Awesomely Geeky Projects? Geek Dad Book Review
This will be the first of three reviews for the Geek Dad book series by Ken Denmead. One of the biggest problems that dads face is how to spend time with their children. The old stereotype of Dad coming home, cracking open a beer and sitting in front of the TV and watching "the game" has slowly been replaced by dad coming home cracking open an energy drink and playing "the game". I know I am guilty of it; as gamers, we use games--be it table tops, video games or board games--as escapes, to blow off the stress from the day.
I am always looking for new and fun ways to involve my kids with things I enjoy, and I tend to enjoy building things. Though, sitting down and coming up with ideas from scratch is hard; that is where "Geek Dad: Awesomely Geeky Projects and Activities for Dads and Kids to Share" by Ken Denmead comes in. The first of three project books packed with ideas for you to show the kids that not all super heroes wear capes.
The first thing is it looks lovely--yes, I know that the cover doesn't make the book, but this is a sharp looking. Simplistic in design, but it has a nice flair to it. Trust me when I say it will look great on your bookshelf next to your "Song of Ice and Fire" series.
Cracking it Open:
The first thing I noticed, and appreciated, is that the chapters are cut up into sections. I found this helpful for the simple fact that it provides me the opportunity to figure out what kind of mood I am in before flipping through projects. The sections are as follows:
- Make Your Own Geeky Games and Crafts
- Geeky Activities For The Great Outdoors
- Awesome Accessories
- Geeky Kids Go Green
- Geeky Potpourri
Like I said, this is a great convenance, as it lets you decide if you want to head to the great outdoors or if you would like to dive into something you can do on your kitchen table. Because lets face it; mother nature isn't always ready and willing to let us head outside and have fun.
Another great feature of this book is each project has an "Info Box" which lists:
- Tools and Materials
This is yet another great part of this book, because let's be honest, we don't always have the time or money to sit down and figure out this project.
Also, even though I am sure I am breaking "Geek Law" here, we don't always have the Tools and Materials on hand--I know a few times when I have been like "What the hell has that?"
While I am not going to list all the great and amazing projects that this book has, I will list a few of the ones that I really loved.
Make an authentic-looking antique map for a treasure hunt or imaginative play.
The reason I really love this project is it is coupled with some plastic gold doubloons. This makes a great "Jake and the Neverland Pirates" project, and my kids seem to love having a map ready for when the show comes on. Not only that, but it is an overall fun project for both you and the munchkins.
Video Games That Come To Life
Make outdoor games more like video games to get kids interested in playing outside.
Yes, I know I only have a two and three-year old, but this project is easily adapted to the shows that kids watch. You might be saying, "But I remember how to play pretend outside." Well, the three bits in the project are fun for both you and your kids, give it a try!
Make a pair of cuff links out of RJ-45 Ethernet connectors and wire.
It might sound tacky, but to be honest I rather enjoy my pair. It matches my microchip tie clip that my wife bought me. Nothing beats wearing a get-up that your family pretty much helped put together, and when people ask me about them, I get to tell them, "My kids made them for me, because Daddy loves computers." To me, that is the best type of project.
The Bottom Line:
The first book in the Geek Dad Project series is both fun and inventive, packed with heart touching and inventive ideas for how to spend time with your kids, and teach them a few fun things. The best part? You will forget about your controller, and you will blow off the steam of the day with the warm and happy smiles on your kids' faces.
Images courtesy of: http://felt.co.nz/