“Floor Is Lava” Goes From Living Rooms to Netflix

Floor is Lava
(Netflix)

Kids have been playing “the floor is lava” for years. Mine have, especially during quarantine, and I remember playing a variation of it with my brother, in which we viciously tried to kick each other off the couch or bed to our doom.

Somebody finally realized that this was a natural game show and made it happen, and now that someone – Netflix – is reaping the rewards.

The game, which is highly reminiscent of Nickelodeon’s classic Double Dare, in which contestants couldn’t help but fall into goo and slime and other gross things while they attempted to navigate challenges and obstacle courses, dominated the streaming service over the weekend, coming it at #1 on their list of most-watched shows.

Mashable has a breakdown of how the show works:

“Host Rutledge Wood, known for his role on Top Gear, presents the rules as follows: (1) anything and everything in the room is in play; (2) for every player that gets across, the team receives a point; (3) the team with the most points at the end of their run, or the fastest time in case of a tie, wins $10,000; and (4) don’t fall in because — say it with me — the floor is LAAAVAAAA!

Episode to episode, viewers watch as teams go head-to-head for their shot at the grand prize. Deceptively tricky puzzles, hurdles, and mind games block their way as “volcanic eruptions” coat every available surface with water, further increasing the likelihood of slipping. At the same time, the steps needed to get out at the exit are slowly falling away as the lava levels rise, making the game harder with each second that ticks by. It’s a pressure cooker of anxiety that forces the series’ daring trios to leave it all out on the faux basalt, or be reduced to a metaphorical pile of ashes.”

My kids were transfixed by the show – but they’re also transfixed by other people opening toys and playing video games, so that’s not saying much – so it looks like Netflix has a hit on its hands.

Don’t take my word for it, check out this review of the show from an actual 7-year-old.

20 Guessing Games for Kids When You Need Something Fun to Do

guessing games for kids, father playing with child
(Getty/fizkes)

Holy balls. Quarantine is getting to us. We’ve played every game in the closet, built every LEGO kit from scratch… twice, and binged every single show you can imagine. Even ones we had no interest in! Of course, many of us aren’t actually ready to go out in public yet. Pandemics are real and terrifying, dude. Still. We need new ways to entertain ourselves and our kids.

Enter guessing games. A great way to improve critical thinking, guessing games can not only be used for fun but also for educational purposes. This giant AF list of guessing games will give you an idea of what we mean.

Low-Cost, Low-Investment, And Little-To-No Tools Needed Guessing Games

1. Mystery Grab Bag/Box

This is way more simple than you realize. Find a bag (like one of your spouse’s ten zillion cloth grocery bags) or a box (from that drunken Amazon binge buy last week). Put a thing inside. Any old thing. The lumpier the better. Let your kids shake, sniff and grope the thing without actually seeing it. (And save reaching inside to feel the actual “thing” as a last resort.) Can they guess what’s inside?

2. Pictionary

Use some sheets of paper to make suggestions and then split your family into teams. A selected person will pick a suggestion from a hat or bowl. And attempt to draw it. Let them use a notebook, tablet, or one of those craft paper rolls. Give their team 60 seconds to try to guess what the paper said.

3. iSpy

“I spy with my little eye… something green and bouncy.” It’s a tennis ball, Dad. Try harder.

4. Twenty Questions

For the best results, assign some rules or a category. (Think: Disney movies, famous princesses, sports, etc.) Have one person pick something within that category, then let everyone else ask yes or no questions until they can make an educated guess as to what that person is thinking of. (To avoid cheating, consider having them write down and hide their answer.)

5. Hangman

Do we really need to describe Hangman to you? Use it to guess vocabulary words or important moments/people in their current history lesson.

6. What am I?

Another great learning opportunity. Pop a sticky note onto your little bug’s forehead with an interesting animal they’re learning about or even a specific historical event. Let them ask you yes or no questions until they guess what is written on their note.

7. Who am I?

This is the same as the last game, except you play with the name of a famous person (like a name from their current history lesson).

8. Charades

Act out movies, TV shows, books, scenes from history… anything. This is best played in teams.

9. Hidden picture

The easiest way to play this is just to cut out the front of a cereal box and then cut it into squares. Let the kiddos flip one square over at a time, until they can guess what cereal box they have. You can also do this with pictures of historical figures.

10. Guess the animal

Give hints about animals until they guess. “I have tusks.” “I am grey.” “I live on multiple continents.” You get the gist.

11. Guess My Job

“I use a stethoscope.” “I take your blood pressure at the hospital.” “I wear scrubs all the time.” Is it a nurse or a doctor? “I don’t operate on people.” You get the idea, right?

12. Listening Game

Can your kiddos guess the animal by your noises?

13. Rhyming Riddles

Look up or create rhyming riddles about literally anything you want your kids to learn (or just guess). Can they guess what the riddle is about? Once they get the hang of it, encourage them to try to write their own and fool you.

14. Eye witness

Pick an “it” to stand up and let everyone examine them. Next, they should leave the room and change something about themselves. (Part their hair on the other side, change their shoes, etc.) When they return, everyone has to guess what they changed.

15. Guess Who Is Missing

Blindfold the family and have one person leave. Using only their sense of touch (and maybe sound), can they guess who left the room?

16. Mr. And Mrs. Judge

Have one person cover their eyes or put their head down. Have another person sneak up behind them and whisper, “Good Morning, Judge,” and then return to where they were. Next, have “The Judge” open their eyes and guess who spoke.

