We are now at the very beginning of putting our children into organized sports and other activities. As true home-bodies, my husband and I are struggling to find ways to invest our time outside the home in meaningful activities that will strengthen our family and align with our goals for our kids.
We have been ruling out the usual organized sports that pull our kids away from our family for hours a week and leave them with skills that won’t benefit them in their adult years. Some of these are things we love; while some are things we don’t love, aren’t familiar with, or simply just have never tried.
There is so much competing for our children’s time and attention. Therefore, we are trying to find ways to be intentional with our time, ways to be building relationships while we are learning something new or just enjoying life. We strongly believe that “quality time” is just a myth and that “quantity time” is the best gift we can give our kids.
So, here are some ideas that we’ve come up with for doing extra-curricular activities together:
1. Golf My husband is a poor golfer and has actually been know to say that he hates it. However, he’s coming around to understanding the value of enjoying this game and also how helpful it is to be able to play golf as an adult. Playing golf in the business world is a valuable skill because it leads to networking and building friendships. Though this is an expensive past time, it can certainly be a better investment of time for a child. Just think, you get time with you dad (and/or mom) and you get to develop a skill that will help you as an adult.
2. Arts and Music Many artists (like Celine Dion, Beyoncé, Nickel Creek’s Chris Thile to name a few) got into music because their family was musical and that’s just what they did together. I can see already that my kids love what I love because I can’t help but have those things around. Though I don’t play any instrument well, we love to sing and listen to all kinds of music around our home together.
Likewise, painting, whittling, sewing, pottery and the like are also great skills that can transfer to adulthood and can create sweet memories exploring, practicing, and creating together.
3. Horseback Riding One of the great things about individual sports is that you can do them together separately. This summer, Reagan and I took a Mommy and Me Pony Class while in Washington with my in-laws. We had so much fun sharing the joy of horses together and I loved seeing her take on her own love and appreciation of an animal that taught me so much.
Right here in Scottsdale, Joni Fitt’s School of Horsemanship is a great place for experienced riders and beginners to share the passion of horses together. I love watching my daughter learn about how to brush, saddle, and care for a horse. I look forward to the day when (Lord-willing) we can each take a horse to a show together!
4. Irish Dancing Now, I don’t have personal experience with this one. However, a dear friend of mine has taken up some dancing along with both of her girls. They are enjoying it together and it has become a great shared experience for their family! They recommend the Michael Patrick Gallagher School of Irish Dance.
Do you have any other ideas for family-friendly sports or activities?