3 Things to Do With Your Kids This Weekend

Three Things to Do With Your Kids
(Getty/Digital Vision./Hero Images Food Network)

Hooray for another weekend, or two-day-vacation-with-kids as I like to think of it. The weekend is all about disconnecting with the daily drudgery and making some memories with your little ones. It doesn’t matter if you’re building something or just being silly, commit to whatever you’re doing and have a good time.

Get the Pool Out

Kid's in Pool
(Getty/Digital Vision.)

Hooray for it finally being sunny enough to spend evenings outdoors (in some areas of N. America at least). Get a few cold beverages in the cooler and give the kids enough toys to keep them busy for a while. Lather on the sunscreen, get the hats and shades on and spend your weekend outside. You can pick up an inexpensive inflatable pool for as low as $30 at Amazon. Sure it might only last the season, but that saves on storing it away through the winter, so who cares!

A few ideas that’ll keep the kids in the pool and away from their screens, how about:

  • Ping Pong Race – Empty a bag of ping pong balls in the water and get the kids to act like Hungry Hungry Hippos and race to gather the most
  • Atomic Whirlpool – All the kids run in the same direction around the inside edge of the pool to get the water spinning. Then let them get swept around or try to swim against it.
  • Sponge Toss – Unload a few big car-washing sponges and let them throw them around. They’ll quickly get water-logged and fun to splash around.

Backyard Camping and Outdoor Movie

Backyard Camping
(Getty/Hero Images)

You don’t have to travel far to have the same fun as going on a family camping trip, and they’ll have the benefit of on-site bathrooms, snacks, and the comfort of their own beds if they get chilly at night.

Set up a tent and let them bring all their blankets, pillows, cuddly toys, flashlights, and some food to get them into the evening at least. Make it really memorable by setting up a projector and drape a white sheet over a wall to create an outdoor movie theatre. Bring popcorn and all the goodies they need. Even if they don’t stay out the whole night, they’ll surely have a great time.

Make Spider Burgers

(Food Network.ca)

Ok, well they’re not technically spider burgers. They look more like octopus burgers. Either way, your kids will love them, probably! They’re super-easy to make too, which is always a winner in my book. Here’s the recipe, thanks to FoodNetwork.

Ingredients:

  • Hot dog wieners
  • vegetable oil
  • Small hamburger buns as wieners
  • Condiments for burgers

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 400 F. Line baking sheet(s) with parchment paper or foil.

2. To cut wieners so they will cook into “spiders”, begin about an inch down from one end of each wiener, use a small sharp knife to cut along the length of the wiener into halves, then make two lengthwise cuts into each half, making 6 “legs” total. Try to make each “leg” the same thickness. The wieners should be intact at one end and have with 6 “legs” dangling from it.

3. Put sliced wieners in a bowl. Add drizzle vegetable oil (1 tsp for every 4 wieners) and toss to coat weiners.

4. Splay wieners onto lined baking sheets by spreading “legs” out like spokes from the intact end of the wiener. You can fit 4 to 5 wieners onto each baking sheet. Bake on middle racks of the oven for 6 minutes, or until “legs” curl up and wieners look lightly roasted.

5. Tuck wieners into hamburger buns. Set out with self-serve hamburger condiments.

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

Just a heads up, if you buy stuff using the provided links, The Dad may collect a small commission.

8-Month-Old Can’t Stop Giggling When Meeting His Hero, Chewbacca

Lil Chewie Meets His Hero
(Rachel Herrholz)

The best part about Star Wars is that there’s something that most people can appreciate—rich character arcs, badass villains, and otherworldy droids and weapons.

But Chewbacca… Chewbacca is for everyone. Man or woman, young or old, human or otherwise – you’d be hard-pressed to find someone who doesn’t love that big walking carpet. Even someone as young as 8-months-old can’t keep their cool around him, as shown by a recent viral video.

“Lil Chewie” was visiting Disney’s Hollywood Studios at Disney World Resort, Florida with his grandparents, Rachel and Eric Herrholz, when he finally met his hairy hero. Sporting his own Chewbacca apparel, the little boy was totally tickled while the famed Wookiee co-pilot playfully grunted and poked at him.

“This was Lil Chewie’s first visit with Chewbacca. We dressed him in a Chewbacca outfit, and Eric wore a Han Solo shirt,” said Rachel, regarding her Facebook video, which has since been viewed over 2 million times. “We were not expecting him to react the way he did. Chewbacca came over to get us.

