TBT Vintage Video #7 – Go Play Outside!

Today we go back in time 5 years as DaddyClay discusses “free range kids” and the real dangers facing your children.

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Everybody’s doin’ it! (Lunch Art)

Long before I had children, I saw Derek Benson’s LunchbagArt (he draws on old school paper bags during his lunch hour) and thought, “I’m going to do that for my kid(s) someday!” I also remember thinking, “I should start making lunch bag art NOW, so I’m not wiggin’ out every day trying to come up with an idea.” My son is in the 2nd grade now, and I’ve been wigging out every day for the last 3 years.

The greatest space ship ever, the Millennium Falcon. –by LunchbagArt–

The greatest space ship ever, the Millennium Falcon. –by LunchbagArt–

Many parents will say, “I’d love to do that, but I don’t have time,” when they see the awesomeness of bento lunches (art WITH the food) like Beau of Lunchbox Dad. They say, “That’s great, but I can’t draw,” when they see the fantastic SuperHeroLunchNotes from DesignerDaddy, Brent Almond. And to those parents I say, “Bullshit.”

You do NOT have to draw a super cute super hero.

Barry, er, I mean TheFlash is a cutie. –by DesignerDaddy–

Barry, er, I mean TheFlash is a cutie. –by DesignerDaddy–

You do NOT have to fashion that sandwich into a Kung Fu Panda masterpiece.

This a big lunch of awesomeness!

This a big lunch of awesomeness!

All it takes is a post-it and a pen for you to “be there” at lunch. Just 5-10 seconds to write a few words… “I love you.” “Good luck on your spelling test.” “You’re the light of my life.” Maybe throw down a heart or a smiley face. Done. (And you can even buy a few of DesignerDaddy’s SuperHeroLunchNotes. Tell him DadLabs sent ya!) You don’t have to instagram(yes, it’s a verb now) your notes either. Derek, Beau, Brent, and I all do that, well, because bloggers. But I draw for TheBoy. And for me. I need that creative outlet, I need that little bit of time for myself, to create, for him. I share on instagram to show that ANYONE can do it (and as a sort of digital archive). This is absolutely, positively, NOT A COMPETITION! No one is trying to “parent shame” you. Follow us on instagram(pretty please!), then search for the #lunchnotes tag. You’ll see hundreds of parents doing a variety of note styles. Some are great illustrators, some are not. Some have great penmanship, some do not. But they are all doing their best to show their love and connect with their children. That’s what matters. Not your artistic ability.

TheBoy does rule! –by CretinDaddy–

TheBoy does rule! –by CretinDaddy–

Next time I’ll discuss the process(es) I go through and how I’ve developed my technique(s), as well as the tools used for my notes.

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Free Play and Nostalgia

On this episode of DadLabs we’ve teamed up with Playskool Heroes to talk about free play and nostalgia. #PlayskoolHeroes

Playskool Heroes has designed some really cool toys…TRANSFORMERS RESCUE BOTS, JURASSIC WORLD, and MARVEL SUPER HERO ADVENTURES…that are perfect for my three year old. Since I’m a big fan of letting my kid play on his own these toys were perfect for him. I didn’t have to interfere and he played for a long time without needing my help.

To learn more visit:

Instagram: @Hasbro
Twitter: @HasbroNews
Facebook: Facebook.com/Playskool

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TBT Vintage Video #6 – #IStandWithAhmed

How about this!? A current event related #TBT Vintage Video.

Ahmed Mohammed was arrested for taking a tinkering project to school to show his teacher. A digital clock. But Hollywood, and far too many adults in his life, couldn’t fathom the idea that this kid, who is not a “troubled student” by any stretch, would build a clock, and not a bomb. You might think his statement of “No, it’s a clock,” and the fact that he willingly showed it to anyone and everyone, would indicate that it was indeed, a clock. But no… Far too many of the adults he’s supposed to trust, teachers, the principal, and the police, violated that trust, and basic common sense, and proceeded to suspend him from school, hand cuff him, and take him to juvenile detention. WTaF is wrong with these people? And because the principal doubled down on his decision, rather than apologizing profusely and joining the President of the United States in commending Ahmed for his project and love for science, he should resign. Nay, he should be fired. He simply doesn’t understand his job as an education administrator well enough to keep it. His actions absolutely did not keep anyone safe. He has actually undermined his own position. When you lack common sense, and common decency, your authority and credibility is rendered null and void.

And to further prove the point that he did absolutely nothing to keep anyone safe :

Let that sink in a bit. What would you do if this happened to your child?


So.. Onward! To the Vintage Video!

What are you doing to encourage and inspire your kids to tinker with their world? Author Gever Tulley has some great ideas in his book, Fifty Dangerous Things (you should let your children do).

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You need sleep. Breathe Right can help.

“I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Influence Central for Breathe Right®. I received product samples to facilitate my review as well as a promotional item to thank me for my participation.” #NightsRight #IC #ad

Sleep. We all want it. We all need it. We all have things that muck it up. Neighborhood dogs, sirens, car alarms, loud obnoxious motorcycles at 3 am. And far too often, it’s our favorite people on the planet. Our family.

TheBoy, age 7, sometimes wakes up from a bad dream. Nothing major needed here. A hug with a “There, there,” and walk back to bed with a tuck in, done. Maybe a stop by the bathroom, just to be safe (preventing another wake up 5 minutes later).

