I’m going to sound like an old man, but one thing that bothers me about today’s generation is they don’t seem to be encouraged to do enough adventurous “tinkering” stuff at a young age. I want my son to attend the school of real life.
However, I recently watched this great TED talk by Gever Tulley (founder of the Tinkering School camp in the US, where kids are encouraged to build the things that they think of). Watch it.
If I can find a tinkering school, I’ll be sending my kid there for sure. Or better yet, gear our house up to allow tinkering to be part of daily life.
Among other things, Gever believes kids should experiment with fire, own a pocket knife, throw spears, take apart disused or unused house-hold appliances and learn lessons about breaking rules.
Looking back on my own childhood, I did all of the above (and more) from a young age. My parents let my brother and I use power tools, take stuff apart, throw things, get scraped and bruised and injured without too much fuss. We got to drive cars too, on quiet country roads.
And I want to give all of those skills to my son – teach him that danger is mostly in the mind and not to be scared to try things, make mistakes (lots of mistakes) and think beyond the obvious.
I recently read about this too: The forest Kindergarten: Autonomy, wilderness and sharp knives. I’m sold!