17. 30 Seconds

Split your family into teams and give their representative a word. They must describe that word without actually saying the word or a similar word. Can their team guess their word?

18. Button, Button, Who’s Got The Button?

Give one person a button or anything tiny. Have them walk around and hold hands with each person in the group. At some point, they should try to secretly transfer the button to another person’s hand. At the end of the rotation, everyone must guess who has the button. The secret here is to work on faking out everyone watching.

19. Johnny Whoop

You know what? This game is fun but impossible to describe easily. Here’s an easy description. The basic gist is, once again, to fake out everyone playing.

20. Name That Tune

Can your kids guess what song you’re humming? Can you guess when they hum a song? Only one way to find out!

20 Fun Games to Play With a Gaggle of Kids and Grown-Ups

fun games to play
(Getty/PixelsEffect)

After two to three months of quarantine, lockdowns are being lifted (for the time being), but it still may not feel very safe to let your kids hang out with their friends. Now summer is creeping in. School is over. Many pools are still closed. Everything is different except for one thing: Your kids’ infinite ability to be “sooooo boooooored.” These fun games to play are perfect for keeping them busy and entertained. Bonus: If you ever get to have your friends and family over, again, they’re all perfect for playing with adults, too.

1. Saran Wrap Game

Pick a “prize” that’s easily held in one’s hand, like a box of candy, a small toy of a gift card in a small box. Wrap it tightly in multiple layers of plastic wrap until you have a giant ball. Repeat with various goodies until you have enough balls for one for each person. Whoever unwraps their first is the winner. For added difficulty, make players wear oven mitts.

2. The “Baby” Game

You probably remember this game from a baby shower. Each person gets a pacifier or a diaper pin to try to hold onto. No one should use the word “baby”. If you catch someone using the word, you get to steal their pin. Whoever gets the most pins is the winner. You can change the word to fit the occasion: like using “college” for a graduation party.

3. Sticker Stalking

Give each person a sheet of 5-10 stickers. As they go throughout the evening, they should try to stick their stickers on other people. If you’re caught placing a sticker, you have to accept a sticker from the person who caught you. Whoever unloads their stickers first is the winner.

4. Dancing Chain

Player one starts with a dance move — clapping for instance. Player two must start clapping and then add a new move (like head bobbing or hip wiggling). Each consecutive player continues to build on the dance.

5. Musical Chairs

You know how to play this! It’s actually even more fun with adults.

6. Honey, If You Love Me…

Can you make another person smile? Good luck!

7. Who Am I? (Post-It note game)

On a stack of post-it notes, write the names of celebrities, Disney characters or anything else recognizable. Next, pop a note on each person’s forehead so they can’t see it but everyone else can. As they mingle, they can ask questions about the name on their forehead until they figure out who they are.

8. Would You Rather?/This or That

Use this giant list of questions to get to know each other. Everyone’s a winner when you’re properly bonded.

9. Charades

If you’re playing with a mixed age group, make sure you keep the choices in mind.

10. Likes/Dislikes

Have everyone write two a few things they like and dislike on sheets of paper. You’ll draw the lists from a hat, read them out loud and try to guess who the list belongs to.

11. Two Truths and a Lie

I’ve kissed a famous person.

Canada is my favorite place to visit.

I drove all the way to California.

Which one is the lie? Take turns until everyone in the room is given the chance to share two truths and a lie.

12. I’m Having A Party

Pick a theme (like the first letter of your name or the same color as your shirt), but don’t tell anyone the theme. Start the game by saying, “I’m having a party and I’m bringing…” and the list something that follows your rule. The next person will say, “I’m bringing…” and list something that hopefully follows the rules. If they get it right, tell them they’re invited. If they break the rule, tell them they can’t come because they aren’t invited.

13. Sardines

You need a lot of space to play this game that is basically the opposite on hide and seek. Only one person hides and then everyone splits up to go looking. If you find the person, you hide with them. Keep collecting people in your hiding spot until only one person remains.

14. Medusa

Have everyone sit or stand in a circle looking at the floor. On your mark, everyone looks up. If they make eye contact, they’re dead.

15. Secret Sounds

Using post-in notes like the “Who Am I?” game, give each person a “secret” word and a sheet of stickers. As they chit-chat, others will see what their secret word is, if they use it in conversation, the person who catches them must tag them with a sticker. Keep playing until everyone can guess their secret word.

16. Minute To Win It Games

There are tons of Minute To Win It games out there and very few of them require much prep. Which will your friends and family like best?

17. Sing Song Ping Pong

Remember this scene from Pitch Perfect? You probably won’t sound as good doing it, but it’s still a lot of fun.

18. Mail Call/A Mighty Wind Blows

Like musical chairs, with a theme. The chair-less person will say, “A mighty wind blows anyone with a red shirt.” Everyone with a red shirt must scramble to find a new seat, along with the person who was standing. The last person standing is the next to blow a mighty wind and pick a new theme.

19. Scavenger Hunt

Give everyone a list of things to find and check off as they party. Let them collect them (if there’s enough), snap pics with phones or tablets or just be able to tell you where each item is located once they’ve found everything.

20. Partners In Pen

Give half your friends/family gift bags with a secret item inside. Partner them with another person who doesn’t know what’s inside. Have partners sit back to back. While one person describes their item, their partner must try to guess what it is.

 

24 Magic Tricks That Will Upgrade Your Cool Dad Status

magic tricks
(Getty/krisanapong detraphiphat)

Ever catch yourself wondering how your grandpa pulled that coin out of your ear? Or how your fifth grade best friend got those rings to separate? Magic tricks stick with you, especially if you saw them as a child. Now that you’re the magical, mysterious grown-up, it’s officially your chance to mystify the kids in your life.

