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Share Your Hobbies With Your Child

Pique His Interest

To drum up enthusiasm and excitement, start simply: Let him hang around you as you pursue your passion. John Squier of Falmouth Foreside, Maine, started by letting his 8-year-old son, Craig, hang around while he worked in his garage, tinkering with cars. "I never pushed it. And eventually, he wanted to know what I was doing, so I'd answer his questions, show him a few things. If he asked to help, I'd find something safe that he could do, even if it was just handing me a rag," says Squier. Now a confirmed car nut, Craig builds model cars, watches Nascar races with his dad, and can help his father with engine work. "It took a while, but now cars are something we can truly share," says Squier.

To involve your child, try talking out loud about what you are doing when pursuing your hobby ("Okay, I'm cracking the egg into the batter now, and I'm going to beat it until it turns a light yellow"). Hype your excitement when you get to a favorite part ("I love shining up old silver coins I've collected. They look so cool. Want to help rub?"). Ask his opinion ("Well, that didn't work right, did it? What do you think I should do?"). And don't forget to use kid-friendly language ("Paint remover is like a supermagic potion that fixes mistakes").