The Ultimate List of Dad-Approved Holiday Gifts for Kids

Not sure if you’ve heard (like, a jillion times), but the holidays are coming. No pressure or anything, but finding the perfect gifts for your kids is kinda important this time of year. Luckily, we’ve put together a dad-approved list, so you can get in, get out, and be the holiday hero.

Here are some of our (and more importantly, our kids’) faves:

Toys

GUND Peek-A-Boo Teddy Bear

GUND Peek-A-Boo Teddy Bear Animated Stuffed Animal Plush-best gifts for kids

Remember Teddy Ruxpin? This is like his softer, cuddlier, way-less-creepy cousin. This bear not only raises his arms and actually peek-a-boos, but he also talks! Babies and toddlers are fascinated — which means you have time for a game or two of Madden.

$19.99 AT AMAZON

Magna-Tiles Clear Colors 100 Piece Set

Magna-Tiles Clear Colors 100 Piece Set- best gifts for kids

Jesse Pinkman’s favorite toy is a classic, 100-piece set, featuring 3D magnetic building tiles that let kids create all sorts of shapes and structures, and spark imaginative play. Best of all for you, they don’t hurt like hell when you step on them. “Yeah, bitch! Magnets!” 

$19.95 AT AMAZON

Dyson Toy Vacuum

Dyson Toy Vacuum- best gifts for kids

It’s never too early to teach ’em to clean up after themselves (or to fall in love with things that go vroom). As an added bonus, this miniature Dyson replica actually works on tiny messes.

$26.99 AT AMAZON

WowWee Pinkfong Baby Shark Official Song Puppet

WowWee Baby Shark Official Song Puppet with Tempo Control- best gifts for kids

We know, we know. Baby Shark, doo doo doo doo doo doo, drives you to drink, doo doo doo doo doo doo. But the kids love the freaking thing, and this puppet actually sings the song when you move its mouth. Pro tip: the faster you move your hand, the faster it sings…and the faster it’s over.

$14.88 AT AMAZON

Mansalee Coin Stealing Panda Piggy Bank

Panda Piggy Bank- best gifts for kids

This bank encourages kids to save their money. (Or to not trust pandas. Both are useful tips.) Every time they place a coin on the circle, that darn panda pops up and grabs it. Maybe his dad never told him money doesn’t grow on bamboo trees.

$13.98 AT AMAZON

Little Tikes TotSports Easy Hit Golf Set

Little Tikes Toy Golf Set-best gifts for kids

Golfing with your kid is one of those iconic joys of fatherhood. Here’s a good way to plant the seed early. This mini-sized set is perfect fore the next generation of PGA stars.

$21.99 AT AMAZON

Frozen Disney Elsa, Anna, & Olaf Deluxe Fashion Doll Set

Frozen Disney Elsa, Anna, & Olaf Deluxe Fashion Doll Set- best gifts for kids

Just when you thought it was time to Let It Go…Frozen 2 is here, and it’s starting all over again. These Anna and Elsa dolls are wearing dresses from the sequel, and our boy Olaf is there too. That little weirdo is always there.

$59.99 AT AMAZON

LeapFrog Scoop & Learn Ice Cream Cart

LeapFrog Scoop & Learn Ice Cream Cart- best gifts for kids

Your toddler’s probably screaming anyway, so at least now you can pretend they’re screaming for ice cream. This interactive ice cream cart teaches colors and numbers and plays music to dance to.

$29.82 AT AMAZON

 

Skyrocket Blume Doll

Skyrocket Blume Doll- Best Gifts for Kids

$9.88 AT AMAZON

LEGO Harry Potter Hogwarts Kit

LEGO Hogwarts Set-Best Gifts For Kids

150 points for Gryffindor when your little Muggles assemble this Hogwarts LEGO set. It comes with 800+ pieces to build the Great Hall, and 10 of their favorite characters, including Harry, Ron, Hermione, Draco, Hagrid, Dumbledore, and Nearly Headless Nick. It’s LEGO, so of course, all pieces also come with a Crucio spell (immense pain) when you step on them.

