We may feel like we spend lots of time with our family members. But squeezing in a few hugs and meals on our way to and from work, school, and soccer practice isn’t really the same as scheduling meaningful family time. Developing family hobbies can help you all spend more purposeful time together, improve your family’s well-being, and find new ways to connect.
Mix and match a few of these ideas to find some go-to family hobbies, rain or shine.
The Great Outdoors
Hiking and Nature Walks
Explore local parks and nature reserves. Plan a family camping trip. Or just take weekly walks together through your neighborhood. Walking and hiking can also be the first steps towards other activities, like eating at local restaurants or heading to the park for a game of touch football.
Whether it’s a leisurely neighborhood ride or a mountain biking adventure, cycling is a fun and healthy family activity. Like walking, you can organize family trips around biking and take some rewarding pit stops along your route.
Put that overgrown corner of your yard to good use. Few things make little kids happier than a shovel and a patch of dirt. Older kids, parents, and grandparents can plot out what you’re going to grow and work out a schedule to share watering and pruning duties. Put a big family meal on the calendar for harvest time and share your leftover bounty with friends, family, and neighbors.
Arts and Crafts
Set up a dedicated space in your home where everyone can let their creativity run wild. Whether it’s painting, drawing, or crafting, encourage each family member to explore and have fun. A great way to start is to find a drawing book or website that offers “daily doodles” and buy everyone a sketchpad.
It’s easy enough to pass around a cell phone or an old digital camera to preserve family memories. But a couple YouTube lessons could teach you and your older kids the basics of composition, lighting, editing, and publishing to a digital family photo album.
If you have some old instruments lying around the house, cue up YouTube and learn the basic chords of a favorite song. Parents and grandparents who do know how to play can show youngsters the basics, which could lead to a new passion.
Fun Around the Kitchen Table
Cooking and Baking
Turning meal prep into a family activity can limit trips to the drive-thru, teach everyone some new skills, and encourage healthier eating habits. Pick one or two nights every week when a family member can break up your regular meal rotation with something new. Take a weekly trip to the farmer’s market and follow fresh inspiration where it leads.
Games and Puzzles
When was the last time you gathered around a classic like Monopoly or Scrabble? Puzzles and Lego sets can also be great fun for families who need to turn down the competitive heat. Aspiring “dungeon masters” can run family-friendly role-playing games that turn game night into an epic story and encourage family members of all ages to find creative ways around that sleeping dragon.
Reading and Writing
A lifelong love of reading is often inherited from parents and grandparents. Take family trips to the library or local bookshop. Share news stories relevant to everyone’s interests. Start a family book club or organize your own reading around what your kids have been assigned at school.
Sometimes it’s too easy to hustle and bustle right past things that matter the most. Our planning tools can give you a new perspective that will help you spend both your time and your money in ways that will more align with your values.