putting up collateral allows defendants to secure a bail bond, without feeling pressure to start selling their valuables.

Trying To Get A Lower Bail

In some cases, a defendant can try and request a lower bail amount through their legal representation such as lawyers or criminal defense attorneys. In some cases, a court may rule that a bail amount imposes unnecessary economic hardship on someone. In other cases, a bail amount may just be deemed too excessive. In many cases, a defendant’s legal representation will make a request for lower bail prior to a hearing.

Going To Jail

In some instances, when someone has committed a crime, posting bail doesn’t automatically guarantee that a defendant will avoid going to jail. If a defendant has committed a serious crime, such as vehicular manslaughter, or is a repeat offender of the law, a court may decide against bail and in favor of jail time.

But going to jail also doesn’t mean someone will stay there forever. In fact, it may offer a chance for someone to be released before the end of their sentence. As an example, if a defendant is arrested and then jailed on drug charges, it may be determined that the best option for them is to get help elsewhere. Rather than being in jail, a defendant may be released to a treatment center. A criminal lawyer may also vouch for their client to be placed under house arrest or be admitted to a halfway house, so they can have some normalcy in life.


As you have had bail bonds explained, you’ve learned about what bail bonds are and how they work. You’ve also learned that there are different types of bail bonds, including cash bonds, which must be paid in cash only and result in a warrant being issued if a defendant doesn’t show up in court; citation releases such as traffic violation bail bonds, where an arresting officer gives a defendant a citation, informing of them of when they need to show up in court; and immigration bonds, which are issued if someone is arrested as an illegal immigrant.

As you’ve had bail bonds explained, you’ve also learned that different states have different bail laws. These laws are designed to help the defendant stay out of jail by offering different payment options. Whether a defendant or their family pays 10% of a bail amount, collateral is used to secure release, or a bail amount is lowered so that it can be paid in full, there are all kinds of options for a defendant. If you find yourself in a situation where you need to post bail, the best thing you can do is familiarize yourself with your state’s laws, so you can plan for the future.

What do kids do for fun? Or perhaps more specifically, what do your kids like to do for fun? And most important of all — how can you be involved as a parent or guardian, without coming off as cringy, over-protective, or annoying?

Kids today are more complicated than ever before. They aren’t just playing with dolls and action figures now — countless TV shows, video games, apps, and gadgets constantly compete for young people’s attention. Never mind the more traditional pastimes like school activities, organized sports, teen hangout spots, and young adult books. When you ask yourself, what do kids do for fun? Chances are the answers you come up with seem a bit bewildering.

What Do Kids Do for Fun?

Being an involved parent can be legitimately confusing. But it doesn’t have to be: with patience and the right approach, you can develop bonds with your children by having fun with them that will last a lifetime. Whether your kids are using vape pens or not yet old enough to drive, keep reading to discover what do kids do for fun — and how you can be involved.

Learn to Communicate Effectively

Good relationships are built on a foundation of good communication, and that applies whether we’re talking about a romantic relationship, relationships at work, or relationships with your kids. Before you can effectively discover what do kids do for fun, the first important step is to learn effective communication.

Don’t worry: you don’t have to take a class on psychology or read a bunch of heavy books. Although there’s an endless amount of information you can learn about how kids think, feel, and communicate, effective communication with anyone generally comes down to the following steps:

