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Maker Dad: Lunch Box Guitars, Antigravity Jars, and 22 Other Incredibly Cool Father-Daughter DIY Projects Paperback – May 6, 2014

4.3 out of 5 stars 55 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

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"The only thing better than DIY is DIWHOF (Do it with Help of Family). This wonderful book makes that possible. Mark Frauenfelder is the Founding Geek of the Maker Movement and he does not disappoint. This book will not only provide you weeks of fun, but it will foster creativity and technical savvy in your daughters. Plus you'll make a robot that draws. I mean, come on!" —A.J. Jacobs, author of The Year of Living Biblically

"Every dad should 'make cool stuff' with their daughters. You will have great father-daughter time working on the projects in Maker Dad and it may even spark a lifelong passion for technology. My dad bought home a TRS-80 computer when I was 11 and then signed us up for computer lessons at RadioShack. With this book, you can introduce your daughter to the world of robots, magic, music and more!" —Helen Greiner, co-founder of iRobot and CEO of CyPhyWorks
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: New Harvest (May 6, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 054411454X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0544114548
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 8 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (55 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #168,531 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Dave Schwartz VINE VOICE on June 11, 2014
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I was excited to get this book, because I enjoy doing little projects around the house with my daughters. And there are some really, really neat projects in here, although most are likely best for kids at least slightly older than mine. It is clearly written, with step-by-step instructions that are easy to follow, and the author's personal notes give you context for each project.

I don't think, though, that I'll be making many of the projects in the book, mostly because I don't have the tools to do so. Looking at the helpful list of tools you'll need, there are some things I'd imagine would be in every house (hammer, pushpins, scissors) and others that might not be (30-watt soldering iron, rotary cutting tool, Surform Shaver). Investing in the tools to make everything in this book is quite a big step if you're not sure you'll be able to actually execute the plans with any degree of competence, and I can see how people who aren't skilled at using the tools could be put off by that.

If you've got a ton of tools already, though, this is a great book that will give you some good ideas on things you can make with your kids.
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Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This DIY soft cover book for dads and their daughters(although moms and boys could be involved, too!) offers a couple dozen projects ranging from science to magic to music to artistic to silly.

We have two daughters ages 7 & 10, and since I'm off on Mondays, mom takes a break, and we do Daddy-daughter day. We homeschool and always are looking for various learning activities that capture the imagination, encourage creativity and allow the children to participate wholeheartedly. This is a neat book that spells out all kinds of fun and education as well.

There's a short intro explaining the nature of making mistakes, a page for the Maker Dad Toolbox, stuff like, rat-tail file, surform shaver, pen-type soldering iron, brushes, screwdrivers, and such; however, you can pick out your project and put together your material list as needed.

He features differing degrees of difficulty(more like time involved), and gives a short talk about how the idea came to pass, a list of what's needed and a step by step guide with pictures(ours were in B&W for the advanced reading copy- not sure if they'll be in color-would be nice).

So far, the projects we've done have turned out as expected: make a antigravity jar- pretty basic magic trick requiring tape, thread, metal clip jar with lid, magnet and a pair of scissors; some woodworking tasks like making a simple "Mid-century Chair- Dad needs to do the jigsawing; make a giant bubble making wand- took a bit of work and right conditions to get it going.

These projects require, obviously, supervision, but the key, I think, is to allow the youngsters to do as much of the work as possible, which can be hard for a do-it-all dad to stand; however, it may take longer but that's more and better time spent with them.

Overall, a well laid out DIY book to entice quality fun time for parents and children together- more is needed.
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Format: Paperback
I loved making things with my Dad in his workshop, and it wasn't until I was a teenager that I realized how special I/he was for those experiences. Now, as a young adult, it's even clearer how stronger I am as a woman for it. There is a Verizon commercial running right now about how impressionable girls are to adult's unintentional gender-normative language around hobbies, that I think is fabulous and totally related to the goals of this book. At the end it points out that 66% of 4th grade girls like science and math, but only 18% of college engineering majors are female.

I love the activities in this book, almost as much as my husband and daughter do. They had a ball with the lunchbox guitar and have their sights set next for silk-screening. This is not the first book I have bought at the beginning of summer vacation for project ideas, but it's definitely one of the best. Another I highly suggest is The Boy Electrician. My husband had it as a kid and has recreated some of the projects with out daughter.
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Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Disclosure: Not every Mom is like me. When my daughter was small, she watched me repair plumbing and install a new toilet while her Daddy vacuumed the carpet. Every parent has different skill sets, and it's just a weird coincidence that this book meshes so well with mine.

Whee! When I read this, I wished that my daughter was a kid again, so we could do all these cool projects, from a three string personalized lunchbox guitar to your own dehydrated "Astronaut" ice cream, which is even better than the expensive cubes you get at the Museum Gift Shop.

There are 24 way cool projects, and at least a few of them will mesh well with the things that interest you. The directions are so detailed and there are so many photos describing each step that if you have the slightest skill in following directions, you can do these. If you can crochet a sweater or make your own pasta, you have more than enough skill to make these projects. Don't let the electronics stuff scare you.

These projects are great for parents of any age, but your kids should be school aged (ideally pre-teen) to get the most out of the finished I mean, you can make your own silkscreened tee shirts with a three year old, but the parent will end up doing all the work, and the kid will be too young to remember.*

This book fills that niche for when your kids are too old for coloring books and some such, but too young to start learning to drive. Besides, if you make three or four of these things with your kid and her friends, you will be the coolest parent in the neighborhood, maybe even the coolest planet in town!

* = When my daughter was three, we sponge painted tee shirts with fish and glitter and made ourselves matching tee shirts for our visit to the Aquarium.
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