Finally, Netflix has given us a more granular way to control what content we let out kids consume on their platform. This level of protection should be standard on all media platforms. Not only have then introduced PIN protection but will also display the rating levels before each program on their platform so we can better understand what our children are watching. As an added bonus adults can block individual programs from being streamed even if they are classified within an accepted rating class.
h/t Netflix Netflix Parental Controls Update
Oh shit…Valentine’s Day is like right now. You’ve known that for weeks but you still haven’t picked up anything yet, have you? Thought so. Sure, you could overnight something on Amazon but she’ll see right through that. Besides, she may not even want stuff. Chances are she just wants some downtime to herself. Here are some last-minute ideas that could potentially save your ass this year.
Flowers from Urbanstems ($35+)
Sure, flowers die and it’s kinda cliche, but you should still get them anyway. If you don’t have a garden where you can pick your own, Urbanstems is a new startup that offers a selection of fresh, seasonal bouquets hand delivered within hours via bicycle in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, and DC areas.
Breakfast in Bed (or Out)
The point is: don’t let her cook. Find an easy recipe on Yummly and let her stay in bed while you cook (tip: make sure you have some Nutella on hand. Moms love Nutella). The kids will probably want to help, too. If you’re the type of guy who can’t even make toast, then take her out to brunch or, better yet, pick up her favorite breakfast dish from her favorite restaurant and serve it to her in bed.
Make a Card
Any guy can swing by the corner drugstore the day before and pick from a limited/terrible selection of Hallmark cards. But don’t. Make your own. It doesn’t have to look nice. The most appreciated cards we’ve ever given our wives were made in Microsoft Word and printed on computer paper because the sentiment and words came 100% from the heart.
Listen, guys, this treat is the bomb. It’s so good. We found Pic’s Really Good Peanut Butter awhile back and have been making yummy after school snacks with it ever since. Just peruse their Instagram account and try not to crawl through the screen and eat it all.
5 Minute No Bake PB Granola Slice
(V) (VG) (DF) Serves 12-14
An easy and really good quick slice for when you need a little pick me up and best of all its good for you!
2 cups rolled oats
1 cup puffed brown rice
¼ cup pumpkin seeds
¼ cup sunflower seeds
¼ cup ground flaxseed
½ cup honey or maple syrup
½ cup Pic’s Smooth Peanut Butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
In a large pan blend the wet ingredients and warm on a low heat just to make everything a bit softer.
Mix very well to bring it all together (It will look curdled but don’t panic, keep mixing)
Remove from the heat and add the dry ingredients
Mix thoroughly to combine well and make sure all the seeds are well distributed
Pour the mixture into a shallow lined baking tray and press down firmly (I like to use a wide-bottomed glass)
Pop into the fridge to firm up for at least an hour then cut into slices.
Store in the fridge.
Remember that time everyone was freaking out because people were getting E coli at Chipotle? Neither do we (selective memory FTW) – besides, shorter lines are awesome. In an effort to put all that lost business behind them, Chipotle now has a new trick up their sleeve to lure you back to their restaurants: free tacos for your kids. “Every Sunday in September, kids eat FREE when you buy a burrito, bowl, an order of tacos or salad.” They’ll even throw in a free Dragons Love Tacos activity sheet to boot. Nice touch there but, seriously, you had us at free tacos (we’ll be fine). Get the deets here.
“Are you really still paying for that?” When you have kids you pay for a lot of things. Diapers, wipes, food, bottles, binkies etc. Then you add on all your normal bills and life becomes stressful. In your 30’s you begin to pay for so many different things you start to lose track. Take this for example just the other day my darling wife says “what did you buy at Amazon last week for $9?” “Nothing as I recall.” Well, it turns out when we cut the cord last year but wanted to watch Homeland (Quinns not dead) I added on Showtime to our Prime account. Well, it’s been months and I had forgotten about it and we haven’t watched Showtime in Prime in that ensuing time.
Truebill would have fixed that. Truebill is an app that scours all of your subscriptions and keeps you up to date on what you are paying for, when and how much. You have a one-stop shop where you can cancel and unneeded services instantly and use that money for more important things like late night Wendys runs. All those handy subscriptions really add up by the end of the year so just think about how much money you could be saving with this FREE service. Download today and thank us later.
If you are a Spotify user like most of us are you probably have tons of playlists and starred songs that you never get back around to. Between all the podcasts you have to listen to and you know, being a dad where is the time? Well, a beautiful man named Paul Lamere has got your back. He created a super awesome way to keep your music organized in an endless about or ways, well, not endless that would defeat the point, right? So now, you can choose your mood, your genre preference, your favorite musical era and more with a simple mouse click. Here is how:
With Organize Your Music you can easily organize your saved music. Just follow these steps:
- Select what music you’d like to organize: Your Saved Music; Music you’ve added to playlists; Music in playlists you follow; or all of it.
- Click on Organize your Music. If this is your first visit, you will be asked to …
- Login with your Spotify credentials. Organize Your Music will place all of your tracks into a number of bins. There are Genres, Moods, Decades, Popularity and more, bins with more being added all the time.
- Pick pick one of the bins. You can listen to previews of the songs in the bin. If you like it you can …
- Save the bin to Spotify as a playlist
Don’t worry. Organize Your Music will never modify any of the songs in your saved music or playlists. It will only save new playlists for you, and only when you explictly click on the save button.
For this #dadhack you will actually want your kids to draw on the walls. No Mr. Clean Magic Eraser required! Here is what you will need:
- A wall.
- A large whiteboard. We suggest a magnetic one like this 6’x4′ Lorell we have in the office.
- Screws & a screwdriver.
