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Kitchen Table Reviews: Things To Do With Dad

This book is full of fun activities for kids to do with their favorite dads.

By Mir Kamin | June 19 , 2009
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<i>Things To Do With Dad</i>
Things To Do With Dad

Here’s one more book we picked up in anticipation of Father’s Day—we have enjoyed other books from this series, and I’ve often wondered how the writers keep coming up with new and different ideas. The kids dove in enthusiastically, and then, of course, we had to hide the book in preparation for the Big Day. If you are my children’s father or stepfather, please… ummm… oh, look over there! Something shiny!

Me: Okay, we need a quick review on this one before we wrap it up for Dad. What did you think?
Son: It’s pretty good. There’s a bunch of stuff in there I didn’t know how to do before, or hadn’t thought to do before. I think Dad will like it, too.
Daughter: I really like how it has the key with the hands—big hand to show that an adult needs to do that step, little hand to show that it’s something kids are okay doing and will probably really enjoy.
Me: I liked that, too, because it removes the whole “I can do it, Daddy!” aspect when you get to, say, using a big knife to chop things.
Daughter: Yeah, but there were a couple of activities that were all big hands! Why have something where Dad has to do the whole thing?

I couldn’t remember seeing any like that, so we went through and looked. Sure enough, there were a few activities like “Beat the Buzzer” on page 58 where the entire build is designated as being for adults. There’s then a game to play with the completed apparatus, but I can see where little kids might find that frustrating.

Son: Yeah, but there’s lots more things that work really well as something to do together. Plus there’s stuff that’s super cool, like magic tricks and stuff.
Daughter: A few of the ideas in here were in one of the books we did before. But that’s okay, I guess.
Me: So… is this book full of fun stuff to do with Dad?
Son: Yup!
Me: What about… your stepdad? Could you do this stuff with your stepdad?
Son: Sure!
Me: How about Grandpa? Could you do this stuff with him?
Son: Yes!
Daughter: Mom, we could do this stuff with you. Or anyone. It’s not just for dads. They probably just call it that so you’ll buy it for Father’s Day.

My daughter is becoming a bit cynical in her old age. It brings a little tear to my eye.

Pros: Some fun ideas for ways to have fun with your favorite dad-type person. Handy smaller size makes it easy to tote. Clear demarcation of activities best left to adults.

Cons: A few of the included activities have appeared in other books in the series. Some activities call for Dad to do all the building. The implication that these things are somehow only appropriate for fathers.

Things to do with Dad gets three thumbs up and a “Happy Father’s Day!” inscription from our kitchen table.

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