Many families want ways to stay active, learn something new and have fun together. Hobbies for the whole family is one way to do that. Here are some ideas:
1. Learn a new language.
Learning new languages is beneficial to both new and aging brains. Your children might catch on quicker but practicing as a family will be helpful for all of you.
2. Try Origami.
This is getting more popular every year, and is fairly easy and inexpensive. All you need is some blank sheets of paper and online tutorials to get started. KidzToPros even has origami programs for your kids this summer!
3. Make up your own quizzes.
This is one of those hobbies for the whole family that you can do on Family Night each week. Create quizzes based on fun interests such as:
- current events
- pop culture
- favorite movies
4. Practice painting.
Bringing the arts into your home is a great benefit, especially to growing children. You all can paint blank canvases together with some recycled brushes and basic paints, easily creating masterpieces you can later frame for in-home decoration.
5. Watch birds or nature.
Not only is one of these hobbies for the whole family, it’s also a great way to get some exercise without realizing it. Just grab a pair of binoculars and go for a walk in your neighborhood, on a local trail or around the nearest park. Many areas are home to specific birds and gentle wildlife. Learn what to look for before you head out and then see who can spot the animals first.
6. Collect gemstones.
Local arts and crafts stores, or online sites, have gemstone charts for new collectors. These are decorative stones, colorful and pretty, to add to your home’s décor. They’re also fun to look for while you’re traveling with the kids.
7. Knit or crochet.
Creating hats, mittens, or decorative items around the house is the end result but knitting or crocheting have other benefits. For example, older kids or teenagers might be more open to talking while keeping their hands busy. This activity also reduces stress and anxiety.
8. Spend time scrapbooking.
Looking at pictures of happy times with the family has been known to induce joy and sustained periods of happiness. You can spend time together reminiscing while creating something to last for generations.
9. Try yoga.
Another hobby that’s also a way to stay fit in the new year. Yoga encourages mindfulness. It’s also calming, especially for anyone who enjoys taking time to master poses and increase flexibility. Many families also incorporate meditation and vegetarian cooking for healthier living as a whole.
10. Make some magic.
Thank goodness for the internet, you don’t need to find a magic school these days to become an amateur magician. Put on family magic shows after quick tutorials or magic kits with some basic supplies.
11. Get in the kitchen.
Preparing meals is something parents and children have been doing for centuries. Benefits include taking the pressure off one parent and encouraging independence in children. They’ll also improve reading and math skills, as well as following instructions. You can also better encourage healthy eating when children understand more about ingredients and the deliciousness of less processed foods.
12. Grow a garden.
If you have some space, either inside or outside, consider starting a family garden. Herbs like basil, mint, oregano or parsley are good starters for inside. Outside can support veggies and fruits like tomatoes, cucumbers or strawberries. Research your weather and climate for specific ideas and get started. There’s a great feeling of accomplishment when you eat food you’ve grown together. Like cooking, gardening also helps kids with math, reading and science skills.
It may sound silly, but one of the best hobbies for the whole family can easily lead to lifestyle changes and improvements. Create separate bins for everything that can be recycled in your area. This might include aluminum, plastic, glass and paper. You can kick it up a notch by learning to compost as well. More awareness helps kids understand the benefit of reducing and reusing, which helps the whole planet.
Paired with recycling, this really drives home the lesson “think globally, act locally.” Collect all your empty salsa jars, plastic hummus containers, or empty cans. Instead of throwing them away, or recycling them, you and your children can turn them into works of art. They can also be made to act as plant holders, soap containers, jewelry, and so much more.
Cultivate a talent, stay fit, and have fun together. This will also serve your kids – they’ll feel more comfortable at life cycle events like school dances or weddings if they know how to keep a beat. Swing, disco, salsa or Irish step – it’s never boring. You can also sign your kids up for Hip-Hop dancing at a KidzToPros program near you.
16. Practice photography.
Take any family gathering and make it a creative opportunity, just by bringing along your phone or camera. For example, this can happen on nature walks, trips to the beach, reunions or walks around the block. Teach your children to observe and notice things they never really saw before, all through the lens of a camera and editing tools afterward.
17. Go for a hike.
Sometimes the best hobbies for the whole family just seem like casual outings that combine together time with physical activity and fresh air. Whether you have hills, mountains or miles of flat trails in your area – there are always places to walk and observe nature all around you. Kids are sometimes more likely to talk while they’re active, rather than face-to-face at the table. So give this a try. Bring plenty of sunblock and water.
18. Write stories.
Encourage your children to create imaginary characters and situations, or document funny family stories. Either way, grabbing a piece of paper and pen can’t get easier and, sometimes, more fulfilling than that. Some families even create weekly or monthly family newsletters that can be emailed to relatives or posted online.
19. Clean up the beach.
If you don’t live near the beach, consider parks or roadside areas in need of some love. Many communities will post signs dedicated to local organizations that “adopt” an area and take the time each month to pick up trash. Why not a family? You can also teach your kids about caring for their community while bonding with them at the same time.
Pick one or more of these hobbies for the whole family, or make up your own, and make this year the year you get closer to your kids. And have fun too.