- Lot’s of cool accessories. Like these alphabet magnets & these Mickey Mouse Clubhouse magnets & these Crayola Dry Erase Markers and for sure this amazing magnet set from Tegu.
Cover photo via /u/0x7262.
It might not happen this summer or next summer but sometime soon dad you gonna realize that you old AF. We’re not really sure how old, old AF is but it’s somewhere between the ages of, “I can do anything, I am invincible” and “I was making chalk drawings in the driveway with my kids and my back seized up and now I am watching reruns of Martin while I lay on the couch icing my oblique.” Luckily some other adults probably had the same problem and invented Walkie Chalk, which to be honest is so simple that we are kicking ourselves that we didn’t think of it first. Walkie Chalk is the perfect sidewalk chalk holder that allows everyone from your toddler to your grandfather to easily and ergonomically partake in the beautiful art of chalk drawing. So all your sidewalk Picassos can save your back and knees and join in on the fun with Walkie Chalk. Oh, and yeah kids love it too!
When we saw Lunchbox Dad snap a picture of these Galaxy Frozen Yogurt Popsicles we thought it was just a new snapchat filter, but nope here they are for real! Check out how easy they are to make below.
Don’t forget to follow Lunchbox Dad on Snapchat at lunchboxdad and you can find us at relevantdad.com on Snapchat.
When my wife and I were finally alone in the wee hours of the morning after our daughter was born we didn’t know what to do. Was this real? There she was, this beautiful sleeping human that we had created had my wife had given birth to all day the day before. Here we were, this new family, worn out, blissful, and totally unable to calm down to sleep. So, we put on JJ Heller’s album I Dream Of You which is a gentle collection of lullabies not only for a new life but for a new family. JJ and her husband Dave have heard many such stories over the past couple of years of new families in peacefully moments, happy moments and incredibly sad moments in those early days in the hospital playing their music to help families love and grieve. Now they have started a mission to get their album into as many children’s hospitals nationwide because music is love, it is life and it brings us all a little bit closer in times of joy and need. So, for every album that you buy, they will donate one to a hospital in need. – Relevant Dad Shawn (iTunes, Amazon, or shop.jjheller.com) read more…
Review aggregators have been helping us find the best in culture for years now. Rotten Tomatoes is basically the only place you need to go to find a good movie and Metacritic has been the go-to source for finding the most critically-acclaimed music, TV and games (we know they cover movies too but our loyalty stands with RT in the movie department). For some reason there’s never been a sure-fire way to find a good book. Until now. Book Marks is the newly launched service from Literary Hub that aggregates book reviews from over 70 newspapers, magazines and websites helping you find the books with the highest praise faster. The site is easy to navigate whether you’re looking to browse fiction or nonfiction, and you can quickly find the best reviewed or simply browse by genre. Considering it just launched yesterday there’s already a lot there but we believe it’s only going to get better with time as more reviews are added. Of course, we fully understand that what makes a “good book” a good book is totally subjective. But we look at it like this: Dads have seriously limited time to read these days. So before you crack that 700-page doorstop you think you want to read, do a quick search on Book Marks and make sure it’s going to be worth your time.
“When my son says get in the boat. I get in the boat” says Daniel Hashimoto who is the dad to Action Movie Kid. Action Movie Kid is one of the luckiest kids around since his dad Daniel works for Dreamworks and many other visual animation studios. In the duo’s latest video James aka Action Movie Kid is steering a giant playground ship when he yells for his father to get in the boat. You can soon understand why as the swells grow rapidly and things take a turn for the worst. What will make you love this Youtube series is that this father just takes everyday situations from his son’s life and turns them into giant adventures. In other words, he is just seeing things through his growing son’s eyes. Imagination is a beautiful gift. Check out Daniel’s book Action Movie Kid, a tale of a kid who defends his own tiny universe from monsters and aliens alike. With a little editing software and a childlike imagination your kid can be the next Action Movie Kid.
End the hassle of scrolling through page after page of Netflix movies trying to find the perfect flick for family movie night. Netflix has tons of secret unpublished categories and we have curated a list of family friendly Netflix streaming categories for you to peruse. So pop up that popcorn, fluff the pillows on the couch and pull your offspring close. It’s family movie night guys. (Insert crowd cheers.)
Not your average margarita, the Queso Fundido Con Chili a la Tequila. For those of you that failed high school Spanish that roughly translates into “The best chili you will ever eat and oh yeah it has tequila in it BAM”. We assure you that this chili will supplement your famous margaritas this Cinco de Mayo and you will be the hit of the party. Want to make this recipe with your kids? Just don’t add the tequila. read more…
Outside of our weekly Culture Checklist “Read This” picks, we don’t usually re-post links we find on the internet but we felt this one was feature-worthy. If you’re anything like us, the excitement of becoming a father was muddied by the disappointment that your college didn’t offer a Life 101 course so that someone could clue you in to all the “adult” stuff coming your way post graduation. Buying a house, saving for retirement and your kid’s college all require some quick real-world education. This blog post from the investing app Acorns does a great job spelling out all the personal finance lingo that accompanies responsible adulthood. It’s basically a digest of all the questions you were too embarrassed to ask, from what’s a CD to what’s included in PITI. Wherever you are on your life journey, you’ll probably find something in here that’s good to know. Check out the entire piece here.
Sometimes things just don’t work out when you bring your kid home from the hospital. Listen, kid. Your mother and I tried to conceive for four years- and we couldn’t have been more excited when you were born- but this just isn’t working out. We get it, and so did a couple of entrepreneurial guys from Brooklyn when they found a vaguely written loophole in the Affordable Care Act stating that:”
“Sec. 0401. Establishment of parenthood may be reversed and placed back upon the hospital or medical center of the juveniles origin at any point in the first 6570 days of a minors life. Participants can file form 0401-17 with their local HHS office for return instructions.”
