One observation I've made during dadhood is that kids evidently come hard-wired for certain things. This is why you are very much the second option, after Mom, when they are looking to be comforted after a small bump, or spectacular mishap. On the other hand, Dads, apparently, are for fixing stuff. And kids have a wonderful talent for out-playing the stress-load capacity of their toys. Our home has a "standing order" collection point for gluing, reattaching the accidentally amputated, and otherwise repairing all and sundry.
Similarly, deep within the hard-wired consciousness of a child there seems to lie a "Made-by-MY-Dad" button. Pushing this button is hugely rewarding, both for them and you. You can see it in the look of their face when they play with/in/on it for the first time, they way they show their friends, their level of anguish when they break it, their joy when you fix it, the way they recall the exact details of when/how they got it, and on and on and on.....
And so begins a sporadic series outlining stuff you can do or make for them. Part "Impress your kids and influence the little-people DIY guide" and part personal challenge (....do I really have 50 examples? OMG what am I setting myself up for....), I'm going to post 50 ideas/games/toys/useful stuff that I have done especially for my kids. I'm not going to set any rules about what qualifies, so their are none to break when I run out of ideas.
List of Dad50 posts (link)
Dad50 #1 "Wall Ball"
- Made from cut strips of card paper, attached to wall with painters tape so that it can be removed without lifting paint, even if left up for >1 month (which has been known to happen in our house).
- Small (1/2 inch) plastic balls work much better than marbles, which are too heavy.
- Corners, loops and spirals can all be formed by cutting and shaping the card paper. It's not hard to work out, you can do it.
- Put a metal bowl at the bottom to collect the balls. Kids love the sound.
- I also posted the video on the Facebook page, don't show it to your kids if you don't want to make one.
- Any wall area will do, but stairwells are a great option for obvious reasons. If your kiddos fall down your stairs out of excitement, that's your own problem.
If any of you build a run, please take pics, or better yet, upload a YouTube clip and email me the link (email@example.com).
I will keep a running display here
Updates & new pics:
Submitted runs, or runs I track down online.
Keep 'em coming. Send me a link.
Dad U Run Christmas/New Year 2006
Dad U run, Christmas/New Year 2008
A run my kids made to surprise me. That it did.
How to be an AP parent
July 12th 2010