Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Tinkering by Curt Gabrielson

My kids are at the point in their life where they are naturally curious. They're still really young but it's interesting seeing them learn new things. I got this wondering what it would teach me that I could teach them and I have found that it's a nice reference for doing basic science experiments.
About half of the chapters go through a subject matter of some sort and each has a different set of items that can be made or tested out. Think of them as pretty simple projects a kid around 10 could make by themselves if they are handy or they can do it with the help of an adult. Interspersed between chapters, you have notes that are meant more for parents or mentors of kids that want to "tinker." They have some good things to say and of the advice I saw there, the one that stuck out most was that it's okay to be hands off and let kids fail every once in a while. You learn more by failing a couple of times and figuring out what went wrong than by getting it right the first time. I'm not trying to seem full of myself but a lot of things came naturally to me and I got them right the first time but that has also really held me back in some ways because I didn't fail that often. Because of that, I hold back on things I might fail on when I know I should just give it a go. If it breaks, it shouldn't matter but I'm scared that it won't work the first time.
Anyway, for anyone that wants their kids to tinker with things and learn in a hands-on way, this is a great book to pick up.

Disclaimer: This book was received as part of the O'Reilly Review Program. All comments represent my thoughts and opinions.

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