Because of that loophole in the law, Return-A-Kid was born. As of right now the beta pilot program which is accessible in only available in select cities (New York, San Francisco, LA, New Orleans, Atlanta & Chicago) but the company plans to roll out nationwide by the first day of Q3 2017.
So how does it work? You download the Return-A-Kid app from the iTunes or Android store and submit your address. This will tell you if you are a candidate to return your child to the hospital. If you are, you will be prompted for your confirmation number that you received when you submitted your 0401-16 form. Return-A-Kid will mail you a packaging kit that includes a comfortable crate (be sure to choose the correct size for your kid), padding and snack pack for your child. You then simply choose from an available pickup time and “viola!” you’re back to peace and quiet again. If you’re too busy to be bothered by the return process, a premium VIP service is also available where a certified Return-A-Kid Technician will come to your house and handle the return process for you. There are also several add-on amenities for the transit crate if the shipment back to the hospital is longer than 24 hours. This just proves that yes, there really is an app for everything. Available here or on the buy link below.
As you were changing diapers and getting breakfast on the table this morning, young and carefree artists around the country were packing their suitcases and catching a flight or loading gear into a van en route to Austin, TX. We went a couple years ago and while it truly was an experience of a lifetime, the extremely late nights, copious amounts of Lone Star, and painful high-pitched ringing in our ears that prevented us from actually falling asleep as the sun was coming up left us boarding the plane home with one thought on our mind: When did I get so OLD? On the surface, it’s easy to get swept up in a melancholy lust for a responsibility-free life but, damnit, you’re a dad now and you’ve got shit to do. For those of us who cannot attend but still want in on the party, there’s an app for that. Specifically, if you’re a cord cutter, you can now download this free app on Roku which allows you to watch livestreams of concerts March 16-19. Sure, it’s not exactly Rainey Street at 2am but for now, the comfort of our sofa with a good beer in hand is a pretty good deal until we get the opportunity to go back again (and we will).
Okay, kids sing along with us. “The Apple Watch is connected to the…iPhone and the iPhone is connected to the wifi & the Fitbit is connected to the Andriod and the Android is connected to the internet and the internet is connected to…” everything. Even things we wish it wasn’t. The internet is part of us and we are part of it. Which as parents can be super scary sometimes! We know you have read all the horrifying new articles or have seen Scott Pelley at 6:30 offering a dire warning about the bad parts of the internet that our kids stray into but still we have to embrace it as a necessary tool right? In many ways, we would be doing our kids a disservice to shut them out of the web completely but we know how easily it is to click here or there and end up somewhere truly sketchy. Enter Kiddle. Kiddle is “Google search” powered 3rd party search engine that is supposed to be very visual and kid safe*. This is a handy tool for parents because “sites appearing in Kiddle search results satisfy family friendly requirements, as we filter sites with explicit or deceptive content.” The search results are also organized in a very kid friendly manner.
The first three results will typically be sites actually made for your kids! Kiddle not only weeds out the smut but it provides your child with interesting and engaging content. Kiddle also does not collect any personal data from your kids which is pretty important these days. Kiddle will give you some peace of mind when your kids are searching online, but still be a #relevantdad and keep tabs on what your kids are connected to anyways. A safe child is a happy child.
*Some users are finding sites/references that are slipping through the filters so like we said, always double check what your kids are searching for.
Eventually the new toys lose their luster and there is no one left to snapchat so your kids will sprawl on the floor and whine that they are “booooooored”. Maybe you can take them to that same trampoline park again, or that childrens museam that is from the 80’s again, or on that same hike around that same pond…again. Look, we get that it can be tough to find new things to do with your kids but our friends at Yuggler have changed all that. This app is the family go to for “DISCOVERING, PLANNING, and ENJOYING kids activities.” You can even find local deals that will leave your wallet fat so you can hit up that froyo place that just opened up. The app is free so download it via the link below and check it out today!
A spoonful of sugar may indeed help the medicine go down but we are not about to wind up our two-year-old with a mouthful of it. There is a better way to help your kids receive that awful round of antibiotics for their ear infection and it looks very familiar. Chalk this one up as a dad hack, from us to you. The Sippy Sure medicine dispensing sippy cup was the work of a Dr. dad who had a bit of trouble trying to syringe medicine into his toddler’s mouth, an act we know first hand to be traumatizing for everyone involved. You simply measure out the correct dose and the sippy cup dispenses it into your child’s favorite drink at a 4 to 1 ratio so they never know they are even getting it. Finally, calm within the sickness. Tell your kid we hope they feel better.
We spend our money on the things we need to buy and the things we want to buy. They are not necessarily mutually exclusive. We all know the perks of being an AmazonPrime member and the convenience of Amazon in general, but did you know about their private label brand? The AmazonBasics line pretty much consists of stuff you need to buy but hate to spend money on at a fraction of the cost that the name brands offer. Let’s put it this way: if you bought all 10 recommended products below, you’d spend less than $150 total, compared to several times that if you bought the name brands. Spend money smarter in 2016. You’ve got college educations to save for. read more…
Whether you’ve resolved to start your own company this year or if you already run your own business, you’ll find there are a lot of parallels in building a company and raising a family. Any entrepreneur can tell you countless life lessons they’ve learned along the way. Check out this great infographic for eight entrepreneurial skills that will help your children foster “creativity, self-confidence, positive thinking, and motivation, so that they could form the next generation of geniuses and leaders.”
