VSL:KIDS // Should your kids play with knives and matches? (The answer is yes!)

Gever Tulley — who runs the Tinkering School, where power tools are put “into the hands of second graders” — outlines five dangerous things you should do with your children: You should let them play with fire, drive a car, own knives, throw spears, and illegally download mp3s. It’s a compelling, counterintuitive argument that every parent should hear.

Actually, safety is Tulley’s primary concern — except that for him, safety has little to do with hazard warnings and restraints. Playing with fire really amounts to learning “basic principles” about intake, combustion, and exhaust. Chucking spears helps with “structural problem solving.” And pocket knives teach kids to “develop an extended sense of self through a tool, at a very young age.” As for the injuries? They happen, but Tulley’s not too worried: “They’re so young, they heal fast,” he says.

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VSL:KIDS // Should your kids play with knives and matches? (The answer is yes!)