Children usually give clues regarding their interests through their choices in play.

By simply observing them, you can find out a lot of information about their individual preferences and interests.

You can also find out about a child's interests by:

  • Listening
  • Discussing/talking
  • Questioning/asking
  • Body language
  • Negotiations

When asking questions to your children, you can structure questions to encourage them to express their ideas and to consider new ideas.

Sometimes it can be obvious to know what interests children, at other times more investigation, time and encouragement may be needed.

You should ensure there is time and opportunity for this by planning different forms of creative exploration and expression, such as

  • Drama
  • Arts and crafts
  • Painting and dancing

It is important for you to give children time to express their thoughts, then validate those thoughts and act upon their interests for further encouraging their development and fostering their self-esteem.

Engage in discussions with your child and observe them closely that can help you to identify what your child likes and dislikes.

Some common dislikes of children include:

  • Having their hair brushed
  • Taking a bath
  • Packing away toys
  • Eating vegetables and healthy foods
  • Attending school
  • Sharing with others

Some popular hobbies/likes of children include:

  • Cricket
  • Shopping
  • Reading
  • Gardening
  • Football
  • Cooking
  • Computer games
  • Dancing

When discussing likes and dislikes with children, you can share information about yourself first to help encourage the child to feel comfortable in talking about things they like or dislike.

For example:

'I really like going to the doctors because when I am sick, they give me medicines. How about you?'

Discussions about likes and dislikes or similarities and differences can be helpful as children learn to cope with situations that they don't like.

It is also important to remember that you must respect children's differences, and not all children like to talk openly regarding their feelings or inner thoughts.


Collaborating with children about their interests[Internet]. Available at: Accessed on Mar 30, 2020.