In the realm of children’s animated features, Disney/Pixar casts such a big shadow that it’s easy to not even notice any other animated features exist. However, there have been a bunch of amazing films released over the last five years that you might have overlooked. Here are ten picks from the last five or so years ranked in order of Rotten Tomatoes ratings that are worthy of your family’s time investment this weekend. read more…
As a parent it’s sometimes a huge challenge baking up fresh and exciting ideas on things to do with your kids. Teachers are not the only ones sitting up at night racking their brains on what to draw out for the next days lesson plans. What can you come up with that will be fun, informative and take up some time? Want a little help in that department? Little Passports is a wonderful monthly subscription site that helps you curate wonder and adventure in those little minds of yours. What you get is a monthly kit full of souvenirs, activities, photos and adventure that will introduce your learner to the wonders of geography, cultures and the World at large. Your first month alone your child will receive a suitcase filled with all the gear they will need to fulfill each subsequent month’s activities. So plaster that wall size map in their room and watch them fall in love month after month with the many wonders of planet Earth.
We posted this in the lead up to Thanksgiving last year and, honestly, we’ll keep posting it as long as Vox keeps publishing it. It helps to know what you’re talking about when getting into arguments over politics and society with loved ones. This year’s round-up includes primers for six topics including vaccines, Donald Trump, Syria & ISIS, Benghazi, Black Lives Matter, and Bernie Sanders so you’re a little more prepared to debate with facts since opinions are like assholes – everybody has one and most of them stink. Check it out here.
A side note leading up to this. I am a relevant dad. I am a chef in NYC. I am incredibly frugal. Here is a list of #dadhacks and or/secret ingredients that I have used over the years to create a uniquely delicious (yet seemingly traditional) Thanksgiving feast for my family. Best of all, each item is available on Amazon for less than $10. Every dad has his secrets… a relevant dads are just better. #fathering #secrets #thanksgiving
Secret #1 – Add this to gravy for the richest, deepest flavored gravy ever.
Secret #2 – Dust the top of the turkey with a bit (or a lot) of this before roasting.
Secret #3 – Make your own dressing. This base mix in particular is used by more “fancy” restaurants than you would think.
Secret #4 – Make a pureed soup like butternut squash or pumpkin and blend it with a teaspoon of this. Silkness x100. No one has to know.
Secret #5 – My favorite secret ingredient. Add a teaspoon or two of this to all of the above secret ingredients for guaranteed questions of “why is this so good” from all of your guests.
*Photo credit: the hilarious @DaveEngledow
The importance of cooking a “perfect” bird has been held for generations as a “Dad is handling that” item. However, with the recent culinary explosion of interest in cooking and food, relevant dads can take this to the next level. We would go as far to say the Xpassion Baking Mat is the best $10 invention for cooking a relevant dad’s Platonic Ideal of a Thanksgiving turkey. The textured silicone allows for the free-flow of air all around the bird, to ensure COMPLETE cooking while allowing fat to flow away and pool for the perfect gravy (later-on). A true #dadhack, and also available in time for the big day via Amazon Prime. #fathering
Dads are busy. Dads want to know everything. Dads have short attention spans. This is why dads need the new Reuters TV app in their life. Reuters has been one of the most trusted names in News for decades (160 years, in fact) and their new app is kind of a game changer. Imagine you’re a producer of a nightly news program deciding which pieces to air and in what order. It’s kind of like that. Content is frequently updated throughout the day so your personalized program evolves as news breaks. You can even set the program length from 5 to 30 minutes depending on how much time you have, skip the stories you don’t want to watch, live-stream events, and download programs for when you’re offline. Did we mention the slick-as-hell interface? Well, it has a slick-as-hell interface and works on all iOS devices including the new Apple TV. Perfect for cord cutters, busybodies always on-the-go and progressives tired of the 24-hour news cycle but still want to keep up with news. Yeah, you need this app.
One of the more awkward interactions new parents can have is correcting a stranger in the super market about the gender of your new baby. “Oh, thank you but she’s actually a girl.” It’s the worst. 99% of all newborns look the same, so why do people always assume? Yeah, my daughter likes to wear blue. So what? Now there is no reason to let people guess. We found this wonderfully clear cut bib that will negate all of the awkward interactions with the assuming public.
Admit it. You starting giving some thought to this topic a while ago but then life happened and now Halloween is just a week away and you’re still you’re looking for costume ideas for the whole family. Worry not, relevant dads. We’re here to help you out with a bunch you can make at the last minute and some you can buy and get in time with expedited shipping. Let’s get started.
You’d be surprised how much you can make with stuff around the house. Here are 5 easy last minute costumes from The Toy Insider.
In fact, homemade costumes are a guaranteed win so here are 9 more great and creative last minute DIY ideas from Cool Mom Picks.
For those looking to eschew the “pink princess” girls-costume stereotype, Any Smart Girls has 4 clever ideas for you.
Is that kid dressed like Hunter S. Thompson, you ask? He is, and Flavorwire has another 24 great kids costumes for literary snobs to gush over.
But seriously, you can’t go wrong with costumes for kids based on books so here are 12 more from the Harper Collins Tumblr.
Maybe you don’t want to go all-out for Halloween but still want to give your kids a taste of the holiday spirit? My Baba has 10 pieces to consider.
Oh, and Dog-Milk doesn’t want you to forget about the other kids, either.
Now that the kids are done, what should you wear? Check out these geometric masks High Snobiety found on Etsy.
What about your wife? Here are the (real) sexiest Halloween costumes for moms from Toulouse and Tonic.
But under no circumstances should you or your wife wear any of these 9 Vox found.
One last pro tip: Before you decide on a costume for anyone in your family, be sure to check Frightgeist to see how popular it is. It’s the only way to know how truly unique your idea is.
