(StatePoint) There is something about the way dads think that allow them to transform the ordinary into something extraordinary. If you’re the kind of handy dad that can be counted on to fix and build things around the house, consider translating those skills to getting creative with your kids.
“There are so many benefits to making things with your kids - they learn practical skills, they get one-on-one time with daddy, they get to exercise their imagination, and they have lots of fun,” says Scott Bedford, author of the new book, “Made By Dad: 67 Blueprints For Making Cool Stuff,” and a Webby Award-winner for his website, What I Made.
“It's definitely one of the things that define my relationship with my kids, and that's why I'm so keen for other dads to enjoy the benefits too - there's no reason why the 'crafty' stuff should be left to Mom!”
Bedford offers a few ways for dads to go that extra mile:
There are an endless number of things that fathers and their children bond over. Bedford suggests creating projects centered on these interests.
For example, if you both like sci-fi movies, creative dads can make a Martian Door Decal -- a custom created sticker for the bedroom door. Or try making an Alien Abduction Mobile, which is a flying saucer made from household products. You can find these ideas and more in Bedford’s new book, “Made By Dad.”
Most dads can help their children answer a math problem or name the capital of France. But to really teach them, try using projects such as the Spaghetti and Marshmallow Eiffel Tower, the Slingshot Car Launcher or the Balloon Ballast Balancing Act. These are great for showing the laws of science in motion, and even work well as science fair projects.
Transform the Ordinary
There are many ways dads and kids can turn simple household materials into unexpected fun projects, points out Bedford in “Made By Dad.”
Fathers and their children can try some great ideas to work on together, such as the Frankenstein Fling, which is a game created from a paper cup and a stirring stick, or the Target Place Mat, which will make eating neatly a blast with just some cardboard and poster paint. These projects and other great activities can be found in the book and online at www.whatimade.com. More information about Bedford’s book is available at www.workman.com.
Show Mom Some Love, Too
The best dads also teach their children to show appreciation to those around them -- namely to their mothers! Create Pop-Up Roses or Mommy Rewards coupons for her to redeem for everything from breakfast in bed to a big hug. And of course, these could work great for dad too!
For dads who want to go above and beyond, there is constantly something new to try.