Here’s the thing about magic: Magicians don’t like to give away their secrets. If you step into a magic shop, the salesperson will likely repeat the same thing over and over again, “We’re not selling you the trick, we’re selling you what you need to do the trick.” Meaning, in order to know how to do most of the magic stuff out there, you’re going to need to buy-in. All is not lost, though. We managed to find some solid info on the internet to help us show you how to whip up some magic in your life. And, if it goes well, we’ve included stuff to buy to expand your repertoire of tricks. According to the Magic Masterclass, there are ten kinds of magic, so we’ve labeled things accordingly. Hope that helps!

Production Tricks

Making something appear “out of thin air.”

1. Pluck A Coin From Thin Air

You’ve seen this trick done. But, can you do it yourself?

2. Pull A Card Out Of Nowhere

Make your audience gasp by this single-card production trick and pull a card out of thin air.

3. Flower-Filled Wallet

Turn an “ordinary” wallet into a bouquet of flowers with this awesome trick.

 

Vanishing Tricks

Making something disappear.

4. Disappearing Coin

That coin pulled out of an ear? Make it disappear with simple sleight of hand.

5. Vanishing Toothpick

You got this. Just follow along with this super simple video and you’ll wow everyone.

6. Disappearing Pencil

Wanna wow your kids with their new school supplies? The disappearing pencil trick is relatively simple and a ton of fun.

7. Blooming and Disappearing Flower

You’ve seen the blooming and vanishing silk flower in a million birthday party magic shows. Why not invest in your own?

Transformation Tricks

Turning something into something else. (Like a rat into a goblet.)

8. The Bending Spoon

Is it possible that this is the oldest trick in the book? Uh… probably not. But, it’s pretty old school and super popular with little kids.

9. Transforming a Marker/Pen into a Magic Wand

This is showy and fun — Magic at it’s finest.

Restoration Tricks

Destroying an object, then repairing it.

10. Magic Can Restore/Repair

Wanna blow the mind of your kiddos and/or drunk friends? Refill a can. This video uses a beer can, but it’ll work with any can.

Transportation Tricks

Making an object appear to move from one spot to another.

11. The Sugar Cube and the Magic Number

All you need are a friend, a sugar cube, a pencil and a glass of warm water to make your friend’s lucky number “magically” move from the sugar cube to the palm of your hand.

12. Moving A Pencil With Your Mind

Really all you need for this is a very light pen or pencil and the ability to expel air without making a face like you’re blowing out candles.

Transposition

Similar to transportation tricks, except you making multiple items move.

13. Linking Paper clips

All you need for this trick is two paper clips and a piece of paper — a dollar bill works best.

 

14. Coin Pyramid

Okay, okay. Once you show this trick to someone a time or two, they’ll figure out that it’s actually super easy to do on their own and isn’t actually magic at all. They’ll certainly feel like it is the first time they watch. Little kids, especially, will be in disbelief.

15. Parting The Pepper

Before you start the trick, privately put some soap on your finger. Sprinkle some black pepper into a glass of water and have your friend stick their finger into the water. Nothing will happen. When you put your finger into the water, the soap will cause the pepper to scatter and separate from your finger.

Escape Tricks

Escape tricks are the ones everyone wants to do and not many people can figure out. There’s usually an air of danger or a sense of urgency involved.

16-18. Houdini’s Top 3 Escape Tricks

YouTuber Nadjib Haffaf broke down three of Houdini’s most popular escape tricks here. These might be a little too involved for the average dad. However, we wanted to include them so we didn’t leave anything out.

Levitation Tricks

Making the magician or something/someone appear to float.

19. The Magnetic Pencil

Make a pencil appear to float behind your hand.

20. Levitating Card

You’ll need to do a bit of prep work for this trick, but it’s sure to blow minds.

 

21. Making Yourself Float

There are multiple ways to do this and some of them require a bit of production. However, this might be the coolest thing you can learn.

22. Rising Card

Different from the last moving card trick, but still great. Noticing a theme yet? Owning a deck of cards helps.

23. Levitating Matchstick

The key to this trick? The match bends when it burns, but to tiny brains or at a quick glance, it will look like the matchstick is “levitating.”

Penetration Tricks

Making solid objects pass through one another — like those metal rings

24. Walking Through Paper

This is less magic and more of a bit of a tease. With a series of snips, a single 8×11 sheet of paper becomes a loop of paper big enough for you to walk through.

The Best Games You and Your Crew Can Play Over Video Chat

Best Games to Play Over Video

We’re assuming you’ve already built an Iron Man suit with a frikken laser and all 6 forts from IKEA – now it’s finally time to unwind. We highly recommend putting together a crew for quarantine game nights. Just because you can’t be in the same room doesn’t mean there aren’t bountiful games of chance and skill to be enjoyed.

So shoot off some invites, remind everyone “flaking” isn’t a thing anymore, and fire up that Zoom call or Google Hangout, because here 10 fun games still feasible in the age of social distancing.

JACKBOX PARTY PACK

(Jackbox Games)

Whether you’re trading punchlines in Quiplash or conceiving ludicrous t-shirts in Tee KO, Jackbox is destined to be a rollicking good time for anyone with a wicked sense of humor. Effortless setup and laughs aplenty. You can buy all the Jackbox Party Packs right here!