Unless you just arrived from the 80’s chances are you already know that it is “Back To The Future Day” here on the internet. Great Scott! We also think that if you are a millennial parent you probably love these movies and can’t wait to share your love for the trilogy with your offspring. What better day to start that journey than today? So here are a few gems we pulled from around the internet today to help you get into the BTTF mood. It may be a school night, but your family has a movie to watch! No not Jaws 19! Back To The Future!
- Watch Back To The Future with your Amazon Prime membership.
- 30 years later, Doc and Marty sit down to discuss how close we’ve made it to the future….
- Want a pair of Nike Air Mag sneakers? Well, they’re real…and they’re spectacular.
- It’s long past time for a family dance off to The Power of Love. Huey Lewis FTW!
- Let your kids play some Back To The Future themed Jetpack Joyride.
- Buy a working hover board. No really… Back to the Future Miniature Levitating Hover Board
The spookiest day of the year is just a few days away everyone! No, not tax day. We still have a few months until that horror show. We are talking about Halloween here folks. So how do you get into the ghoulish spirit with your iOS obsessed kiddos? We have curated a list of some must have Halloween apps to get into the spooky spirit this year.
A StoryBots Halloween: We spent the most time playing with this app. Create a jib jab dancing video with you as a zombie, mom as a ghost and all the kids as Frankenstein’s Monster, Dracula or a werewolf.
Free Halloween Sounds Pro: This is your go too sfx board for your cackling witches, howling wolves, creaking floor and all around spooky music. You can even delay the sounds to add an extra level of fun for your kids.
Pumpkin Creation: Have your child choose from dozens of features to create a pumpkin, then share their work with the world. Or just the grandparents, they will love it.
Dead Yourself: Turn yourself and your kids into a “walker” from the Walking Dead and show Mom when she first wakes up. BOO! Maybe don’t do that right when she wake up. Give her some space.
Ghost Radar: Did you feel that chill enter the room? Feel like someone is watching you? Open your ghost radar app and check, just don’t be surprised at what you might find.
200+ Scary Stories: Turn off the lights, get into the pillow fort the kids made and read them a ghost story while you eat all the fun size candy they hauled in on Halloween. This app is a perfect way to end the night.
Glympse: Keep track of your whole family as they terrorize the neighborhood asking for candy. Know where your preteens are at all times or how close your wife is to being back with the group after taking Timmy home for a pee break.
Sure, it may be fun this coming Thanksgiving to dig in the attic for old photo albums to show your kids what their dad looked like as a seven year old. Or for photos from that Winter Grandpa decided to grow an awesome beard. (Note to self, grow a beard this Winter.) While you are rummaging through those old shoe boxes filled with pictures why not preserve those memories digitally with Photomyne? You simply open the app, take a picture of the group of photos you want to capture and they do the rest. Crop, straighten and save by dates or albums of your choosing. You can digitally preserve decades of memories in no time at all. Nostalgia at your fingertips, yeah, we dig this app.
This Relevant Dad Hack Magivers dinner with the use of a pumpkin, Sunday night leftovers, and increased monetary savings. Whats the hack? Right now there is a surplus of fall vegetables; namely sugar cube pumpkins, kombucha squash, and fairytale pumpkins, all at the lowest prices you can find all year. Given the fact that you can hollow out a pumpkin, and you have Sunday night leftovers like Indian curry, BBQ pork, or Sausage and peppers, simply combine the two with the addition of a little cheese, bake at 350 for 45 minutes and voila. Healthy / Cheap / Easy Dinner. Pumpkins and squash are vegetables after all. #fathering
Presented by Noodle. Noodle is an education website helping parents and students make better decisions about learning.
Looking to find the right preschool for your child? Starting the preschool search can be a challenging task for parents. How do you choose which one will be the best fit for your whole family? And where will your child be happiest? To help parents answer these questions when choosing a preschool, we’ve put together a list of common mistakes parents make and how to avoid them.
1. Don’t trust the word on the street.
Talking to your friends, family, and neighbors is a good place to start on your preschool search, but take their opinions with a grain of salt. Your sister may love her daughter’s preschool — and maybe your niece is having a great experience — but that doesn’t make it the perfect fit for your unique needs.
In the end, trust your gut and go with the school that works best for your child and your family.
2. Don’t fall for a strict academic curriculum.
It’s important to research the academic standards of your preschool of choice. You want to make sure the teachers are experienced and well-qualified. Find out the state requirements for teachers and the facility you’re looking into. Every state has its own preschool regulations. To learn how preschool works in your state, check out this guide.
Look for programs that engage and balance the development of social skills, imaginative play, math concepts, storytelling, physical activity, and more. Overall, you’re looking for a well-rounded preschool program to offer a solid foundation for your child to learn to read, write, and do math.
3. Understand the school’s disciplinary philosophies.
How do teachers respond to a child’s difficult behavior? How do teachers say “no”? Knowing what disciplinary techniques are being used will help parents identify the ways in which teachers interact with your child. It’s important that parents spend time observing the classroom before school starts. Here are a few things to look for:
● Do teachers use time-out?
● How do the teachers respond to a crying child?
● How do the teachers respond if a child hits or bites?
4. Don’t allow your child to make the final decision alone.
“Daddy, I want this!” Yes, we’ve all been here. While it may be tempting to give in to your soon-to-be preschooler, parents know best — and they need to make an educated decision. Give your child the opportunity to spend the day at a preschool and take the time to listen to how she spent her time. After the visit, examine both the school and your child’s feedback to decide whether this preschool is right for you.
