Nurturing the Mechanically Curious Boy…..(or girl).

There’s something about taking stuff apart to see how it works that just is built in to little boys. Sometimes we want to take things apart just for the destruction of it. Think about when you were a kid. What was the first thing you did with your Matchbox cars or Hot Wheels? I, for one, took the wheels off or I smashed the cars into each other and tried to knock the wheels off! Little boys are always taking things apart and maybe or maybe not, putting them back together again. This is why Tinker Toys, Erector Sets and the like are still so popular with kids.

erector set

My youngest son, Joseph, is now getting to the age when he is looking for something a bit more challenging. He’s no longer satisfied with destroying his cars and putting them back together….hopefully.  So I went in search of ideas for him. Maybe even for US to rip apart and put together….together. My buddy, Adam, told me that his dad used to go find old, small motors and vending machine parts, anything mechanical and bring it to Adam and let him tear it apart on the garage floor to see how it worked. Later, after Adam got his driver’s license, he would go into the garage on a rainy day and spend hours under his old Chevy just looking and poking around. Ahh you can almost smell the oil and gas now!

Now if you go this route don’t think you are nailing down your son into being a mechanic…although it IS a fine vocation and a good, honest mechanic is gold! But, if you nurture that curiosity for how things work, think of where that could take him….nuclear scientist….engineer….King of a small island in the Pacific! (OK, I went a little far with that one). Maybe the destruction part is more of a big deal for your son. Fine! Don’t you still admire those guys who do demo? I love to destroy things to this very day!

Of course there are those who will say, “oh but my daughter loves to see how things work too”. OK, go get her a motor to work on or let her take apart an old lawn mower. I’m just saying in the overall, general, big picture….boys tend to like destruction and building more than girls. Either way, why not take my friend’s advice and spend a little weekend time on the garage floor with your son (or daughter) some tools, dirt and old mechanical….thing. GRRRRR

 

 


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