SCAVENGER HUNT

Designate one player King of the Hunt. This person should be decided at least a day beforehand so they can compile a list of household items, the commonness of which is up to them. The King simply requests an item—a wooden spoon, Christmas lights, a DVD with Tom Hanks on the cover—and the players race to find them. The Scoring system is up to you!

Here’s a list of household items to get you started.

CODENAMES

(Amazon)

Codenames is an ingeniously simple and challenging game, kind of like a more strategic Password. The gist is there are two teams and a grid of random words. Only the designated Spy Masters can see which words belong to their team, which belong to their opponents, and which word instantly ends the game. The Spy Masters then take turns giving one-word clues, along with the number of their team’s words it applies to. It’s a blast and very easy to pick up on.

You can generate your own virtual Codenames boards right here!

SKRIBBLIO

(Twitter / bratcontent)

Easily the best incarnation of Pictionary you’ll find on the internet. You know the deal: someone picks a word and draws it. Everyone guesses. Faster the correct answer, the more points awarded. Classic. Pro tip: break out the tablet for this one. Drawing with a mouse is about as easy as drawing with a literal mouse.

Click here to get your Skribblio room going!

WHO AM I?

(Blogspot / A Board Game A Day)

This is that game where everyone draws a celebrity or historical figure from a hat, affixes the card to their forehead, and asks ‘yes’ or ‘no’ questions in an attempt to deduce their identity in as few clues as possible. Of course, we can’t be passing ’round name hats right now, so we suggest simply having the guesser turn down their volume while everyone else agrees on who they are.

Here’s a website that generates random lists of notable people, from John the Baptist to Morgan Freeman.

THE LEONARD MALTIN GAME

(Warner Bros)

This is a movie game famously played on the live podcast Doug Loves Movies. Assign one player the role of quizmaster. The quizmaster finds a review by film critic Leonard Maltin. They then give the other players a genre, year, and a couple of hint-worthy quotes from it. The players then bid on how much of the cast list they’d need to identify the movie if names are given in reverse order. A total blast for even the most moderate of film buffs.

More detailed rules and gameplay can be found here, along with lots and lots of rounds ready to go!

TABLETOP SIMULATOR

(Steam)

This game is incredible. Table Simulator is a multiplayer physics sandbox. In other words, a total free-for-all. It allows you (and anyone else who buys it) play practically whatever board, card, or dice game you can conjure up. Chess, poker, dominoes. Hell, make one up if you want. It’s just you, the pieces, and a super impressive physics engine.

You can even flip the board!

MOST LIKELY TO…

If you’re looking to incorporate a little booze into your quarantine game night, we recommend the easy, fun, and intimate Most Likely To… The rules are simple: someone proposes a superlative. Who’s the most likely be a vampire? Who’s the least likely to skydive? The group has one minute to deliberate, and whoever gets picked has to drink. The pushback is always hilarious, and you inevitably find yourself insisting that no, you are definitely not the most likely to get kicked by a kangaroo.

Click here for a big list of questions you can use!

9 Ways to Quickly Distract Your Bored Kids for 30 Minutes Without a Screen

9 Quick Distractions for Bored Kids
(Getty/Richard Lewisohn)

As much as we love our kids, these days we could really use some peace and quiet in a pinch. Sometimes you need to hop on a last-minute Zoom meeting or submit and overdue TPS report. The easy thing to do would be to plop them in front of the TV and turn on a movie that’s being released digitally. But if we don’t want a bunch of dead-eyed drones running the world, we need to get creative with some screen-less things to do to keep our kids occupied, and fast.

In order to assist all dads everywhere, we thought it might be helpful to provide sort of a series of ideas, we’ll call it a list, of ways to distract your kids without screens.

Here are 9 quick ways to distract your kids during the quarantine without screens.

Make Paper Airplanes

(Fold N Fly)

All you need for this activity is a tiny stack of paper and a little patience. Challenge your aviators to create a fleet that will compete for distance and acrobatics. Check out Fold ‘N Fly – it’s the perfect wingman for this. The website features over 35 different paper airplane designs, data on their aerial abilities, and crystal clear printable instructions on how to make them. Print off a bunch in advance so when you need a moment to yourself can dole out a few sheets and challenge your kids to create and then fly ’em.

Make a Time Capsule

You’re going to need to be involved in this project at some point – but you can still buy yourself some time by challenging the kids to think about what the future might be like. Will there be flying cars yet? I mean, I’ve been waiting for these since I was a boy and am still hoping! Let them explore their imagination and draw, paint, or write down an image of life 10 years from now. Then get them to make a list of their favorite stuff. Maybe they add a few tiny toys or write letters to their futures selves. Then tell them to figure out a good spot in the yard to bury it. All of these activities will distract them while you get a little work done.

Once they’re done gathering the contents you’ll decide on a container for their goodies. We’ve all heard stories about an excavated time capsule that disintegrated or the contents got destroyed by moisture. A paint can works if you’re able to seal it completely and it’s not a bad idea to individually seal other documents inside for added insurance.

Sock Puppet Theater

Cardboard Puppet Theater
(Getty/PeopleImages)

This activity is part crafty and one part performance art. Gather up some old socks, markers, fabric scraps, buttons, and some glue and let the kids create their characters. They’ll be busy for at least 30 minutes. Then give them a box to design with paint and crayons. Boom, 30 more minutes. One done, cut a hole in it and tell them to practice their show. Make sure to record it, everyone can watch it later when it’s finally screentime.

