Climbing trees, rope swings, slingshots, driving nails, throwing rocks, all rites of passage in childhood for years, but suddenly deemed unsafe for children.
In 50 Dangerous Things (you should let your children do), author Gever Tulley compiles a list of 50 items that most of today's parents did, unsupervised, as children, and that he feels every child needs to try, at least once.
Tulley founded the Tinkering School in California's Bay Area to give children a chance to create and problem solve with supplies, tools and their own imaginations. 50 Dangerous Things came about when Tulley realized how many experiences today's children were missing out on, due to safety concerns or protectiveness.
In 50 Dangerous Things, each two page spread features an "experiment", safety tips, facts, and a blank sheet to write field notes. The young reader (and mom or dad) can choose a project to work on that meets their comfort level. Experiences range from licking a 9-volt battery, to burning things with a magnifying glass, to cooking food in the dishwasher, to learning dramatic sword fighting with cardboard tubes, an experience for every level of caution and concern.
For each experiment, Tulley emphasizes the safety concerns and advises how to plan each project so that it can be carried out safely. After all, the rule of Tinkering School, as well as 50 Dangerous Things, is "Don't Hurt Yourself or Anyone Else."
Momtrends was not paid for this post. We did get a book and we do live dangerously--sometimes we even let our kids draw with Sharpies.