“Next thing I know, I heard him laughing. I looked up and he was belly-laughing. Chewbacca was just as excited. I started to record. I was amazed and I wished his Mom and Dad were with us.”

(Rachel Herrholz)

The adorable interaction took place in the ‘Star Wars Launch Bay,’ an attraction where park-goers experience “immersive exhibits of costumes, models, concept artwork and actual movie props” as well as a meet-and-greet with Chewie himself.

“I am blessed that my grandson can make people smile and bring them happiness in this world we live in,” Rachel added.

I’m pretty sure any world with more Chewbacca in it is going to be happier, overall.

12 of Our Best Dads Jokes (Memes) of November

Our Best Memes of the Month

Nothing is more dad than laughing at your own jokes. Here are our 12 personal favorites from last month. (Actually as voted by you, based on Facebook engagement.)

1. 20/80 Rule

2. Adventurous Eaters

3. Morning Person

4. Change the Channel

5. Didn’t Do My Research

6. This IS Christmas Music

7. Suspect Has Been ID’d

8. Careers

9. Yelling Match

10. Origins of Cool

11. Ooops

12. Curtains

Check out last month’s top memes here.

Is Ace Ventura 3 In the Works?

Ace Ventura 3 In the Works?
(Morgan Creek)

Of all the sequels, reboots, remakes, reimaginings and updates swirling around in Hollywood, this is not one I ever expected.

Apparently a third Ace Ventura movie may be in the works.

The first Ace Ventura helped kick-off Jim Carrey’s box office dominance in the mid-90s. Along with Dumb and Dumber and The Mask, Ventura was a huge hit, launching the Living Color comic into the stratosphere, from which he wouldn’t completely come down until he shifted to more serious, sentimental fare. (Remember The Majestic? Me neither.)

Now, on the heels of what looks like a scenery-chewing performance in the forthcoming Sonic the Hedgehog movie, Carrey may be returning to one of his most iconic roles. He’s already played Ace twice, butt (pun intended) the second one didn’t go so well. He’s also no stranger to returning to characters after a long time off, as evidenced by the ill-fated Dumb and Dumber sequel he starred in a few years back.

Whether this actually happens is yet to be seen, as the Twitter frenzy around it was kicked off by a cryptic, detail-free tweet from an CNBC writer.

The punctuation and emoji in the tweet seem to suggest that even as he puts the rumor out there, he doesn’t necessarily believe it. Of course, there is little need for facts on social media, and the rumor was quickly up and running, with Ace Ventura’s production studio adding fuel to the fire with a tweet of their own:

Again, side-eye is far from a definitive statement. Side-eye emojis don’t usually have greenlighting power. And just last year, Tommy Davidson, a friend and former co-star of Carrey’s, told US Weekly that the actor is not interested.

“[Carrey] doesn’t want to do it now. But Jim is one of those kind of artists that, you know, he does what he feels, he does what he believes in. I asked him about it. I told him, ‘Hey man, it’d be nice in Jamaica.’ He said, ‘No I’m not doing those now,” Davidson said.

So we’ll see. But based on the social media response, even if Jim Carrey’s not ready for Ace Ventura 3, his fans are.

Father Figures: Happy Birthday

“My fiancé, Nicholas, is 10 years younger than me but has exceeded my expectations of being a father since the day our daughter was born.

I was waiting so long to be with someone that I would be happy raising a child with. Neither one of us is perfect and we’re figuring things out as we go but he’s been the backbone of our family.

He works 60+ hours a week to provide for us. He has never complained about cooking dinner on my bad days and even cleans too. He is hands-on when it comes to raising our daughter. He respects my role as a stay-at-home mom and I want him to know how much I appreciate everything he does for our family. Because I know he does more than I ever expected. Without complaint.

Happy birthday, Nicholas! We love you more than you know and appreciate more than we can show.

Thank you for everything you do and all of the adventures.”

– Lisa Ishihara

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

Check out the previous editions of Father Figures here.

Dad Creates ‘Back to the Future’ DeLorean to Pick Kids Up From School

Dad Restores Delorean
(YouTube/ b/60/SWNS)

A major part of being a parent is making sure your kids appreciate the things you loved growing up. Few things hurt more than your kid yawning during an iconic moment in Star Wars or asking to play Minecraft when you’re teaching them how to use the warp tubes in Super Mario Bros.

