Becoming a Maker Dad

 Each morning after I wake and while I make coffee, I check the feed for Amazon’s Kindle and Audible sales for the day. There are six to ten books listed as being on sale and after following along for only a few months I’ve been able to snag a few deasl. The Five Elements of Effective Thinking was my favorite and Maker Dad: Lunch Box Guitars, Antigravity Jars, and 22 Other Incredibly Cool Father-Daughter DIY Projects
was my most recent.

 Maker Dad is a book of projects that fathers and daughters (but really any adult/child pairing) can do together. I love the idea of being handy and crafty, especially with my kids, but up to this point it’s only been an idea. I decided that buying the book would be the final tool I needed to start making things.  The jury is still out on whether I’m a maker but the verdict on this book is that it’s wonderful.

If it were a cookbook,with an array of easy to challenging recipes you might feel that it was missing something. For the tasks at hand though it’s nicely focused. There aren’t too many choices to distract you from actually doing a project and all of them have some level of involvement from the kids.

 As someone who – isn’t yet – very handy, I was worried about messing up but right from the beginning author Mark Frauenfelder writes about mistakes as being part of the process.

 “I wasn’t always an eager maker of things. I was timid about it until I became the editor of the technology project magazine MAKE. Working there, I met hundreds of people who made amazing things in their spare time in their garages , in their basements and backyards, and on their kitchen tables. As I got to know them, I discovered something that profoundly changed the way I thought about creativity. I learned that these “alpha makers” weren’t perfect. They didn’t go into their workshops and effortlessly build beautiful and functional things. Instead, they worked by trial and error. They revised their original designs, often drastically. They made plenty of mistakes and didn’t get upset about it. They expected to make mistakes, and they learned from them.”

Some of the more challenging projects include; starting a podcast or creating a robot that can draw things, to the simpler like magic cards and giant bubble wands. This latter group is perfect for the ages of my daughters, six and four, and I imagine that we might be able to work through the book as they get older and tackle more complex problems over time. Plus I might be ready then too.

Even after I bought it, the book sat on my Kindle, collecting digital dust for over a week. Finally one evening I decided to finally do something and made Crazy Cards. Rather than give away the instructions and novelty of it, you can watch my daughter show you.



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