Friday, July 30, 2010

GeekDad = Fun For All, A Review

Now that I've given you all a glimpse of my geeky side (and you didn't boycott), you're going to be seeing more of it.  I truly am a geek at heart.  I love when my kids ask questions that I don't know the answers to.  I laugh at ridiculous math and science jokes.  I want to build a bat house with the girls to help control our insect population.  That is why, when I was given the chance to review GeekDad by Ken Denmead, I jumped at the chance. 

As soon as I received the book I quickly scanned through it.  I was immediately impressed with the variety of projects that you could undertake.  From preschool to high school, this book has something for everyone!  There are art projects, outdoor projects, building projects, and even projects for the environmental geek.  I was also thrilled that the author broke each project down by cost, difficulty, duration and reusability.  Nothing is more exciting for a geek than an easy to read reference table to save you time and energy.  Bearing in mind that Peanut and Pumpkin are only 6 and 4, I was somewhat limited in the projects I could do with my kids.   

The first project to catch my eye was the Windup Toy Finger Painting.  The main idea of this project is to paint the bottom of windup or battery powered toys so that they create your artwork as they travel around a piece of paper.  Searching through the house, we were able to find two cars and a Bumble Ball Jr.  (We also found a Zhu Zhu pet, but weren't sure how well that would wash up after a good paint job.)  Not wanting to go down to the crawl space to get the real paint, I deviated from the directions a bit by making my girls paint the wheels with watercolor paints rather than having cups or saucers with paint that they could dip the wheels into.  I think the final result may have been nicer if I'd make the extra effort to get the better paints.  Also, Ken suggests that you use levels, rulers, lumber, etc as barriers to constrain the toys.  I found that using a cardboard box worked really well too.

Overall, the kids had a really great time and enjoyed this project.  The paintings looked very nice, even more so after I framed them.  I will definitely do it again, perhaps with some new toys and better paints.  Our next project, however, is the Pirate Cartography.  I can't wait to see what adventure that will bring!

If you're asking yourself if you should get this book, here's my opinion:
  • If you and your kids are geeks . . . Yes!  What a fun way to spend time with your kids doing projects that will be interesting to them and you.  You can encourage their geekiness and show off your own.
  • If you or your kids are geeks . . . Yes! What a great way to connect.  You can start simple and work your way up to the more advanced projects.
  • If neither you nor your kids are geeks . . . Yes!  I think many of these projects are fun for everyone, geek or not.  Besides, all kids should be well rounded.  You never know when it might be advantageous to be well-versed in geek.
After a quick search, I found that this book is available at my local library.  If you still aren't sure if it is a book you'd enjoy, check yours to see if you can preview it there first.  Personally, I think this is a book to own because the projects really do span several years.  If you decide to purchase it, you can find it on Amazon, or another great site, ThinkGeek.

*Disclaimer:  I received a copy of this book for review purposes, but did not receive any other compensation.  I do not receive any benefits if you purchase any products from any stores that I mention in this or any other post (unless specified).   All opinions are my own.  Others may have different experiences.


Post a Comment