Pumpkin Carving Tool of Choice

tales from the dad side pumpkin

It’s Halloween, which means, among other things, that we carve pumpkins to put out on the front steps. My wife insists on everyone in the house having their own pumpkin. With 5 people in the house, this means that every year I end up carving somewhere between 1 and 5 pumpkins. (This year I did 3.) We’ve gone through our share of pumpkin carving kits, you know the ones. They come with a couple of safety saws that won’t cut your skin, a scraper, and maybe a thingie for tracing…

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The Blind Bag Phenomenon

Tales from the Dad Side - blind bag

Have you noticed when you’re walking through the toy aisles that there are a heck of a lot of “blind bag” toys on the shelves? What do I mean by blind bag? It’s usually some kind of small toy that is part of a series in a bag or box with no indication of which toy from that series you’re getting. I don’t know about your kids, but my kids go nuts for them! It doesn’t matter what toy line or franchise the blind bags are from — Minecraft, Teenage…

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It’s Making Slime with Borax Time!

Tales from the Dad Side - Making Slime with Borax

Apparently, making slime with borax is all the rage among the kids today! The kids make slime in school, they make slime with their friends, and they ask to make slime at home. It’s slime time all the time! What time is it? It’s slime time!!! And making slime with borax is really easy to do! My kids have been home on Spring Break and they’ve been asking us when they can start making slime with borax. So, on a dreary midwest afternoon we made a couple batches of slime.…

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Fidget Toys for Fidgety Boys (and Girls)

Last December I took my 10-year-old to see Star Wars Rogue One with my best friend growing up. The movie was incredible, but my 10-year-old didn’t stop shifting around in his seat the entire time. It drove me a nuts and I felt a little bad for the guy sitting on my son’s left. He’s always been fidgety like that (just like me) and has problems sitting still, just like a lot of other kids (and some adults) I know. If I’ve got a quarter in my pocket I’ll take…

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Simple DIY Gardening Project

Tales from the Dad Side -- Seed Packs

In addition to all the things I do on a day-to-day basis, a few years ago I began volunteering as a leader in my son’s Cub Scout Pack. This means that, among other things, every month I need to coordinate a meeting for about 25 scouts and assorted siblings and provide them with some kind of activity. For our next meeting I’ve been working on a simple DIY gardening product to welcome spring. This simple DIY gardening project uses some pretty basic stuff and will easily transition to a pot…

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I Took away Their Electronics! Now What?

tales from the dad side - Uno hand

If your kids are anything like mine, they spend a lot of time with their face in a screen. It’s not just the TV either. It’s the computer, tablet, and video games. If I didn’t get them to unplug and take a break, they’d be on those things all day. About a year ago, their grandfather got them iPad minis for their birthdays. He bought them on the pretense of using them for school, not realizing that they get iPads to use at the school. I try to get them…

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