Tag Archives: family

Sharing Hobbies with Kids

sharing hobbies with kids

Here at Step2, we understand and promote the importance of families spending time together. A great way for families to spend valuable time together is by partaking in hobbies everyone can enjoy. Sharenanny.com gave us some great ideas for kid friendly hobbies that may spark the interest of you and your little ones:

  • Rock collecting: As we transition into spring, we may find many interesting objects on the ground that were once covered by snow or leaves. Try collecting interesting looking rocks with your kids when you decide to clean up the yard or go on a nature walk. Try putting similar color rocks into the same jar and see how many different jars of rocks your family ends up collecting!
  • Photography: Many parents enjoy taking pictures of the children so they can reflect on the memories of their kids as they grow up. Teach children how to take pictures whether it is with your phone or digital camera (parent supervision is strongly recommended).   Have your children take pictures of things they find intriguing whether it is pictures of their toys or trying to take pictures of you, it can be a fun experience you can both enjoy.  A fun project you and your children can do together is taking a picture of each other each day for a certain amount of time and the make a flip book out the pictures and see how much both of you have changed. Check out this example of this an awesome flip book!
  • Scrapbooking: While you are taking pictures, this is a perfect opportunity to take those pictures and decorate them and put the photos into albums. You can spark the artistic and creative side of your children by having them choose the placement of the pictures, coordinate the colors, and use different decorative embellishments.
  • Playing Instruments:  ParentalGuide.org expresses the benefits of children that play instruments. It helps improves children’s cognitive and motor skills. Teaching children basic notes on the piano or having them bang their hands on a drum may be a noisy experience but you will have a blast making noise together.
  • Cooking/Baking: This is an activity that children can do right along with their parents with their very own play kitchen. Teaching children different ways to prepare food will help aspiring little chefs to learn how to cook and bake from a young age.
  • Exercising: Keeping children active is very important. By spending time together doing basic exercise moves, it can promote a healthy lifestyle and a entertaining way for both of your to work up a healthy sweat. Whether you are having a dance party or playing outside, both of you will have tons of fun staying in shape.

What hobbies do you share with your children?

 

Encouraging Healthy Eating Habits

Eating cake, cookies, burgers, pizza, and other delicious foods may be a delectable meal for some, but it can also be an unhealthy lifestyle to pursue all the time. Teaching and encouraging healthy eating habits to your children may help with their development.  There is no guarantee that your children will not become picky eaters, but suggesting the importance of being healthy may open their mind to at least trying new foods.

We found this article on PBS that explains ways to encourage healthy eating habits for your little ones. Here are some of the highlights:

Get them involved by bringing them along. Taking children to the grocery store can an adventure or a struggle, but bringing them, will allow an opportunity for your children to choose the food you purchase. Let them pick out the fruits, vegetables, cheeses, bread and other food you are planning on buying. Try to give them a simple description of what the particular food they have picked tastes like. A great way to stay away from unhealthy food is to try to avoid going down the aisles that supply it. If a child cannot see their favorite unhealthy food in front of them, they may not even think about it or want it.

Go to the source. Speaking of describing how a food tastes to children, it is equally important to increase your children’s food knowledge. Sometimes, instead of going to the grocery store travel to your local farmer’s market. Your children can meet the people that actually grow and pick the fresh fruits and veggies. Even planning a day to go to a dairy farm will teach them where dairy products come from. Besides, showing your children where healthy foods come from- stocking up on plenty of nutritious snacks in your home is a smart idea too!

Have healthy snacks readily available. Having the fridge and cabinets filled with sliced apples, cut up carrots, whole grain crackers, and water bottles is never a bad idea. These are snacks that children can access without your help. In addition, they are snacks that can travel with them in the car. Portable snacks help keep children busy! Besides feeding children healthy snacks, being a role model and eating healthy too can benefit both you and your children.

It takes dedication to eat healthy but if a family tries to do it together, it becomes a group effort. Kids look up to their parents and want to imitate what the adults are doing. If children see their parents eating the same food as them, they may be influenced to enjoy these nutritious and delicious foods instead of complaining.

Overall, implementing health conscious food choices into the family’s meals and snacks is a fantastic way for everyone to receive their daily nutritional requirements. What do you do to try to get your children to eat healthy?

Life’s Little Pleasures are Truly the Best

Written by Sara R.

As children get older, get their driver’s license, move out,  and get married, family get-togethers are not as easy as they once were when all my children were younger and at home. It takes some planning, synchronizing of schedules and several weeks advance notice to get everyone in one place at the same time.

I’ve been very fortunate as we’ve already had three family gatherings so far this month. Our first get together was on June 1 in Columbus, Ohio at the Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium at The Ohio State University to watch my 16-year-old daughter Taylor compete in the OHSAA State Track Meet. Her 4 x 400 meter girls relay team took 6th  place in Division II for the State of Ohio. It was a very exciting time for all of us.  My husband and I along with her big brother, who made the trip from Cleveland to Columbus, and her big sister, who lives in Columbus were all there. Her Grandma & Grandpa R. from Michigan also made the long journey to Columbus to watch and cheer her on. We are so very proud of her and her teammates!

On June 9 we were all together again to help celebrate my oldest son’s 21st birthday (hard to believe he’s 21!).  It doesn’t seem that long ago when he crawled up on my hospital bed to peek at his new baby sister who was just born.  He was really hoping for a baby brother.

I remember when he went back to pre-school the next day and his teacher said to him “I heard something exciting happened at your house yesterday, do you want to share it with the rest of the class?” “Yes,” Justin answered. “I threw up!” His teacher trying not to react to his statement said “I heard something really exciting happened yesterday.”  Justin said “Yeah, I threw up twice!”

We were all together again Father’s Day weekend. This time it was for a whole weekend! Besides our four children, joining us was my son-in-law, my darling grandson and my husband’s mother and father. It was great to get all the fathers together to celebrate Father’s Day.

We all met in Port Clinton, Ohio on Friday night for dinner and spent the night. The guys got up bright and early, 5:30am, and went fishing on a boat they had chartered for the day. My youngest son, Christopher, proved to be quite the fisherman.  He caught a 7lb, 24” Walleye. The ladies, along with my grandson, took the Jet Express to Put-in-Bay for some shopping, eating, good conversation and fun times.

Saturday evening we all drove back to Cleveland, Ohio and gathered again for dinner. As all eleven of us sat at the big round table. I remembered the days when my children were young and we would sit at the dinner table and just talk about anything and everything. Sometimes it would turn into a battle zone because one child was making a funny face at another, or  someone was  upset because “he was interrupting me when I’m trying to talk” or someone was spilling their milk or dropping food on the floor for the dogs to eat.

Sunday we enjoyed Marine Week in Cleveland. If you get the chance to attend one of these events I would highly recommend it. It’s a very moving experience.

It is so true when you hear someone say “enjoy your children when they’re young because before you know it they will be grown and gone.”

I feel very blessed each and every time we can all get together.

About Sara R.

Sara is a mother of four. She has two daughters – Jamie age 35 and Taylor age 16 – and two sons – Justin age 20 and Christopher age 14. She is also a grandmother of one – Andrew age 3. She lives in Mantua, Ohio with her husband Bill. She has worked at Step2 for the past 12 years (before that she was a stay at home mom for 9 years). Sara is the Operations Manager for Step2 Direct internet sales.