Just a quick plug for a book that arrived in my box-o-excitement from Amazon today, ‘Fifty Dangerous Things You Should Let Your Children Do‘. Not a joke, this is actually a wonderful source book for inspiring things to do with your kids (from about age 9 and up). The list includes;
- licking a 9 volt battery
- throwing things from a moving car
- super-gluing your fingers together
For me, the book is delightful in two different ways. Firstly, it is a nice counterpoint to the current vogue of cotton-balling kids to the point where they end up leaving home in mint condition. But more importantly, the activities are chosen to provide interesting learning possibilities. Gluing your thumb and finger together and leaving them like that for a few hours (when the glue will naturally release due to oils from your skin) creates an odd sensation as your brain starts to re-map your sensory system a little.
The book encourages children to attempt the challenges in a methodical, scientific way, monitoring the results (including their own experience and reactions) and document this in space provided in the book. Rather than just an excuse to do crazy stuff, ‘Fifty Dangerous Things…’ is a wonderful primer for the scientific method, helping strike the match of inquisitiveness about the world.