$99.95 AT AMAZON

Untamed T-Rex by Fingerlings

Untamed T-Rex by Fingerling- Best gifts for kids

Will dino-obsessed kids love having this tiny T-Rex attached to their finger all day long? You bet Jurassic they will.

$14.99 AT AMAZON

Outdoor Games

Spikeball 3 Ball Kit

Spikeball Kit- best gifts for kids

You’ve seen this at the beach and been like WTF is that, right? Spikeball is a super-fun 2-on-2 indoor/outdoor game that’s sort of live volleyball on a trampoline. Or something like that. The kids will love it.

$59.99 AT AMAZON

WisToyz Kids Toys Hover Soccer Ball Set

WisToyz Hover Soccer Ball Set- gifts for kids

Because they can never get enough soccer, this indoor LED-light up floating ball glides easily over any smooth surface, like low-pile carpet or hardwood. Bonus: You don’t have to sit on the sidelines with those screaming maniacs for 2 hours!

$25.95 AT AMAZON

Nerf N-Strike Elite Trilogy DS-15 Toy Blaster

Nerf Blaster-best gifts for kids

This Trilogy blaster fires 3 darts at once (get it? Trilogy?) with a pump-action, so there’s no need for batteries.

$34.88 AT WALMART

Games & Puzzles

Catan Junior

Catan Junior

Catan Junior has everything that grown-ups love, but it’s slightly less complicated for kids. Prepare for swashbucklers, hideouts, a Spooky Island, and a mysterious Ghost Captain. (And don’t forget to let the kids play!)

$23.99 AT AMAZON

ThinkFun Gravity Maze Marble Run Logic Game

ThinkFun Gravity Maze Falling Marble Logic Game- best gifts for kids

This combination logic game, marble run, and STEM toy helps kids develop spatial reasoning and planning skills. It’s got 60 challenges from beginner to expert, a game grid, 9 towers, 1 target piece, and 3 marbles.

$29.95 AT AMAZON

Ravensburger Children’s World Globe 

Ravensburger Children's 180 Piece 3D Globe Jigsaw Puzzle

This 3-D globe puzzle is the perfect introduction to world geography for little explorers. Each continent piece is chunky and easy for little hands to grasp, and it helps convince them early on that learning can actually be fun!

$16.49 AT AMAZON

Activity Kits

VTech DigiArt Creative Easel

VTech DigiArt Creative Easel

A digital easel is way cooler than the original — and way easier to clean. This fun gadget comes with a special pen that helps kids learn their alphabet, numbers, and shapes through light up features on the board. There are over 100 objects to draw, with super-helpful instructions. 

$61.98 AT AMAZON

NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC Mega Crystal Growing Lab

National Geographic Mega Crystal Growing Lab- best gifts for kids

Crystals are just always cool. This STEM chemistry kit lets your kid magically grow their own formations in 8 different colors, while instilling a love of science.

$29.99 AT AMAZON

ALEX Discover My Giant Busy Box

ALEX Toys My Giant Busy Box Craft Kit- best gifts for kids

With play dough, stickers, and craft supplies (and other stuff too) this preschool box is an imagination-filled way to keep kids entertained for a while. They’ll totally make a mess, but it’s worth it.

$19.35 AT AMAZON

Tech

Nintendo Switch

Nintendo Switch- best gifts for kids

The Nintendo Switch is an amazing on-the-go gaming system that can also be used at home. It switches between handheld, table mode, and TV mode (just dock it in its station), and even has a touch screen. Technically, it’s for kids…but whatever.

$299.00 AT AMAZON

SISIGAD Hoverboard

Sisigad Hoverboard Self Balancing Scooter- best gifts for kids

Our Back To The Future dreams are starting to come true! This light-up LED hoverboard comes with a built-in wireless speaker, too, so how far away can self-drying jackets be?

