It isn’t just millennials discovering vinyl records for the first time—people from several generations are returning to hobbies from a simpler time. Perhaps it is the attraction of slowing down, focusing in, and setting aside the screeching of social media. Take a look at some throwback hobbies making a comeback.
These instant-print cameras were all the rage when they were introduced in the late ‘70s. Now, Polaroid has come out with a new generation of One Step, point-and-shoot cameras that extrude prints instantly. A souped-up version of the camera comes with Bluetooth connectivity that, when used with a companion app on a smartphone, allows for additional photo effects.
Seniors who refuse to touch a computer have always used them, and now, fans of the manual typewriters are legion. Celebrities, teenagers, and boomers alike are all indulging in a newfound or rediscovered love of the tappety-tappety-tappety-ding of the keyboard and the washboard sound of the manual carriage return.
Fountain Pens and Manual Letter Writing
Once the purview of fanatical reenactors and Tolkien-obsessed rune-writers, fountain pens, inks, and highly individualized analog writing is trending. The choice of pens, nibs, and inks can be dizzying for fountain pen beginners, but a supportive community of fans exists to provide guidance and suggestions.
Sending and receiving hard-copy, handwritten notes are socially distanced ways to stay connected with friends and family. A well-written letter or note is a gift that keeps on giving—you can re-read it, experience the feel and smell of the paper, and enjoy the graphics on a card while you’re writing one and for days after you receive one.
Jigsaw Puzzles and Board Games
Back when bars were a thing, you could play a competitive game of Connect Four or Battleship to win a drink from a friend. At home, jigsaw puzzles and board games are back. It’s easy to lose hours searching for just the right piece of a one-thousand-piece puzzle.
Board games bring the competition home. Family members and quaranteammates can try to best one another in chess, checkers, Monopoly, Scrabble, and other classic games. Beware—some of these have been sold out during lockdown, so if you don’t already own an array of board games, you may have to look for something more obscure to order online.
Model Cars and Airplanes
Back in the day, it was a rare boy’s bedroom that didn’t display a model airplane or a pinewood derby winner or two. Now, everyone wants to get into the act. Model car and airplane kits are joined by kits to build mini-helicopters, trains, and even snowplows, plus snap-together kits that are easier for children.
Remember that if you have the time to take up one of these throwback hobbies, you’re among the lucky few. Essential workers and parents working from home while also trying to provide homeschooling don’t have a spare minute to take up a new activity. Be kind, be supportive, and keep in mind that, right now, everyone is just trying to get through this weird time the best they can. For some people, that means taking up a new hobby; for others, it means simply surviving one day at a time.