So much can be learned through "playing." I think we underestimate the value of play these days. And one of the most valuable lessons the kids learn is to solve problems on their own - critical thinking, if you will. There is such value in trying something that doesn't work. I have really been making an effort to stop myself from saying "that's not going to work" and telling them what will. What I need to do is give them time and back away so they can explore the issue on their own. I'm trying to limit my input to asking questions such as these - "What do you expect will happen? What's causing that to not working right? What needs to happen to change that? How do you think you could fix that?"
I also like to give the kids an idea and see what they do with it. I'm thinking as I write this, maybe I'll ask him what would happen if he used a whole garbage bag and a hair blow dryer. Hmmmm. But that will have to wait. Today we're off to Bugga's to watch the Wyoming football game, and then chop and stack firewood.