Is there a single word for activities which you engage in to keep your curiosity or interest in a certain field alive?

I mean is there some word that conveys the idea that the series of activities was intentionally and purposefully undertaken to stay interested in a certain area.

  • Examples of such activities being...? – RegDwigнt Jan 3 '13 at 21:39
  • @RegDwighт like you do programming to keep up your interests in programming or computer science...:P. I always find something new when I program. – Aman Deep Gautam Jan 3 '13 at 21:48
  • I'm still not following. If I'm not programming, I do not suddenly lose interest in programming or computer science. I kept up my interest in playing the piano, or with LEGO, for fifteen years without a single piano, or LEGO brick, in sight. So again, please explain. – RegDwigнt Jan 3 '13 at 21:55
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    @RegDwighт that is just fine, it is my way to keep my me interested in something to do more of it, gain new perspective about it(this is the most enjoyable part). I never denied the other fact(the one you stated). – Aman Deep Gautam Jan 3 '13 at 22:01
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    Where I live we call it Mental Aerobics ... but that may be very local. – GEdgar Jan 3 '13 at 22:21

I don't think it's at all likely there would be a noun denoting activities pursued in order to maintain one's interest in some particular field (rather than doing things because you're interested in them).

Some useful expressions for explaining that you do engage in such activities include, for example, for interest's sake I buy another Lego kit every so often, just to keep my hand in.


Well if you are doing an activity which is intended to maintain a skill then it can be called an exercise. Your question refers specifically to curiosity and interest (motivation). So in that case I would use the words motivational exercises.


I've used "avocation" to describe that kind of activity or interest. A musician friend of mine likes to say that music is both his vocation and avocation.

Definition from the FreeDictionary.com:

n. 1. An activity taken up in addition to one's regular work or profession, usually for enjoyment; a hobby.

  1. One's regular work or profession.

  2. Archaic A distraction or diversion.


"Practice" should work, though it does require some context to identify what sort of activities you're doing (programming practice, football practice, etc).


I believe there is a good difference between curiosity and interest.

One can do activities to keep one's interest in something alive. But curiosity is something that soon falls off when the related activities continue. So, the whole idea of doing activities to keep your curiosity alive looks unrealistic to me.

I agree with Fumble Fingers and keep my hand in appears to be the closest you can get.

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