Fortunately, Back to the Future superfan James Napier has never had a problem getting his kids to share in his excitement for his favorite movie franchise, in no small part due to his DeLorean, which has been immaculately restored to resemble Doc’s time machine from the 1985 classic.

(SWNS)

“I take it out on weekends and I drop my kids off at school or football sometimes. They like it and their friends find it quite amusing!” says Napier. “You see other people’s jaws drop when we drive past. The family adores it—although my wife Emma probably doesn’t want to know how much it has cost me in total to restore!

“We drive it everywhere we go—you’ve got to make the most of it.”

Folks in the area can’t seem to get enough of the stainless steel coupe, especially since there’s reportedly only one other like it in the U.K. Napier’s youngest daughter, Daisy, says she loves when people honk their horn as they drive past.

“It’s really cool. Dad is probably a bit crazy to build something like that!” the 8-year-old reports.

(SWNS)

It took time, money, and a lot of elbow grease to get the vehicle to the pristine condition it’s in today. When Napier bought it for £55,000, someone had already tried to convert it into the iconic time machine but with really shoddy workmanship.

“It was quite run down. It needed a lot of work,” says Napier. “Somebody had tried to make it into a Back to the Future car—but it was really quite bad! The car was an absolute mess. I was completely nuts.

“I thought maybe I could salvage some of it, but in the end, I needed to get rid of everything and start from scratch,” he added. “I probably spent around 1,200 hours working on the car and it was quite expensive to do. It was a seven days a week job.

“It might have took a while, but it’s definitely worth it.”

(SWNS)

He says the project cost approximately £80,000 from start to finish.

Now, Napier drives the art piece in charity events around the U.K. and is always happy to indulge people who want a photo op. He even added all the bells and whistles to give it the same flair as the DeLorean from the films.

(SWNS)

“In the film, you see white plumes of smoke and that’s done by fire extinguishers in the film,” he continued. “We’ve done something similar—we’ve used CO2 fire extinguishers with a remote control.

“We have a smoke machine inside the car too so when you open the doors smoke comes out so it’s like you’ve traveled in time. A lot of the props inside makes the exact same noises. We’ve got the iconic car doors and lights too.”

It’s been a long road to get Napier’s DeLorean up and running to such exact specifications, but with the machine they have now, they don’t need roads.

15 Tweets That Prove Ryan Reynolds Is the Best Dad in Showbiz

(Rob Latour/Variety/REX/Shutterstock)

From Van Wilder to Deadpool to Pikachu, there’s no role to which Ryan Reynolds can’t adapt. Parenthood is no exception. His Twitter is a goldmine of fatherly wisdom, and we’ve collected his 15 funniest dad tweets to prove it.

He reads to his kid.

He keeps her in check.

He listens.

He makes sacrifices.

He’s a teacher.

He demonstrates trust.

He’s a great storyteller.

He has an answer for everything.

He rolls with the punches.

He is selfless.

He remembers the little things.

He’s honest.

He’s heroic.

He’s encouraging.

He’s… well. He’s Ryan Reynolds.

Ultrasound Appears to Show Woman’s Late Father Kissing Baby

(Shantel Carrillo)

Here’s a story you may have missed in the post-Thanksgiving – pre-holiday season shuffle.

When Shantel Carrillo first shared an ultrasound of her then 20-week-old baby girl, she had failed to notice a stunning detail. She and her partner, Bryce, were so focused on the baby’s face that they really didn’t notice anything else in the printout. Thankfully, a friend on social media immediately pointed out the odd appearance of a figure appearing to kiss her soon-to-be-born child.

“I posted the ultrasound,” Carrillo shared with NBC’s San Diego affiliate, “and right when I posted it, like 30 seconds later, someone’s like, ‘There’s an angel kissing your baby!’”

For Carrillo, who recently lost her father, it was no abnormality.

She posted the ultrasound side-by-side with a picture of her late father holding her oldest daughter when she was born. Even if you don’t believe in all that angels stuff, you’ve gotta admit that this is pretty freaking crazy either way.

Ultrasound looks like dad kissing baby

“It could very well be him – you never know,” she told NBC 7. “It’s so his character; that’s just so my dad.”

The post, of course, has spread, as things posted to Reddit have the tendency of doing. Plenty of folks agreeing with the original poster, with others claiming it’s just the angle of the photo. As for Carrillo, she’s happy either way.

“It does look a lot like my dad and it’s awesome. And, you know, it could be him, just saying, ‘Hey, I’m here, and it’s all good,’” Carrillo said. “Or it could be that the placenta just looks like my dad, which is awesome, too.”

