Two or three of my six grand kids have the potential to be DefCon Kids now what ?

So I have access to six young minds by helping my wife and retired teacher to sit with them 4 days a week.
Four I drive to school while the parents (my children) earn a living. 
Two are easily motivated and do well with Legos.  One likes robots, they all do math window games.
I teach chess and play when thy want ( no Queen or rooks for me )

Programming is my artistic expression but I would push too hard and blow them away.

What low level intros can be a leap into DefCon Kid status that you know worked well in your experiences ?

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Goodhart4 years ago
Oh, and you have a little time, you may get inspired by a short, easy to read, and very inspiring book called The Spark
iceng (author)  Goodhart4 years ago
I'm being pointed to scratch, spark and snap
A whole bunch of Ss :-)
Goodhart iceng4 years ago
The Spark is about an autistic boy that was yanked from "the system" because they weren't helping him. By age 13 he had learned so much, he developed his own theoretical construct of the universe. All he needed was for his mom to "see where the child was strongest, and go for it". When very young, the child arranged all his crayons in a goemetrical pattern, with the colors in their proper order oin the electromagnetic spectrum.
I ended up reading it (because of not having much time) in just two days. . .
iceng (author)  Goodhart4 years ago
Sorry, no disrespect intended.
Thought it was about programming.

Stories of how children overcome obstacles arrayed in their path
always leave their emotional courage affect with me long after the reading.
Goodhart iceng4 years ago
No, I didn't think you were disrespectful in any way. 

I refer to this book (cover pic here).
Everything's not always about autism Goodhart. In this case SPARK = Simple Programming, Animation & Robotics for Kids.
I understand Jayefuu, however, I did say The Spark

And, IMHO, the book is a GREAT one for anyone leading ANY child (autistic or not, as the mother ALSO ran a successful day care that inspired all the kids) or trying to inspire them.
caitlinsdad4 years ago
I would add a few more wheels to that ladder and make a huge articulated firetruck luge to send all the kids downhill on.

Modeling arts with your hands. I did model rocketry, railroading, airplanes, soapbox cars, pinewood derby. Start out with paperplate and cardboard spaceships, give them a video camera to make their own movies with special effects, give them a regular digital camera to take pictures and modify them on the computer, Let them play with air-hardening clay, build an adobe fort, planting a garden is nice, do some basic carpentry stuff like make bookends or a coathanger, personal mirror, do T-shirt mods and printing, build a slackline or an obstacle course, kids need to run around and you want them tired out, look up teambuilding exercises and competitions for things to do....everything else except watch TV or let them be babysat with an ipod or ipad or video game console. Good luck.
iceng (author)  caitlinsdad4 years ago
Thanks for the charm !

I never did the video idea .... we will have to try that.

Between my wife and I we do all the others excepting dangerous power tools.

Their mothers my daughters could solder in fourth grade but I have no experience
guiding boys and my wife hates programming ( a result of continuing education
for Nevada teachers fiasco ).

May be we can turn them on to Instructables.

indymogul on ibles has a whole bunch of DIY videos that are fun to watch and do. And you can really do all the stuff with a webcam and basic software like windows movie maker or imovie already on the PC/mac. My daughter's 2nd grade class did a whole thing on making a news program Everyone had a job from writing stories, reporting on air and the production crew during the videotaping.  Build one of those clappers - slate board with the pivoting stick to make the sound.  Nothing like putting on a show to stoke the imagination and to watch it when done. 
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