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Fifty Dangerous Things (You Should Let Your Children Do)
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Fifty Dangerous Things (You Should Let Your Children Do)

3.92  ·  Rating Details  ·  313 Ratings  ·  48 Reviews
NOTE: This is the self-published edition of the book, which is now discontinued. Please visit the page for the new edition from New American Library (a Penguin imprint):

Fifty Dangerous Things (you should let your children do) is the first book from the people who created Tinkering School. With projects, activities, experiences, an
Paperback, 130 pages
Published December 11th 2009 by Tinkering Unlimited
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,327)
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Tanya Hart
Sep 18, 2011 Tanya Hart marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
I think this is a great book because although I haven't read it, may even never read it, it has opened up a whole world of fun in the types of activities I try out with my 4-nearly-5 year old son.

- I've watched the TED talk and read the website and several reviews.

My focus has changed from keeping him safe to teaching him how to be safe/ finding ways to be safe while doing dangerous things.

I'm very industrious about reading books on babies and childhood development, but I hadn't realised how
Of course everyone wants to protect children from harm and make their world as safe as possible, but there are no absolutes or guarantees in life and overprotected children lack the competence necessary in assessing and handling risk to explore safely and make good choices on their own. This book is a workbook for measured, supervised risk exposure. It guides you in teaching children to explore safely and sets them on the path to exploring safely on their own. In doing so, it helps to create com ...more
Oct 23, 2011 Mindy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I got this book from our Bookmobile. It is full of "dangerous" things that every kid should experience. I really enjoyed reading it. Lots of the things I have done(put my arm outside a moving car, burn things with a magnifying glass, lick a 9-volt battery) I find myself telling my own kids not to do. It was a good reminder to let kids experience life. This book also does a good job of talking the read through being safe while being a little crazy. I think I will buy this book for our kids for Ch ...more
Dec 23, 2010 Reid rated it really liked it
This book addresses the double-whammy of inadequate public education and the Free Range Kids movement, so it's right up my alley. While a lot of the 'dangerous' things seemed like filler (really, sticking your hand out the window of the car?), the book redeems itself with its encouragements to get kids whittling, breaking glass, disassembling appliances, navigating public transportation, and even driving! This will certainly be a gift for my friends with kids, once they're old enough to play wit ...more
Apr 29, 2010 Gord rated it it was amazing
I can't recommend this highly enough. We're bringing up a generation of kids that have been protected from every possible danger, no matter how remote. Kids need to be allowed to try and fail; fall down and get hurt; climb trees; everything that we did as kids. We turned out just fine, so what are we doing keeping them wrapped up in bubble wrap, afraid to go to the park.

Gever lays out a very simple list of things that we should do with our kids. None of it's really dangerous and it's all a lot o
Jan 11, 2012 Amanda rated it it was amazing
Highly recommend for anyone with children around Caleb's age or older! Love it!
Jul 18, 2011 Kellie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: parenting, outdoors
Lots of great ideas and only one rule, "Don't hurt yourself or anyone else." Some are simple (lick a battery), some you may have done in science class (make a bomb in a bag), some take a different kind of courage (perform on the street), and some are definitely dangerous (play with fire), but a little controlled risk helps kids develop their own judgment. It certainly isn't appropriate for every age or every child, but I there are a number of activities I have enjoyed with my seven-year-old (mak ...more
May 31, 2013 Caro rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: actual-factual
This was pretty interesting. Most of these things I've never done and some I didn't do (like driving) until I was old enough etc. I would definitely like to try all of these and introduce them to my kids. Some will have to wait for the younger one but this will be like an adventure into childhood for all of us. This was written well and I understood everything. Some of the things I wasn't clear about were explained further in the book. Did I say I wanted to try this stuff yet. I liked the explan ...more
Takashi Kumagai
I'm still so far away from having kids, but it was a fun reading this book. Makes a lot of sense. I'm an adult now, but I'd probably enjoy trying some of the these 'dangerous' things myself.
Ada  Library
Apr 24, 2015 Ada Library rated it really liked it
Lots of ways for kiddos to explore and experiment. I like that directions are simple, there is supplementary data provided, and room for "field notes," to be filled in by kids.
Apr 24, 2015 Amanda rated it really liked it
Lots of ways for kiddos to explore and experiment. I like that directions are simple, there is supplementary data provided, and room for "field notes," to be filled in by kids.
Feb 11, 2014 Erica rated it really liked it
I bought this book too late for my own kids (now 15 & 18). As a neurotic, cautious person parenting children with a risk-taking, anti-establishment type, it would have helped me enormously reduce conflict with my partner if I had had this book. It's great for setting boundaries based on reason & probability rather than fear & doubt. I recommend it to parents of 3- to 5-year-olds -- to keep at home for ideas of things to do with kids. Many of them are science-based. The adventurousnes ...more
May 03, 2016 Kara rated it it was amazing
I like Gever Tulley's philosophy, and agree wholeheartedly. We already have a few of these activities planned! (And some have already been done
Jan 01, 2015 Allan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book has a lot of fun DIY/Maker type of dangerous fun to do with you kids. I quite liked this book and it's philosophy of raising children.
Apr 02, 2012 Kristi rated it liked it
This is a fun book of activities for parents and children to tackle together. It teaches that the best way to keep children safe is to do "dangerous" activities together and teach child both skills and the sense of what they can handle on their own or what they should seek help for. I'd like to pick it up again when Davey and Gordon are old enough to do more of the activities. It might make a great summer to do list!

