6 Ways to Encourage Active Recreation

Our age has become so mechanical that this has also affected our recreation. People have gotten used to sitting down and watching a movie, a ball game, a television set. It may be good once in a while, but it certainly is not good all the time. Our own faculties, our imagination, our memory, the ability to do things with our mind and our hands — they need to be exercised.

If we become too passive, we get dissatisfied.

Maria Augusta Trapp, The Story of the Trapp Family Singers

Rather than giving dissatisfaction a foothold, here are a few ways to encourage our children to enjoy active recreation rather than passive entertainment:


Have you ever considered reading an active activity?  If we are reading to learn, rather than being entertained, reading can exercise the mind.


A game of chess, a board game, dominoes, a puzzle — any thinking activity will exercise the mind.


Winter, spring, summer, and fall, there is something new to explore outdoorsCharlotte Mason recommended spending time outside each and every day, no matter the weather.  Take a hike!


“Old-fashioned” hand crafts such as knitting, crocheting, painting, drawing, whittling, quilting, weaving, knot tying, sewing, woodworking, and other handy endeavors not only occupy the hands, but put them in active service to the family and others.


Enjoy active outdoor games such as tennis, badminton, sledding, jogging, swimming, ball, skating, flying kites, or other family favorites.


Spend time with an interest or hobby.  Since our children need to get in their 10,000 hours, let them get busy!  No matter if their interest is electronics, bugs, cooking, horses, the Revolutionary War — feed their interest by providing the resources they need to explore it to the fullest.

Additional Resources
What to Do This Summer? {Free eBook}

Home Occupations for Boys and Girls by Bertha Johnston
Free eBook covering all types of things to do with the hands including sewing, painting, games, and crafts. You’ll also find a reading list.

A collection of craft-type activities from the archives.

Life Skills
Lots of ideas including tying knots, star gazing, napkin folding, cooking, gardening, and electronics.

Boy’s Sports & Amusements Encyclopedia {Free}
Not just for boys!

4 Free Handicraft Books for Boys
Woodworking, clocks, electricity, electrical and mechanical toys, Christmas ideas, model airplanes, motors, kites, camping, tree forts, toy making, gardening, and much more — for boys and girls!

The Outdoor Handy Book {Free eBook}
Outdoor activities arranged by season.

American Boy’s Handy Book {Free eBook}
Kites, fishing, boats, artistry, snow games, indoor amusements, and puppetry.

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