3 Things to Do With Your Kids This Weekend

(Getty/Gary John Norman/Katharine Komar-Hodge EyeEm/Westend61)

Good dads know how important it is to spend quality time with their kids and how fun it can be too. But it can be tough to keep coming up with new stuff to keep your kids entertained. If you’re dreading a weekend of kids complaining about being bored while you countdown the seconds until bedtime, we feel your pain. So each week we’re going to feature 3 simple ideas of things to do with your kids.

Indoor Camping

(Getty/Gary John Norman)

Put up a tent indoors, break out the sleeping bags and find your flashlights. If you have a fireplace, light it up – make some smores and sing some songs. Tell some ghost stories if you dare. Let them sleep in the tent. Unlike real camping, you get to sneak out and enjoy the conform of your own bed. Yes, they’ll probably stay up late chatting given the novelty of their new sleeping arrangement, but that’s OK because you get to wake them up with a bugle when they sleep in. Hey, it’s for authenticity sake.

Dance Party

It’s time to get your family groove on. Start by asking your kids to go get dressed in whatever fun and crazy outfits they want to wear to the party. Each kid gets to make a playlist and take a turn as the DJ. Or you can just queue-up a YouTube kid’s dance party playlist. There’s an entire universe on YouTube of instructional videos for learning dance styles, moves and routines. Or just wing it. Mess with the lighting too. If you hit the dollar store first, you can grab glow sticks, necklaces and a screw in blacklight bulb. It’s about time you relived that 1990s magic.

Make Your Own Pizza

This one will keep ’em occupied for hours and the best part is – dinner is made, and they’re not going to put up a fuss about eating it. Start from scratch, make the dough and then roll it out with them. Yes, things will get messy but it will be fun for them to create their own mini-sized pizza and they also like playing with dough. Or keep it clean and simple and purchase a packaged pizza dough from the supermarket. The kids can help prep the toppings, chop the vegetables, grate the cheese and design the pizza anyway they please.

(Getty/Westend61)

For more suggestions check out last week’s 3 Things to Do With Your Kids.

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School Admins Announce Snow Day With Hilarious “Hallelujah” Remix

(YouTube/Ben Mainka)

When we were kids, waiting to find out if school was canceled for a snow day wasn’t a lot of fun. Parents and children alike huddled around the radio or television, listening to the DJ read off a list of closings, or staring at the ticker until it reached your district.

It was a nightmare of anticipation and crushed dreams.

Nowadays, social media makes things a lot more efficient, and some schools have even leveraged the immediacy of it to make school announcements fun. Why bother with a boring email or text message when you can just as easily post a video to your YouTube page to spread the news? And hey, why not pass the message along in song?

A lot of schools are having some fun with this kind of thing, but not all of them do it well. Not all of them are the talented as the superintendent and school principal at Swartz Creek Community Schools in Michigan.

“I know that one of the things that’s been happening — which is an epidemic across our country — is that superintendents and other administrators are coming up with ridiculous songs,” superintendent Ben Mainka says at the start of his YouTube video. “And they’re playing music and putting on sunglasses on and making absolute fools of themselves trying to cancel school for a snow day.”

Then, with help from principle Jim Kitchen, he does just that, announcing the school closing with a rendition of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah.” For children hoping beyond hope that school would be canceled, they couldn’t have selected a more appropriate song.

Thankfully, the pair has some major chops, and some clever new lyrics!

It’s safe to say that the students and families that attend that school got the message, and so did just about everyone else in the country: the video, entitled “SCCS Announcement,” has garnered more than one million views since it was posted on Tuesday morning!

Princess Elsa Gets Arrested for Causing Midwest’s Polar Vortex

(Facebook/McLean Police Department on Tuesday)

The polar vortex is no joke. Frigid temperatures are enveloping much of the nation this past week, and nowhere was hit harder than the midwest, where temperatures went way below zero, sometimes becoming colder than conditions on Mt. Everest!

The cold snap has been so extreme that many schools and business across the middle of the country were shut down rather than endanger people by forcing them to go outside in such insanely cold conditions. Children must be thrilled, but not everyone is. Like the McLean police department in Illinois, for example.

They weren’t taking the extreme cold lying down. In fact, they went after the very person responsible:

Elsa, the Ice Princess from Disney’s Frozen.

On Tuesday, the McLean PD shared a hilarious Facebook post with images of Elsa being handcuffed and placed into a police car.

The caption read:

ATTENTION: Due to the EXTREME COLD weather, all criminal activity and acts of stupidity and foolishness has been canceled. Even Elsa has been placed under arrest with NO BOND until further notice. Thank you for your attention and understanding to this matter. Respectfully, the McLean Police Dept.

