One of my favorite hobbies is studying languages. While teaching myself Norwegian I came upon a word that I love: koselig. The closest translation into English is “cozy,” but that doesn’t quite capture the full essence of the word. You know that feeling you get when you’re sitting around the fireplace with family after a long ski trip, sipping on some peppermint cocoa? When you’re warm and everyone is laughing and enjoying the cozy feeling inside? That’s koselig.
Once Christmas is over and Santa Claus has come and gone, the winter blues might seem endless. As such, winter is the perfect time to find your own hobby and work on curating an aura of koselig. In fact, having a hobby has been proven to help lessen symptoms of depression and anxiety.
It can be hard to know which hobby to start, though—there are so many cool things you could do! To help you get a better idea of what hobby suits your fancy, here’s a list of ten hobbies you and your kids can start at home this winter.
1. Tackle that “to read” pile
There’s no better way to escape the winter snow than to crack open a paperback and whisk yourself away to another world. If you’re like me and have a stack of books you’ve been meaning to get through, take a few hours out of your day and get reading!
Reading isn’t only for the parents though—kids love books just as much as we do! Whether it means having a family read aloud or reading on their own, encourage your kids to pick up a book or two this winter. And if you’re kiddo isn’t a reader, check out this post for some tips on helping your children love literature.
2. Knit or crochet a scarf
My grandma is a big crocheter. It’s so cool to see what she can create with just one crochet hook and a ball of yarn. When I was eight years old, she crocheted a baby blue blanket that I still use to this day. I brought it with me when I moved out of the country, and it’s gotten me through many a homesick night.
If you have crafty kids, try introducing them to the world of needles and yarn. You’ll be surprised by how quickly they catch on, and how much fun they’ll have making all kinds of useful crafts like scarves and hats. They can even open up an Etsy store to sell their knitted creations!
3. Break out your brushes and start painting
I started taking an oil painting class last winter, and it was a game changer for me. I attended every week, and watching my art skills progress really carried me through the winter blahs.
Art is something that kids and parents can appreciate together. Covering a canvas with paint is a great way to work with your hands and zen out. It’s also an amazing creative outlet and encourages budding artists to use their imagination and cultivate their inherent creative abilities. Check out this article to learn more about helping your kids develop their artistic talents!
4. Try cooking up a new recipe
When the pandemic hit and my family and I were stuck inside, we decided to get a little creative in the kitchen and tried making homemade pasta. My sister and I labored for hours crafting and cooking the noodles, and the end result was well worth it. But you don’t have to be as ambitious as us to make a memorable meal! Try opening your favorite recipe book to a random page and making whatever recipe you land on. Your kids will have fun cooking and even more fun eating the delicious creations.
5. If cooking isn’t your thing, try baking
Cooking isn’t for everyone—some of us prefer eating something a little sweeter. Winter is the perfect time to heat up your oven and bake a tasty dessert, whether that’s a chocolate swiss roll or a gooey cinnamon roll. Just make sure to send any leftovers my way (assuming the kids don’t get to them first)!
6. Making models airplanes and trains
My dad loves to tell stories about building model airplanes with my grandpa. They would spend hours gluing and sanding miniature Boeing 737s, talking about all sorts of things as they worked. Then once they were done, they would move on to the next one!
Building models is a great way to get your kids working with their hands and bond with them as they do it. You can find some fairly cheap airplane kids at local hobby stores or websites like Amazon. Click here to check it out!
7. Get your zen on and practice yoga
I’ve said it once and I’ll say it until I die: there’s nothing better than yoga. The exercise and peace of mind you get after even a short yoga flow makes the seemingly endless time holding certain poses so worth it (I’m looking at you, pigeon pose). And the nice thing about yoga is that you can do it anywhere! All you need is a mat, your breath, and ample time to zen out.
If you don’t know where to start, check out this video for a great beginning flow that you can do at home. Then when you’re ready, click here for something a bit more intense.
8. Learn an instrument
If you’ve ever thought about learning a Mozart sonata on the piano or how to play the saxophone classic Careless Whisper, now’s the time!
I recently got a little MIDI synthesizer that connects to my computer, and I can’t wait to start learning how to make beats and produce music. Just make sure you warn your family when you’re about to practice—they might need some earplugs for the first few weeks. Don’t worry, though, you’ll be putting on impromptu concerts for your kids in no time.
If your kids aren’t jumping at the chance to learn an instrument, they can still benefit from listening to music. Troomi phones feature your favorite music streaming services (Spotify, Apple Music, and Amazon Music) so that your kids can listen to their favorite tunes on the go. Click here to learn a little more!
9. Start a home garden, or foster some potted plants
Did you know that gardening has been proven to reduce stress and encourages the development of fine motor skills in children? It’s the truth! In fact, even the simple act of digging your hands into soil releases serotonin, a vital hormone that makes you happy.
Winter may not be the best time to start an outdoor garden, but don’t forget about potted plants. Home improvement stores like Home Depot or Lowes have a pretty well-stocked plant section, and local greenhouses are typically open year-round. You might be surprised at how quickly you and your kids develop a green thumb!
10. Get writing!
Writing is my favorite pastime. It’s likely no surprise, since I write for a living, but there’s something about playing with language and weaving words together in order to share feelings and information that makes me feel so complete.
If you aren’t a big writer, now’s the time to change that! Try journaling to start out. Writing about the events of your day is pretty therapeutic and a great way to process any complex emotions. It’s also so fun to be able to look back at old journal entries and reminisce on the past.
Troomi phones make it easy for your kids to get their journal on with KidSmart apps, a feature of the Discover Plan. My Diary is your child’s own personal journal where they can jot down their thoughts on the go. They can even add pictures! If they’re looking for something a little more artistic, My Creative Diary features a ton of fun writing prompts that will have your kiddo’s creativity running wild. Click here to learn more!
Journaling isn’t the only way to practice writing, though! You can always try something a little more creative, like crafting a poem or writing a short story. You never know, you or your kids could be the next J.R.R. Tolkein.