naturally? And maybe they'll pick up hobbies that interest them on their own.
Disagree. Having an environment where something can develop is pretty important in my opinion.
Anecdotes from my childhood:
* Positives: free availability of encyclopaedias, the town library, "how to" books, books about experiments, workshop with many hand and power tools, some scrap materials.
* Negatives: Due to financial constraints and living far away from shops on farm, scarcity of some materials like light/torch bulbs, batteries, good quality wire, magnets, some chemicals. Due to improvising with scrap materials, results were often failures or not adequate outcomes.
To this day I like to read up on all sorts of subjects and making designs. Actually implementing one is however difficult, I seem to have this huge mental block about failure that I have to work hard at to overcome. Even for throw-away prototypes.