“We are all having increasingly geeky kids,” says Dave Nelson, stay-at-home dad of four-year-old Otto Sam. But for all the kids’ skill at video games, Nelson says, those are “insular activities—and sometimes it seems like the only way parents can interact with them is in front of a screen.”

So when he learned that the No Starch Press wanted “a book of projects for geeky twelve-year-olds to do with their parents,” Nelson jumped at it. Snip, Burn, Solder, Shred: Seriously Geeky Stuff to Make with Your Kids features two dozen activities, from sewing a sock squid to wiring a joy buzzer. “At the book launch at Workantile Exchange during Midnight Madness, I built a $10 one-string guitar,” he says, “and that sold books all by itself.”

He’ll host another demonstration at the AADL on February 22.