Assuming you have decided to celebrate Christmas even if it is of pagan origin, what are some ideas you would suggest for those interested in the faith- science interface? What books would you like on your Christmas list? Any science-y toys? Biblical toys?
For those who like graphic novels, this one was pretty neat – good artwork and a nice exploration of some of the serious historical questions about the intersection of science and faith:
Just placed an order. Think it would be appropriate for a 12-13 year old?
I would think so, if they’re at a point where they like engaging with philosophical questions about faith and reason, etc.
My brother bought me the card game Clades last Christmas but I was out of the country until recently so I just got to break it open today. Tons of fun! I highly recommend, even if I couldn’t win best 2 out of 3.
If you like the card game Set, the game play is essentially the same, with a few little fun tweaks (which I can elaborate on if anyone is really curious for a fuller review; just ask), but instead of number, color, shape, and pattern as in Set, the Clades game has number, color, habitat, and clade. All cards have 1, 2, or 3 animals on red, blue, or green cards. The animals are either terrestrial, flying, or marine animals, and they are either mammals, arthropods, or sauropsids. The cards with three animals all show a little mini-cladogram.
You don’t get as much education through the game play of this game as you do with, say, the board game Evolution (another fantastic gift for the EC gamer in your family!), but the way the game is set up, you have to split out the mammals, sauropsids, and arthropods separately, which almost subconsciously teaches players about the different natural groupings of animals that God has created. You also passively come to realize that each of these three major groups of animals has radiated into terrestrial, marine, and aerial niches, because with mammals you have cards with cetaceans, land mammals, and bats; with sauropsids you have turtles, reptiles, and birds; and with arthropods you have crustaceans, spiders, and insects. Lastly, there are some really neat little info cards that talk about some of the different clades shown: Chiroptera, Testudines, Pterygota, Tetrapulmonata, Whippomorphs, Supraprimates, Aves, Squamata, and Malacostraca.
And if you look really closely, you’ll see a cameo from a Forum regular, too…
Somebody is definitely getting Clades from me this year. Eight year old boy seem like a possible fit? He is a great reader.
That’s so cool! Did you contribute to the Kickstarter or something?
Looks like fun – I will keep that in mind for when our kids are older. Might not be welcome at our after-Thanksgiving game time though.
hahaha I’ll bet!
My brother did, in my name. What can I say, the guy knows me!
Yes. I would say for a precocious eight-year-old, yes. My firstborn would have enjoyed this at eight. My actual current eight-year-old may not be there yet.
My bigger misgiving is that my nephew is so plugged into video games. But he seems to be able to pick up anything and read it out loud. When I watch them I have him read the stories now instead of me. I don’t know that kids like him will ever enjoy socializing around games the way I did growing up, just one of many ways in which I am reminded the only thing constant is change.
*Not sure if I’d mentioned this but the way I’m able to have a young nephew and niece in my life at sixty five is that my ten years younger brother married a woman twenty years younger than himself. Since my stepson is pretty clear he isn’t interested in having kids, these will be our pseudo-grandkids.
Sounds like you’re a great “grandpa.” I started later in life myself–my kids are 10, 8 and 5, and I’m 47. I’m frequently asked if they’re my grandkids, because I’m an older looking 47 year old. But–they keep us young, don’t they! Have a great Christmas. Has anyone else had feedback on the “Science Geek Sam and His Secret Logbook”? I gave a copy to my YEC brother in law, a school superintendent.
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Came a across this list of books, might make someone happy on your list:
My kids are in that good age (10 and 8) where they like chapter books. What kinds of fantasy or other series do you like? I’m going to try to expose them to the Narnia series and The Hobbit again; they have also had The Green Emerald. It’s fun to see this stage–what do you enjoy reading or discussing with your kids or grandkids?
Have you done the Princess and the Goblins and the Princess and Curdie? Or At the Back of the North Wind? The Wise Woman and other Stories? The Ordinary Princess? (I figure you have, big George MacDonald fan that you are.)
My kids liked Harry Potter, Percy Jackson, Chronicles of Prydain (The first book is called the Book of Three), the Wingfeather Saga. Gerald Morris has re-written a bunch of Arthurian legends for a modern audience, and they are very entertaining. The Squire’s Tales are a good series by him. We are currently reading A Letter for the King, which is an international bestseller translated from Dutch. I guess the original was published in 1962, but I don’t think it has been available in English for very long. Five Children and It and the sequels are classics.
My grandson liked the Percy Jackson books. While a throwback and not PC at times, I actually enjoyed the Little House on the Prairie books, to give a view into early American life.
I liked Ursula Le Guin’s Earth Sea Trilogy when I was younger. Oh and I had a ball reading all the good pet animal novels to my stepson beginning when he was just younger than yours are now. There was Flicka, Lassie, Lad, a dog, Bandit (the raccoon, not the pit bull), The White Lady and tons more whose names escape me now.
That reminds me my stepson also enjoyed the Little House on the Prairie books and loved all the Anne of Green Gables.