Wednesday, June 15, 2011

An Old Radio

We returned home after our last trip to my dad's house with an old radio -- his idea of downsizing is to "gift" things to his grandsons who love anything that came from Grampie's house!  We quickly determined that the tape player didn't work -- which was followed by an explanation of what a tape was -- and after fiddling with the radio, discovered that it didn't work very well either.  Hmmmm ... into the garbage it goes, unless ....

I recently came across a reference to a book entitled:  50 Dangerous Things You Should Let Your Children Do by Gever Tulley.  Well, that lead me to Tulley's TED talk entitled : 5 Dangerous Things You Should Let Your Children Do (to view the entire talk click here).  Wow, some of those things would really be pushing my comfort level, but I can see how they would be empowering to kids.  I wonder what the other 45 things are?  Anyway, one of the suggestions was to let your children take apart an appliance.  The example given was a dishwasher, but I am rather attached to my dishwasher and, although it could probably use a little tweaking, I am not ready to set my boys upon it yet.  But it did make me think of the old radio.  We were going to throw it out anyway ... what would be the harm, I thought, in letting them take it apart.

So today, with rain pouring down outside, was the day.  They seemed a little taken aback by my idea -- shocked even.  "What?! You want us to use these tools to take the radio apart?"  Hmm, I must need to work on my communication skills because I thought that my instructions were pretty clear.  But once they got over their initial shock and got into it -- it didn't take too long -- they had a great time.  I had to bit my tongue a few times, so as not to make too many suggestions to "their" project, but I did get the old "righty, tighty; lefty, loosey" lesson in -- now if only they could consistently tell their right from their left.  Oh well, they figured it out.

 They spent hours at the table taking things apart, looking them all over and in some cases putting them back together.  Their biggest discovery was that there are magnets in the speakers!  They were so excited that they began to stick everything that they could to the speaker and then proceeded to stick it to the fridge, the washing machine and anything else that they could find that was metal.

It turned out to be one of the best rainy day activities that we have done in a long time.  Aidan has declared himself an expert and would now like to build his own radio!

Tomorrow's lesson:  Don't take things apart without permission!

1 comment:

  1. That's awesome! I remember my son taking apart an old 35mm camera when he was a kid... He loved it too! I should let my girls do this sometime... Just gotta figure out WHAT. ;) lol! I'd be interested in the list too... But I'm a worrier when it comes to my kids.... most of those would probably stress me out to no limits. *blush*


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