$147.99 AT AMAZON

LEGO Boost Creative Toolbox

Lego Boost Creative Toolbox- best gifts for kids

LEGO + robots = 🤯🤯🤯. This set comes with 800+ pieces that can be turned into five different robotic toys, including Vernie the Robot, Frankie the Cat, Guitar 4000, and Auto Builder. They have sensor technology and motor capabilities, and there’s a handy step by step guide — in case your motor capabilities can’t figure out how to put ’em together.

$159.95 AT AMAZON

BONAOK Wireless Bluetooth Karaoke Microphone

BONAOK Wireless Bluetooth Karaoke Microphone with Controllable LED Lights- best gifts for kids

This rose gold karaoke mic is compatible with BlueTooth devices, so an iPhone, Android, iPad, etc. can all function as a speaker. Old Town Road never sounded so good. 🙄

$31.99 AT AMAZON

Osmo – Creative Kit for iPad

Osmo Creative Kit for iPad

OK, imagine drawing a monster or something…and then animating it! That’s what kids can do with Osmo’s creative kit. Osmo is known for its line of STEM activities for kids at different levels of development, and this is one of the most fun ones in the whole collection.

$149.95 AT AMAZON

Clothes, Accessories & Home Decor

Star Wars Chewbacca Mittens

Star Wars Chewbacca Mittens for Kids- best gifts for kids

Well, Wookie what we have here! Warm, fuzzy, Chewbacca-themed mittens that look great, and keep their hands toasty — even on a trip to Hoth. [Insert Chewie roar]

$12.95 AT AMAZON

Star Wars BB-8 Reversible Beanie Hat for Kids

Star Wars BB-8 Reversible Beanie Hat for Kids- best gifts for kids

This BB-8 beanie will keep your kiddo warm, while looking cool. Poe and Rey’s little droid buddy has the perfect shape to fit on any kid’s head, and the hat is reversible so when it (inevitably) gets stained, you can just reverse it to look good as new.

$14.95 AT AMAZON

Orolay Child Hooded Down Coat

Orolay Children Hooded Down Puffer Coat- best gifts for kids

OK, maybe clothing isn’t at the top of your kid’s list, but this coat should be. These super-warm down-filled jackets are made of windproof and water-resistant fabric and feature a warm fleece-lined hood. Perfect for sledding, snow angels, skiing, or any other winter fun they’re into.

$129.99 AT AMAZON

Cinema Light Box with Letters

Cinema Light Box With Letters- best gifts for kids

This vintage-cinema-style lightbox is a great way to let your kid decorate their space in a unique, personal way. Comes with 192 letters, numbers, symbols, and 35 popular emojis. Maybe just be prepared for at least one version that says STAY OUT DAD ☠️.

$21.99 AT AMAZON

Books

D Is For Dad: An ABC Book For Kids…And Dads

D-is-For-Dad-An-ABC-Book-For-Kids...And-Dads

THIS is the ABC he wants to read to the kids. C is for Cargo Shorts, F is for Finger Pulling, and O is for Oil checks. You may like it even more than they do.

$18.00 AT AMAZON

Laugh-Out-Loud Jokes for Kids

Laugh Out Loud Jokes For Kids- best gifts for kids

Let’s be honest, if they want to hear a joke, they should just come to the master. But if they’ve heard all of your gems about a million times, this book has a few alternatives — like 120+ pages of jokes that are appropriate for kids of all ages. It’s sold over three million copies so they must be almost as funny as all of yours.

4.99 AT AMAZON

The Wonderful Things You Will Be

The Wonderful Things You Will Be

OK, let’s end on a tearjerker. This classic children’s book belongs in every kid’s library, because it encourages them to be bold, yet kind, and nurture even the smallest things in life. It’s a loving read you can enjoy together, but it might get dust in your eyes or make your allergies act up.

10.29 AT AMAZON

NBA Legend and Laker Great Kobe Bryant Dies in Helicopter Crash

(Getty/Harry How)

Tragedy struck Sunday afternoon when NBA legend and Los Angeles Lakers great Kobe Bryant died in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, just outside of L.A. There were nine people on the helicopter including his 13-year-old daughter Gianna Maria Onore (Gigi), with whom he was headed to basketball practice. There were no survivors.

