Fishing. Hunting. Knitting. Marksmanship. Learning these hobbies used to be a standard part of growing up, but most kids would rather play online these days. And the truth is that, despite having overwhelming access to information, many never learn about hobbies like these unless they have a grandparent to teach them.
That’s because grandparents are pretty unique and fantastic (according to our writers, anyway… we might be biased).
The truth is that most of us grew up in a time when things were far more simple and personal responsibility ruled the day. Instead of turning to fancy, expensive devices, we made our own fun — often in ways that were productive or helpful to our overall lives at the same time. Survival skills, life management and even repair skills became a labor of love, not just a way to enjoy ourselves on a Saturday afternoon.
If you have a young person in your life, now is the perfect time to contribute to their lives in a healthy, beneficial way. Teach one of these hobbies and you’ll be sharing an experience only grandparents can provide.
Plus, who doesn’t love spending more time with the grandkids?
- Classic Car Restoration: Little Johnny wants a car for his 16th birthday. Some parents will just buy a brand-new vehicle, but why not restore a classic together? You’ll teach them how to essentially rebuild a vehicle from the ground up, giving them the power to enact self-repairs when something goes wrong in the future.
- Gardening: When most grandparents were growing up, times were tough. Even if you weren’t born until after the Great Depression, you still had to scramble at least some of the time — especially when it came to putting food on the table. The honest work of building a garden and growing your own food can be immensely rewarding; it’s a valuable life skill, too.
- Chess: 50 years ago, chess was considered an almost competitive sport. It still is today, but it’s slowly becoming less and less popular over time, which is a real shame. Playing chess with little ones (as young as five is fine if you keep it simple) is a great way to encourage them to engage their brains. By the time they’re teens, they’ll be giving YOU a run for your money.
- Whittling: In an age where everyone is terrified to let kids handle any dangerous tools (or even let them play in the mud, really), whittling might seem like an odd choice. But teaching kids how to whittle can actually be a fun way to show them the value of working with your hands. Do take proper safety measures, but don’t be afraid to let them get creative, either!
- Hunting: So many people don’t know where their food comes from these days. Instead, they just buy whatever’s at Whole Foods and call it a day. The dangers of GMOs and non-organics aside, teaching hunting skills can be an incredible way to pass along survival strategies that last for life. Plus, there’s nothing like a long forest walk together to build memories and get to know each other better.
- Fishing: The world is hectic for today’s youth. More often than not, they’re stressed out by the time they reach the pre-teen years. Fishing can be a great way to “get away from it all” and relax — but it’s a valuable survival skill, too. Grandparents always seem to know all of the secret local spots and the best strategies for landing the big one. Why not pass that along?
- Carpentry: Many grandparents grew up under the assumption that basic carpentry was an essential life skill; by the time you reach 50, you’re at least passable in your abilities. Pass those skills along by helping your grandkids learn how to build a mailbox, a doghouse, or a tree house. It’s plenty of fun, and you never know when it might save their lives in the future if the world goes to hell.
Most of us only wish we had the skills our grandparents seemed to use so easily. What skills did your grandparents impart and which ones do you now wish you had learned? Tell about what you learned from your grandparents and what you would like to pass on to your own grandchildren.