Have Them Make a Movie

Tell them you’re in the mood to watch a sci-fi movie tonight, then give them your phone and tell them to go make it. This doesn’t count as a screen because making movies on your phone is awesome and creative and do you have a RED Digital Cinema camera lying around? Tell them that “real” movies are pretty long and you might get a whole afternoon to yourself.

Have Them Learn a Choreographed Dance

The obvious, and frankly only, pick here is ‘I Want You Back’ by N*Sync. Send your kids off to learn this entire dance so they can perform it at dinner. The benefits of this are two-fold: you’ll get to laugh at your kids dancing to a 90s boy band song and they might find something they actually want to pursue career-wise. And what if they absolutely blow you away? Like what if they’re better than N*Sync? What if you end up managing them as a group? So many possibilities.

Build a Fort

cushion fort
(New York Times)

Oldie but a goodie. Get some couch cushions and tell them to have at it. You can make tin foil hats, create signage that says “No Parents Allowed” but the “s” is all backward and cute. Do the whole nine yards with this one and they’ll be occupied for at least 30 minutes. Or challenge them to build all 6 forts that IKEA provided instructions for.

Treasure Hunt!

Tell your kids to take turns hiding something in the backyard and then create a detailed treasure map so the other one can try to track it down. This is a three-part distraction. First, they’ll spend a little time finding a spot to bury something. Then they’ll have to create the map. And then they’ll have to find the treasure. By the time they’re done you’ve bought yourself at least 30 minutes.

Make a Comic Book

(Picklebums)

Every awesome superhero movie originated as a comic book so it’s time your kids channeled their inner Stan Lee. Have the kids create their own hero, change an ending, or even introduce themselves into a story. Use one of these printable templates from Picklebums to bring a new story to life.

Have Them Paint Each Other

Get some paints, a couple of easels, line the floor with newspaper (lol jk what is this 1947?) I mean trash bags, and encourage them to paint either each other or some wicked cool still-life. Before you leave the room make sure you explain you want them to paint an image of each other on canvas, not paint on each other. You may discover one of them is the next Bob Ross. Or you may discover what you suspected all along: they are kids and their paintings will stink and you just need to lie and tell them they are amazing.

Bonus: Books?

kids books
(Esquire)

We know. Har har. Not happening, right? But there is always a window in which to get your kid to become an avid reader, you just need to find it. It’s that perfect moment when they are bored, but not too bored. And you have to be like, “Oh hey this book is cool, whatevs” and not press it too hard. Maybe they’ll pick it up and maybe they’ll actually become invested. And maybe they start reading a lot and go to Harvard on scholarship and become rich and take care of you in your dying age. All we are saying is get your kids to read.

IKEA Put Together 6 Guides to Fort Building During Quarantine Life

(IKEA)

Building a fort out of your existing furniture is like a rite of passage for every child. Not only is it insanely fun for them, but it’s even more fun for you because it keeps them occupied for a nice long while. IKEA has decided to make fort-building official with ideas on how to build 6 types of forts during the quarantine using nothing but IKEA products. Equipped with their notoriously difficult-to-follow IKEA instructions, you can spend hours building the actual furniture (and claim that you “built that” as we all do), and the kids can take it from there. Once they’re done might we suggest pairing it with homemade IKEA meatballs?

Ikea Castle
(IKEA)

Krokig goes in there. See the arrow? It’s out there but it’s also in there.

Ikea House
(IKEA)

An obese bear by the name of Djungelskog resides in this house. Do not disturb Djungelskog.

Ikea campingtent
(IKEA)

You cannot see her, but Pressa the octopus is hiding in the tent. We don’t know what Pressa is when she is not hanging in a tent. Is she a decoration? What. Is. Pressa.

Ikea cave
(IKEA)

This cave requires 8 books. 2 of them are for keeping the cave in place. 1 is for reading. and the other 5? Well, we don’t speak of those books.

Ikea Fortress
(IKEA)

If you seek solitude, the fortress should do the trick. Make sure you stock up on one million clothespins for these forts.

Ikea Wigwam
(IKEA)

Is this…is this allowed?

IKEA “fans” have already hopped on the fort train (sorry) and are showing off their suspiciously sleek photos. These were 100% not pre-planned by the Russian agency (called Instinct) who created this campaign:

View this post on Instagram

IKEA выпустила инструкцию по тому, как построить Dömik, Vigvåm и Krepöst. Скорее хватайте подушки и пледы! ⠀ Российское отделение IKEA опубликовало в инстаграме инструкцию по созданию детских домиков. Каждый тип домика получил свое название в стиле товаров IKEA: Dömik, Vigvåm, Palåtka, Norå, Krepöst, Zåmok. Домики предлагают собрать из подручных средств: столов, табуреток, пледов, гирлянд и подушек. ⠀ Также компания планирует каждую неделю публиковать в инстаграме фотографии домиков, которые выкладывают с хэштегом #явдомикеИКЕА, можете присоединиться 😊⛺️ ⠀ #хоббивиль

A post shared by ХОББИВИЛЬ – детский клуб (@hobbyville) on

If you’ve got some dollars and time to spare (and who doesn’t???) then this could be your next quarantine project!

Tony Hawk Pro Skater 1 and 2 Coming To PlayStation, Xbox, and PC on September 4

Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1 2
(PlayStation)

What were you up to 20 years ago? My memory is a little hazy but if I had to guess I was slamming Bagel Bites, listening to Eminem, and playing Tony Hawk Pro Skater… all while putting off studying for my AP Calc exam. On September 4 I may just take a trip down memory lane (sans the AP Calc), since Tony Hawk Pro Skater 1 and 2 are being remastered and re-released for PlayStation 4, PS4 Pro, Xbox One, Xbox One X, and PC via the Epic Games Store.

