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Nerding: A Beginner’s Guide

Nerd, Nerding, NerdBot

There’s been an incredible response to the launch of Raising Nerd, with lots of enthusiastic feedback. One question we hear repeatedly is, “Yeah, that’s great, but your kid is already a Nerd (proud dad moment). How do we get our kids started on the path to Nerding?”

Fear not, we’ve got you covered!

The journey into the world of Nerding isn’t just reserved for the naturally curious or the inherently inclined. It’s a journey that any child can embark on, with the right guidance and opportunities. At Raising Nerd, we believe every child has the potential to become a passionate explorer of the unknown, a creator of magnificent things, and a thinker of groundbreaking ideas. It’s all about tapping into that innate curiosity and providing the tools and encouragement needed to nurture it.

It’s true; NerdBoy has always been a huge fan of science and engineering. His curiosity drives him deeper into the mysteries of our universe, robotics, and beyond. The good news is that all kids are curious. And it only takes a tiny nudge in the right direction for them to explore the world of Nerd.

How Does One “Nerd” Exactly?

But what does it mean to “nerd”? It means fostering a love for learning, an excitement for discovery, and a willingness to delve into new and sometimes complex subjects. It means turning moments of play into opportunities for education. And transforming everyday activities into adventures in creativity and critical thinking. Nerding isn’t about being the smartest kid in the room; it’s about having the most fun learning and exploring.

So, how do you ignite that spark of curiosity? Whether your child is already showing signs of nerdy tendencies or you’re looking to cultivate a new interest. We’ve got you covered with some practical, fun, and budget-friendly ways to get your Nerd-to-be started on their own exciting journey.

Brad Meltzer, Change the World, Reading, Inventors, Nerd

Here are five easy – and cheap – ways to get your Nerd-to-be started on his or her own way:

1. Reading (solo or together with you)

First and foremost, feed their minds with fun stories and interesting facts. The wilder the better! We are HUGE fans of encouraging kids to read. And there’s no better way to stoke their imaginations than by opening a cool sci-fi, fantasy or adventure book. Some of our favorites include The Magic Treehouse Series, Franny K. Stein: Mad Scientist series, The Lightning Thief (Percy Jackson and the Olympians), and of course, Harry Potter. Lots of Harry Potter.

Looking for non-fiction? Take a look at Brad Meltzer’s new “I am … “ series. Here, Meltzer uncovers what it was like to grow up as historical figures like Albert Einstein, Amelia Earheart, or Jane Goodall. Or enjoy Meltzer’s fantastic book from his series on The History Channel, History Decoded.

Looking for a good science book? Here are three great ones:

2. Build Something (Anything)

One of NerdBoy and Girltastic’s favorite weekend pastimes is to visit The Home Depot for power tools demonstrations. This is where the weekend-warrior shoppers get to test the newest equipment. Your little Nerds-in-training will spend what feels like hours, cutting, drilling, assembling and demolishing blocks of wood. They think it’s just fun. But for me, it’s teaching them the basic construction techniques. It also teacheds them problem-solving skills and hand-eye coordination. You could also set up your own demonstration station at home with scrap building materials to help teach your kids these same basic skills.

Give the LEGOs a rest for the day and let them hammer nails, drill holes, and saw boards. Let their creative maker-builder go wild! In addition, it’s a great opportunity to teach them the proper way to use these tools.

3. Drawing & Writing

Have paper, will create! Enough said. Instill creativity by giving the little Nerdlings an old notebook and let them draw their own inventions? Give them a story starter or a riddle and let them draw their own ending. Or find a cool image and have them write and illustrate a quick story about what’s happening in the photo. Just search for “funny story starters” or “weird animal photos,” then click for images. There are no limits when creating on paper!

4. Cooking

Cooking and baking are art forms. But at their very soul, they are simply chemistry experiments that taste good (sometimes). Set your Nerds free in your kitchen, and see what concoctions they create. Or, pick a fun recipe from the amazing Tasty’s YouTube channel. Or even better, combine their passion for baking and fantasy and make a recipe from The Unofficial Halloween Cookbook for Harry Potter Fans: Inspired Recipes for the Spookiest of Holidays. It’s the project that feeds the mind and stomach!

    LEGO, NERD, NerdBot, Nerding, Curiosity, STEAM, STEM Learning, PLay
    Credit: Nathan Sawaya

    5. LEGO Rebuild

    Yes, LEGO is fun. And cool. But most of all, LEGO provides an opportunity for you to stretch your Nerd’s creativity. Every Nerd loves to build the latest and greatest LEGO Star Wars or LEGO Ninjago playset. But, if you really want to challenge your kids, try this. After they’ve finished building their set with instructions, have them rebuild it into something completely different using the same bricks. No instructions, no new pieces. At first, they’ll struggle to come up with something unique. But as they start clicking bricks together, you’ll soon see a Master Builder emerge, seemingly out of nowhere.

    Let us know what you think. How are you fueling your Nerd’s passion for creativity, science, engineering or whatever? We’d love to hear your thoughts!

    Nerd, Nerding, NerdBot, STEAM, STEM Learning, Curiosity, Play

    Nerd On!

    AFFILIATE DISCLOSURE

    At Raising Nerd, we’re dedicated to bringing you the best of the STEM world—through content that educates, inspires, and entertains. To help support our mission and keep our platform thriving, we want to be transparent about our use of affiliate links in our articles.

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    Thank you for your support and for being a part of our Nerd Herd. Together, we’re making STEM learning fun and accessible for everyone!

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