Welcome to the April 2014 Carnival of Natural Parenting: Parenting Fears
This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama. This month our participants have shared stories and wisdom about family pastimes.
I grew up in a household of hobbyists. My dad is a fisherman, a hunter, and skilled cribbage player, chef, gardener, and bowler. My mom is an avid reader, pianist, flutist, singer, sewer, cross-stitcher, macramé creator, Ikebana flower arranger, Haiku writer, and so much more. I vacillated between all of my parents’ hobbies as I truly loved everything they did in addition to taking up my own hobbies like Karate, dance, playing keyboard, painting, and writing. As a family, we loved to all get together and work on challenging puzzles.
While I have retained many of the interests/hobbies I had as a child, I also found myself stepping back from some and exploring new ones after I became a mother. This is mostly due to time, money, and the age of my daughter. It is also due to the interests of (or lack thereof) Rasta Daddy. Sometimes it is tough to maintain a hobby when your partner has zero enthusiasm for or interest in it.
So I got to thinking. What hobbies can families do together, especially when you have children under the age of 7 or thereabouts. The world of hobbies seems to open right up as your children get older but really, you are not as limited as you might think even with young children.
After a good late night brainstorming session with myself, I came up with a pretty good list, or at least I think so!
10 Hobbies For Families With Young Children
1. Gardening! My favorite family hobby. Kids love dirt. There is lots of dirty fun to be had in gardening. You get to connect with the earth and watch the fruits of your labor as they blossom, grown, and eventually end up as food on your plate. Gardening is such a wonderful experience for children as they not only learn about where food comes from but they develop an appreciation for all the work it takes to bring food to the family table. It is also a great way to blow off steam. Nothing like digging to release energy!
2. Make music together! Who cares if you actually know how to play an instrument. Learn as a family or have each family member pick a different instrument to play. There are actual music classes designed with this idea in mind.
3. Collect together! My mom and I used to go to antique stores. She collected antique boxes from Japan and I collected vintage photos. Even though our collections were different, we were scouting out cool additions to our collections together. There are also lots of collections that can be turned into more than just a family hobby. They can also serve as fodder for at-home education. Stamps and coins have lots of potential for discussions about history, geography, and math. Rocks and shells are another wonderful tool for furthering studies in geology and oceanography. In addition to opening up discussions with an educational focus, collecting also develops certain skills related to sorting and classifying.
4. Take up photography. Even the littlest member of your family can help take photos. Babies who can hold objects can hold a play camera and mimic picture taking. It doesn’t take long until they are actually able to take pictures. Some of my favorite photos are through the eyes of my daughter as she snapped random shots of our normal day. Photography brings about an awareness of the world around you and can be lots of fun for everyone. Comparing photos and seeing how the same shot taken by different people turned out is pretty cool.
5. Explore nature. I have yet to meet a young child who isn’t thrilled with getting out in nature. No matter where you live, there are at least one or two places you can go to get out in nature. Be it hiking, a long walk, discovering plant life, bird watching, or simply just breathing in fresh air, getting out into nature together as a family can be a beautiful thing. Each adventure will be different. Even brand new babies will enjoy getting outside in a sling or baby carrier.
6. Get moving! Exercise! Bike riding, horseback riding, swimming, and the like are all family friendly activities. Whether your child goes along for the ride of is an active participant, there is always a physical activity that families can do together.
7. Volunteer! Not only does this instill some very important values in children, but it serves a need as well. Some of our families best memories center on helping others.
8. Geocaching. This is a pretty fun GPS based treasure hunt that the entire family can get involved in at different levels.
9. Scrapbooking. What a great way to share memories while making new ones in the process. Young children love to hear stories about themselves as well as their family. Putting stories together through scrapbooking is a great way to bring a family together.
10. Building model trains, airplanes, and automobiles. While I am not into this myself, Rasta Daddy loves trains. We have a very small train set that he hopes to expand as a family. And I will admit, it is kind of fun to go to the model train store and see all the cool miniatures. Children of all ages certainly would enjoy seeing the fruits of their labor grow over time.
Does your family have any hobbies that everyone enjoys equally? Any tips on involving young children in an existing family hobby? How do you find one you all love?
Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:
- 8 Reasons to Go Camping with Your Kids — The weather is warmer, and it is time to think about taking a break. As you plan your family vacation, Mandy of Living Peacefully with Children, guest posting at Natural Parents Network, explains why you should consider hitting the trails with your kids.
- Crafty Cohorts — Kellie at Our Mindful Life enjoys crafting with her kids, and the skills they are learning.
- 10 Hobbies For Families With Young Children — Jennifer at Hybrid Rasta Mama knows that finding hobbies families can do together (with young children in tow) isn’t always the easiest of feats. She has compiled a list of 10 family friendly hobbies that children of all ages can enjoy and that won’t break the bank!
- Helping Himawari — Sophelia’s family at Sophelia’s Adventures in Japan share a passion for helping when a dog is abandoned at the nearby elementary school.
- The ‘Art’ of Having Fun — Marija Smits shares some thoughts on family art and fun.
- How we made our own Family Day — Lauren at Hobo Mama shares how her family celebrates the best day of the week, a chance for connection and adventure and endless possibilities: Family Day!
- Our Family Hobby — Survivor talks about how animal husbandry has become her family’s favorite hobby at Surviving Mexico Adventures and Disasters.
- Sowing the Seeds of Passions — Christy at Eco Journey In The Burbs wonders if her interests, and her husband’s, will shape her children’s passions as they mature.
- Harry Potter Potions Party — One of the best activities Dionna at Code Name: Mama has ever done with her family has been a Harry Potter Potions Party. She is sharing the resources she used to create their potion recipes, the ingredients and tools they experimented with, and the recipes themselves. Feel free to use and adapt for your own budding wizards and witches!
- Pastimes Have Passed Me By — Kati at The Best Things takes a new perspective on projects that never get done.
- Food as a cultural experience for preschoolers — Nathalie at Kampuchea Crossings finds that food is a good way to engage her preschoolers on a journey of cultural discovery.
- 10 Reasons I Love Thrifting With My Children — That Mama Gretchen has always enjoyed shopping, but with a growing family she’s become more frugal and thus, her little ones are now in tow on her thrift store adventures.
- Pastime with Family vs Family Pastime — You can share lots of pastimes with your family, but Jorje of Momma Jorje discovered a family pastime was much more pleasant for sharing.