Have you ever heard of Gever Tulley?
Check out these short videos and see what you think. Whether or not you agree with his philosophy on letting the young 'uns make discoveries while doing things generally considered "dangerous" these days, I guarantee you'll find it thought-provoking.
Gever Tulley on 5 dangerous things for kids | Video on TED.com
Just by watching the videos, without even reading his book yet, the Professor and I got bitten by the inspiration bug. I realized that we had dysfunctional CD changer and an old blender sitting around awaiting their fate at electronics waste disposal. Why not do a little recycling of our own?
We gave the kids some screwdrivers. The hardest part was not worrying about someone getting an eye poked out, a la A Christmas Story, but figuring out when to step in and when to step back. To be available, but not to hover. Ah, such an apt metaphor for all of parenting.
What do you have lying around or gathering dust that you could let your kids (or yourself) take apart? Could a cranny* of your home become a tinkerer's workshop?
[There. I did it. Used "cranny" in a sentence without "nook." We might be making history here!]