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145 of 148 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon May 21, 2010
Perfect for families looking for creative and amazing projects, Geek Dad had me bookmarking favorites to try right away. Many involve science in a fun, lightweight way. I can't imagine a child who wouldn't be excited by the prospect of some of these activities: the ultimate outdoor obstacle course, the light-up nighttime kite, the finger-painting with windup toys. The directions make each step simple and understandable.

Each project has a table that describes the concept, lists the tools and materials needed, and gives ratings for cost, difficulty, duration and reusability. Costs are from $0 up to over $100. Difficulty levels begin with primary-school kids up to high school age. Duration is from 0 to 15 minutes up to 3 hours or longer. Reusability ranges from one-time-only use to "good forever."

Throughout the book are drawings, maps, diagrams and tables. Everything's in black and white.

Here's the chapter list:

Introduction: About Being a Geek and a Dad
Make Your Own Geeky Games and Crafts
1. Make Your Own Cartoons
2. The Coolest Homemade Coloring Books
3. Create the Ultimate Board Game
4. Electronic Origami
5. Cyborg Jack-o'-Lanterns and Other Holiday Decorations
6. Windup Toy Finger Painting
7. Create a Superhero ABC Book
8. Model Building with Cake
9. Pirate Cartography
10. Parenting and Role-Playing Games
11. A Never-Ending Demolition Derby
Geeky Activities for the Great Outdoors
12. See the World from the Sky
13. Best Slip `n Slide Ever
14. Fireflies for Every Season
15. Video Games That Come to Life
16. Fly a Kite at Night
17. Build an Outdoor Movie Theater
18. The "Magic" Swing
Awesome Accessories
19. Smart Cuff Links
20. Light-up Duct Tape Wallet
21. Crocheted Dice Bag of Holding
Geeky Kids Go Green
22. The Science of Composting
23. Home Hydroponics
Build / Learn / Geek
24. Build a Binary Calendar
25. Portable Electronic Flash Cards
26. Wi-Fi Signal Booster
27. Cool LEGO Lighting from Repurposed Parts
Geeky Potpourri
Ice Cubes Fit for a Geek
Exploding Drink Practical Joke
Afterword: Pneumatic Wiffle Ball Cannon -- Failure as a Project
Appendix A: Resources and References by Chapter
Appendix B: RPG Character Sheet
Appendix C: Projects Listed by Rank
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47 of 50 people found the following review helpful
on March 26, 2011
This is based on a popular Wired.com blog, and while it's easy to see why that - and the idea of pooling great, technologically assisted ideas for children - might have seemed an appealing starting point for a book, the result is - once one gets past the nice cover design and so on - decidedly under-powered.

On the one hand, there just aren't that many "projects and activities" and, of those there, some are great - attaching lightweight LEDs to a kite for night flying and using remote-control cars covered in Lego for reuseable demolition derby races - but many others - for example, a Dungeons and Dragons-based system for household chores, a swing that's, well, a swing but that has two interleaved phonebooks to show the wonders of friction, a light made from a stack of CDs and cuff-links made from ethernet connectors - are, if not just dull, "geeky" rather than "awesome". The suggestions also don't lend themselves particularly to further development. One wonders if the text got shredded by a host of product liability lawyers or, alternatively, if the target audience is a bit - or perhaps a couple of decades - too old.

Definitely worth looking for a more substantial, if possibly less well-formatted, experiments/etc for children guide.
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36 of 39 people found the following review helpful
on May 15, 2010
Hey I'm a geek and a Dad so right off the bat this book is full of win for me. The real test though is the kids. If the kids don't dig the projects then it's a geek book. In the words of my 10 year old daughter after flipping through the book "We are totally doing some of these projects". What more can a Geek Dad ask from a book of projects?
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18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
Geek Dad has a wide range of projects, from those requiring simple items you already have around the house, to a few that might inspire you to designate a piggy bank ahead of time. There are plenty of crafty ideas sprinkled in with electronics and robotics- even a crochet project!

The instructions are easy to understand and adaptable for different skill levels, including non-geeks. Both my 10 year old and my 6 year old found projects they want to try ASAP.

These projects offer kids a chance at hands-on experiments, something they frequently miss in today's test-focused school day.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on April 16, 2012
This is a great concept, but the ease of the projects is overstated. You can't simply crack the book open on a Sunday and do a project. Some involve buying or ordering specialty products (ie "ice cubes fit for a geek) recommends ordering a special resin from Amazon. Others involve writing computer code or electronics - things you'll just end up doing yourself.

Also, it's unlikely your kid will enjoy sitting by your side as you spend an hour writing computer code or editing a stop animation film as much as you do. Aside from LED lights on a kite, there aren't many quick and fun projects. I admit I dread every time my kid suggests we look through this book, because I know we won't end up doing any of them.
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26 of 33 people found the following review helpful
on September 14, 2010
This is an attempt to join the DIY movement targeted at those of us that are fathers. The book gives ideas of what can be done, some tips, ideas, and that's about it. No fully fleshed out projects, no build lists, no instructables. It makes for a great source of inspiration, but falls short for giving a 'how-to' on some real projects. Not a bad book/reference, but not worth the $15.
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19 of 24 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon August 13, 2010
I was very excited for this book. I was expecting to find many projects I could do with my 6 and 10 year olds. I found 5 that I might do. There were several reasons I ruled out projects: too much like arts and crafts which isn't what I bought the book for; we already did something along those lines; didn't seem interested to young kids; too elaborate to ever get around to it. I got science experiment books at the library and am much happier with those.

These are just our preferences. Obviously, other reviewers like the ideas.

I might have given it only 2 stars, but I have to give the book credit for pointing me towards Arduino boards and ThingM products.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on May 6, 2010
Great ideas for ways to spend quality, geeky time with your kids, packaged up in a entertaining read. The projects will get the kids to tinker right along with you, and maybe even learn something while they're having fun!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on July 30, 2010
Remember those geeky guys you went to school with? You know, the nerdy ones into dungeons and dragons and the weird sci-fi books and movies? The ones who begged for the 101 Electronics Kits for Christmas? The ones who didn't have an athletic bone in their body? Well, they are grown up now (and most with high paying jobs) and a lot are now dads. Hence, comes Geek Dads by Ken Denmead.

Geek Dads is an awesome book filled with great projects for dads to do with their kids. Are they geeky projects? Well, I will let you decide that. Are they cool projects? Most definately.

This book is great for a few reasons. First, it gives dads hand's on projects to do with their kids that both dad and kids will enjoy. Second, these projects can involve science, math and engineering (but nothing too hard). Exposing children to this type of learning can only be a good thing for them and help them in school. The most important reason this book is great is that it encourages quality time spent between dad and kids, which makes for a more emotionally sound child.

Is this book only for Geek Dads? Absolutely NOT! This is for any dads (trust me, projects are not too hard and are pretty cool), grandpas, mothers or anyone who wants great projects to do for with children. In addition,

A few of my favorite projects are: Electronic Flash Cards, The Science of Composting, Wind Up Finger Toy Painting, See the World from the Sky, and The Best Slip and Slide Ever.

Thanks to Penguin Books for providing me a copy to review.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on June 4, 2010
Even thought most of the activities require a lot of money (build your own outdoors movie theater? I mean, seriously), this is an OUTSTANDING book. I now have a lot of ideas on my own to spend time with my daughter, all of them based on this book!

Buy it, even if you're not a father! I can bet a lot of people will perform the activities on it without even being a parent, you just need to be GEEK!
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