5. Know what your family needs.
Where is the school located? If an emergency happens, who will be closest to get your child? Can you afford the preschool? Answering these questions as a family will help guide your preschool search. If it doesn’t meet your family’s needs, you may regret your decision down the line.
6. Know what’s expected of you as a parent.
Many preschools expect parents to participate in fundraising and volunteering to help support the preschool. Parents should find out what is expected of them, both financially and in terms of time. Preschools often host co-ops on scheduled days that require parents to volunteer in the classroom. Many preschools also have an open-door policy — offer parents the chance to visit whenever it’s convenient for them.
Listen up, parents! Smithsonian Magazine is running an amazing program this Saturday, September 26th, where you can get two free tickets to participating museums across the country. “Museum Day Live! unites a spectacular array of museums across the country around Smithsonian’s commitment to make knowledge accessible to everyone.” There are options for adventure in all 50 states so there is really no excuse not to take advantage of this opportunity. Click here to find out more about this program and to download tickets for your local museum.
Remember the scene in Back to the Future II where “Ma” microwaves a pizza from a Pop Tart-sized pouch, instantly turning it into a pizza that feeds a family of six? What a #dadhack, right? Well, meet its successor. The Push for Pizza app circumvents the inconvenient/bothersome steps (pulling the little pizza out of the wrapper, placing it in the Black & Decker Hydrator, waiting for the pizza to Hydrate) with one button. Your favorite style of pizza is saved, along with your cc and tip info, and literally all you have to do is push a button and the pizza shows up. Works exceptionally well for busy parents (and me later tonight). #theneweasybutton #fathering
There are two types of dads in the world: Those who understand their kid’s math homework and those who don’t. Most of us fall into that latter category when it comes to arithmetic more advanced than point spreads and how many fantasy points we need Drew Brees to have on a given week to win. So when our kids ask us to check their homework we get a tinge of dread. If only there was an app that would allow us to check our young Einstein’s algebra homework without breaking into a mental sweat. Wait…someone made one? Check out Photomath. Photomath is the World’s first smart camera calculator that reads and solves mathematical problems in real time, making math easy and simple. This is a great tool for kids to grasp their math homework and parents to help them untangle the web of simple and complex equations. Not only does Photomath instantly solve equations it also lays out the solution step by step so your kids (and you) can learn a thing or two about binomial theorems without having your eyes glaze over.
Relevant Dads want to be around to see their kids grow. Eating healthy, working out, going to the doctor, are all good, but truly understanding what is going on inside your body takes a bit more research. A deeper dive. WellnessFX is that deeper dive. They analyze your blood sample in different ways that go far beyond a regular checkup – ie blood count, blood sugar testing, performance testing of the thyroid, kidney, and liver functions, as well as reproductive hormones if you want to add more kids to your burgeoning clan. Definitely a must do for all of us who care about having a long healthy life watching our kids grow up. #fathering
Today is the day all the new toys and other licensed merchandise for the new Star Wars: The Force Awakens movie is getting rolled out. The media is freaking out. Geeks are losing their shit. You’ve probably already seen the DD-8 Droid by Sphero making the news elsewhere this week, but did you know there’s also everything from Light Saber chopsticks to a $4,000 Millennium Falcon kids bed was also announced? Frankly, we can’t keep up. And, honestly, why even try when Gizmodo’s TOYLAND is absolutely KILLING IT with their coverage of the product roll-outs. As of this writing, in addition to the three aforementioned items, we also know about Death Star bean bag chairs, new LEGO sets, a line from Hot Wheels, the return of Micro Machines (hell yeah!), a roaring Chewbacca mask to accompany you new Chewbackpack and Nerf crossbow, and so much more. Not your thing? We can cover you there. Maybe this other Star Wars will float your boat.
Isn’t it fun trying to get your kids to bed at night? Whether you’re rushing home from the office in order to see the kids before they go to bed, or whether you’re home with them all day long, the fact of the matter is you are usually worn pretty thin by the time bedtime rolls around. Eager to put the kids to bed so you can spend some adult time with your spouse, anything to help get them to sleep is welcome. Introducing “The Rabbit Who Wants to Fall Asleep,” a new book written by a behavioral psychologist that was designed to do exactly that – get your kid to doze off before you reach the last of the 26 pages. It encourages the parents to yawn while reading and is written in a way that should help children relax, focus and eventually fall asleep. We’re not saying this book is magic, but it’s basically magic.
From choosing the best preschool to touring colleges with your kid, you will be making several decisions about your child’s education in the years to come. Noodle.com is an alternative to those ubiquitous ranking systems that are pretty much meaningless. Instead, Noodle.com aggregates data from a variety of educational review sources allowing you to research and compare education providers so that you can ultimately find the school or tutor most appropriate to meet your child’s needs. Their articles also cover a broad variety of topics so useful it’s like having your own personal education expert on demand. Oh, and do you know what else is cool? It’s totally free.
We’re long-time listeners of NPR’s All Songs Considered podcast over here at RD (think of it as audio cliff notes for what’s happening in music today). So when co-host Robin Hilton went on paternity leave for a couple months, he came back with what we thought was a great question: What’s the first song your newborn child should hear? The episode gets into a great discussion of whether lyrics matter or if it’s about the feeling of the music and you should definitely take 10 minutes to hear it here. So why is this a “Dad Hack”? Because they put together a listener-recommended playlist of songs on Spotify for your consideration.
We feel bad for customer service reps. The only reason someone is calling them in the first place is because something is wrong. Then after you’ve unsuccessfully maneuvered the phone directory to talk to a human, you’re pissed, they’re annoyed, it’s a lose-lose situation. Not anymore. Next time you need to call any customer service department make sure you consult www.gethuman.com first. Search for the organization you’re calling and it will tell you the number to call and what digits to enter to skip the phone system and get to a real, live human being lickety-split. This is what the internet was created for.
