One of the most effective ways of teaching a child is to simply let them see you doing. I can still remember sitting by my dad, watching him work around the house with his tool box at our side, screwing and unscrewing and hammering and fixing and working out problems. From that I developed the ability I have to tackle home projects, even if I'm not sure how to begin.
I also remember sitting with my parents and their friends at monthly visits, playing Trivial Pursuit. I must have watched them play hundreds of games, and to this day it is my favourite board game. Plus I've actually got all that "trivial knowledge" stored up there in my brain.
(A great example of extracting some of that knowledge happened last week. We were all examining the world map on the kitchen wall, and James pointed out an island smack dab in the middle of the Atlantic ocean - St. Helena. He laughed and said that would be the most isolated vacation ever. My brain started rifling through itself and I piped up "That was where Napoleon was exiled, the second time." "The second time?" everyone questioned me. No, he was exiled to the island of Elba. Yes, they were right - that was the location of his first exile. But he escaped, came back with a vengeance, lost at the battle of Waterloo, and was then sent to St. Helena. Looking at the map, we saw just how funny this actually was. You see, Elba is just off the coast of Italy. It was like the authorities said "we learned our lesson the first time. This time you're going to the middle of the Atlantic ocean!")
Sorry, sidetracked. What I wanted to write here was a list of things I want my kids to see me doing, in the hopes that some of these habits and hobbies will rub off on them:
1) Playing music (piano, guitar, flute, etc)
2) Reading books
3) Doing puzzles
4) Playing board games
5) Home repairs
7) Biking in town where I can
8) Small service projects
9) Making goals and taking steps to achieve them
10) Writing (journal entries, articles, books)
11) Devotions (scriptures and prayer)
12) Being still (quiet time, reflection, time out from the world)
I hope that as I model these, they will both learn to do them on their own, and also want to engage in them with me and with the family.