Bryant was just 41 years old, and leaves behind three other daughters, including a newborn, and his wife Vanessa.

The superstar was a bit of a polarizing figure, turning off many fans with the constant comparisons to Michael Jordan, his “selfish” playing style, and his at times abrasively competitive personality. But at a time like this, it’s not his career as a basketball player that stands out. It’s his role as a family man and father to four young girls, including Gigi, with whom he was recently filmed sitting courtside, explaining something about the game they were watching together.

Kobe, who was partially raised in Italy where his dad, Joe “Jellybean” Bryant, played professionally, is synonymous with Los Angeles, where he spent every one of his 20 years in the league in the Lakers’ purple and gold. The city will be reeling, as will the NBA itself, facing the premature death of one of its biggest stars, who was one of the faces of the NBA for the better part of this still young century and remains prominently tied to the league and the current generation of players who saw Bryant as a role model. The tributes will be pouring in all week long.

Bryant entered the NBA straight from high school and almost immediately made his mark on the league, teaming with Shaquille O’Neal to bring the Lakers back to NBA prominence, and dominance, before retiring a few years ago as a five-time champion, an 18-time All Star, two-time Finals MVP, and the league’s third all-time leading scorer. (He moved to fourth place just 16 hours before the crash, when LeBron James passed him Saturday night.)

Love him or hate (losing to) him, he was one of the game’s greatest players, and one of the most fun to argue about. But no matter how you feel about Kobe Bryant himself, you have to feel for his family, especially the thee young girls who lost their father – and a sister – just after he’d retired and was able to be more present for them.

It’s an incomprehensibly sad day for his family, and a loss for basketball fans everywhere.

Live-Action Bambi Remake Will Traumatize a Brand New Generation of Kids

Bambi and Mom
(Disney)

Everybody has a few movies that traumatized them as a kid.

Often it’s a Disney movie, usually for two reasons: 1) they’re usually among the first movies kids see, and 2) more often than not, they feature the death of a parent. (For me, it was Poltergeist, which I stand by, especially since I had a huge tree right outside my window that I swear wanted to eat the shit out of me.)

The good news is, they usually feature talking animals, which is a fairly decent clue that this isn’t real life, plus, they’re animated, which is an even stronger indication that the movie isn’t a documentary. That is, they used to be. Because in the age of remakes and reboots and re-imaginings, Disney has been slowly producing new live-action versions of all their classics.

So far we’ve already had Jungle Book and Lion King and Beauty and the Beast and Dumbo, coming soon are Little Mermaid and Mulan and 101 Dalmations and – perhaps the most traumatizing of all – Bambi.

News broke that the classic 1942 flick – about a little deer (a male deer, FYI) learning to live on his own in the woods after hunters kill his mom – is getting the live-action treatment, and social media is bracing itself.

The death of a parent plot point is one Disney has returned to countless times over the years, including in the aforementioned Lion King, but Bambi is ground zero for it. Soon, children everywhere will have a brand new chance to be traumatized, this time by a photo-realistic depiction of the tragic moment. Thankfully, things get a bit cheerier once Bambi meets Thumper and Flower, the rabbit and skunk he befriends on his road to independence.

It will be a while before the deer hits theaters, but you’ll have plenty of live-action Disney movies to line up for before it does, including Pinocchio (from Robert Zemeckis) and Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, the granddaddy of them all!

Father Figures: Trying To Do It All

“The crushing weight of trying to do it all and still be there for your kids as a dad is exhausting.

At the end of the night, they asked to play a couple rounds of Mario Kart on the SNES. My wife came up 10 minutes later and found me like this.

Passed out in the chair just trying to spend a little time with them doing what they wanted to do.

Here’s to all the dads who get beat up by life but still try to be the best goddamn dads we can be.”

– Wes Meadows

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

Check out the previous editions of Father Figures here.

Dad Turns Baby’s Babble Into AC/DC’s Thunderstruck

Baby Sounds Turned into Thunderstruck
(YouTube/Matt McMillan/ACDC)

Look, pregnancy is no joke.

