This is a wonderful article from the Boyers on how to raise boys...stay tuned for more being written by them!
"Boys need to be encouraged to try new things,experiments, building, etc. As our boys reached, say, 7 or 8 years of age we would supply them with wood and nails and let them try building things- bookcases, birdhouses, chicken houses, etc. Boys need the freedom to try and if something fails, that in itself is a valuable learning experience. Our sons would try experiments with plants, ways to train their animals, creative ways to do things. I remember 6 year old Tim mowing with Dad's supervision. He was a natural from an early age. We gave him the freedom to try to fix things that would break. Even folks at church would bring him their broken blow dryers, mixers, etc. If he could fix it, he earned a few dollars. If not, he earned some valuable experience. We even let them try things we knew wouldn't work, like keeping plants in the dark or planting "soup" as four year old Rickey tried once.
Little boys are messy, noisy, and yet they have a charm of their own. I remember my boys spending hours in our garden after all the crops had been gathered in, creating towns with churches, homes, post offices, stores, roads. They had hours of fun and would come in very dirty, but it was a healthy kind of play. We did not raise our boys with a TV or video games. They had lots of great books, puzzles, tools, trucks, and materials to learn, explore and create. Artificial entertainments were few and what we learned was that they learned to think creatively. It's too easy to plop down and WATCH something, but if it's not an option, wow, the mind begins to think and explore and a whole world of learning is opened up to them."
Go here to read all of it!