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152 of 153 people found the following review helpful
on January 4, 2010
I discovered Gever Tulley on [...] and was fascinated by his speech entitled "5 Dangerous Things you Should let your Children do." Among the list of five things that Mr. Tulley suggested that children should do: play with fire, drive a car and own a pocketknife. Let me say that these suggestions initially tormented this helicopter mom.

Yes, fellow parents, I can feel the cringes now. But, let's think about it. We used to be free-range children. We rode our bicycles without helmets. We played in the neighborhood/woods all day long, only returning home for dinner refueling. We whittled with pocketknives, and yes, most of us probably played with fire. We probably survived these experiences unscathed or with minor scrapes.

The "5 Dangerous Things" lecture was the precursor to his new book which has just been published, and it is called "50 Dangerous Things (you should let your children do)." My tween daughter and I are working our way through this hands-on activity book, which has space for your own field notes.

Mr. Tulley's book promotes learning, and believe it or not, safety. Quote from his website: "There are many "dangerous" things that are interesting, eye-opening, enlightening or just plain fun! And while there are aspects of danger in virtually everything we do, the trick is to learn how mastery actually minimizes danger."

As parents, we need to give our children opportunities to tinker, explore and experiment. We must endeavor to raise the next generation of great thinkers. We already have our copy...where's yours?
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58 of 62 people found the following review helpful
on January 26, 2010
I'm a parent of young children, so I certainly understand the urge to be protective. Still, sometimes it's more important to know when you're *too* scared of what might happen, and that's when this book comes in very handy indeed. Tulley and Spiegler do an excellent job of balancing caution with excitement; each of the fifty things has enough danger to be interesting, and enough background insight to be intriguing. The lack of sexism is also refreshing; this is a book for *all* kids, boys and girls alike.

All parents who want their kids to develop more confidence and skill in the face of hazardous life situations -- and isn't that *all* parents? -- can benefit from this book. Even if you don't do *any* of the things listed, the overall attitude -- that confidence comes from skill and from knowing and managing risk -- is very helpful and affirming.

I just have to comment on the one-star review here by "L. Helw." I am not sure why that reviewer got so upset at the concept of an activity book such as this, but most of their complaints seem to be addressed at some other book altogether. In particular, Fifty Dangerous Things is very clear that parents and kids should do only the things they find enjoyable, but the one-star reviewer seems to think the book is demanding that all kids do all fifty things. That's only one example of how the one-star review is based on, at best, a very shallow and hasty reading.
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58 of 63 people found the following review helpful
on May 18, 2011
I discovered Gever Tulley on [...] and was fascinated by his speech entitled "5 Dangerous Things you Should let your Children do." Among the list of five things that Mr. Tulley suggested that children should do: play with fire, drive a car and own a pocketknife. Let me say that these suggestions initially tormented this helicopter mom.

Yes, fellow parents, I can feel the cringes now. But, let's think about it. We used to be free-range children. We rode our bicycles without helmets. We played in the neighborhood/woods all day long, only returning home for dinner refueling. We whittled with pocketknives, and yes, most of us probably played with fire. We probably survived these experiences unscathed or with minor scrapes.

The "5 Dangerous Things" lecture was the precursor to his new book which has just been published, and it is called "50 Dangerous Things (you should let your children do)." My tween daughter and I are working our way through this hands-on activity book, which has space for your own field notes. We have already: whittled, thrown a spear, cooked a hot dog in the dishwasher, broke the recipe rules, exploded a bottle in the freezer, and cooked strange things in the microwave. Now THIS is a hands-on book!!

Mr. Tulley's book promotes learning, and believe it or not, safety. Quote from his website: "There are many "dangerous" things that are interesting, eye-opening, enlightening or just plain fun! And while there are aspects of danger in virtually everything we do, the trick is to learn how mastery actually minimizes danger."

