Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Dangerous Things for Kids to Do

I was just watching Gever Tulley's talk on Five Dangerous Things You Should Let Your Kids Do. I wish we could pull off some of these at Detour. Parents would freak. This is also a good list for homeschool parents.

His list:
  1. Play with fire. We sort of did this when we did an outside "camp out" for boys earlier this year. They didn't get to really play with the fire that much but at least there was an open flame. I mostly remember playing with fire in fireplaces and the grill when we were growing up.
  2. Have a pocket knife. Yeah. Not gonna do that at church. I think I got a pocket knife before I started school and have carried one almost my entire life. I bought a My First Swiss Army Knife for my daughter a year or two but she hasn't even used it. Maybe I need to make time for it.
  3. Throwing a spear. I disagree with this one a bit. There are plenty of other opportunities for kids to throw things.
  4. Take apart appliances - try to figure out what the parts could be and do. We've done this some during the Robotics break-out at Sports Camp but we could do a lot more. We could really do this at Detour. I've wanted to take apart a bike and maybe a lawnmower engine before but the messiness keeps me worried.
  5. Break the DMCA - he says it's important that kids understand that laws can be broken by accident. This is one I don't really want to touch. It's hard enough to stay legal and comply with copyright law at church without intentionally breaking it.
  6. Drive a car - legal in a big empty private lot. I got most of my early driving experience before I had a license but driving pickup trucks around the Renaissance Festival while I worked there. Not going to happen at church.
What would I add to this?
  1. Go outside. It's really not that dangerous.
  2. Play with electricity. Keep one hand in your pocket and you'll live. I grew up with model trains so I was always playing with AC and DC power.
  3. Eat your own cooking. Kids today can grow up without ever cooking anything from scratch or even seeing anything cooked from scratch. Amazing.
  4. Go places you're not allowed to go. That door that says "Do not enter" is calling your kids. What's behind it?
  5. Talk to strangers. I encourage my kids, especially our daughter, to talk to strangers, within reason. She's become a lot less shy about placing her own order at Chic-Fil-A and is one of the few girls in her brownie troop that I've seen really approach strangers to sell cookies.
  6. Eat wild food. Most of it won't kill you. Raspberries and their relatives are easy to find if you can beat the birds to them.

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