During the school holidays, we like to “force” our kids to be bored and to tinker.
We like to entertain them with directed, long term projects… to combat the ol’ screen obsession thing.
I don’t take any credit for this. This is all my husband’s doing. His brain is just bursting with these weird and wonderful ideas. I suspect these are the things he did as a kid? Which are far cooler than what I did as a kid (I played with Barbie dolls).
He takes the kids to the junkyard to pick up old computers and old microwaves to take apart.
He gives them some tools, then he walks away.
We have a Messy Area in our backyard, which is, why yes, messy all the time.
My 8 year old started on “his” computer. He was pretty excited to get stuck into it.
We let them work on their project for however long they want.
They can cut, poke, stab, pry, crack, smash, break… anything they want.
They can sort items, build something, connect something, try to put it back together, or just take it to pieces.
They are always FULL of interesting questions by the end of it.
We (ie. my husband) are pretty good at answering their questions about computer parts, metals, electricity, connections, and how things work.
But we also let them watch YouTube videos on: How to take computers apart. How does a cooling fan work? Which metal conducts electricity better? How are alloy metals made? Etc etc.
(There is soooo much interesting/wacky/niche video content on the internet! It’s part scary and part fascinating.)
I think the kids enjoy it all. I wouldn’t say they LOOOOVED it.
I suspect they would rather be playing computer games.
But they can get pretty absorbed by it. And 2 hours can pass by quickly.
(Which is 2 hours NOT on a computer game.)
This is one of my older boys, cutting up an old bike.
They are harvesting bits of aluminium for another project (please don’t ask!)
It keeps their fingers and brains busy – it’s awesome!.