You’ll Cry! You’ll Cheer! You Won’t Believe This Kid!

Hi Readers! There’s not much I have to add to this video except a preface: Watch it! Then show it to anyone who wonders why you’re letting your kids have some plain old chillin’ time.

50 Responses

  1. Saw this earlier on another site. This kid rocks!

  2. This made me SO happy.

  3. Hmmm. . . maybe I should get off the internet and do some of those world changing things I told myself to do. . .

  4. wow, what am i doing reading this blog. i need to get out and take action.

  5. Love this! I’ve got to share this with some of the kids (students and my own boys) in my life.

  6. Good thing dad let him cut those boxes with those dangerous sharp scissors! What a great story!

  7. That was awesome!!! 🙂 The only thing I could possibly suggest is, Caine might get a bit more business for his cardboard arcade if he painted the games to make them look a bit more visually appealing, but the “raw cardboard box” look has its charm as well–it’s obvious that Caine had absolutely no help with this project.

  8. in my state he would probably be fined for not having a permit or something 😦 i know even lemonade stands are frowned upon lately 😦

  9. Love it! Showed it to my kids and now they are inspired to build with boxes.

  10. OK. That’s it. I’m going on Saturday. Scottsdale, AZ to Los Angeles is only 368 miles. ROAD TRIP!!!

  11. @Malcolm…I’m in Scottsdale..where are you going to be?

    As impressed as I am with Caine (and I am MIGHTY impressed!) I give his dad a round of applause for not interfering, helping, doubting, directing and/or criticizing….What an awesome parent!!!!

  12. That was just amazing. Such a creative kid. Going to show it to my kids later, but they’re in bed now.

  13. @Gina I live near Shea Blvd/Scottsdale Rd. I figure I can make a weekend out of it, as there are other things to do in LA, as well.

  14. Caine and Caine’s dad – you are both fantastic! Caine – keep up the great, imaginative work! Caine’s dad – keep up the great parenting!

  15. Sobbing with joy. Thank you, George (Caine’s dad) for NOT buying your kid an iBrain to suck his creativity right out of him… for leaving him alone with some cardboard, time, and space… WOW!!!!

  16. Awesome. Just awesome! The claw machine about killed me! What an awesome kid, and great free range dad.

  17. You mean to tell me that Caine’s dad wasn’t arrested for violating child labor laws?? I mean, c’mon, this is America. We just can’t tolerate this kind of abuse of children! Shame on Caine’s dad for looking the other way while his son does some very backbreaking creative work and will probably be a multimillionaire someday for practicing some ingenuity as a child. Goodness that poor boy will be scarred for life!

  18. That did actually make me cry. 😮 It is so much the opposite of the prevalent attitude these days that kids are just helpless and actually useless creatures. We should all give our kids the freedom to chase their dreams!

  19. thats the cutest thing on the planet!

  20. I cheered, I cried. I was amazed both by Caine and by his community.

  21. I wonder what Caine did with the money he made selling all of those fun passes.

  22. amazing video, every child has this in them, and this father was the catalyst we all need.

  23. MADE. MY. DAY.

  24. I think letting your child be free is one of the bravest things a parent can do in the current age, mainly because of the perceived dangers heaped on us by the media. It is amazing to see the results of this child who has been given his freedom, lovely!

  25. There’s also a fundraising effort to pay for Caine’s college education. He’d probably do well in game design, but he deserves to do whatever he likes. He’ll probably be good at that too, because he had the right motivation and upbringing.

    The only downside to this video is that it makes me feel inadequate…

  26. What a great story! Now I’ve got to find where it is, and GO PLAY! Fun pass sounds pretty good!

  27. Love it! So proud of his dad for encouraging him to do something while Dad’s working instead of plugging him in.

  28. Found it!

    538 N Mission Rd, Los Angeles, CA 90033

    I’ll go there tomorrow (was going to be a block away anyway) and take some pictures (and send them to Lenore for possible posting). Although, since it will be in the morning of a school day, I doubt Caine will be there.

    Can see the arcade from Google street view.

