You know that vintage-esque Dangerous Book for Boys that was all the rage a few years ago? Meet 1945's version, the Boy's Fun Book of Things to Make and Do. 1945, when boys were men, and men were also men. In this book you'll (I mean, your son will) learn how to shoot a gun, use a lasso, whittle fishing lures, and make a radio from scratch. You'll be using electric saws, razor blades, soldering irons, actual rifles, and more. Buckle up!
The book lets you know where it's coming from right away with the first project: a complicated balsa plane.
See that gridded blueprint? There were no copy machines, so your child will need to transfer that by hand, starting by meticulously drawing a full-sized grid. Take that iPad away and get him going!
This page of table tricks actually has things I wouldn't mind trying with a child today, but for the third item, which assumes your child and his friends are hooked on cigarettes:
Don't smoke (yet)? Need something else to do with your free time? Try a hobby! It'll give zest to your life, new horizons, new pep. If you don't already have a natural interest in anything, maybe a hobby in the catalog will strike your fancy.
OK, this page is actually kind of cool except of course for the sexist "irate housewife" caricature. But the idea of putting something in front of the bike that moves with the wind, or with the turning of the tire, is solid. Dangerous, but solid.
Does your high-schooler need toughening? Want to be able to lick your weight in wildcats (what)? Build this Commando Course.
"This low bridge is no place for fat boys," the caption says, bluntly stating the obvious much like a four-year-old might. Ah, 1945.
Here's a page of matchstick tricks that I can actually recommend you to try with your kids. Answers are on the following image, so I'll leave a bit of space so you'll be able to see the puzzle page without the answers page appearing on your screen.
(Scroll down for the answers.)
(Here they come!)
That's a nice, hippie-ish sentiment to end on, don't you think?
I'm Debbie Way, an artist and writer who enjoys making things.