Several months back Parenting magazine spotlighted what they called “Good Guy Websites” for boys roughly ages 10-12 years old.  (For a good read on the phenomena of boys this age, I found this Sonoma Family Life.com article.)  This is the first of several blog posts reviewing their suggestions and adding my own comments.

Boyslife.org — This is the website for the official publication of the Boy Scouts of America.  (Read what I wrote about the Pinewood Derby website back in January here.)

  • My Just-Bridged-From-Tiger-to-Wolf Scout is really into jokes, so the ones on this site are a hit.
  • He hasn’t extensively played the games, but they appeared cute and age-appropriate (read: not violent).  I’m pretty bad at them, so the average 10-12 year old boy will most likely find them easy and fun.
  • I thought that the chance to look through pictures of what other scouts have done is neat.  It’s a great way to build excitement about scouting — as well as about the variety of activities in which Scouts participate — but I’d suggest parents closely monitor the site before allowing their child to post anything.  Basic precautions on posting identifying information (or any information at all) should be thoroughly discussed first!
  • I also really liked the Outdoors and Gear section once I scrolled down past the Gear Guy Buying Guide.  (Great, just what we need: more things to buy!)  But under Outdoors the page on How to Skip Rocks caught my eye…seems like a fun read for anyone!  I think that most kids would find advice on how to fish at night, build an igloo, or build a firefly lantern really interesting.
  • Under Hobbies and Projects there was a dizzying array of projects kids could undertake.  Since we do an annual road trip every summer, I checked out Fun Games to Play in the Car.  Nothing spectacular or new, but kids are much likely to try something they “discover” for themselves than if mom or dad suggest the exact same activity during 8-12 hours in the car!  Other projects seemed even more interesting.  Can my Scout really learn how to build a Composter Tumbler or a Solar Hot Dog Cooker?  Well, not without a parent present, but it’s definitely intriguing.
  • I’m curious to hear if anyone has experience with the Contests page.  Please let me know!

Stay tuned for the next couple of blog posts with more sites for boys (and girls!) this age.