Congratulations to these fine products, which were awarded the Mr. Dad Seal of Approval for the 2015 Winter Holidays! The Seal recognizes products that facilitate father-child relationships by getting dads and kids engaged and having fun together.
We’re now accepting submissions for our 2016 Spring and Father’s Day seasons.
Art, Crafts, and Beyond
DIY Cobra Bands (Alex Toys)
Got a boy who likes to make things but is having a hard time finding cool stuff aimed at him? Or is it more of an “ugh-crafts-are-for-girls” problem? The truth is that quite often, crafts and craft kits do tend towards the pink and sparkly. Honestly, not that many boys are going to be into making earrings and BFF picture frames. So what’s a
Fort Boards Custom Fort Builder (Formal Frog)
One of the great things about building something with your child is that you enjoy it as much as he or she does. Fort Boards are no exception. They’re delightfully simple: Each pack includes 44 8″x8″ panels and 46 connectors that allow you to snap the panels together at nearly any angle from 45 to 180 degrees. You can also get packs of design cards that allow you to customize your fort (or igloo or whatever you’re buildng) to look like metal, stone, or wood. For ages 5 and up, but littler kids can enjoy them with your supervision and older kids will enjoy them without it. $100. FortBoards.com
Light Stax 36-piece Classic Set (The Lazy Dog & Co.)
From a distance, Light Stax look like Duplo (Lego’s jumbo size bricks for preschoolers), but connect at least one Stax block to the power base, and every other block that’s connected—directly or indirectly—will light up. The base, which can run on batteries or a USB cable, has enough juice to light up at least 100 blocks.Light Stax projects provide an illuminating opportunity for dads and kids to use their imagination and creativity while working together. Best of all, they’re a something you and your child will return to over and over. Take advantage of the auto-shutoff feature, which alows you and your child to build a completely new nightlight every night. Stax come in sets from 12 blocks to more than 100, and prices run from $35 to $250. Buy a set here or visit LightStax.com
Silver Falcon (Pinblock)
Rather than manufacture yet another LEGO-compatible building system, the folks at Pinblock came up with something completely different.There is only one type of block, which looks like a European electrical plug. Pieces can stack, twist, go together to create walls, or even make wearable gadgets.That element of simplicity means you’ll spend less time scrounging around trying to find some custom piece and more time exercising your creativity.The kit we reviewed was labeled SIlver Falcon, but since all of the the 900 pieces are the same (only the colors are different), you and your kids could just as easily build an Empire State Building, Tower of London, unicorn, or an inedible turkey sandwich, You’ll get plenty of old-school buildling and bonding fun here. The pieces are very small and easily swalowable, so keep them away from little kids.For ages 7+. $47.96 (1,000-piece Freestyle kits range from $44.95 to $49.95). pinblock.com
Gizmos & Gadgets (LittleBits)
This kit is great fun for dads and kids who enjoy building, tinkering, and inventing. Gizmos & Gadgets comes with all the materials, electronic building blocks, tools, and detailed instruction you’ll need to design and build more than 15 projects, including a functioning racecar and a bubble machine (many more are available on the littleBits website or through their free app). And of course, there’s no limit to the number they can come up with on their own. For ages 8+. $199.95. Buy yours here or visit the littleBits site.
Dolls and Puppets
Education and Science
Fitness and Outdoors
Music and Video