Last winter, my daughter got a set of very cheap walkie-talkies through a school Secret Santa. To define cheap, I mean both in cost and quality. The sticker was left on them. Less than $3 USD. What surprised me was how fast she took to these cheap, never worked properly walkie-talkies. At 2½-years-old, she immediately knew what they were for and tried to use them.
Now she’s 3-years-old and has a baby sister. Just the other day, she dug out the one radio that works, turned it on, and tried to teach her baby sister how to use it.
As both a father and a ham radio operator, I could not have been prouder of my little lady. I immediately thought to myself, “You’ve wasted too much time. She showed interest 6 months ago. You better take advantage of this interest before it’s too late!”
I immediately went online and tried to buy one of the low cost Baofeng radios. Unfortunately, while we still live in Thailand, Amazon won’t ship it to our address because of the battery. However, Ham Radio Outlet had no qualms about shipping a Wouxun radio with battery. So, I ordered the slightly more expensive HT. To be completely honest, for a 3-year-old, I would have preferred the cheaper radio through Amazon. But, I’ll take what I can get.
She’ll only be able to use the radio with me since she’s not licensed. She just turned 3 and is still working on learning both the English and Thai alphabets. Therefore, passing a written test isn’t in the cards just yet. But my hope is that watching me use the radios and having one she can use to talk to me across the yard might peak her interest and keep her interested until she’s old enough to pass the test and do more with ham radio. And when she does past the test, she’ll already have her first radio.
For now, keep the radio on low power mode, only give it to her when I’m present as a licensed operator, and let’s see how she does.