July 14, 2015

"The Dangerous Book for Boys" and "My Father's Dragon" {aka our summer kid-riculum}

One needs be intentional in summer, otherwise it wheels on by, leaving Fall and perhaps a melted popsicle, in it's wake.  I enjoy the feel of summer, but if left un-manipulated I am very much that person frowning into the sun with a Fudgesicle dripping down my hand.  So I do manipulate and coax summer in to a form that we can manage.  

really, this attire is the only way to battle with water balloons

We fill our sun-soaked days with kayak paddles, and impromptu 
picnics, and camp days and dirt.  Lots of dirt.  Bookending all that are appointments and mini vacations: those ritual visits of dentists, grandparents, well child check-ups, and amusement parks.  

ran out of blog appropriate water balloon battle pictures.  How about raspberry picking instead?


But what about those tiny pockets of time that show up each day when the watercolors have been overused and even the sand pit has been graded enough?  Sure, sure we practice our reading and math and letters over summer, but what about all that other important knowledge?  The kid-riculum of summer!  The knot making, paper airplane building, star gazing, tree house building type of summer day nostalgia!  Well, if you're a wiz then you already know how to teach such things to your child and you innately know how to spread it out across time.  I am not a wiz,  BUT I do have the perfect book to guide me in parental wizziness*...

"The Dangerous Book for Boys" is a book unto itself and I struggle to appropriately explain it.  Similar to a boy scout handbook, but with supplemental stories.  Chock full of activities and advice ranging from first aid, to important battles, to tanning an animal skin, growing sunflowers, understanding grammar and building an electromagnet.  

Bear just turned 7, but there is still plenty in this book for us to explore!  We cracked into it this week and explored the pages on paper airplane building and the 7 Wonders of the World.  He was immediately smitten.  Ace stuck around for a while too which shows how awesome this book is if it's suggestions can hold the attention of 3 year olds!

the planes taking a break from racing each other

My paper airplane building just upped into the competitive range thanks to the directions in this book.  Can't wait to see what other skills we learn this summer- there is a section on 
building a go-cart...  Oh and there is a similar book for girls too (not that I think the female population wouldn't enjoy this book as well)!!!!

Where do we do these activities?  Why, anywhere the wind blows us!  Take a look at this day's classroom; complete with dirty beach towel and wrinkled yoga mat.  The boys 
flopped right on down after our airplane races and turned an ear to our current 
summer read...


Are you familiar with the "My Father's Dragon" series?  They are lovely and magical; centered around a boy and the baby dragon he helps to rescue.  There's a helpful cat, lots of tangerines, a few lollipops and many interesting wild beasties.  It pairs well with "The Dangerous Book for Boys" because the main character has packed a curious assortment of objects (along with the skills needed to correctly use them) to help him on his journey.  We are on the second of the 3 book series and both Bear and Ace are enraptured by the imaginative tale.  

Fall has always been my favorite season, but with these helpful books and a whole lot of lovely weather I'm beginning to appreciate summer more and more.

*also I have Champ who is a wiz and an Eagle Scout to boot


elizabeth said...

my dear, what a WONDERFUL set of books! indeed exactly what is needed. So glad! enjoy these days!!!

smalltownme said...

We enjoyed the My Father's Dragon series. My sons' (they both had her!) 3rd grade teacher used them in her curriculum.

T.J. said...

I have no memory of this series as a child- it's kinda weird because I know i would have loved them back then!!! Must have been content enough with all the other cricket in time square, wizard of oz, wind in the willows type reads ;).

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