For those of you who don’t bleed blue and yellow, understand that Zingerman’s Deli is one of America’s retail food capitals. Their Midnight Feeding Box is an great gift to send to new-parent friends and/or yourselves. It’s filled with a mini Sourcream Coffeecake, a mini Hot Cocoa Cake, two Black Magic Brownies, Spanish Olive Oil Tortas, Belgian Butter Cookies, Ginger Chime Candies, Spanish Marcona Almonds, Smooch Lion Gummies, Dulce de Leche Caramel Cream, John Macy’s Cheesesticks, and a darn cute Zingerman’s bib. PRO TIP: Zingerman’s chocolate challah bread (makes the best french toast!!!), butternut squash oil, and pickled raisins are also well worth an impulse buy.
Golf can be too expensive, too time-consuming and, the way you slice the ball, way too frustrating. But you still love it and you want to pass that love on to your kids by making it as exciting as possible. Enter Topgolf. Picture a driving range on steroids that doubles as your local sports bar. “You can challenge your friends and family to addictive point-scoring golf games that anyone from the hopeful pro golfer to your neighbor’s 7-year-old kid can play year-round.” Plus they have TV’s in every bay, a bar, an extensive menu that will keep everyone happy well into the evening, and a complete absence of teenage girls on beer carts which, at your age, is officially creepy anyway.
Forgetful: No. Prepared: Yes. A checklist is the easiest way to make sure (at the very least) you can get to your campground, have everything you need, and maybe even have some fun and relax. Here is a list of lists we’ve compiled to make your trip a bit easier, and also have the choice of who you want to listen to.
Pro Camping Store One: HERE
A Super Long one: HERE
Wild Card HERE
BONUS: Bear Grylls Survival Kit
Netflix is very smart. The huge market of dads now has an excuse to watch their favorite Saturday morning shows from childhood. #genius . Okay, maybe we are going a bit too far by assuming it was their main motivation, but who cares. More Pee-Wee, Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog, and classic TMNT is enough for us to justify the $7.99 streaming charge.
How many books have you bought on Amazon that are sitting on your shelf, unread? Together, we have dozens, maybe hundreds. There’s a better chance they will be puked on then read. It’s not only a tease, but it is a waste of money. Enter Overdrive; the app that saves the day. How? (1) Log into said app, (2) enter your library card information, (3) search thousands of books for free and download at will. Even audio books. The latter will get the most use. #fathering
So we all have a ton of children’s books. Hit or miss for the most part, but they definitely ALL kill trees. Well, Pequeño, a children’s book publisher in Argentina has set out to correct that problem. Their new line of books, Tree Book Tree, are “plantable,” so after you and your child are done reading you can walk out the back door, dig a hole, throw the book in the hole, and it will grow a new tree. Hacking ecologically-responsible-reading. #fathering
“Photos are moments in time we never want to forget. What if there was a home for all of these moments.”
Earlier today Google announced Google Photo, a single platform to store, edit, sort, and share all of your photos. Just reading about this app for Android, iOS, & web has us seriously salivating at its amazing functionality. We have tons of photos of our kid’s birthdays, Christmases, Hanukkahs, and Halloweens spread out between different clouds and devices. Plus all of our old analog photos are still sitting around waiting to be sorted someday have been waiting for this. Google Photo may not be the first platform of its kind but, come on, the name Google goes a long way in our book. Maybe this is the inspiration you finally need to put all of your memories in one place. Spend less time trying to find that shot of your daughter covered in birthday cake from last year and more time being in the moment. #DadWants #DadHack
Kids tend to love the outdoors and have an infectious curiosity about all living things. Of course, a city-boy like you may not know the first thing about wildlife. Thankfully, the folks at Custom Made have a great article about how to get the most out of nature in your backyard. Not only will your kids wonder at the cool insects, but by maintaining a wildlife-friendly backyard you’ll also be doing something good for mother nature. Check it out here.
Like it or not, the internet is a scary place and definitely not a place you want to leave your kid unattended. Whether you’re afraid of your toddler spending thousands on your iTunes account on in-app purchases or have a school-age child and no clue what the kids these days are up to, you need to take 5 mins and read this infographic.
Life with an infant is like witnessing a pendulum of frustration and joy. Laughing one moment, crying the next. Wanting all of your attention today, and then acting like they don’t know you at all tomorrow. You will probably spend hours of your life just watching them in fascination asking yourself, “what is going on in that cute little head of yours?” This is why we love The Wonder Weeks, a fantastic book ($15) and app ($2 on Android and iOS) that will better help you cope with the stormy periods and turn those tough weeks into the wonder weeks they are meant to be. The Wonder Weeks focuses on ten major developmental leaps in your baby’s first two years of life and the tools presented will help you understand what your child is going through, what signs to look out for and how to better handle each developmental leap. Graduating to toddlerhood is hard, but it is also wonderful.
The sheer amount of dangers our children are faced with can be overwhelming. One large checkbox for us was learning how to give CPR to a child. It was surprising how little we knew about the warning signs, the method, and pretty much everything else relating to CPR. You can hire a professional to come to your home for a one-on-one training, through your hospital or Google, or for about $40 sign up for InfantCPR.com and watch the class as many times as you want. Highly recommended for grandparents, nannies, and babysitters as well.