We’re not entirely sure what charges the McLean PD levied against Elsa, but if they weren’t able to get her for magically causing the cold, they should at least hit her with some Unlawful Earworm Production. No jury in the world would let the woman who put ‘Let It Go’ in their heads go free.

Three-Year-Old Encourages Dad’s Hair Styling Efforts

Father Figures: There’s Always Hope

“I had a daughter with my ex-girlfriend, it was the most nerve-wracking moment of my life. I was happy and scared all at the same time. It was a bizarre feeling.

After a year I was not fulfilling my dad duties and I was struggling. I turned, shamefully, to drugs and alcohol. I soon lost both my partner and my daughter (no surprise there).

Time went on with hardly any contact and a failed visit to rehab. All I wanted was my daughter

After a tough time, it’s two years later and I’m starting to rebuild trust with my ex and proving I can be the dad that my little girl deserves. Each day I look forward to seeing her on Sunday and her smile is the only thing that keeps me on the straight and narrow.

I never thought this would be possible but there’s always hope for any dad struggling.”

– Sam A.

Want to share a story about fatherhood? Email [email protected]

Wally, the Emotional Support Alligator Who Helps Kids and Seniors [WATCH]

(Twitter/SunSentinel Facebook/Joie Henney)

When you hear about emotional support animals, you probably imagine a furry little animal who’s excited to assist people with emotional or mental health disorders. You’ll recognize them by their signature vests which allow them to go places pets normally wouldn’t be allowed like college campuses and restaurants. Of course, while a friendly pup is usually the norm when it comes to these service pets, some people prefer a more scaly variety of animal.

Meet Wally. The first emotional support alligator.

Wally was rescued by Joie Henney, 65, in 2015 when the little gator was only 15 months old. Since being domesticated (or as domesticated as a 5-foot-long carnivorous lizard can be), Wally and Henney have developed a legendary, albeit unusual friendship.

In Henney’s words, Wally “is a big teddy bear.” In fact, Henney describes the giant reptile in many ways to be similar a dog. He loves to cuddle next to a warm body, has never bitten anyone, and is surprisingly wary of cats. After only a month in Henney’s care, Wally was following him around the house wanting to be petted and held.

(Facebook/Joie Henney)

Seeing an opportunity for people to learn more about aquatic reptiles, Henney began taking to Wally to school and senior homes. Interestingly enough, Wally loved the social interaction and people began to grow just as fond of him as well. Kids with developmental issues, in particular, were drawn to the unique experience of interacting with a real alligator.

With the bevy of positive responses and Wally’s inherently laid back demeanor, Henney thought it would be a good idea to register his as an official service animal so he would be given access to more places and meet more people.

So, despite only dogs and small horses typically qualifying for service dog status, Walley received his very own service animal certification and vest in December 2018! Wally can officially go wherever he wants.

Joie posted the official document on Facebook:

(Facebook/Joie Henney)

Henney and Wally’s walks around town last a majority of the day now due to the little gator’s celebrity status. Everybody seemingly wants to come out and show their new scaley friend some love.

Despite all the support, plenty of folks online still think anyone willing to foster a live alligator in his home must be off his rocker.

Henney isn’t just some random guy from Florida, though. He hosted “Joie Henney’s Outdoors” on ESPN Outdoors from 1989 to 2000 where he handled plenty of animals more dangerous than Wally.

He fully recognizes how strange it is to live with a giant predator, though.

“I’m not normal,” he told the York Daily Record. “They aren’t for everyone.”

(Facebook/Joie Henney)

Love him or hate him, Wally is living his best life meeting new folks, eating chicken wings, and snuggling under piles of blankets every day.

“Wally’s never bitten me,” Joie said, “and he’s never tried to bite anyone. He’s pretty laid back.”

Keep it up, Wally! You’ll undoubtedly remain one of the most popular support animals around.

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Father Figures: The Best

“I’ve been a single mom almost my whole time as a mom.

I loved being independent and raising my boys alone until I met Darran. He had been previously married for 16 years with no hopes of having children because of his ex not wanting kids and convincing him he’d be an awful father.

Turns out he’s the best.

He took to the fatherhood role incredibly and here he is relearning how to multiply fractions via YouTube to be able to help now OUR son with homework.”

– Jennifer Miranda

Want to share a story about fatherhood? Email [email protected]

Robot Lawnmowers Are Here and the Fight For The Future Starts Now

(Amazon/Robomow)

Despite countless movies, novels and TV shows about the rise of computers and robots and artificial intelligence being the ultimate doom of all mankind, most of us will gladly accept any new bit of technology, so long as it makes our lives easier.