As parents, we need to give our children opportunities to tinker, explore and experiment. We must endeavor to raise the next generation of great thinkers. We already have our copy...where's yours? (Pssst, here's a SECRET: It's as much fun for the adults as it is for the kids.)
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27 of 30 people found the following review helpful
on January 13, 2010
This book is absolutely fabulous. It is so important to teach children how to be safe during the adventures you know they will have. The book is cute, clever, thorough and simply wonderful. We couldn't get enough and bought copies for all of our friends with kids! Such a creative and great way to introduce fun stuff for children to explore. Highest recommendations!!!
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon September 23, 2010
I think the surge of books that advocate children doing adventurous things is past due and there is a genuine need for it in our Helicopter Parent Society.

This is a good example but I would recommend a couple other books over this one.

The Dangerous Book for Boys

The Daring Book for Girls

Geek Dad: Awesomely Geeky Projects and Activities for Dads and Kids to Share

Theo Gray's Mad Science: Experiments You Can Do At Home - But Probably Shouldn't

Are a few that come to mind and are much better either because they have more complete list of supplies or in the case of the Dangerous Book for Boys and Dangerous Book for Boys, it isn't just stuff to do its stories and history that kids will actually enjoy.
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35 of 42 people found the following review helpful
on January 8, 2010
I'm all for allowing one's children to do dangerous things, and I think the list that Mr. Tulley provides is a good and well thought out list for those parents who are concerned about letting their children do things that may seem overly dangerous at first glance. This book has plenty of possibilities, and plenty of warnings about the very limited danger that their children will be facing by attempting each challenge. Many children will be thrilled with receiving this book and with the idea that their parents are going to be complicit in the danger introduced by the experiments.

My only complaint is that there is a necessity for the book to exist in the first place. Childhood is naturally a place where dangerous activities are readily at hand, and parents should take the opportunity to help their children through these dangerous times spontaneously when the child is ready to confront the dangerous thing they want to do. For a child to be looking up dangerous things to do in a book of ideas generated by a stranger, rather than dealing with the naturally occurring danger in their own experience, is a sad comment on the overprotected lives most youngsters live these days.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on January 14, 2010
Great book. We love things like this at our house.

All I can say is that I'm damn glad I didn't grow up with anal-retentive helicopter parents. I've done everything in this book, and a lot more. I'm still here, I'm sane (IMHO), I'm successful, and I'm going to make sure my own daughter also has every possible opportunity to have fun, learn responsibility, and understand consequences while she explores the world and finds her own place in it.

She already knows how to drive a car, and last night we played with fire. Tonight we're going to build a fart simulator (from Howtoons)and fry a CD in the microwave. She's 8 years old.

Set the children free. The last thing the world needs right now is more timid, fearful, uptight people. This book is a positive step towards helping the next generation experience the thrill of discovery, cope with the temporary dismay of failure, and gain the courage to try new things.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
I love this book! The way it's structured--like a field journal--let's kids be almost a co-author, plus the descriptions get pretty silly in places which makes my 3-year-old giggle.

Not all of these activities are alright for my little dude, for instance, boiling a paper cup of water directly on a burner is an experiment for him to observe and big sister (6) to pilot. Some of these may be fairly "tame" as one reviewer put it, but for example, having my son put his hand out of the car window at 45 mph made him giggle and my daughter kept experimenting with wind resistance. Then there's always the field journal element that helps reinforce the scientific aspects, as well as work on writing skills.

I will be buying this one for a few family friends for the holidays!
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on January 15, 2010
This is a great book. The focus on "danger" hides the reality, which is that it's a book of simple real-world science experiments that are fun and interesting. The design and layout of the book is terrific -- it's like a workbook, with lots of space to jot your notes, and little facts about each activity. My son is a little too young for some of the activities, but I plan to keep the book around for years and let him pick out activities to try. Even if you're not an "overprotective parent", this is just a great piece of work.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on November 29, 2011
This book is awesome! Not only did it remind me of things I did as a kid, but the warnings they give are priceless. Also this makes the perfect book to have laying around when company comes over because you will find at least 5 people you can fight with about it. A+
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