It’s a nine-month marathon of physiological changes, physical stress, and psychological turmoil, and it requires superhuman levels of endurance, perseverance, and patience. The women who survive those nine months, only to then be faced with an entire lifetime of parenthood, are true heroes.

That said, they’ve got nothing on what this one dad went through.

His name is Matt McMillan, and he spent more than a year recording his baby’s goofy baby sounds, every single day, and then ultimately, painstakingly compiling and editing the videos together until they approximated the sounds of the AC/DC song “Thunderstuck.”

The video is full of clips of his son, Ryan, staring at the camera and making those cute little noises babies always make. The video reads “For one full year… I recorded my son… making baby noises.”

Then his intent is announced with the title card: Baby Ryan “sings” Thunderstuck…

One afternoon when I was a kid, I blasted Thunderstruck and when it finally kicked in, I jumped onto my bed and totally broke the bed spring. The song is just that powerful. This dad’s baby version doesn’t rock quite so hard, but it’s pretty close. It’s truly a sight, and sound, to behold.

The 1 minute and 45-second video was uploaded to YouTube on January 14th and has over one million views as people marvel at the dad’s patience and creativity.

Again, pregnancy is a long, hard road. But when the kid is born, you get what you get. You don’t have to spend hours manipulating the baby until he or she behaves exactly the way you want him too. Okay, wait, that’s basically all of parenting. Bad example.

The point is simply that this video is insane, and I can’t imagine how long it took this guy to put it all together so perfectly. I’ll be right back, I have to turn this up and go jump on my bed.

The 10 Best Comments of the Week 1/26

10 Best Comments of the Week

Every week we pan for comedy gold in the comments section of our Facebook posts. If your comment cracks us up (or warms our hearts) we’ll showcase it here!

Here’s this week’s roundup of the 10 Best Comments of the Week:

1. Dim Mak 

2. Resting Place 

3. Actually….

4. Name Game 

5. Intermission 

6. Food Consultant

7. Cereal Killer 

8. Cords 

9. Batnerd

10. Floored 

Check out the previous edition of the best comments of the week here.

Robert Whittaker Drops Out of UFC 248 to Donate Bone Marrow to His Daughter

Robert Whittaker and Daughter
(Instagram/robwhittakermma)

Parenting requires sacrifice. Usually this comes in the form of sleep, and free time, and money, and peace of mind. But in some situations, parents are required, or simply choose, to go a little further for their kids in order to provide them with whatever they need and make sure they have the best possible life.

Sometimes, outsiders aren’t always privy to the reasons parents have to make certain decisions on behalf of their family. Everyone has struggles that aren’t always obvious, and can’t always be easily diagnosed from someone’s social media post, or their demeanor out in public.

UFC fighter Robert Whittaker is a perfect example.

Whittaker was scheduled for a bout at UFC 248, he was set up to fight Jared Cannonier, and was hoping to bounce back from his defeat at the hands of Israel Adesyana back in October. But in mid-January, he announced he was pulling out of UFC 248 on Instagram. He didn’t include a reason in his post, but the photo shows him walking hand-in-hand with his daughter.

Turns out she is the reason, as it’s been learned that his daughter Lilliana is severely ill and needs a bone marrow transplant. And Whittaker dropped out of his fight to be the donor.

Speaking about his fighter on Submission Radio, UFC head Dana White praised Whittaker for having his priorities in the right place.

“That’s personal for Whittaker…If Whittaker wants to talk about that, he can, but I’ll tell you this, when you talk about somebody whose priorities are in the right place, who is completely selfless and down to the core and a good human being, that’s Robert Whittaker. The reason Robert Whittaker is not fighting in this fight is one of the most unselfish things I’ve seen in my life. He’s a good man, he’s a good human being, and I have a lot of respect for him. Good luck to him in what he’s dealing with right now.”

It’s clear that White has a great deal of respect for the man for doing what he has to do and putting his family, and his daughter, first.

“I can’t put into words and articulate how I feel about Robert Whittaker. He’s the real deal, man.”

