Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Five Exciting Hobbies a Family Can Enjoy Together

As a mother of three beautiful children, I have learned from experience that the best way to keep kids out of trouble is to keep them occupied. Finding hobbies that the whole family can enjoy without breaking the bank can be a challenge but when you consider the alternatives - hours of mind-numbing TV, video games, or just hanging out looking for trouble to get into - it is well worth the effort to discover fun activities to share with the kids. With that in mind, here are five fun, affordable hobbies.

Bubbles! Kids of all ages love to blow bubbles, chase bubbles, pop bubbles. Bubbles are beautiful, easy to make and don’t require cleaning up afterwards. And for the wee ones who don’t have the breath control to blow their own bubbles, there are inexpensive, battery operated bubble guns. Just fill up with bubble soap, pull the trigger, and get ready for tons of giggly fun.

Walking Fido. Believe it or not, if you have a dog and the weather outside permits, taking the dog for a walk isn’t necessarily a chore. The key is to sell the kids on the adventure. Children, particularly the younger ones are naturally curious about their world and will explore the neighborhood with gusto if given the chance. So hook up the leash, grab a couple of plastic grocery bags to pick up the inevitable canine lawn decorations, and set out on an adventure through the neighborhood. Be patient, give kids and pooch time to explore, and take advantage of the opportunity to re-discover the world through their eyes.

Build it with toothpicks. Rome wasn’t built in a day but, if the Romans had thought to use toothpicks and glue, it could have been. Depending on their skill level, kids can use toothpicks to create everything from a model of the Brooklyn Bridge to the leaning tower of Pisa to something vaguely resembling grandma’s house. The keys are imagination and a little hand-eye coordination. Imagination is what kids do best and, as for hand-eye coordination, popsicle sticks work well, too.

Reading is fundamental. Believe it or not, there was a time before television. Back in the day, parents read to their children. The educational benefits of reading to our kids have been well-documented. What we sometimes forget is how fun it can be to share a book with our children. And there’s no reason why reading together as a family can’t continue well past the early years and into adolescence, by which time newspapers, magazines, classic literary works, religious works, can all open the door to discussion, debate and critical thinking.

Shake that booty. Get off the couch, put on some music with a beat and get the whole family moving to the groove by turning the living room into the family dance studio. Anyone can dance and, if Mom and Dad aren’t afraid to start things off by looking a little silly in front of the kids, everyone will soon see that it’s safe to express themselves in a way that not only burns a few calories but, like all the activities listed here, helps strengthen the ties that bind families together.

So gather up the brood, hide the remote control and bring the family together by sharing some fun, affordable hobbies.

Note: This is a guest post written by Kathleen Hubert. Kathleen Hubert is a blogger who writes on a variety of topics. You can read some of her other work at www.autoloan.org.

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