Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Review and Giveaway: The Geek Dad's Guide to Weekend Fun


Geek Dads are a special breed of parent. Sure, they'll teach you how to ride a bike just like any other dad, but they'll also teach you how to modify that bike with rocket boosters so you'll go faster that Lance Armstrong. That's the kind of dad that's going to love Ken Denmead's latest book The Geek Dad's Guide to Weekend Fun. As editor of  the parenting blog GeekDad over at Wired.com, Ken has become something of an expert at helping moms and dads alike grown their little geeks. This is his second Geek Dad book and this time he has given us a fantastic bunch of new projects that parents can do with their kids. I was fortunate enough to receive a copy of this book for review, and had only one real complaint. Do I have to let my husband have all the fun with this or can I keep it for myself?

It's billed as ideas for things to do over a weekend, so nothing in here is going to require you to map out your days and nights for the next month. There's even a guide that covers the cost, difficulty, duration and reusability of each project so you know just what it's going to take to finish it up before Monday morning. I was hooked from the start by the Nerf Dart Blowgun, which has the potential to bury our lawn in Nerf darts all summer long. Actually, it has the potential to cover my lawn, my neighbor's lawn, and possibly a good portion of the neighborhood lawns because once the other kids see this coolness, they're going to be building one of their own.

If you aren't into Nerf battles (and if you aren't what is wrong with you?) there are plenty of other ideas that are sure to catch your eye. You could try projects like Death Star Temari Ball, Hack Your Own Sound Box or Measure the Speed of Light with Chocolate. Star Wars, hacking and chocolate. What's not to like? Even better, the publisher has set aside a copy of The Geek Dad's Guide to Weekend Fun for me to giveaway to one lucky reader. Just leave me a comment telling me about your favorite geeky kids activity or project and I'll pick a random winner next week. (Open to US residents only.) Now, who's up for a Nerf Battle?

12 comments:

  1. My kids are too young for the Nerf battles but they are always up for Dad's TIE fighter and Death Star pancakes.

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  2. I guess my favorite geeky activity from when I was a kid was making contraptions out of Tinker Toys (remember those). My favorite geeky activity with my kids is watching Doctor Who with them and discussing the show or playing boardgames with them.

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  3. The best geeky thing we did was set up a Hoth scene outside with their AT-AT after a heavy snow storm

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  4. @Brian
    Don't forget to make the pancakes fly thru the air on the way to their plates, with sound effects.

    @Allen
    I still have my old Tinker Toys and gave them to my kids a few years ago. The stuff they build is awesome, though liable to trip me up in the living room. Those and Lincoln Logs were the best building toys.

    @Kevin
    Fantastic! I hope you took pictures!

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  5. My favorite Geek Activity with the kids was watching Star Wars and Star Trek movies while painting miniatures for 40K and Fantasy!

    Nowadays my granddaughter and I collect dice together.

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  6. My mom, a chemistry professor, used to do chemistry "experiments" with me in the kitchen (complete w/ lab coats and beakers)-- just simple stuff, like making candy, but as a kid I loved it! I ended up with a BS in Biology and a cooking hobby, and it's all HER fault.

    I'm hoping really hard to win b/c a friend of ours is having a baby soon and I just know that he & his wife would love this!

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  7. The geekiest thing we've done recently besides going through my copy of the Star Fleet Technical Manual is pitting Thomas the Tank Engine against another engine, who we pretended was a Dalek (at my son's request). This involved lots of shouting "Exterminate!" while crashing various engines into Thomas.

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  8. Two words: Bowling Zombies.
    http://www.target.com/Front-Porch-Classics-53756-0-Bowling/dp/B003TOADOW

    @pixiestix1207

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  9. @Manny
    Good job with the next generation of geeks :)

    @looloolooweez
    That is the best idea! Just throwing on a lab coat and using beakers and the like to make anything in the kitchen would be a riot!

    @JeffSparkman
    Bahahaha! A Thomas/Dalek crossover? That I'd like to see.

    @Pixiestix1207
    How on earth did you find those? Want, want, want!

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  10. At our house we have been rockin the Pokemon. Trading Card Game, Video Game, etc ... Oh and tell Russ my 7 year old loves to play Wraith of Ashardalon too!

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  11. One weekend we extracted DNA from peas in our kitchen, using this link:

    http://learn.genetics.utah.edu/content/labs/extraction/howto/

    It actually worked!

    Geoff

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  12. @Joel
    I will be sure to let Russ know about Ashardalon...as he sits playing Pokemon everything with our kids.

    @Geoff
    Oh....adding to my rainy day project list!

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