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#1 of 7 Old 03-27-2014, 07:37 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I have an almost 6 year old son and a 1 year old son. I am looking to invest in a few items that my older son could use independently to explore his world when tending to the younger one makes it impossible for me actively work on a project with him. My current ideas include a digital camera (maybe even an action camera), metal detector, wood carving/whittling tools (yes, there would be supervision!), and microscope. Any other thoughts for me? 

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#2 of 7 Old 03-27-2014, 07:38 PM
 
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My six year old loves his Snaptricity kit and will play with it for hours.

lucky mom to Oliver, 8/6/07, and Finn, 11/28/10, and wife to DH
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#3 of 7 Old 03-28-2014, 09:34 AM
 
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For my kids what amused them at that age was mostly books, art materials, the outdoors, K'nex and Playmobil. They spent a ton of time involved in imaginative play at that age: story-telling and creativity of all sorts, not the typical "playing house" sort of stuff, rather "let's build a replica of the monastery from that book, and then we'll make a weird backwards version of the story with hilarious characters." 

 

We've always been a pretty maths-and-sciencey family, but not in terms of having lots of kits and tools. Mostly in terms of how we approach the world around us. We had a kids' digital microscope (easier to use than a traditional optical one) and as they got closer to 8 or so they were able to use it independently and with enjoyment. I think the camera is a good idea. Perhaps a hand-held magnifier and binoculars. Pattern blocks were used a lot here over the years: not in a sustained way, but from time to time over the span of many years. 

 

Not sure how you'd feel about the technology, but how about a basic iPod or mp3 player for listening to audiobooks while mucking about with drawing or construction toys? An art kit? A drawing tablet for your family computer and a drawing/painting app? Origami paper and instruction book? A midi keyboard? Outdoors, where my kids are lucky enough to have ready access to the natural world, they liked having ropes, trowels, buckets, water and hoses, shovels, hammers and nails, scraps of wood and so on. 

 

Miranda


Mountain mama to three great kids and one great grown-up

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#4 of 7 Old 03-28-2014, 10:44 AM
 
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My 6 year old loves the Wii and YouTube videos. We just bought a microscope and slides, too. He also loves playing with his Army Men (the little plastic guys), Angry Birds Star Wars Jenga game,drawing, his karaoke machine, etc. 


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#5 of 7 Old 03-28-2014, 06:30 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Yuba_River, the Snaptricity sets look like they would be right up his alley. And from the comments online it sounds like even a nonreading 6 year old (who is motivated) can work much of it on his own. If you feel any different would you let me know. Thanks!

 

moominmamma, thanks for the long list of suggestions that have worked in your family. Even though I know some aren't things that would work for my son it sparked some ideas for things that might and that's what I was hoping for. Oh, and I'm going to look into digital versus optical microscopes now. Didn't know there were more than one option. :-)

 

mumsince2007, I had to laugh when picturing a karaoke machine for this young guy. I'm afraid he inherited his mama's singing voice and let me tell you know one wants to hear us singing karaoke. Shower singers only I'm afraid! ;-)

 

If anyone else has other things that have gone over well at that age I'd still love to hear ideas. And I'll report back with what we got and how they worked.

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#6 of 7 Old 03-28-2014, 06:48 PM
 
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I have a 10 month old and a six year old who occupies himself pretty well. We've had solid weeks of subzero weather this year, so we discovered some things that keep him busy indoors:

1.Drawing imaginary battles and crazy machines- I can seriously keep him busy for a couple of hours with a stack of paper and a good black pen, but this might just be my boy.

2.Legos- He has his own lego desk in his room. We presented this to him as a gift. He uses the drawers to organize them and the desktop to set up elaborate scenes. This helps keep choking hazards off the floor- an endless struggle with a little boy and a crawling baby.

3. Marble track- we have a combo of the Haba and some from hearthsong including dominoes. I would definitely suggest this (stackable wood) kind. It seems to leave alot more open to their creativity.

4.Animals- not really suggesting you get some, but if you have them already, enlist him in their care. My DS can spend a good chunk of time trying to teach the dog tricks or reading stories to chicks and ducklings.

5.Computer games- DS loves minecraft and spore. He also loooooves to read his minecraft handbook and the little manual that came with spore.

6. Eyewitness books. We usually have a couple of these checked out from the library. Books that HE picked out either from the library or the thrift store are favorites.

7. Perplexus puzzle balls. If you just want to keep a kid still for a while.

8.Vidoe camera. He has one of those flippy ones I found for about $15. He's had it for two years and still loves making and watching his videos.

9. A felt board, a camera and powerpoint. My son loves making tiny stop motions. I had to teach him how to do this, but he does it on his own now. He's tried this with pattern blocks too.

10. A bunch of junk from the barn/basement. He's fascinated by steampunk images so he tries in his 6 year old way to create sculptures and/ or real working machines.

11.Clay.

12. Empty books. Card stock covers and a few pages for him to fill with a story, drawings, whatever. Sometimes I commission a book for a dime- a book of riddles or a book about emotions for your sister- I cherish these :).

13. A bird feeder, binoculars and a simple bird id book.

14. His guitar.

15. Snap circuits.

 

I'm considering getting him his own microscope. He knows how to work ours, but it was much too expensive to let him use it on his own. There have been plenty of times he wanted to look at something and I just couldn't help him because of the baby.

 

Thanks for this post. I'll be following for ideas.

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#7 of 7 Old 03-29-2014, 09:57 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by healthy momma View Post

Yuba_River, the Snaptricity sets look like they would be right up his alley. And from the comments online it sounds like even a nonreading 6 year old (who is motivated) can work much of it on his own. If you feel any different would you let me know. Thanks!

moominmamma, thanks for the long list of suggestions that have worked in your family. Even though I know some aren't things that would work for my son it sparked some ideas for things that might and that's what I was hoping for. Oh, and I'm going to look into digital versus optical microscopes now. Didn't know there were more than one option. :-)

mumsince2007, I had to laugh when picturing a karaoke machine for this young guy. I'm afraid he inherited his mama's singing voice and let me tell you know one wants to hear us singing karaoke. Shower singers only I'm afraid! ;-)

If anyone else has other things that have gone over well at that age I'd still love to hear ideas. And I'll report back with what we got and how they worked.

Yes my non-reading 6 YO plays on his own with ours all the time. It's fun to do the projects together, but mostly he just builds his own circuits.

Marble runs are a huge hit here as well.

lucky mom to Oliver, 8/6/07, and Finn, 11/28/10, and wife to DH
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