James R.C. Smith or something you find in dirty diaper. We aren't sure.

James R.C. Smith

6 Dads Who Made the Most out of Winter 2019 [WATCH]

6 Dads Who Made the Most out of Winter 2019
(Eric Fobbe)

Winter is the best season! There’s snow to play in, there’s ice to skate on, and sometimes the commute to work is just too tough to struggle through (even though you managed to drive to the good tobogganing spot without a problem).

While lots of people are content with snuggling up indoors with some cocoa and a movie, these Dads are showing the season who’s boss.

1. Dad builds a wheelchair accessible snow fort

Gregg Eichhorn of Cincinnati spent five hours building a wheelchair-accessible snow fort so his daughter and son could both wheel through it. And he has seven other kids, get the full amazing story here.


2. Snow+Batman = Snowman? oh.

Alan Wolfard in New Mexico built an 8-foot snow Batman in his front garden in Bloomfield. He said it took him about three hours to build and it’s been getting lots of attention from his neighbors. He followed up Batman with Wonder Woman shortly after.


3. B.C. Dad builds an ice rink for his hockey-loving son

The winters are notoriously temperamental in British Columbia, Canada. After waiting weeks for the cold weather to stay, Sam Dinter and his dad, Chris are skating around their own backyard.

Ever since he was a boy, Chris wanted to build his own hockey rink in his garden and now, as a Dad, he can do it. Along with his sons, he put a liner down and filled it with a layer of water.

After weeks of worrying that the big freeze was never going to come, the weather finally cooperated and their garden was transformed from a shallow pool to the perfect ice rink.

4. Dad builds a monster snowman

Yet another dad putting our moderately proportioned snowman to shame, Eric Fobbe of Buffalo, Minnesota wanted to build ‘The Father of All Snowmen’.

He used a snowblower, a skidsteer, and a shovel to construct the 20-foot-tall ‘Snowskwatch’ in his yard. His neighbors must be so happy.


5. Saskatoon man builds an ice castle

Elsa has nothing on Don Greer of Saskatoon, Canada who built a 22-feet tall ice sculpture in the shape of a beautiful castle.

“Built with a one-by-two wood armature – with a chicken wire mesh that’s applied over that and then you begin to spray with a fine mist of water from a garden hose,” Greer said.

Inspired by Disney’s Frozen, it took Greer over 60 hours to finish and almost all of December.


6. Dad builds a snow tubing track in his front yard

Brian Johnson in Moorhead, Minnesota was inspired by the sheer amount of snow they’ve had this season. He has been working on the snow tubing track since February and is over 6 feet tall at the highest point. You can watch a video of the fun here.

“Just an epic tubing hill…of course, the children, they need something to do, keeps me busy,” he said.

In the spring Johnson said that he’ll turn it into a slip ‘n’ slide hill.

Wow! I wish he was my neighbor.

Dad Builds 6 Foot Snow Tube Hill
(KVRR Local News)

Looks like I’m going to have to up my game next winter!

3 Things to Do With Your Kids This Weekend

Things to Do With Your Kids
(Getty/ktmoffitt/Westend61/Johner Images)

Hooray for another weekend, or two-day-vacation-with-kids as I like to think of it. It’s 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.

Go Metal Detecting

Metal Detecting with Kids
(Getty/ktmoffitt)

The ground has thawed and it’s time to hunt for buried treasure! Yes, you’ll need to rent or purchase a detector, but they are relatively inexpensive to buy these days and there are even less expensive models for children – as low as $30. You can rent a higher-end model for yourself that can distinguish the type of metals your kids have detected with their junior versions – that way you end up with less rusty nails and more coins. This activity gets them outside and exercising and they still get to clutch a handheld device!

Host a Crazy Cook-Off

Set-up a few stations with ingredients and cooking utensils that your little chefs get to be in charge of.  Give them the basics: flour, eggs, milk and then kick things up a notch by allowing them to add any other ingredients! Let them explore the fridge and cupboards and add whatever they please: ketchup, olives, various spices, etc. Before they start, explain to them they have to try at least one bite of whatever they make after it’s been baked. Make sure to record the taste test, obviously.

Or you could go with something edible and make a pizza together.

Un-Bore a Chore: Spring Cleaning

It’s official, spring has sprung! So get the kids involved in the traditional clean-up by making it fun and rewarding. Start by putting on some music that will keep everyone energized. Challenge your kids to tidy an area against the clock – start a timer and let the games begin! Most times they’ll be enthused to use the tools of the trade – a broom, vacuum, a dust wand, etc. Offer incentives, dinner at their favorite restaurant, a credit toward a new purchase, or a night out at the movies.