Sometimes pictures are enough.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

Clearing the mind. #showingoff #strongestmansheknows

A post shared by Robert Whittaker (@robwhittakermma) on

Viral Photo Shoot Features Newborn of Fallen Firefighter and His Firehouse Brothers

Brett Grace Firehouse Photoshoot
(Sugarfoot Photography)

Brett Korves was a 10-year veteran of an Illinois Fire Department when he died tragically in a car accident on his way to work in early 2019. He left behind a two-year-old son and a pregnant wife. Nearly a year later, Brett’s brothers at the Fire Department honored his memory with a photo shoot with the newborn daughter he never got to meet.

His wife, Alex, didn’t know she was pregnant when Brett tragically passed and told Good Morning America she was “freaking out” at first, but was glad to have one more piece of him in her life.

(Sugarfoot Photography)
(Sugarfoot Photography)
(Sugarfoot Photography)
(Sugarfoot Photography)

Brett’s First Responders was a foundation started in his memory to carry on his legacy of helping his community.

Alex said she was touched by the avalanche of positivity after the photos went viral and said she is thankful for the support of their family, friends, and Brett’s brothers in the Fire Department,

“I just want Brett Grace to realize that even though her father has passed, she has all this outpouring support from all these men, too.”

Remember The Suave Old Spice Guy? He’s an Embarrassing Dad Now

Old Spice Guy is a Dad
(YouTube/Old Spice)

It’s now been a full decade since we met The Man Your Man Could Smell Like. For the uninitiated, Old Spice body wash once made commercials showcasing actor, former wide receiver, and certified hunk Isaiah Mustafa.

The ads, utilizing single continuous shots and ingenious practical effects, featured a towel-wrapped Mustafa celebrating the full breadth of his manliness, be it through beachside horseback rides or graceful swan dives onto motorcycles submerged in hot tubs. You know. Guy shit.

Ten years later, Old Spice and Mustafa have reunited for a couple of ads in which the character has a son. As it turns out, even the smoothest, most fragrant of men are defenseless against the inherently lame disposition that comes with fatherhood.

In one ad, he shows up at his son’s basketball practice and doles out dad jokes the only way he knows how.

The embarrassment continues in “Office Visit,” when he logrolls nonchalantly into his son’s workplace to suggest he join the family business and recommend a coconut-scented body wash.

Fingers crossed for another series of ads in ten years, where we catch up with the world’s best-smelling grandpa.

Brooklyn Man Registered Beer as His ‘Emotional Support Animal’

Emotional Support Beer
(Twitter/CraftBeerTime/Caroline Ourso)

Brooklyn gets a lot of flak. It’s the land of hipsters with handlebar mustaches selling artisanal pickles who front bands that Pitchfork loves. As someone who lives in Brooklyn, I concede that all of that is true.

But Brooklyn also often sets trends that reverberate throughout the rest of the country, because it’s the land of pioneers. And today we learned of a new pioneer from New York City’s best borough, and here’s hoping his groundbreaking efforts start a movement that benefits us all.

His name if Floyd Hayes, and he lives in the Clinton Hill neighborhood in Brooklyn. But after his recent gambit, where he really lives is in our hearts, and in the annals of legends, because Floyd successfully registered his beer as an emotional support animal.

Floyd told the Brooklyn Paper how he came up with the idea. “It’s a delicious beer and at a reasonable 5% abv, can be consumed without hindering hand-eye coordination, mental ability or judgement. I’ve had trouble trying to take the pint onto public buses and into places of business, so I had the idea to get it registered,” he added.

He reached out to USA Service Dog Registration and applied online.

“I’m not permitted a dog in my building, so I thought an emotional support beer would be more appropriate. It helps alleviate my anxiety and is a cost effective way to manage stress,” he told Ale Street News.

And it worked! Sort of.

An anonymous employee there told Brooklyn Paper that it won’t provide Floyd with many benefits.

“This will not get you into Walmart, it will not get you into Denny’s, it will only protect you where you’re renting,” she said. “He can register his beer all day long, it’s not going to get him anywhere.”

Except straight into our hearts.