June 2011

50 Dangerous Things for Kids to Do

We’ve quickly become a society of helicopter parents, hovering over our children as we defend them, protect them, and attempt to shield them from any and all negativity and danger. While some of this is good—we should always be our own child’s advocate, and we should never let kids cross the street alone without properly teaching them how, of course—much of it results in them being left without their own choices to make, experiences to have, and mistakes to learn from. Without these life experiences, they aren’t entering adulthood as prepared as they should be—and that, my fellow parents, is our own fault.

Enter the new book 50 Dangerous Things You Should Let Your Children Do. Written by Julie Spiegler and Gever Tulley, a team who paired up to form Tinkering Unlimited and Tinkering School, the book lists 50 different exciting ways in which kids are encouraged to explore the world—from wearing a blindfold for an hour, to playing with fire, to boiling water in a paper cup. Climbing trees, deconstructing appliances, and plenty of other adventures that many parents discourage their kids from doing these days are also included.

YA Saves

There’s been a lot of talk lately about how young adult (YA) literature is too dark and violent for teens to read. Not only is this silly in terms of what we’ve historically taught children in both schools and in life, it’s also ironic, considering that we are happy to send 17 and 18-year-olds to their deaths in war, which is often the point of many of these YA stories.