(DISCLAIMER: I received a free copy of “Dad’s Book of Awesome Projects” to review it. My review is not based on the free-ness of the book.)
My son is 4.5 now, and he goes to preschool. After school and during vacations, weekends, and even during the regular week we are always looking for cool adventures and projects to embark on. We’ve gone to museums, eaten donuts, baked muffins, gone shopping, played baseball, walked on stilts, gone to movies, been superheroes, and lots of other things. Some of them are educational, some of them are fun, and the best ones are both. And I’m always on the lookout for new and interesting ideas.
So when I heard that Mike Adamick, dad blogger par excellence, had written a book about cool projects to work on with your kids, I jumped at the chance to review it.
In case you don’t know Adamick, he writes for the San Francisco Chronicle parenting blog, Jezebel.com, and a host of other places. His blog, Cry It Out, was touted by Disney’s Babble.com in 2011 as “The best daddy blog in cyberspace.”
Dad’s Book of Awesome Projects is really great– it features over 30 do-it-yourself, build- it-with-your-kids projects of all stripes, sizes, and levels of difficulty. From making goo slime in your kitchen to popsicle stick bridges in the kids’ room to a rope swing or a fruit crate scooter for outdoors – this book really does have a variety of projects to try.
The projects are divided into how long it will take to do something. Dad’s Book of Awesome Projects has three basic categories — afternoon crafts, weekend Projects, and school break projects.
Some of them seem a little bit beyond my technical abilities or interest or my kid’s (at 4.5, we are not going to build a bike jump ramp anytime soon). And while he has a backyard swingset on the list, since we have four parks within walking distance, and live in a pretty urban environment, I think we will probably pass. But there’s still plenty for us to do. One of the great things about the book is that the projects are well-designed and well-explained. Each project has a materials list, a step-by-step, some intermittent check-in photos to reference when you are afraid you did something wrong, and even some extra tips.
With most of these projects, the fun is in doing it with your kids, and Adamick has embodied this in his text. As long as you are doing it with your kid(s), there’s not too much you can actually screw up. (And if your birdhouse is not quite level, so be it!)
My son and I can’t wait to try some of these projects!