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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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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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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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on May 25, 2010
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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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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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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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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on May 25, 2015
Not quite what I was expecting when I bought this for my son's father when he was born. I was thinking it would have more science experiments in it, but this particular title is geared more towards gaming (which is fine too since is Dad is also a gamer). If you want more science based stuff, I would suggest another title in the series: Geek Dad: The Book for Aspiring Mad Scientist. This second title has a lot more science based project for fathers to do with their children. However, this title is still pretty cool, it approaches parenting from a DnD perspective in many of its activities. My son's father seems to like it well enough and since it was a gift for him I guess that is all that matters :D
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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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on August 21, 2012
I bought this for my husband who is a total Geek in every sense of the word :) so he can use it with our son when He gets older. It's pretty cool, lots of different, interesting things to do in this book.
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