The Birdman (who also happens to be a fan of The Dad) himself dropped the news on his Instagram.

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Happy birthday to me! #THPS 🎮🛹

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Returning for this hotly anticipated remaster is everything you loved about the original games. The S-K-A-T-E challenges:

(Activision)

All your favorite signature tricks, from Kareem Campbell’s Casper Slide to Bucky Lasek’s Fingerflip Airwalk to Tony Hawk’s elusive 900:

Despite a few licensing issues, a “vast majority” of history’s greatest video game soundtracks will be back for your kickflipping pleasure. As long as “Cyco Vision” by Suicidal Tendencies and Primus’ “Jerry Was A Race Car Driver” made the cut, we’re good. Also, “Superman” by Goldfinger. Chances are you remember every word to that and don’t even realize it.


And for the first time ever, THPS 1 & 2 will feature online capabilities, including various multiplayer modes and the option to share and download custom skate parks. It’s a dream come true for anyone who knew the sense of gratification that came with unlocking Roswell.

(Activision)

And if that wasn’t enough, today is Tony Hawk’s birthday! A very happy 52nd to the world’s oldest kid. To celebrate, enjoy this video of him driving around and commanding teen skaters to perform kickflips.

Did you know The Dad has a gaming community with leagues, events, and tournaments in 9 different games? It’s true. Pick up the sticks, squad up, and join the gaming club.

4 Star Wars Toys You Can Pre-Order to Celebrate May the 4th

Star Wars Day Pre-Order
(Entertainment Earth/Hasbro Amazon/Lego)

What started as an innocent little pun for Star Wars fans has transformed into a celebration of capitalism at its finest: May the 4th…be with you. Get it? Disney wants you to get it. They’ve hijacked that day on the calendar for all time so that you have no choice but to get it. And they are going to partner with every imaginable brand so that everywhere you look there will be a bobblehead of Jar Jar Binks or Baby Yoda face masks. And you are gonna them, arent you? Yeah, you are. Cause you want it. You need it. They’ve got you, my friends.

Cool, anyway. Here are some super awesome toys you can buy to celebrate today. It’s fun!

Star Wars: The Mandalorian The Child Edition Monopoly Game

Mandalorian Monopoly 2
(Hasbro/Star Wars)

Yes, that’s the official title. Star Wars: The Mandalorian The Child Edition Monopoly Game. A bunch of people all sat in a room and were like, “yeah that’s the name.” According to Entertainment Earth, “The Child [is] brought along adventurers from across the galaxy. Take turns looking over intergalactic real estate in this daring mash-up of adventure and finances.” A daring mash-up of adventure and finances is exactly what my childhood self used to crave so this sounds great. It doesn’t arrive until September by you can pre-order it now

Funko Pop! Deluxe Star Wars: Battle at Echo Base Series

Wampa
(Funko)

These official names, my goodness. Funko is kicking off their upscale Star Wars: Battle at Echo Base Series with this 6″ Wampa figure. It won’t be released until May 16th but you can pre-order on Amazon now.

Star Wars: The Mandalorian The Child Basic 8-Inch Plush

Baby Yoda Squish Toy
(Mattel/Disney)

If that 6″ Wampa felt a bit too small, then boy are you in luck. Mattel is releasing this incredibly cute plush toy of The Child (It’s Baby Yoda but Disney isn’t ready to embrace that colloquialism because it’s not actually Baby Yoda. Or is it?). It will tower over that 6″ Wampa at a gargantuan 8″ of pure adorableness. It won’t be released until September but pre-order it now ’cause you know this little guy will fly off the internet shelves.

LEGO Star Wars: The Mandalorian The Razor Crest

Lego Mandalorian
(LEGO/Disney)

Now you can build the coolest-named ship since the Millennium Falcon. This 1,023-piece set includes “The Mandalorian, Greef Karga, Scout Trooper, and the Child, plus an IG-11 LEGO figure, all with cool weapons to role-play exciting battles.” It’s released in September but you can pre-order it now.

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

14 Activities to Keep a 2-Year-Old Busy for Minutes and Minutes of Fun

games for 2 year olds
(Getty/Westend61)

Here’s a fun fact all parents of 2-year-olds learn early on: keeping a toddler entertained for longer than a minute is a feat and a pain. While playing games that are fun for fun’s sake are great, you also want to sprinkle some educational elements in their day. So with that in mind — and to save you the headache of trying to think of one on the fly — we’ve gone ahead and rounded up some classic games and learning activities for 2-year-olds that you’ll enjoy just as much. Bonus for parents: they all contain some sort of developmental and educational component, so you can have hours and hours minutes and minutes of fun.

Simon Says

An oldie but a goodie. Simon Says is the perfect game to play with a toddler on minimal sleep: you can lay on the couch shouting commands and your kiddo will have a ball following along. Added tip: You can sell this as a developmental game that teaches listening skills.

Hot and Cold

Why reinvent the wheel? Sticking to the classics was good enough for your parents so it’s good enough for you. Hide your toddler’s favorite toys around their room and teach them how to play Hot or Cold by helping them find it. “Warmer” and “hot” means they’re on the right track and “cooler” and “cold” means they’re moving further and further away.

One For You, One For Me

Remember that old Twix commercial with the “two for me, none for you” slogan? Yeah, this game is the opposite of that. Teach kids how to count and share by divvying up similar items like snacks, markers, toy cars, or Cheerios. Or Twix.

