Fifty Dangerous Things (you should let your children do) – Book Review

I recently wrote about Gever Tulley’s video on TED about dangerous things you should let your children do. He has just released his new book on the subject titled, Fifty Dangerous Things (you should let your children do).

Written to look like a classic how-to manual for an adult safety class, each dangerous item has its own simply laid out page. Each activity includes a bulleted how-to section, a list of required materials, an indication of the level of difficulty, and any warnings. The opposing page even has space to write notes and observations. The lay-out makes it appealing to both children and adults. Rather than start at dangerous activity #1 and work your way through the book, children will want to flip through the book to find activities they are attracted to.

Some might question why parents or children would need to engage in such activities. Tulley responds in the foreword, “Engagement with the world in these ways usually occurs in Kindergarten classrooms, or graduate level programs at university. They are often the most powerful in terms of cognitive development, but unfortunately, this type of behaviour is seldom endorsed in our schools, street corners, or homes.”

Tulley recommends the book for ages nine and up, but also comments that, “every child is unique; your child may be exceptional in one manner but awkward in another.” Indeed, most of the suggestions were beyond the Bear’s four years. But we did find some dangerous activities that she was comfortable to attempt. We did the ‘go underground’ activity which involved finding a culvert or other underground cave to explore. We also made a ‘bomb in a bag’ where we added baking soda to vinegar in a Ziploc bag and then watched the chemical reaction make the bag explode.

Other activities include: making a slingshot, walking home from school, playing with the vacuum cleaner, driving a car, licking a 9-volt battery, going to the dump, playing with fire, and standing on the roof. Most of the fifty activities were not that surprising. They are activities that were part of my growing up, and I’m sure part of yours. But it is interesting that I needed a book to help me remember the activities. Tulley has found an obvious need for a book to remind parents of the everyday science and wonder in such daring things.

Fifty Dangerous Things (you should let your children do) is an excellent gift for children. I’m sure most parents would raise their eyebrows to see that their child received such a gift until they read the contents and got excited about doing the activities alongside their children. There is much inherent value in each of the activities, but it is also a book that simply provides ideas for parents for some exciting, well, dangerous time with the kids.

A great book to purchase and keep on the shelf for those days when the kids complain of being bored. Ideal gift for children aged five to 18 (and the parents will love it too!)

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1 Response to “Fifty Dangerous Things (you should let your children do) – Book Review”



  1. 1 Pure Asian Garcinia Reviews Trackback on February 1, 2015 at 9:48 am

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