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HOLY MOTHER OF ALL CHILDREN’S BOOKS.
Ok, maybe it’s not quite that amazing, Fifty Dangerous Things (You Should Let Your Children Do) is one hefty and awesome read, and perfect for this era of helicopter parenting.
Authors (and married couple) Gever Tulley and Julie Spiegler seem to have one big point: letting your kids do something mildly dangerous (with supervision, for the most part) will help your kids grow to be creative people who can figure out life problems on their own. Each topic has its own easy-to-grasp page, complete with diagrams and plenty of supplemental info, such as potential hazards and the time each undertaking might last.
The topics include, but are not limited to: “Explode a Bottle in the Freezer,” “Stand on the Roof,” “Put Strange Stuff in the Microwave,” and “Super Glue your Fingers Together” — all actions that have an intriguing element of danger, but aren’t super likely to have anyone end up in a hospital ER or something equally awful. Basically, these are things your kids can do, while you’re in the same room/area, and you’ll all have a good time and enjoy the results (some more than others).
Tulley and Spielger are also the founders of the Tinkering School, which is self-described as “an exploratory curriculum designed to help kids – ages 8 to 17 – learn how to build things … by providing a collaborative environment in which to explore basic and advanced building techniques and principles, we strive to create a school where we all learn by fooling around.” Essentially, Fifty Things… is an extension of this school and mode of thought.
You can buy the book at Amazon, follow the book’s blog, and read a review with Gever Tulley at Wired. Aussies in particular may want to make haste, as an Australian psychologist is apparently pushing for the banning of the book.