Setting up a smart home has always been a dream of ours. In 2015 we’re actually getting pretty close, and Choremaster is a notable tool. Choremonster is the “controller” of your childrens chore list. You add their chores, rewards, and point system, and the companion app holds them accountable. It automates follow-up and management, and allows you to get back to your ideal weekend activities again. Relevant Dads heart technology. #fathering
Art is subjective, but as we’ve stated in the past, dads know everything. So therein lies the difficulty of talking to your kids about art. Next time you have plans to head to the museum with the family, take some time brushing up on your art history with this handy cheat sheet. You’ll finally be able to tell the difference between the Renaissance and Baroque movements and sound like you actually know what you’re talking about. Cue the eye-rolls.
Wings, fries, and pizza, are all crowd friendly super-bowl bites, but are usually made by picking up the phone. Why not wow the kids by pulling yet another secret recipe out of your back pocket? Superbowl waffles are strait-cron, and afford a bevy of topping opportunities from chicken (Rosco’s style), to queso & salsa, or organic ketchup like Sir Kensington’s. #fathering Thanks to recipebyphoto.com for the inspiration.
As a dad, you are obligated to know everything. Or at least, if you don’t know something, act like you know. This handy infographic debunks just about everything you thought you knew from the Great Wall of China not actually being visible from space to the fact that flushed water in a toilet bowl in the southern hemisphere does not actually go in the opposite direction. No matter how smart you think you are, you’ll find a few surprises here and your kids will probably be the better for it.
As a parent you’re expected to act responsibly. Be a good role model. Behave and lead by example. However, you’re still human and, thanks to the kids constantly pushing your buttons, can quickly find yourself consumed by illegitimate rage the second Derek in Accounting leaves his unwashed dishes in the break room sink again. What if a service existed that allowed you to douse your enemies in the most vile, annoying substance ever created? Yes, you can now spend real money and anonymously glitter bomb your foes (or friends, for that matter) thanks to the passive-aggressive service shipyourenemiesglitter.com. As you’re fully aware, that crap gets everywhere and is sure to be more of an annoyance then your target is.
Now that 2014 is in the books you’re probably asking yourself the same question we are: how did that happen? Having kids makes it harder and harder to stay on top of the best in entertainment each year. Thankfully our favorite data-geeks at FiveThirtyEight.com have compiled a list of books, movies and tv shows that got the most mentions on those ubiquitous year-end best of lists that virtually every publication and website publishes each year (and even though FiveThirtyEight.com didn’t include a list for music, luckily you have our picks here). A link to their full lists / article can be found in the “buy” link below, but if you’re short on time we’ll sum it up for you like this: The show you should be watching is Transparent, the movie you should buy is Boyhood and the book you should read is Lila: A Novel by Marilynne Robinson. Done and done.
There must be a Relevant Dad over at Netflix, because their latest “short” is so devilishly smart. Today only, you can pull up the Netflix website, and with a single click, your children will see a full New Year’s Eve ball drop hosted by none-other than King Julien of “Madagascar,” fame. It’s literally New Year’s Eve / bedtime on demand. #fathering
Now there are 3 certainties in life. Death, taxes, and uber is the best app. For all of you relevant urban dad’s on the go, uber is offering chauffeured rides with baby seats. No more morally-questionable taxi rides with your newborn. An uber gift-card always makes a great gift as well (works even last minute)
- Open your Uber app
- Request ‘CAR SEAT’
- Ride with your child safely buckled up in a car seat
Thanksgiving is less than 48 hours away. Are you ready? We don’t mean prepared for the meal – we’re talking about the marathon of social interaction with drunk and opinionated family members. Chances are someone is going to say something offensive or instigate a debate that no one wants to have. For those situations where changing the subject to the latest viral video or movie trailer can’t derail Uncle Frank spouting nonsense about current events, the good people at Vox have put together some handy pointers on how to discuss topics ranging from Bill Cosby, Ferguson, and the Common Core to the mid-term elections, Israel/Palestine conflict and immigration. Consider this your protection from being “that guy” this Thanksgiving and actually knowing what you’re talking about. (Link in the “Buy” button below.)
College tuition is kind of a joke. The feeling of paying $50K+per year for my kids to do the same things we did in college, is like chewing on a mouthful of angry wasps. Acorns is an app that takes the wasps out of the equation by simply rounding up the change from daily purchases and investing it for you. Almost like a squirrel storing acorns for the harsh winter… personally we like the wasp analogy better. #fathering
Family trips are amazing when you get to the destination. But like anniversary sex, a ton of work gets put into the build-up. Relevant dads use apps like Packing Pro to streamline the process. Packing lists are organized by family member, and color coordinated for orginazational ease. Not going to lie, it takes a bit of getting used to, but you won’t go back. Ever. Ever.
Innately all dad’s can nail out a few dishes: burgers, omelettes, and tacos. It’s in Wikipedia, just don’t look it up. The key to making a great taco or burrito is not having someones grandas recipe, but (1) just an idea of what you want to make (2) faith that those taco shells in the cabinet don’t have mold (3) Tacopedia. Bill Esparaza, a food writer for LA Mag, wrote an amazing piece on the multifarious tacos of Los Angeles. It has become a pretty big topic amongst the food blogger types of the world, and in our “dad world” a lot of the tacos are easily translatable; Ensenada Fish Tacos (Boom), Tacos Arabes (Perfect for after soccer practice), and Tacos Acorazados (Battleship tacos). ‘Gringo’ tacos are from T-Bell, not for relevant dads. #fathering
Dad’s know everything. It’s one of those universally understood facts of life. On that note, a dad’s propensity to retain the most random information is equally higher than most. Hackthemenu.com is a treasure-trove of cutting edge “off-menu’ information for the most relevant dads around. The “Thin-Mint Iced Latte at Starbucks, the Buffalo Chicken Sandwich at Chick-fil-A, the T-Bell “Enchorito” to name a few. Get grubbing! #fathering