They could also purge their old toys and donate them to charity.

Spring Cleaning With Kids
(Getty/Johner Images)

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.

Michael J. Fox’s Foundation Donates $24 Million to Parkinson’s Researchers

Michael J. Fox
(michaeljfox.org)

Beloved Canadian actor, Michael J. Fox recently announced that his foundation is giving away more than $24 million in grants for the research and treatment of Parkinson’s disease.

The actor, who is best known for his starring roles in movie classics like Back to the Future and Teen Wolf, as well as Spin City and a more recently, a recurring role on the TV show, The Good Wife,  was diagnosed with young-onset Parkinson’s disease in 2000.

That same year, he launched the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research, which has since become the world’s largest nonprofit for Parkinson’s research. Since 2000, The Michael J. Fox Foundation has funded more than $800 million in Parkinson’s research.

The new donation is being distributed in the form of 127 grants for projects seeking to understand, diagnose, treat, and study the progression of the disease. “All of our funding is focused on our mission to find a cure for Parkinson’s and to improve quality of life for those living with the disease today.” reads the official statement from the foundation’s announcement.

Parkinson’s Disease is a progressive disease of the nervous system and its symptoms include tremors, muscular rigidity, and slow, imprecise movement, and mostly affects middle-aged and elderly people. Early warning signs include tremors while resting, a loss of smell, or dizziness. For a full list, check out Parkinson.org

Associate professor of molecular science Justin O’Sullivan, at the University of Auckland and his team are one of the grant recipients. He said, “For us, this grant is an amazing opportunity to investigate a disorder that has a huge impact on people. We hope to make insights that ultimately make a real difference to patients.”

3 Things to Do With Your Kids This Weekend

(Getty/yulkapopkova LEGO Pexels/Markus Spiske)

Hooray for another weekend, or two-day-vacation-with-kids as I like to think of it. It’s 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.

Do The #TrashTag Challenge

At last, a viral campaign that’s doing something good. People all around the world have been cleaning up litter in their neighborhood and tagging #TrashTag.

Father and Son #TrashTag
(Getty/yulkapopkova)

The posts are going crazy all over social media, especially Reddit. Go ahead, bring your rubber gloves, a bunch of garbage bags, and lots of enthusiasm. You’ll do something worthwhile and when you’re all wrapped up you can reward your little helpers with something fun of their choosing.

Play With LEGO Duplo

I know, I know. Playing with LEGO isn’t exactly a new idea, but thanks to a very handy Facebook post by the creators themselves, this ‘3 Things to Do’ article actually has 53 if you include all the ideas they came up with. Some of the ideas include:

  • Dinosaurs
  • Bookends
  • Tongs game
  • A night light
  • Math games
  • Blow football and lots more!


Get the Garden Going

Introduce your kids to the love of growing their own food! Either, head out to the garden or start a window planter.

child growing peas, gardening
(Pexels/Markus Spiske)

For the garden, turn over the soil. It’s been a long winter and you need to mix it up to break up the ground ready for planting. If you’re making a window-box then all you need is a wooden crate from a DIY store (usually less than $5) and add some plastic garbage bag so the soil and water don’t fall out the bottom.

Add some new potting compost and let your kids pick what they’d like to grow. This will give them some ownership over their plants and get them more excited about it. I know my daughter only eats peas from the garden. I may or may not tell her that all her veggies were from the garden, but it’s working so don’t knock it!

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

Grandpa Sends ‘Low-Tech’ Memes to Grandson’s Parents

(YouTube/Good Morning America)

Leaving your pride and joy with anyone is always stressful, especially when that person might be a little out-of-practice. So, when baby Ty’s parents, Stephanie Waterhouse and her husband went on their first solo trip, they were a little worried. 8-month old Ty’s “PawPaw” absolutely loves him but it didn’t stop his parents being nervous as they left.

However, after just a few hours they knew that Ty and PawPaw (aka David) were already getting on like two peas in a pod.

(YouTube/Good Morning America)

It didn’t take long for PawPaw to start sending printed-out letters from Ty, taken on a flip-phone to the anxious parents.

(YouTube/Good Morning America)

They even did some mingling.

(YouTube/Good Morning America)

Checked out some cars.

(YouTube/Good Morning America)

And then things escalated very quickly.

