It’s like early Christmas when I ask the librarians to buy something for me, and it shows up on the hold shelf for me. This was purchased by our lovely craft librarian.
Geek Mom by Natania Barron, Kathy Ceceri, Corrina Lawson and Jenny Williams.
Geek Mom is a blog on Wired Magazine, related to the Geek Dad blog. Geek Dad the book came out a couple of years ago (my love got it for Father’s Day, and there are two others that we don’t have), and now there’s also a Geek Mom book. This, too, is full of projects and ideas for geeky parents, but written by the moms. It looks like I never reviewed it, and my memory is a bit hazy, the projects in that book looked awesome, but maybe requiring a bit more oomph in the supplies acquiring and time setting aside than we usually have. Geek Mom has more crafty, cooking and reading adventures than I remember from Geek Dad. There are still projects that involve electronics, explosions and computers, so don’t go thinking that being from moms makes the projects less cool in any way. There is the occasional fun sidebar, with topics like “10 Geeky Instruments We Wouldn’t Want to Live Without”. The first five were the accordion, ukulele, theremin, keytar, and Moog synthesizer. I will note that the lute made the list, but the harp did not. Their Imagination chapter includes making a secret lair, steampunk and superhero costume ideas, learning about history through comics, exploring fandom with kids, and roleplaying with kids including recommended roleplaying systems. Here my love opines that the Icons gaming system is much more kid-friendly than the Mouse Guard system they recommend, which is based on cute comic book mice but not especially simple. The Curiosity and Learning chapter includes lots of preschooler-friendly ideas, which can be tricky in books like these. It includes things like cartography, hosting a time travel party, topology, and linking classical and rock music. “Mothers and the Digital Revolution” covers a host of computer-related topics, including internet safety, screen time limits, website building, a history of computers (going back to when it was a job title!), and using tech for fitness. “Science at Home” has a lot of very fun projects, including self-propelled boats, a DIY lava lamp, a blob, making plasma in the microwave (only for use with microwaves you’re willing to risk losing) and much more. They use borax crystals to make a Cthulu rather than snowflakes. “Food Wizardry” includes directions for fixing a hobbit feast, catching wild yeast for sourdough bread, and a tetris cake and cephalopod cupcakes. Also, an essay on the pleasures of loose tea – yum. The sewing and crafting chapter includes felt monsters, a crocheted amigurumi, natural tie-dye, battery-operated LED sculptures, and electric component jewelry. (Didn’t you make jewelry out of the resistors in high school physics?)
That was a very long list, and at that, just a sampling of the many cool projects. They are clearly described, with cost, age, time, and difficulty given at the start of each. Most of the projects are in the $5 to $10 range, with some more expensive and some with ranges depending on how much you want to put into them. The projects start working from about age 3, and some would be interesting up through the teen years, but most are aimed at elementary school aged kids. Yes, there were a few projects that I wasn’t interested in myself, some advice I didn’t quite agree with, but not enough to outweigh the many good ideas. This is an approachable book chock full of appealing ideas for active families to have all sorts of geeky fun together.