The great thing about hobbies is that they give us the opportunity to do something that’s fun and enjoyable. The great thing about hobbies that include the entire family is that they provide the platform for everyone to spend time together in a relaxed and comfortable atmosphere. When the stress and pressure of daily obligations and responsibilities are removed, it sets the stage for clearer communication, laughter and affection. And when those things are present, that is when quality time can truly take place.
Sometimes families on a tight budget don’t make hobbies are priority because they think that they’ll be too expensive. The truth is that there are a ton of things that you can do, if not for only a few dollars than for free. Before shooting down the possibilities, if the entire family has come up with something they’d like to do, find out what it costs first. In the meantime, here are a few ideas that don’t require much more than your time, energy and commitment.
Have a Cook (or Bake) Off
If you cook all week anyway, this probably doesn’t seem like a viable hobby. However, when you’re cooking simply because family members are hungry, that’s a bit different than doing it simply for the fun of it. Get the entire family together and have a cook off or bake off. You could even divide everyone into teams and/or categories: the girls can do pasta and the guys can do grilling. Or the parents can make a desert on the stove, while the kids have to create something that requires no heat. You can even get out the camcorder to host your own cooking show or make handmade coupons that say the winner doesn’t have to do dishes for a week or water the plants for the month. A part of the joy with a hobby is that there aren’t rules that you have to follow like you do when you’re on a job.
Make Things Together
The sky is the limit with this one. You could make jewelry or homemade lotions and lip glosses (recipes are online). You could create wall art or carve something from wood. You could Google tips for how to make candles or update your latest pair of sneakers or oldest pair of jeans with paint, ribbons or buttons. And the really cool thing about this idea is that you probably have a lot of the things that you need to make them a reality already in your house. This too can be rewarded by maybe holding your own family art or fashion show.
If you already have a set of bicycles, why not take them to the park for an afternoon ride? If everyone owns a pair of tennis shoes, while not go for a family jog? If you’ve never gone roller skating or played soccer, there’s certainly no time like the present. When it comes to getting the whole family to do an hour of yoga, you might not get an enthusiastic unanimous vote, but the great thing about exercise is that there are a lot of ways to do it in a way that everyone from the parents to the kids will feel like they’re enjoying themselves; after a while, the fact that they’re actually doing something healthy, will probably not even cross their minds.
Play Board Games
Thanks to the ever-evolving transitions in technology, there’s a good chance that your kids don’t even know about the good old fashioned board games up in the attic like “Life”, “Operation”, “Monopoly” and “Sorry”. Could there be a better way to reconnect with everyone in the house than to disconnect from the computer and cell phone for a couple of hours? A lot of times kids are stuck to their virtual realities because they are unaware of any other options. Introduce them to as many as you can.
Create a Family Hobby Tradition
Isn’t it interesting that a lot of families have Thanksgiving and Christmas traditions, but not family hobby traditions? You know, things that are done that may not make sense to everyone else, but works for their family. Maybe it’s that on Saturdays, meals are done in reverse: dinner for breakfast and breakfast for dinner. Or perhaps it’s that one Sunday a month (in the warm months), there is a field day that’s held where everyone competes in the back yard in onesie pajamas. Again, it doesn’t have to be something that other people understand and that’s actually kind of the point. Creating a fun tradition is a great way to solidify your family bond and create wonderful and lasting memories.