This is a guest post by Aubrey Siegel of 352 Media Group.
We get it: You have a family. You work full-time. You’re a busy gal, and you’re plugged in 24/7 just to make sure you don’t miss that one email.
But face it: You need a breather, and it’s time to put the cell phone, the iPad, the laptop, the whatever-it-is-people-use-now down, and do something for you.
William Powers’ Hamlet’s BlackBerry takes a critical look at our society and our screen addictions. Powers advocates for weekend “Internet Sabbaths,” where he and his family disconnect from incessant Facebooking, Twittering and Googling. “Even when we’re connected, we can feel the benefits of having been disconnected a couple days ago. It really helps,” he says in an NPR interview. “It’s just about that simple word, ‘balance.’ ”
For busy moms today and their kids, this couldn’t be truer: You have to live your life in balance. Bonding with your kids sans technology is becoming more and more important these days. It may seem hard to find something to do together, but here are a few ideas on some hobbies to pick up with your kids that don’t involve technology.
In today’s economic climate, it’s important to teach your kids how to save. Every penny counts! And what’s a more fun way to teach them than coin collecting? You don’t have to be an expert to start. Whitman Publishing is a great place to learn more about the basics of coin collecting. They publish Red Book, which is the most popular coin valuing book. Not only can coin collecting be fun, you can also create fun ways to display your coins. Go to a thrift store together to find interesting jars and old jewelry boxes to hold them in.
2. Get Moving
If First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move campaign hasn’t motivated you already, perhaps statistics that 20% of kids today are obese (according to the CDC) will motivate you to get moving. A fun and healthy hobby to pick up with your kids would be finding a sport you could play together. Things like swimming, walking, biking and playing tennis are great, healthy ways to have fun with your child while learning something new and being active. Your local YMCA or community center can help you find a coach.
3. Channel Your Inner Artist
Music is also a great hobby to pick up with your child. Children learn better through music than through any other medium. Ask your child’s school music teacher for some recommendations on great local teachers. Or search for an instructor online at Take Lessons. You can rent instruments locally if you’re not ready to commit to buying an instrument.
You can also bring out your inner-Picasso and Michelangelo and do some arts and crafts with your child. Break out that hot glue gun and paper and make a scrapbook or a bracelet. Martha Stewart has a wealth of crafting ideas and projects.
4. Start a Garden
A 2010 Guardian article cited the steep decline of kids being in contact with nature. So, why not start a vegetable garden together? KidsGardening.org teaches you how to garden as a family and gives great how-to pointers.
Volunteering isn’t just for the holidays; it’s for all year long. Find a great local volunteering opportunity on Volunteermatch.org or Idealist.org. Help make an impact on someone else while bonding with your child.
Bake a cake or some cookies for a friend or neighbor. Disney Family Fun has some great kid-friendly recipes and baking ideas, including cinnamon rolls, apple crisps, and homemade bagels.
With summer right around the corner, it’s perfect timing to get off your BlackBerry and get creative with your kids. What are some other ideas you have for hobbies to start with your kids?
About the Author
Aubrey Siegel is a firm believer in doing as much as possible while you can. While she wouldn’t call herself a hobby enthusiast, she’s always up for trying new things. When she’s not on the go, she’s writing and blogging for 352 Media Group.