Published by Lori Pickert on August 9, 2011 at 01:43 PM

From yesterday’s post: “[I]t’s another [thing] to experiment with your own children.”

Just a few ways I’ve experimented with my kids lately:

• Tracking down a thrift-store typewriter for the son who’s writing detective stories.

• Letting my 11-year-old turn my only closet into an animation studio.

• Underwriting hosting costs for the 14yo who taught himself to build sites with Drupal.

• Getting them a microphone for podcasting and film editing.

Have you experimented with your kids lately?


Comment by Lisa on August 9, 2011 at 03:15 PM

A microphone to go with the aging computer grandma chipped in so my son could put his raps on cd and share them. Also hosted a make-up party for my daughter's co-cheerleaders (not my thing!)

Comment by sarah :: greenclogs on August 9, 2011 at 03:42 PM

We have experimented by buying all the stuff for G to make himself a longboard skateboard (even though I've always banned skateboards from my house), made many trips to Scrap for thrifted art supplies of all kinds, sent A to sewing camp (fashion design this week!) and turned her loose in my sewing studio, started looking for a small travel trailer for camping around the state this year as A discovers Oregon firsthand.

Funny - I didn't think of those things as experimenting until you phrased it that way. Thanks for changing my perspective a little.

Comment by Penina on August 9, 2011 at 03:57 PM

My son asked for "sit-down math lessons", so we experimented with: worksheets, Life of Fred book, board games, tutorial videos… For now, it looks like khanacademy.org is working best, but we may experiment with circling back around to the book and board games :-)

Comment by Lori Pickert on August 9, 2011 at 04:20 PM

love these! thank you so much for sharing!

penina, khan academy is fantastic. what a great resource. http://www.khanacademy.org/

Comment by se7en on August 9, 2011 at 09:46 PM

Wow you just opened the door to my thinking with this post!!! Suddenly all those passionate projects have a purpose - I know they do really but you can forget when you are in there!!! We just cleared a shelf in the garage for my potential inventor, he is a natural dismantler of all things electronic... It worked so well that we cleared another shelf for our recycle artist!!! I could go on down the line... my kids seem to be growing up and what they are obsessed about when they were small have become passions right now, they spend most of their free time on them now.

Comment by Cristina on August 9, 2011 at 10:13 PM

Yes. But not on purpose! She did end up with an interesting lesson on surgical procedure. ;o)

Lately I've been doing some volunteer work, helping organize donations for the library's annual book sale. Every once in a while I bring home a book I thought one of the kids might enjoy. I found some neat magazines that would have been tossed anyway, a book on planting a weird garden that my youngest is poring over. She's also taking care of her lizard and a second generation of stick bugs. Her first five yielded about a hundred babies! I'm a little concerned about the third generation...

We also bought some clay for animation. My son's request.

And my oldest is learning to drive!!!

Peace and Laughter!

Comment by Florence on August 10, 2011 at 02:42 AM

(I LOVE this post, thank you! I feel a little like I'm confessing sins...)

We're experimenting by watching our son build cool stuff all day every day as long as he wants to without worrying (too much) about whether he will learn to read, write, learn his multiplication tables, or the state's capitals!

We're experimenting by reading books to him as long as he wants as often as he wants (unless we need to cook supper or pay the bills or something).

We've had a four-person camping tent up in our living room for about a month because he likes to pull a beanbag chair in there and think about life. The tent may need to come down soon, but pretty long experiment!

We subscribed to some Smithsonian kids' magazines with no ads all about physics -- just as an experiment -- and it turns out he wanted to read them all cover to cover in one sitting. Go figure.

Comment by Lori Pickert on August 10, 2011 at 12:49 PM

se7en -- beautiful that you are making space for them to encourage that work. :)

cristina -- oop! :) and experimentation led her there, i believe .. ;)

let me know how that clay-mation goes. my 11yo is working on a new lego stop-motion and incorporating clay for special effects this time.

my oldest will be getting his driver's permit in a few months. eek! :)

florence, thank you!

maybe you can invite people over to see an exhibit of the cool stuff he's built and he can label some of his work, make a poster, etc. :) we've done several project-related tumblr blogs -- if he wants to start a blog about his building, be sure to send me the link -- we can do an exchange!

love the indoor tent -- we had one at school and when we bought a new tent a few years ago we left it up in the living room for weeks. it was a great room-within-a-room!

the smithsonian kids' magazines sound great; i haven't seen those. i'll have to check it out.

Comment by nancy on August 17, 2011 at 01:49 AM

hi Lori :)
we've let the kids play on a small sailboat in our very small pond without the mast and watch them maneuver it, paddle and jump off it. they have discovered the bottom of the pond is very squishy.
i introduced my oldest to bubble lettering, i am counting that as handwriting :)
i have been wanting a typewriter for some time, i just might have to get out there and hunt one down.

Comment by kirsten on August 17, 2011 at 01:55 AM

Any new lego videos for us to watch? we re-watched them last week or so. "He knows too much" cracked me up all over again.

I think we're experimenting with learning to work together as a family. It's been a big goal for me this summer - so I don't have to do everything!

Comment by Lori Pickert on August 18, 2011 at 01:17 PM

nancy, that is awesome -- reminds me of learning to ride a bike by setting the seat down as low as it goes and then just playing around. :)

the typewriter is so provocative -- every person who sees it must type on it. and the sound of typing coming from another room is like music to my ears! :)

kirsten, he is working on some new movies. in the meantime, you should probably skip the shorts he did for a contest. bit of claymation violence. :) the claymation experimenting was very cool, though!

the movie you mention is my favorite!

i hope your family work experiment goes well. :)

Comment by Lori Pickert on August 18, 2011 at 01:18 PM

p.s. re: the typewriter, i did not know this, but you can easily buy ribbons at the office supply store. ours is a 70s-era electric and the generic ribbons just popped right on.

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