<br>I had books and some toys but I also had imagination and creativity. I had imaginary friends that lived in the closet of my bedroom who would come out when nobody was around and play with me (I think they may have been based on Disney or other cartoon characters). But by far the greatest influences on me were what my Dad had in the basement. Dad was a collector -- his father was a chemistry teacher so there were various chemicals around -- he was into electronics so there was tons of old electronics equipment -- tools galore and everything from old pinball machines (that sort of worked) to car engines that didn't work until one fixed them (sort of).
<br><br>Teach your children curiosity and give them the means to explore that. The phase space of biology alone (and all the parts that make it up) is huge and will not be mastered soon. The same is true for nanotechnology.
<br><br>Spike, the next time you rebuild an engine have your son hand you the tools. The next time you go outside to look at a comet take him with you. When someone in your hood throws out a PC or TV or Radio bring it home for him to take apart. Download nanoengineer-1 from Nanorex and let him learn how to use it. If "we" know matter will be as software (if you can think it you can manifest it) then the key things are the imagining part and knowing how to use the parts and tools which are available. Ask questions that get him thinking... How does the washing machine work? Where does electricity come from? What does "cooking" do to the food? Simple stuff to fuel the imagination.