Hide and Seek

If you’re looking for the OG in toddler and kids games, hide and seek is it. Just make sure you keep a watchful eye on where exactly your toddler decides to hide, just so they don’t hurt themselves.

Freeze Dance

A favorite at every kid’s party put on your kid’s favorite music and dance around with them. Then randomly stop the music and make them freeze in their last dance position. See what fun and ridiculous poses you can come up with.

Animal Dance Party

This game is if your toddler had a dance party at the zoo. Play some upbeat music and shout out an animal name as the kids are dancing. Encourage your little to dance as the animal and see what wacky way they can groove to the beat.

Circle Groove

This is a favorite at kid’s birthday parties and your toddler will love it too. Get the family to stand in a circle and choose one person to start with a dance move, then the next person will mimic the first move and add one of their own before passing it on to the next person. This goes on and on until the dance just gets too silly and complicated. It sounds like a lot but it’s actually super fun.

Name That Tune Disney Edition

If your toddler is a Disney+ fanatic and has viewed a healthy catalog of Disney cartoons then this will be a favorite game to play. Create a personal playlist of Disney songs or put on a Disney radio station on Pandora or Spotify and ask your toddler to name that song. They obviously won’t know the name of the song so they’ll probably just shout “Elsa,” “Gaston,” “Ariel” or “Frozen,” “Tangled,” “Aladdin” at you. You can also just hum or sing the songs yourself if you don’t have access to the soundtracks.

Catch

Enjoy this classic pastime while teaching your toddler hand-eye coordination. Start with a light, soft ball, and see how they do before you try some underhand tosses.

Kick The Ball

Just like catch, this is a fantastic activity for teaching coordination to a toddler. Gently kick a soft soccer ball back and forth or give your little one a goal to shoot for, like between two chairs.

Monkey in the Middle

Let your kid be the monkey as you and another adult or an older kid throw a soft ball or item into the air over the toddler. Encourage your tot to jump up high to try and catch the ball. This is truly endless fun so you might be playing it for a while. Bonus tip: like Simon says, you can play this seated if you throw the ball high enough in the air.

Catch the Bubbles

Not sure if you’ve noticed at a birthday party yet but toddlers lose their shit over bubbles. Use a soap bubble toy to blow some bubbles and watch your toddler scramble to catch one in their hand.

Finger Painting

Encourage your budding Picasso to express themselves with some finger painting. This can get messy so buy some large construction paper to cover the table first. Then let your toddler loose on watercolors and see what they come up with. Prompt your toddler to draw some shapes and help out when they need the extra nudge. Make sure they help you clean up.

Twister

Another classic game we grew up playing that also teaches colors and coordination. And it’s also a great way to teach the difference between left and ride sides of the body.

Name That Color

This is not so much a game as a way to teach colors while also keeping your toddler from eating the raw eggplant at the supermarket or grocery store. Teach toddlers how to identify and group fruits and veggies by color while sitting cool in the shopping cart as you dash to and fro before she inevitably wants to walk just like daddy. Bonus, it’s also a great way to teach names of fresh produce.

Counting With Play Doh

Kids love them some Play Doh! So use their seemingly endless attention span for all things colorful Doh to learn the shape of numbers. Sculpt numbers 1 through 10 using colorful Play Doh with your child and have your toddler identify them all over and over again.

The 12 Coolest Editions of Monopoly Available Right Now

10 Best Monopoly Editions
(Amazon)

Who doesn’t love a good ol’ fashioned family of Monopoly? It teaches your kids all sorts of valuable life lessons, like tax avoidance, selling off public utilities for profit, and how sometimes dogs are the same size as an iron. Plus, gameplay only lasts until everyone gets bored.

But it doesn’t have to be all Boardwalks and Park Places. Here are 12 sweet special editions of Monopoly you can grab right now. (BTW, you can also play Monopoly online with family if they are isolating in a different household)

Ghostbusters

(Amazon)

Yes, one of the game pieces is the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man, and yes, there will be fights over who gets to be him. (Click here to buy on Amazon)

Super Mario Bros

(Amazon)

Forget houses and hotels. This game immerses you in the cutthroat business of flagpoles. Worth copping for the 8-bit stylization alone.  (Click here to buy on Amazon)

Mario Kart

(Amazon)

Some more colorful Nintendo goodness. You might think, “Oh, well, as long as it’s not the video game the blue shell can’t hurt me.” Think again, pal. (Click here to buy on Amazon)

Star Wars

(Amazon)

Beautifully designed board, chockfull of iconic locations from the franchise. Plus, the metallic player pieces make it look like the characters were all frozen in carbonite. (Click here to buy on Amazon)

Stranger Things

Stranger Things Monopoly
(Amazon)

This badboy was inspired by seasons 1 through 3, so it’s current…for now. The 2 standard dice and the game’s hideouts glow in the dark for an even more strange gaming experience. (Click here to buy on Amazon)

Rugrats

(Amazon)

A great opportunity to indulge in some Nicktoon nostalgia, and wondering how exactly they got away with naming the pediatrician Dr. Lipschitz. (Click here to buy on Amazon)

Back to the Future

(Amazon)

Just look at that box. LOOK AT IT. (Click here to buy on Amazon)

Friends

Monopoly Friends Edition
(Amazon)

Some of the features of the game include pieces that represent each character: a dinosaur for Ross, a guitar for Phoebe, a chef’s hat for Monica, a pizza for Joey, a handbag for Rachel, and a sweater vest combo for Chandler. (Click here to buy on Amazon)