  1. Be patient. Some parents want a sort of “fast food” relationship with their kids: touch base, move on, and still feel like they have a good connection with their kids. That’s not how good communication works with anyone. To follow any of the other steps here — never mind the other tips in this article — you must approach your kids with the intention of taking time to get to know them, and on their terms.
  2. Don’t judge anything. Let’s face it: kids are silly. Sometimes the things they think and do are downright outrageous, and it’s tempting to tell them so. But to build a good relationship with them, you must resist this temptation. Relationships are built on trust, and if you regularly contradict or make fun of your child, they won’t feel like they can trust you with their thoughts and feelings. Approach every conversation from a place of total openness, and only offer advice once you’ve heard them out.
  3. Listen first. You may have to talk to get the conversation started, but try to avoid talking the whole time. If they don’t seem interested in replying, maybe now isn’t a good time for them, or maybe there’s something bothering them at the moment. Either way, carrying on one-sided small talk won’t likely get you anywhere, and neither will hogging the conversation in general. Deep listening is essential to meaningful conversation.
  4. Validate their feelings. This follows what we said about not judging. As parents, we see the world from a different point of view than our kids, and it’s easy to downplay things that, to them, seem like serious problems. You don’t have to pretend something trivial is actually as serious as they think it is, of course. But remember to honor their feelings, and avoid implying that their concern is unwarranted about things they get upset about.
  5. Give genuine praise. Last on our list, it’s important to praise your kids on jobs well done, and valuable qualities they possess. You don’t have to wait for them to do something great in school to praise them: simply acknowledging that they have a big heart or that they’re really skilled at something they enjoy will make their day. Just make sure your praise is genuine. Children are really good at recognizing flattery, and they won’t be inclined to respect you if they feel like your praise is halfhearted or inauthentic.

Of course, these tips barely scratch the surface when it comes to communicating and interacting with children. But if you keep these things in mind as you learn what do kids do for fun, you’ll be miles ahead of most parents.

Find Hobbies to Enjoy Together

What do kids do for fun? Just about anything that interests them, and you’d be surprised how diverse and varied kids’ interests can be. From learning about the different breeds of dogs and how to train them to fashion and jewelry design, children and teenagers can show impressive talent in unexpected areas.

Of course, when it comes to interests and hobbies, kids don’t often take after their parents. In fact, children might specifically approach hobbies and pastimes that you can’t understand or wouldn’t appreciate, just to differentiate themselves from you. If your kids seem interested in everything except things you find interesting, keep in mind that this is almost definitely not something they do to spite you. They probably don’t even do it on purpose. Subconsciously, children feel the need to differentiate themselves from their parents. It’s just a matter of finding their own identity, and it isn’t personal. So if your child is obsessed with some techy, modern pastime like video gaming or social media curating, try not to dismiss it as something unimportant. If it brings them joy, it’s just as legitimate as playing tennis or chess. Many people even develop lucrative careers that started as a fascination with computers, software, and games.

Of course, you’ll still want to be able to connect with your children over activities. If you just can’t seem to wrap your head around activities your kids already enjoy, or if having you around seems to spoil the fun for them, you might want to take up a new hobby to pursue yourself that you can involve them in. Depending on your child’s age and existing interests, you should be able to come up with something to do that they might display a passing interest in, and they might join in the fun when invited.

Collections of any kind can be fun hobbies to pursue. If your child is down-to-earth, takes life slow, and enjoys aesthetic experiences or design, they might enjoy helping you collect things like stamps, old books, or certain toys. If your child is a little too hyper to be entertained by such simple things, collecting things of value, like rare coins, could still be exciting to them.

If you have older children who like activity and always have energy to burn, taking them with you to the gym would be a fun and healthy habit to form together. Your kids might also be interested in watching or playing a specific sport with you. At the other end of the spectrum, cooking creative dishes and delicious pastries can grab just about anyone’s interest, especially if they have a sweet tooth.

Whatever their hobbies, there’s bound to be a great way to connect with your kids over shared interests. They may be a long way away from needing professional art collection management, but everything impressive and significant has to start somewhere. The hobby you start with your kids today could turn into a lifelong interest for them, or even a family business.

Take Everyone Outside

If you’re a progressive parent, you know there’s nothing wrong with being a serious computer gamer or a master of specific software programs. Technology is an integral part of our evolving world, and it’s perfectly acceptable for your kids to gravitate towards this space of new and exciting developments.

However, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know that too much technology for too long can have negative side-effects. From screens causing eye strain to anxiety-inducing social media to literal internet addictions, technology can be a curse as well as a blessing. For a holistically-healthy, balanced lifestyle, it’s more important than ever to get outside and enjoy the great outdoors.

Of course, when it comes to the question “what do kids do for fun?” going hiking or camping probably doesn’t seem like an obvious answer. But that’s actually a common misconception. According to the 2017 North American Camping Report, children ages 13 to 17 show significant interest in camping. In fact, 71% of children said they’d still want to go camping, even if they weren’t allowed to have their phone or computer with them to stay in touch with anyone. So much for the idea that kids only care about their devices!

But not all outdoor activities are created equal, even if they are equally healthy. After all, getting your kids to help you with a dock building project might seem obvious if you’re good at building things, but to them, it might be the most boring thing imaginable. To really kindle an interest in the outdoors, it’s important to come up with activities that they’ll actually want to do. Hopefully, they’ll take these activities, and the memories they developed with you, well on into their adulthood.

One way to help build a habit of going outside every year is to establish a family tradition. Say, going camping in the Smoky Mountains or some other wilderness every summer. Because it’s something you’ve decided to do every year, your child will know to expect it and prepare for it, even if only subconsciously, so they might experience less resistance to it when it comes time for your adventure.

Once again, it’s a good idea to ask yourself what do kids do for fun. What do your children already show an interest in that you could take outdoors? Chances are they’re already passionate about soccer or swimming, which are both incredibly fun and very health-promoting activities. It doesn’t have to be complicated. Simply buying a few pairs of running shoes online and going jogging each morning would be a great way to spend time together while you get some fresh air.

Take an Interest in Your Kids’ Skills and Pastimes

Throughout this article, we’ve touched on the importance of taking an interest in what your kids already like and enjoy. Supporting your child’s interests is critical for their self-esteem and healthy development. When they grow up, you’ll want them to choose jobs and career paths that are right for them. That starts while they’re still young, when they get to explore different hobbies and career ideas. A teenager who falls in love with something like web development in high school shouldn’t have much difficulty finding a job as an adult.

That doesn’t mean your children have to be interested in something that could become a job or business. For one thing, no one can definitively say what skills can truly be used to earn money. You wouldn’t think of surfing or operating pontoon boats as being lucrative skills, but if you apply that knowledge to a field like tourism, you can make more money than you ever would behind a desk. However, and more importantly, your focus, for now, should still be on having fun with your children. As long as they’re performing reasonably well in school, they shouldn’t have to worry about things like money and a career just yet. As we said, now is a time for exploring what they like and learning about different options.

Whatever your child’s interests are, a good way to start taking an interest in them is to pay attention to your child during day to day conversation. Notice what topics of conversation really seem to light up their eyes; what things make them laugh or smile; and what they can’t seem to stop talking about once they start. As you pick up on visual cues like this, you can ask them to tell you more about what they think about specific subjects and ideas. They will be thrilled that you want to know how they feel about something that’s significant to them.

Next, find ways to help your child experience things they take an interest in. If your child suddenly becomes fascinating by the art of floral arrangement, consider getting a bunch of flowers at a floral shop and let them experiment with different placements, patterns, and combinations. Having direct experience with things that interest them like this is important for helping them discover what they really like, and it also keeps their minds stimulated and engaged. If they lose interest after trying out something new, that’s okay — the idea is to experience different things, anyway. Eventually, something will stick, and later they’ll be incredibly grateful to you for supporting them through their crazy discovery phase.

Finally, to answer the question, what do kids do for fun? It’s best to just ask them. It’s great to make suggestions about things to do too, but the first step to developing a real connection with anyone is to actively listen. Whether your kids are really into sports or social media or something else entirely, the next time you find yourself wondering what do kids do for fun, come back to this article for inspiration. Then go out and have some quality fun with your family!