TheGirl, age 6 months, will just fidget a little too much in her crib and I’ve got to check on her. Sometimes, an uncomfortable diaper needs changing. Often, her late night milk cravings get so unbearable that she screams! TheGirl takes a bit more time and effort on our part to be comforted back to sleep, but once she’s out, I’ll get a few hours to myself.

And then, there is TheirMother, aged well, like a fine wine. With the “mouth breathing” sounds of mighty lumberjacks attacking a 90 year old red oak with an antique two man crosscut saw. The techniques used to put an end to such noise vary from a little bed shake, a touch on the shoulder, to a full on shove over, wake up, roll over before I smother you with a pillow! I mean, yea, my children lived in her, but I need to sleep!

I try not to get upset with any of them. It’s not their fault. Nobody does it on purpose. But that doesn’t mean it’s not annoying. The only one I can control is the tree sawing sounds of nasal congestion coming from TheirMother. Breathe Right® hooked us up with a few samples of their sensitive skin strips, as well as their lavender scented strips.

Lavender scented strips for a calming aroma, and clear strips for sensitive skin.

Lavender scented strips for a calming aroma, and clear strips for sensitive skin.

Applying a strip is easy. After washing her face, she simply peels off the paper exposing the adhesive, positions the strip below the bridge and above her nostrils and sticks it to her nose. It’s that easy, and the trees of Forest Slumber are safe for the night.

(ProTip: Do not, under any circumstances, attempt to apply a Breathe Right strip to a sleeping spouse. It may seem like a good idea in a sleep deprived deranged state of mind, but it’s not. You’ll think, “I’m helping! She needs to breathe easier so she’ll get better sleep and feel refreshed in the morning.” No. Just don’t.)

For more information on Breathe Right nasal strips, visit: www.breatheright.com. You can also visit their Facebook and Twitter accounts and join the conversation using the #NightsRight hashtag.

Disclosure: No, I didn’t really attempt to put a strip on her nose while she was sleeping. But I thought about it.

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TBT Vintage Video #5 – Teaching Language Skills

Language is important. What language have you taught your kids? And do you know where your elbows are?

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TBT Vintage Video #4

Awkward Daddy Clay is Awkward.

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Sometimes you win. Sometimes you learn. Participation DOES matter.

The continued uproar over “participation trophies” for youth sports is indeed ridiculous. They do not hurt anyone. No. Stop. They really don’t.

Should high school, college and pro teams give trophies to everyone on the team? No, of course not. (But the best coaches will find something to motivate and build up every player.) But for young children, participation trophies/certificates/whatever are a quick, easy and cheap trinket to help remind them of the fun they had. Playing. Youth sports coaches are very often unpaid volunteers. They take time(and often money) away from their own families, because they enjoy teaching kids about a sport they are passionate about. (Or they got roped into it because they are the only parent who consistently showed up at practices.) They really don’t have time to find that one thing that makes every kid flourish into the mega athlete you believe they need to be.

If your child puts forth little or no effort in a sport just because they know they’ll still get a piece of plastic in the end, that guarantee of a trophy is not at fault. They weren’t playing for the right reason (fun!) in the first place. If you take the trophy away, their performance is not going to improve. It’s up to you to help them develop a sense of teamwork and commitment. It’s up to you to help them understand. Sometimes you win. Sometimes you learn.

Adam over at TenorDad.com wrote much more (and much better) about this issue. Here’s an excerpt from his post:

Getting something for “participating” is not a new thing. From letter jackets, to certificates, to yearbooks, to keychains, people have been getting stuff for being part of the team for pretty much ever. It can be a keepsake and a memento of a fun time had with friends, and it doesn’t have to mark achievement. But we live in the United States of Excessica, where “Go Big or Go Home” isn’t just a way of life, I think it is actually a law in Texas. So this makes me think it has to be about the shape of the object, and not what it represents. Certificates became trophies, trophies became bigger trophies, and now we are mad.

Read the rest over at TenorDad.com. Tell him DadLabs sent ya!

Edit: Carter at DadScribe feels much the same way.

I believe youth sports are meant to help kids learn to socialize. After-school and weekend activities like baseball, soccer, swimming and other sports introduce kids to different experiences, a vital component of growing up. Sports give kids the chance to identify their physical, mental and emotional limits and push past them as they grow.

Most of all, youth sports are supposed to be fun.

If you believe sports is only about identifying winners and losers, then frankly, you have the wrong idea about the purpose of youth sports.

Read his full post at DadScribe.com.

Categories: DadsOnline, Fatherhood | Tags: , | 2 Comments

TBT Vintage Video #3

It’s back to school week here, so for this week’s Vintage Video, we bring back Daddy Troy’s Geo Board build. Enjoy!

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Dad’s Craft Lab – YOXO

Yes, I love to craft. Yes, I have a penis. Unbelievable right? I know I’m venturing into territory generally reserved for MomBloggers, but Dad’s Craft Lab will be another semi-regular segment here at DadLabs.

It’s my parents fault really. My Mom is a seamstress (by hobby/necessity not trade) and crafter, and my Dad worked at a cardboard box factory… I grew up making Christmas ornaments out of beads and pipe cleaners and building box forts. This wasn’t “occasionally.” It was constant. So it’s no surprise one of my all time favorite crafting materials is cardboard.

When Play from Scratch approached us with a request to review their YOXO 3d construction kits, I didn’t hesitate. It combines specially designed recycled wood pulp connectors with toilet paper rolls and paper towel rolls and basic packaging cardboard from around the house.

The YOXO ToGo and Flye kits

The YOXO ToGo and Flye kits

Check out their video and more from our crafting session after the jump.

Continue reading

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