A great way to spend quality time with your children is to develop a hobby that everyone can take part in. Outdoor activities like nature hiking or gardening are good for kids of all ages, as are indoor activities like painting or baking. Hobbies are not only enjoyable ways to pass the time, they make great teaching opportunities for kids to learn about things like the environment, biology, and basic chemistry.
Nature hiking is a good way to get kids to get more exercise. Armed with some sunscreen, insect repellent, and a guidebook of local plants and animals, you can go for a walk anywhere from a local park to a trail through the woods. Kids love learning about animals and wild plants, and it provides a unique experience to teach kids about the importance of conservation.
Gardening is a great activity for indoors or outdoors. Several seed suppliers and garden shops have kits of easy-to-grow plants specifically for children, which will allow them to succeed at their first green-thumb endeavors. Growing heirloom vegetables is fun for kids, too- they like seeing purple carrots and yellow tomatoes! Like nature hiking, this provides a great opportunity to teach kids about things like a plant’s growth cycle, and how the water, soil, seeds, and sunlight all work together to produce food, and how to be patient while the seeds grow. Best of all, if you choose to grow vegetables, kids can get a lot of satisfaction out of being able to eat what they produce.
Painting is a good activity for anyone of any age. Rolls of butcher paper can be purchased cheaply, and nontoxic finger paints are available that can let any kid old enough not to put paint in their mouths have fun making pictures. This provides a good way to teach kids about colors and shapes, and they can practice mixing up new colors and drawing shapes on their paper.
A lot of kids like helping their parents in the kitchen, so baking (with supervision, of course) is another activity that they will naturally gravitate towards. While most kids won’t be able to do much baking on their own, they can help with mixing, measuring, and adding ingredients to what their parents are making. This gives parents the chance to explain things like basic chemistry, like the processes that let cakes and breads become light and fluffy.
Taking up a hobby is a good way to get kids to be more active and interested in the world around them. Unlike watching TV, making a craft or going on a walk makes them have to think and act, which is much more stimulating to young minds than hours in front of a television. Best of all, hobbies provide teaching moments and bonding experiences between parents and children that things like video games and TV shows just can’t provide.