Bob’s Burgers

(Amazon)

Relive classic moments from the show and shoulder the crushing weight of small business ownership as you buy and sell locations like the Wonder Wharf and Jimmy Pesto’s. (Click here to buy on Amazon)

Game of Thrones

(Amazon)

Monopoly is a lot like Game of Thrones anyway: full of greed, familial hostility, and can’t end until someone flips the board to ruin everything. (Click here to buy on Amazon)

Jurassic World

(Amazon)

Still holding out for a retro Jurassic Park edition, but this gorgeous set is perfect for board game enthusiasts and dinosaur aficionados. (Click here to buy on Amazon)

The Avengers

(Amazon)

With this one, teach your kids an indispensable life lesson: even Iron Man has bills. (Click here to buy on Amazon)

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

The Best Online Board Games to Play Remotely With Family

Mobile Board Games
(Google Play)

Remember when we used to play board games with family? Thanks to modern technology, we’re still able to argue over a marathon game of Monopoly even while social distancing. Phew.

Yup, there are some great options online to exhibit your competitive streak – here are our favorites.

Uno

Ok, I guess it’s technically a card game – but it’s a classic and it’s free to download in the App Store and Google Play. No word on Drunk Uno being available. And guess what? The online game will prevent you from stacking +2 or +4 cards.

Clue

Modern video games can be pretty violent. We should go back to more innocent times when we guessed who strangled the professor with a rope in the library. This classic and ever-popular murder mystery board game is available for $3.99 in the App Store and Google Play.

Monopoly

Family arguments, allegations of cheating, sulking as you go bankrupt – ah, good times. Monopoly is a game we all love, and the online version is great.

You can go to Pogo.com, which is run by Electronic Arts, to find this and hundreds of other free online games, which can be played with friends once you have registered for free. Alternatively, you can use the app version, which costs $3.99 on both Apple and Android.

Scrabble

Educational, smart and fun. I was touched by how the kids described me but it turns out they were talking about this Scrabble game. And they’re right – it captures all the enjoyment and learning of Scrabble into an app called Scrabble Go, available for free on both Apple and Android.

Scattergories

Play against friends one-on-one or open up a room to play as a group – the popular and creative game involves you thinking of a category of words starting with the same letter – and its enjoyable, entertaining, exciting, and ok I can’t think of any more. Check it out for free on the App Store and Google Play. It’s excellent. Wait, another one.

Jackbox Games

Jackbox is an increasingly popular online gaming network that you can get on a variety of platforms, including Xbox One and Apple TV. The games include trivia games like You Don’t Know Jack, Quiplash which is reminiscent of Apples to Apples, Drawful (a Pictionary-style game), and Fibbage XL, which is similar to Balderdash. The great part about these is once you have bought a game, you can play it remotely with family and friends. The bad part is I have to attempt to draw and people laugh.

Houseparty

You will likely have heard of this app, as it gains popularity as a fun way of staying connected with family and friends. Probably more suited to older kids (and adults!), you can use it to video-chat, as well as play all manner of entertaining games, even in large groups. Check it out for free on the App Store and Google Play.

Bunch

Bunch is less well-known but equally good as Houseparty. Up to 8 people can video-chat and play games together, including trivia and drawing games, Uno, Pool, Mario Kart, and charades. My son confidently guessed sloth before I informed him I hadn’t started yet.

Jigsaw puzzles

Now your social plans really can be in pieces – you can invite friends to join you on Jigsawpuzzles.io to join forces and put together a puzzle virtually. I excel at these – I did one recently that said 3 years but it only took me 4 days.

Oh God, Someone Made UNO a Drinking Game

Drunk Uno
(Etsy / Spriinkle Me Piink)
Two things are in high demand during this unprecedented age of extreme boredom: games and alcohol. Historically, these trusty escapes from such tedium have worked quite well with one another. From beer pong to flip cup to Jello shot-infused Jenga towers, games of skill and chance go hand in hand with our innate desire to catch a buzz.

Well, now there’s a UNO drinking game. You just shuddered, didn’t you? You heard “UNO drinking game” and your brain went right to the Wild Draw Four card and you shuddered. Yes. It’s as brutal as you think.

The good folks at Spriinkle Me Piink have taken the classic card game — a game rooted in alliance, betrayal, rage, and sadism — and added booze.

The rules are as follows:

DRAW TWO: Take one shot. No biggie.

DRAW FOUR: Take two shots and thank your lucky stars it wasn’t four.

REVERSE: Whoever gets reversed takes two shots. We’re not sure if “gets reversed” here means the person who didn’t get to go or the person you reverse it back to. Either way, someone’s calling you a dick.

SKIP: The person who gets skipped takes a shot.

FALSE UNO: This is when someone has one card left but forgets to say “UNO.” It’s an honest mistake and we’ve all been there. No sweat. Just be more mindful next time. Just kidding, that’s three fucking shots.

The set, currently $26.12 on the Spriinkle Me Piink Etsy store, comes with a box of UNO cards, one laminated rule card, six UNO shot glasses, and custom Drunk Uno carrying case personalized with your name.

We know some of you are thinking, wait a minute! In UNO, if Player 1 throws a Draw Four, and Player 2 throws a Draw Four on top of it, Player 3 then has to draw eight cards. Will Player 3 have to take four shots? What if Player 3 has a third Draw Four card? Does Player 4 then take six shots? I’m not taking six shots.

And to those people we say hey: those cards say wild for a reason.