Who doesn’t love the idea of taking a self-driving car home after a long day? Or of letting Roomba handle the vacuuming while you stream Netflix? Now, the same company who suggests you talk to Alexa to turn on your appliances is also attempting to eliminate one of the dad-liest chores there is: mowing the lawn.

Lawnmowing is a near two-centuries old institution. We proudly wear grass-cutting regalia: a crusty ol’ t-shirt, a ripped pair of jeans and grass-stained running shoes. Cutting the grass is an escape, one of the earliest forms of meditation, well before hipsters made mindfulness trendy. The sweet hum from our mowers blocks out the sounds of the world (mostly the screams of our maniac children.) The smell of freshly cut grass invigorates our souls, it’s the original aromatherapy for dads.

Our lawns are home fields. We take pride in the masterfully manicured big league pattern we leave behind.

Heck, grass is the only high Hank Hill needs:

Yet there’s Amazon, carelessly peddling robotic lawnmowers. They probably won’t kill your family but I can’t guarantee it.

It’s called the Robomow, because of course it is, and it’s like the Roomba’s more masculine cousin. Or something Robocop might leave in the toilet. The convenience of having a strange robotic thing do your yard work will run you $600.

According to the description, the Robomow runs for 90-120 minutes after charging for 16-20 hours. The stater model is suitable for smaller lawns, 1/20 of an acre and can navigate small slopes of up to 15%. It starts with the push of a button but is not able to be scheduled, so it can’t do your lawn while you’re at work or before you get out of bed. “Not for use on St. Augustine grass” clearly states the product description. Gentleman, pay close attention to the limitations of these devices – they will be our key to defeating them when the Robomow uprising begins.

The worst part of the product description? “Powerful, but very quiet – enjoy your lawn while Robomow is mowing…” Do you think I’m going anywhere near my yard while that robotic killing machine is out there? I’m no fool; I’ve seen Maximum Overdrive.

Even the images from Robomow’s publicity package are terrifying. Look at these unsuspecting family members – distracted by the beauty of nature while Robomow silently stalks them.

(Amazon/Robomow)

We advise you start growing St. Augustine grass immediately.

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Double Impact

Brussels Sprouts Inedible, Reports Kid Who Just Ate Woodchips at Park

(Getty/MikeCherim)

SAN FRANCISCO, CA – Dismissing the vegetable as “yucky” and “barely food”, Tommy, 8, fledgling food critic and kid who just shoveled a handful of woodchips in his mouth at the park, has dubbed brussels sprouts totally inedible.

The leafy greens, toasted to perfection and tossed in a rich honey and balsamic vinaigrette, lack the savory wallop packed into every piece of finely chopped playground surfacing.

“I don’t like regular cabbages. Stands to reason I would dislike tiny ones,” Tommy submits, suggesting the nutritional value of brussels sprouts pales in comparison to a hearty serving of the raw material from which they produce wood pulp.

Tommy then passed on dessert, a slice of cranberry swirl coffee cake, insisting he’d rather just grab a late snack from the sewing basket.

Dad’s Amazing Graduation Gift for Daughter Took 13 Years to Complete

(Imgur)

Dr. Seuss’ Oh, The Places You’ll Go is a pretty standard read around graduation time and for good reason. Few books inspire the same degree of whimsical hope and excitement along with timeless illustrations like the good Doctor’s.

No copies, however, exist like the one given to Brenna Martin by her father, Bryan.

Upon her graduation from high school, Bryan told his daughter that he had something special for her. Admittedly, she thought she “was getting some cheesy graduation card.” Instead, she opened the famous book to find something truly special.

(Imgur)

“Every year, for the past 13 years, since the day you started kindergarten I’ve gotten every teacher, coach, and principal to write a little something about you inside this book,” he told her.

Brenna openly cried while skimming the ink-filled pages. She described the experience on Imgur:

“Sitting there reading through this book there are encouraging and sweet words from every teacher I love and remember through my years in this small town. My early teachers mention my ‘Pigtails and giggles,’ while my high school teachers mention my ‘Wit and sharp thinking..’ But they all mention my humor and love for life. It is astounding to receive something this moving, touching, nostalgic, and thoughtful.”

(Imgur)

Over 25 million people have viewed Bryan’s amazingly thoughtful gift, praising him for his dedication and creativity as well as their desire to do something special and unique for their kids.

Now, that’s an internet challenge we can all get behind.