Raising a techy kid – Toys that let them create

by beagooddad on April 10, 2007

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After a young adult life of nearly 30 jobs ranging from telemarketer, waiter, carpenter and several in between, I somehow managed to stumble into computer programming as a career and a somewhat techy geek as a hobby.  In my opinion, being a techy person is really all about wanting to take stuff apart and put it together whether it is a old fashioned clock or lines of computer code.

The best toys to raise a techy are those that teach kids how stuff gets put together:

  • Legos (but not the fancy kits with all of the instructions)
  • Lincoln logs
  • Playdoh
  • Crayons (you have to be able to tell how the pieces fit together to draw it)
  • Books
  • Puzzles
  • Blocks

Toys to avoid:

  • The fancy kits of legos that script how everything should be done
  • Toys that beep and flash so much that the beeping and flashing becomes the focus of the toy (the fancy little cars that play rock songs and bounce up and down)
  • Toys where using them happens the same way every time (a glued down train track for example)

When I say avoid, I don’t mean that there is anything wrong with them.  I just don’t really think they inspire the creativity and stubbornness that you need to being a true tech geek.  Sometimes it takes a whole bunch of tries to get your super block tower to reach above your head.  The more directions that are provided and the less free creating that can be done the less likely a kid is going to be to really bush the envelope.

What are your favorite toys for inspiring techy geekdom in your kids?

Another option to consider is pushing them towards golf course maintenance.  Some days I really wish I could have ended up fishing golf clubs out of lakes and tree branches.

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