CONTEST & Mini Review: Geek Dad: Awesomely Geeky Projects by Ken Denmead

Okay, so the book title in the title isn't technically the name of this book. The title of this book is super long though. Thanks to Gotham Books, we have a handy copy of Geek Dad: Awesomely Geeky Projects and Activities for Dads and Kids to Share by Ken Denmead to giveaway. You can enter to win after the mini-review of the book below.

Geek Dad: Awesomely Geeky Projects and Activities for Dads and Kids to Share
Ken Denmead

Gotham Books
Released May 4, 2010
244 pages
DIY / Geekness

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The ultimate DIY project guide for techie dads raising kids in their own geeky image, in the spirit of The Dangerous Book for Boys

Today's generation of dads grew up more tech-savvy than ever. Rather than joining the Little League team, many grew up playing computer games, Dungeons and Dragons, and watching Star Wars. Now with kids of their own, these digital-age dads are looking for fresh ways to share their love of science and technology, and help their kids develop a passion for learning and discovery.

Enter supergeek, and father of two, Ken Denmead. An engineer and editor of the incredibly popular GeekDad blog on wired.com, Ken has created the ultimate, idea-packed guide guaranteed to help dads and kids alike enjoy the magic of playtime together and tap into the infinite possibility of their imagination. With illustrations throughout, this book offers projects for all ages to suit any timeframe or budget. With Denmead's expert guidance, you and your child can:

•Fly a night-time kite ablaze with lights or launch a video camera with balloons

•Construct the "Best Slip n' Slide Ever," a guaranteed thrill ride

•Build a working lamp with LEGO bricks and CDs

•Create a customized comic strip or your own board game

•Transform any room into a spaceship

•Make geeky crafts like cyborg jack-o'-lanterns or Ethernet cuff links

Brimming with endlessly fun and futuristic tidbits on everything from gaming to gadgets, GeekDad helps every tech-savvy father unleash his inner kid-and bond with the next generation of brainiacs.

No one is ever going to mistake me for a Geek Dad or any other type of dad for that matter. I don’t have the biological equipment to warrant such a label. I don’t even have children, though I know a few. I can, however, be easily labeled a Geek with a capital G, so when Gotham Books offered me a copy of Ken Denmead’s Geek Dad, I was game to take a peek at it. I mean, anything a dad can do, a mom could do too, right?

Denmead is a columnist for Wired.com, where he has written several columns that I’ve found both insightful and entertaining. He strikes me more of a tech geek and has an engineering background, which means the crafts and projects in this book lean more towards the technical. There aren’t a lot of easy things to do in this book or at least not from my not-so-technical point of view. Many of the projects would also be pretty time consuming rather than a quick hour or two project to waste away a rainy afternoon. Even the projects Denmead lists as taking less than an hour seem like they would take much longer, though that could be because I don’t have an engineering background and would be fumbling around these things alongside the child.

With projects like “Cool LEGO Lighting from Repurposed Parts” and “Model Building with Cake”, this is a book focused on projects to do with older children, probably during that sweet spot where they’re old enough to handle sharp scissors or a knife on their own, but not so old they’ve become a teenager that doesn’t want to hang out with you. This probably isn’t the book of projects I’d want to do with my 4-year-old nephew.

That’s not to say this isn’t an awesome book. There are some really cool sounding ideas, just that it will be useful to a very specific audience. I’m going to have to hang on to the idea of using LEGOs and remote control cars to create a personal demolition derby or the instructions to create a cyborg jack-o-lantern just for myself because that’s pretty cool. This book is full of crazy ideas for patient parents with children really into building things or working with electronics, so it’s definitely on my list to pass on to my brother when his kids get several years older.

 

Enter to Win!

Gotham Book is awesome, so in celebration of Father’s Day this Sunday, they provided me a copy of Geek Dad: Awesomely Geeky Projects and Activities for Dads and Kids to Share to give away to a lucky Working for the Mandroid reader. We’re going to keep this contest pretty straight forward. It’s open to anyone with a US mailing address who fulfill any of the criteria below. The contest will run until 12:01AM on Monday, June 23. One lucky winner will be pulled at random to win a shiny copy of Geek Dad.

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