Here goes: another list for my “week of lists” and this one revolving around my week-long family stay-cation. And I, the doting, geeky father that I am, thought I would share some thoughts not only on how we’ll be spending some of our father-daughter time over this particular break, but that I would do so in the form of a handy list.
So here it is: five things that we’ll be doing this stay-cation to bring on the geek-ness.
1 = Game Design
I have yet to spring this idea on her, but I have a feeling that the girl is going to tuck right into the idea. She likes her games, and I think once I entice her with the compound extras of art, craft-making, glueing, cutting, and using her roaring imagination… well, I think we’ll have a hit activity on her hands. I’m not expecting world-class here, either. A simple board-based, dice-roller with some unqiue artwork would be just fine. We’ll get some supplies, do lots of cutting and colouring, and at the end have a cute little game that we can play through over the coming months. Heck, with a little effort I’m sure we could easily out-do some of the epic-bad, based-on-a-popular-storybook, corporate-committee-designed garbage we’ve been playing recently. If nothing else, we’ll spark some of those creative juices, huh?
2 = Cooking
Not only is the end result of this activity tasty and delicious — we get to eat something — but arguably the life-skill and usefullness factors on this activity are high. Undoubtably, many might question the geekiness of cooking as a father-daughter (or son) activity. But, here in the early twenty-first century, there are many well-tuned geeks who are prized as much for their prowess in the kitchen as for their knowledge on the netz. This is for the simple reasons that (a) cooking is just science… but with food, and (b) cooking is one of those epic skills that true geeks come to understand is worth practicing and perfecting. It also doesn’t hurt for a little girl to see her dad breaking some of those post-industrial gender stereotypes with his mighty baking ability. This stay-cation we’ll be getting our stove dirty with (a) plenty of breakfasts, (b) at least one batch of cookies, (c) an ice-cream-making session, and (d) a gigantic, crazy, lots-o-chopping meal with at least something from our (partially salvaged) vegetable garden.
3 = Videography
I didn’t have to try very hard to convince my daughter that putting together a video of our ten-day break would be a fun idea. I suppose I also should have figured on exactly how much she’d want to be involved in the process. (She’s still just not-quite-five after all, and time with her dad is golden!) There is something quite fascinating for kids, I suppose, that captures their interest in the art of video-making. When I was a kid, anything I could do to get a few minutes with a video camera was priceless. Now, high quality video is available in almost any electronic device — phones, tablets, computers — and for a couple hundred bucks anyone can have a cheap, point-n-shoot camera that records high definition quality home movies that fits in your pocket. Of course, the fun part is plotting out interesting things to film, important moments to capture, and also letting the kid have a chance to capture a few seconds of footage here and there. At the end of the week we’ll piece it all together and run a premier for mom — that will be the best part.
4 = Geocaching
Or should I say TREASURE hunting? The girl has a thing for pirates these days, and what would be better for some local geeky fun than a walk with her dad into the local scrub-lands to go hunt down some geocaches? A few years ago — back before I really got into running — I was into the whole Geocaching scene. I didn’t hide any, but I hunted down my share of caches in the local wilderness. All that’s needed is a new set of batteries for the GPS, a bit of a good yarn to go along with the adventure, and some sturdy shoes. Maybe I’ll write about those efforts later. But for now, it seems like we’ve got some treasure to find.
5 = Music Appreciation
The girl has been showing a lot of interest in music lately; For one thing, she has been begging me to pull out my saxophone and play — maybe even teach her play — and put on a little show. She has been asking to listen to more “grown-up” music, if only occasionally, when she has a more lucid moment and realizes the world of songs is larger than “The Wheels on the Bus.” And we’ve been getting randomly seranaded lately by little made up ditties while driving, walking, or just hanging out. The girl is into music. And I thought it might just be kind of a geeky thing to do to put together some mix CDs, refresh her iPod with some newer tunes, and maybe — yeah — let her have a go at tooting some sounds out of the horn this week. I don’t claim to be music literate in any super-music kind of way, but I do have a geeky knowledge of lots music-esque things, and a really big digital collection with which to start my daughter’s so-called muscial education. After all, what’s more geeky than hanging out in front of the dual-monitors with the old man listening to Rush?