Excerpt from The Pleasure of Finding Things Out by Richard P. Feynman
I got a kick, when I was a boy, [out] of my father telling me things, so I tried to tell my son things that were interesting about the world. When he was very small we used to rock him to bed, you know, and tell him stories, and I’d make up a story about little people that were about so high [who] would walk along and they would go on picnics and so on and they lived in the ventilator; and they’d go through these woods which had great big long tall blue things like trees, but without leaves and only one stalk, and they had to walk between them and so on; and he’d gradually catch on [that] that was the rug, the nap of the rug, the blue rug, and he loved this game because I would describe all these things from an odd point of view and he liked to hear the stories and we got all kinds of wonderful things—he even went to a moist cave where the wind kept going in and out—it was coming in cool and went out warm and so on. It was inside the dog’s nose that they went, and then of course I could tell him all about physiology by this way and so on. He loved that and so I told him lots of stuff, and I enjoyed it because I was telling him stuff that I liked, and we had fun when he would guess what it was and so on. And then I have a daughter and I tried the same thing—well, my daughter’s personality was different, she didn’t want to hear this story, she wanted the story that was in the book repeated again, and reread to her. She wanted me to read to her, not to make up stories, and it’s a different personality. And so if I were to say a very good method for teaching children about science is to make up these stories of the little people, it doesn’t work at all on my daughter—it happened to work on my son—okay?