Whatever or whomever it may be in the photo, it has certainly given the expecting mother a treasured memory that she’ll have to share for years to come.

“It’s just a cool picture to have; it just is what it is,” she said.

If nothing else, she now has an amazing name for a new metal band.

“Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome Dad Shaped Placenta.”

Photographer Hosts Disney Photoshoots Starring Children With Down Syndrome

Photographer features Children with Down Syndrome
(Nicole Louise Photography)

There’s no doubt that your Facebook feed is full of family portraits and holiday photos, but here’s a few you may have missed that are sure to brighten up your day.

A photographer and educator out of the UK has gained notoriety recently after her pictures of kids dressed up as Disney characters went viral.

Nicole Louise Perkins is a full time TA at a special needs school, which has allowed her to spend time with some pretty amazing little kiddos. But it was her passion for photography that inspired a unique idea. Last year, Perkins helped craft an awareness campaign called “Down Right Beautiful,” which featured children with Down syndrome.

“There is just something so amazing about children with special needs,” she recently told TODAY. Beyond capturing some incredible photos, Perkins says the resulting campaign helped those new to Down syndrome understand a bit more from those who have already been living with it. “Each person involved had their own page with their story and any advice their parents would give to new parents who have just been given a diagnosis.”

32 individuals, from babies to young adults, were photographed for the initial project. The resulting reaction inspired Perkins to do it again, only this time, with a twist. The kids were all dressed as Disney characters and the final products are… well, see for yourself.

Disney Photoshoot for Down Syndrome
(Nicole Louise Photography)
Aladdin Photoshoot
(Nicole Louise Photography)
Brave Disney Photoshoot
(Nicole Louise Photography)

So far, the photos have been viewed over millions of times, with fans from nearly every corner of the globe chiming in on the positively perfect portraits.

(Nicole Louise Photography)

“Comment after comment of how happy the images had made people, how much they love them and just so much positivity — it left me feeling so full inside,” Perkins shared.

While the reaction to the photos has been instantaneous, Perkins hopes the message has a lasting impact. “I hope the project helps people realize that Down syndrome isn’t scary and that the people that have Down syndrome don’t have less of a life,” Perkins told TODAY. “They have great lives and along with that, they make the lives of the people around them much richer.”

We couldn’t agree more.

Dad’s Post Honoring Wife For “Miracle of Birth” Goes Viral

Dad shares post on miracle of birth
(Facebook/William Battle)

When a new baby is born, plenty of people are ready and waiting to share their amazement in the miracle of life. But one dad is reminding everyone of the real miracle in childbirth: the woman who brings that child into the world.

As a father who has stood bedside as their wife went through the most intense and excruciating experience, I can certainly attest to the feeling of awe (and terror) that takes over as you watch your partner suffer with little you can do besides saying “keep going”.

So when William and Lauren Battle welcomed their second child in November, the proud husband like sharing credit where credit was due. William posted an image of his wife mid-labor, along with his message of gratitude. “I honestly don’t know how she did it. The pain was so intense, so overwhelming, that even I felt it. Everyone in the room felt it. Yet she pulled through. Her pain was gruesome. Her struggle seemed almost unbearable.”

The Texas dad saw everyone else, from nursing staff to onlookers and family, focused on their baby boy. But William was still in awe of his wife. While William says he could almost feel the pain she was experiencing, he admits that at the end of the day he was just along for the ride. I was merely a passenger, never to truly understand the excruciating pain she was experiencing,” Battle shared.

“She gave her labor every ounce of life and energy she had in her. And then gave a little bit more. And through it all, at the end of it she selflessly gave all of us a glimpse into what she has been enjoying exclusively to herself for the past 9 months. We all finally get to love and hold the boy that she sacrificed her body, comfort, energy, and self for. My son is an absolute miracle. Babies are absolute miracles. But to me, the greater miracle is his mother, who has shown me what selfless sacrifice really is. What love really is.

My wife is the real miracle.”

The post has over 48,000 shares on Facebook, with thousands of commenters chiming in with their own stories. Moms shouting out the dads who stood by their sides as William did with Lauren. Dads recognizing the sacrifice their partners made over the years.

While William is happy to be holding their newborn, he closed with a message all dads should take to heart. “Babies are absolute miracles. But to me, the greater miracle is his mother, who has shown me what selfless sacrifice really is. What love really is.”