(YouTube/Good Morning America)

Stephanie, Ty’s mom said “My dad is low tech…He refuses to get a smartphone and is very proud of his flip phone without internet. I once emailed him and asked for a shrimp scampi recipe. He couldn’t find it so he printed out similar recipes, scanned them in, and then emailed me the scanned recipe. He had no idea he could just copy the URL.”

(YouTube/Good Morning America)

“He [PawPaw] absolutely loves being a grandfather and loves spending time with Ty. Stephanie said. “I love that I’m able to just relax and know that my son is having the time of his life with his amazing Pawpaw.”


It looks like David was born to be a PawPaw.

Want to see more Grandpas being awesome? Check out how this Grandpa ends teen’s basketball career with a single move.

 

Dad’s Heartwarming Twitter Thread About His Daughter With Down Syndrome

Jason Kneen Tweet
(Twitter.com/JasonKneen)

On February 21st, British Dad, Jason Kneed posted on Twitter, “My child has Down Syndrome, what can I expect?” while sharing a beautiful photo of his daughter Rosie and her huge smile, he continued with “This. 100% this.”

Since posting, he’s had over 8,500 retweets and almost 90,000 likes. He followed up with some more adorably cute photos of his young family:

Also expect this - cute photo of Jason Kneen's daughter
(Twitter/JasonKneen)

Following the outpouring of support, Kneen said that he was “totally NOT ready for a child like Rosie.” And finished with “ANY child can be brilliant & wonderful and amazing.” He also shared the health battles his daughter has fought, including pneumonia, and the pure joy she brings to their family.

As a response to a previous tweet that mentioned Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson and his movie Moana, he got a reply from the film star with “Uncle Maui loves ya”.


Then the story made it to the local press:

Since his original post, there has been an outpouring of love from what Kneen has called ‘Rosie’s extended DS family’. There have been lots of lovely photos of beautifully smiling kids with Down Syndrome from around the world.



This kind of positive news story and public display of happiness, resilience, and joy is exactly what we all need a little more of, especially on social media.

Want to hear another good story to brighten your day? Check out how this community learned sign language to befriend a deaf toddler.

Universal Studios is Creating a Mario World Theme Park [WATCH]

(YouTube/Nintendo)

It’s official! Nintendo is coming to Universal Studios theme parks in Osaka, Orlando, and Hollywood.


The news of Universal’s ‘Fantastic Worlds’ park only broke a couple of weeks ago via an ‘insider leak‘ and will include a Super Mario World and may be opening in the early 2020s. Universal Studios Japan has already started work on creating the Nintendo franchise and is due to open in 2020.

There has been no update on the specifics of the rides but a Mario Kart racecourse is a must! According to Nintendo, visitors will feel like they’re inside their favorite Nintendo games. If there’s a Goldeneye area to the park I might never leave. Did anyone else spend entire summer vacations playing against the clock on the first level and then packing up their console and controllers and cycling over to their friend’s house to play multiplayer until they got sent home? Just me?

(Pexels)

The only thing Nintendo has officially said is “Nintendo-themed areas are coming to Universal Studios Japan, Universal Orlando Resort and Universal Studios Hollywood. These will be expansive, immersive and interactive. They will be highly themed and authentic environments filled with multiple attractions, shops and restaurants.”

Hopefully, they have planned something to cheer up the kids after their mums and dads pwn them on Zelda, Mario Kart, and Star Fox! While you’re waiting for the parks to be built you might consider killing time with the soon-to-be-released N64 Classic console.

11-Year-Old Ukulele Prodigy Goes Viral [WATCH]

Feng E Ukuele Prodigy
(Facebook/FengE)

I was given a ukulele for Christmas as a secret Santa gift. So far I’ve successfully mastered the chorus from Justin Bieber’s ‘Love Yourself’ and that’s pretty much it.

Feng E is thoroughly putting me to shame with his incredible talent for playing pop songs on his ukelele. With a lot of practice and natural musical ability, 11-year-old Feng is getting plenty of viral-level attention on his YouTube channel.

His most popular cover song to date is a cover of Guns N’ Roses ‘Sweet Child o’ Mine’ (that looks like was filmed while being driven to school) has over 900,000 views or around 76,000 hours watched.

Feng broadcasts from Taiwan and has even made an appearance on Ellen where he told the host he’s been playing for six years and has been inspired by Michael Jackson among others.


Given he’s not yet a teen – his range of covers is broad and full of Teen Spirit.

As well as rock classics, he’s been getting attention for his covers of everything from Classical Gas to Lady Gaga’s Million Reasons.


Maybe Feng should team up with this 4-year-old drummer and this 10-year-old piano prodigy and put a kid superband together?