  29. Very cool! He is very imaginative with what he is doing! Way better than going to summer camp or some brain dulling thing like that! Way to go Dad, to buck the trend to have an “organized” summer. Yes, he may not have been able to do some swimming, or some silly art and craft kits, but he got WAY more out of his summer than the kids that did those things. THIS is a foundation for future stuff that will mean way more in his life.

    The other day my boys were working on a carnival. They have the “Swing Ball of Distruction” (a kid on the rope swing) and they made a see saw from an old board and a drier drum. I think there is a train ride – they have an old bench on the wagon that looks like it is supposed to be pulled around. A work in progress, right now. Given a whole summer, it might be as good as Caine’s Arcade!

  30. Wow to that whole film and everything about it! How about Caine using the square of the ticket number (the ”check mark”) as the fun pass authenticity check! He figured out that out would come up the same every time for a given ticket number, and that it would be unique for each ticket number.


  31. Man, I’m sitting here wiping away tears. That. was.awesome!

  32. Yay! What a fabulous story. When he crawls into the box to dispense the tickets, OMG. Notice he is using scissors, not the safety ones either, with no adult present. Horrors! This definitely made my day. Inspiring to say the least.

    All kids should be required to put away the DS, cell phone, ipad or whatever and spend a day being “bored” and just see what happens.

    Caine rocks.

  33. Just saw this video this morning!! Loved it!!!

  34. This just put me in the best mood and gives me a parenting role model. Hats off to the dad and bravo for Caine’s creativity! Loved that he created this wonderful arcade under a sign warning of “cancer causing chemicals on the premises”. Egads! What kind of parent would allow that? Ha! Apparently, an excellent one!

  35. This is awesome! My boys are all rearing to go building their own arcade out of boxes now.

  36. Oh wow … that’s amazing.

    And a marvelous use of the Internet to encourage a brilliant budding engineer.

  37. That is so cool. What a smart kid.

  38. I was thrilled when I saw this earlier today. Kudos to the dad for not feeling like he had to sign his kid up for summer camp or arrange for a sitter. Leave kids alone and they will entertain themselves. This kid not only displayed his creativity but also showed he is a natural entrepreneur.

  39. @Malcolm…I’ve lived off Shea for 18 years…near Tatum, near 64th, near 60th and now near 96th. Do I know you? Do you have kids at Chaparral? LOL..I thought I was the ONLY FR parent in all of this town!!!

  40. @Gina I don’t actually have any kids of my own. I was turned onto this blog by another free-thinking blogger (, and have a keen interest in the socialization and adjustment of coming generations. When I was a kid, there was no such thing as a “play date”. I went outside, visited friends at their homes, walked home, and often got into low-grade “trouble”. Sadly, that experience is becoming of a prior era, with most children now raised to not seek their own ends, but to fulfill ends prescribed by someone else. I do what I can to mitigate this trend. Drop me a line, if you would like to discuss off-board:

  41. I love this kid! No doubt Caine’s imagination is a gift, but it has certainly been influenced by his dad’s positive, laid-back parenting style. This is what happens when a kid isn’t over-scheduled and over-parented. Three cheers for Caine and his dad!

  42. Thank you Lenore for finding this and sharing it. It made my day.

  43. Wow, gotta love that first customer too..

  44. Drove by today (Thursday) and it was closed. Guess Caine is in school. Will try again the next time I’m in LA on a weekend. Might be a while…

  45. Best video EVER! Thank you for sharing.

  46. @ameliablacks good for you as a free range I let my 6 year old drive my car down a freeway to build up his confidence and make him a stronger more independent person. I also let my 5 year old babysit because she is so mature and I’m proud of her for being an independent person I firmly milder them to be

  47. The best part is at the end:
    “and I was proud”
    That’s what helicopter parenting takes away from kids, the chance to accomplish something on their own, the chance to be proud of themselves.

  48. love everything about this

    Love that it’s gone viral.

    Love the need the filmmaker saw – and what he did about it.

    Love the money that has been raised.

    Love Caine! Love his Dad! Love ’em all!

    Love. Love. Love.

  49. Thanks so much for sharing the video. Thought you might enjoy my blog post about it…

  50. the importance of unstructured, unsupervised independent play – what else can i say!

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