"If you never let them climb a tree, they will eventually do it anyway, possibly
Dan Smith
Sep 29, 2013 Dan Smith rated it really liked it
Wonderfully self-explanatory book, and a reminder that we live in such an amazingly safe environment which carries its own subtle dangers of insulation from risk. Some tasks don't seem all that interesting, such as baking something with unusual ingredients, but that can't detract front he generally fascinating nature of the good ones - climb on to a roof, drive a car, throw a spear, spend an hour blindfold, superglue fingers to thumbs, boil a paper cup on a hob.

I look forward to doing this stuff
May 12, 2010 Kate rated it really liked it
This is a fun book. It is interesting to see what the author considers dangerous and why, and many of the experiments are educational or at least enlightening.

I'm not going to have my kids try all of them, but I'm happy to say they've done more than half, and will try more. They're kids and get to be kids -- they climb trees, lick batteries, explore caves and play with fire (while supervised). Someday soon I may encourage them to superglue their fingers together, climb on the roof, or put an eg
Most activities were not nearly as interesting and controversial as I thought. Safety is stressed in every step of every activity. I thought it odd that a section detailing why each activity was considered dangerous was in the back, rather than the one sentence for each activity just being included with the activity. All in all, good ideas to teach your kid to be competent and responsible, but I would probably have opted for the Dangerous Book For Boys or another more fun version of the same con ...more
Jul 05, 2012 Missmath144 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: all parents
Great ideas about activities that will help children understand the physical world around them. The book gives instructions on how to do everything as safely as possible, and warns you of potential dangers.The one that I never would have thought of was boiling water in a paper cup. Since water boils at a lower temperature than paper burns, the cup will stay intact up to where the water ends. The top of the cup might burn off as the water evaporates, until there is nothing left.
Lance Cromwell
Loooove this book! What a gift! A great reminder to me to let my children grow up as self-sufficient, capable, creative adults... Not that I wasn't hoping that would be their mode, and indeed, aiming to help foster that, but this is a very clear set of suggestions to help make manifest those very qualities. It made me realize that I have gotten swept up in the Age of Overprotection, or Over-direction, to a certain degree.

Three cheers for Gever Tully!
May 31, 2011 Natalie rated it liked it
Technically, I didn't read this book from cover-to-cover. I think these are good ideas and I would have enjoyed a book like this as a kid. I don't have any desire to do these things now, but I think they'd probably good for my kids as they got older...especially my oldest who seems unnecessarily afraid of a lot of things. So, not very applicable to my current situation, but potentially in the future.
Oct 30, 2011 Eric rated it liked it
Super quick read and if you really like it and want to use it, you need to own it. Half of the book is empty pages for notes and observations but I mainly picked it up because I love the concept behind it. As for the dangerous things, my kids have done many of them but it did give me reason to find a 9 volt battery for us to play with.
Jul 07, 2011 Ann rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
My read of this book consisted of "did I do that as a kid? Yes, and much more!" My kids have done most of the dangerous things already, but there are a few that can fill the summer days...

It has some interesting background on the dangerous things - trivia, that make them a little more fun. :-) I like the hazard labels, too.
Holly Rayl
May 27, 2012 Holly Rayl rated it really liked it
Shelves: parenting
Fabulous guide to teaching children to explore the world around them safely. Children will do most of these things on their own, anyway, so shouldn't we, as parents, teach them how to do dangerous things safely? Open the door to effective communication and dialogue, and do dangerous things with your children.
Jul 19, 2011 Annette rated it really liked it
Some of the "dangerous" things weren't at all. Some were only mildly uncomfortable and some we didn't do for one reason or another. But in all it was good ideas for rainy days and not-so rainy days. Now if we could get our son to stop asking, "Can I get on the roof?" every time he is outside.
May 17, 2011 Gwen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
This is going to be an ongoing reference book I think, and because of the "field notes" I wish I'd bought a hard copy instead of Kindle version. There's some stuff in here that I want to try, nevermind my kids. And some things that I have fond memories of doing as a kid, too!
Alexandra Chauran
I love this book. There were some workbook features, so it is not a super library or Kindle book. I'd like to go ahead and get this book in paperback form when my children are older. I like how it teaches kids to think critically about risk.
Dec 17, 2010 Andrea marked it as to-read
TED has a video clip of Gever Tulley presenting a talk based on this book about 5 dangerous things every child should do. Watched the clip in my psychology class, and it made me want to read the book. He runs The Tinkering School (check it out).
A good collection of activities to do with the kids. Not the best writing, and I'm pretty sure some of the facts presented are incorrect. Get out there though and help yourself, and your kids, get a better understanding of risk.
Oct 24, 2013 Jane rated it liked it
my book club (all moms) had a great discussion of this book. I've not yet read the whole thing, but it's an interesting topic that sparks good conversation and makes you think about how you parent/protect your kids.
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