Analogue recreation to escape the digital maelstrom

Knit a sweater! Build a birdhouse!

Knit a sweater! Build a birdhouse! (Giulia Bertelli via Unsplash /)

When our professional and digital lives begin to encroach on our happiness, what we do for recreation becomes all the more essential. Hobby allows us to relax, learn new things and get away from everyday life. They give us unknown challenges and make us more interesting people.

The best activities are those that you can start easily, but that allow you to expand your knowledge over time. It's also fun to have items for which to save, such as a rare railroad wagon for your train or a spotting scope for long-distance birdwatching.

So, what makes a good analog hobby in our digital world? These three hobbies (birdwatching, Amigurumi hook and model trains) can be practiced when you are detoxing from all your devices – but they can also be improved by online communities, tutorials and showing your work on social platforms.

Watch out for sneaky sparrows.

Watch out for sneaky sparrows. (Amazon/)

Designed for Eastern Bluebirds (found in much of the United States east of the Rockies and as far south as Texas), this house has been field tested by the National Audubon Society. Join other blue bird enthusiasts online at sites like Bluebird Nut or GardenWeb and learn more about intimidating blackbirds and spookers to keep sparrows away.

Feathered friends for long weekends.

Feathered friends for long weekends. (Amazon/)

To attract cardinals, picks, blackbirds and hummingbirds, you need to know what they are looking for outside of the relationship. This book contains plenty of information on the types of vegetation and insects that birds like to eat, the types of feeders they prefer and the preferred water sources. Once you master the basics of bird watching, you can take away this hobby from anywhere. Start looking in your own backyard, follow this free Cornell Bird Lab tutorial on how to post observations to help scientists and grab the free Merlin app to help you identify what you see .

The Japanese crochet trend is suitable for beginners.

The Japanese crochet trend is suitable for beginners. (Amazon/)

The cute and cuddly crochet creatures are the hallmark of the Japanese Amigurumi craft. Often overshadowed by knitting, crochet is also a craft. This book is suitable for beginners, but it is full of patterns that all crochetters can enjoy. Although the required materials are clearly explained, as well as the basic points (with the attached photos), online communities like Ravelry and blogs like Amigurumi Today are great resources for exchanging habits and tips .

Crochet your way to Instagram fame.

Crochet your way to Instagram fame. (Amazon/)

Step into the making of an Amigurumi giraffe with this Hoooked kit, which contains everything you need, with the exception of padding. If you feel stuck, you can find step by step videos on their website. Make your lovely new friend in a cabin in the woods or at home with a cup of tea. When you're ready to come back online, share your creative with #amigurumi on Instagram, which appears in more than 5 million posts.

Is it a hobby or a lifestyle?

Is it a hobby or a lifestyle? (Amazon/)

Adults (and older children) who still feel the thrill of the whistle of a train that resonates in the valley, fans of steampunk and engineering enthusiasts will all find happiness in the miniature train. This hobby can involve skills like woodworking, drawing, painting and electrical engineering, depending on your interests. For those who want a book that gives an overview of the many skills you can use to build your own railroad, this one fits perfectly.

All aboard.

All aboard. (Amazon/)

Train enthusiasts who are eager to start running through the salon can not go wrong with a Lionel train, which has been producing model trains since 1900. Do not worry, it's not powered by steam – this can be controlled via Bluetooth using the LionChief application. As you add landscape and structures to your line, discover the history of the Transcontinental Railway, exchange technical advice with other enthusiasts and listen to folk songs from the railroad.