Kids Archives - Dadstractions

Everybody Loves A Parade, Right?

Jun 18, 13 Everybody Loves A Parade, Right?

Posted by in Father's Day, Kids

Well, maybe some more than others. I’ve never really been a big parade person (or a circus person for that matter). There’s just something about standing around, sometimes for hours, just to see a few lame floats go by.  I could be spending that time doing something more impressive, like watching paint dry or grass grow. I don’t even attend St. Patrick’s Day parades, and there is usually a promise of inebriation after that parade! I grew up in a town that boasts the second largest St. Patrick’s Day parade in the country, and still I didn’t go. The only parade that I ever felt halfway paid off for waiting/anticipation vs. spectacle would be the Wald Disney Electric Light Parade in the Magic Kingdom, and even THAT wasn’t super impressive to me. Still, apparently, kids LOVE parades. There is a parade our town has every Father’s Day weekend. The Avon Heritage Duct Tape Parade and Festival – sponsored by Duck brand duct tape (yes, this is as odd as it sounds). I moved here about seven years ago and have yet to go to parade. My wife and the kids have been to it a few times but I always just waved goodbye to them as they left for the parade and relished the two or more hours I had to myself. But this year I turned over a new leaf and, in an attempt being more involved with my kids, I purposefully attended a parade. This was the tenth anniversary of the Duct Tape parade and the theme was “Decades of Duct Tape”. One would assume that to participate in a duct tape parade, one would have to have a float made of duct tape, or clothing made of duct tape… or maybe just carry a roll of duct tape, but one would be mistaken. True, most groups participating in the parade had floats or clothes decorated in duct tape, but there were more than a few that didn’t. Seriously, IF YOU ARE GOING...

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Painting Ceramics With My “Artist For A Day”

Jun 03, 13 Painting Ceramics With My “Artist For A Day”

Posted by in Art, Kids

My mother and stepfather live in Scranton, PA (my hometown). A few times a year they either make the trip out to Cleveland, or we make a trip back East to see either them or my in-laws (in NJ). Whenever they are with the kids, they try to make it a point to do something special with them (an amusement park, a museum, etc…). During their most recent visit, while my son was still in school on Friday, they took my daughter to a ceramic painting store called “Artist For A Day“. Later that night my mother told me what a great time they had and I asked her to write up her experience for my blog.  Here it is. Enjoy! On the most recent trip to visit our family in Ohio, our five-year-old Granddaughter, Samantha, had a free day. Samantha’s free days consist of being “free” from school and “free” from her older brother, Chris. We asked Sam what she would like to do on “her” day and it was a resounding, no hesitating – PAINT (this shouldn’t have been a surprise as Samantha is the artistic one of the family)! Samantha’s mom suggested a local ceramic studio, Artist For A Day, and off Grandma, Grandpa and Sam went. Artist For A Day is just what it says – they have everything you need to make a masterpiece in one day. Customers pay a small fee to use all the supplies, receive help from the staff, and also to have the piece glazed and fired when the artist is done painting. The only other fee is the price of the piece you decide to paint. The studio has abundant bisque pieces to choose from and Samantha spied hers almost immediately: Donald Duck. We proceeded to the paint bar, where Sam picked out all of the colors she wanted for Donald. One by one we added them to her paint pallet. After choosing paints, Sam also got to choose which brushes she would like to use. We then went to...

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Making Life A Little Cheesier One Cheeto At A Time

My friends over at Life of Dad are holding a little unorthodox art contest. The Challenge: Create an art masterpiece with the contents in a bag(s) of Cheetos Mix-Ups snacks. The Payoff: A chance to win a trip to Dad 2.0 2014.  (Yes please!) I gathered my children around me (well, my child. The Boy refused to put down Skylanders but my Baby Girl was more than happy to help. We both washed our hands, rolled up our sleeves, and thunk. We thunk real hard about what to make. I originally thought about making a spiral galaxy, thinking that the “traditional” Cheetos puff curved shape would lend itself well to that.  However, my daughter had other designs… “Let’s make an oval with those shapes and then a circle inside the oval…” Me: “Huh”? She started making the oval with the curved puff pieces and I asked her if she thought it looked like a cloud. After a little while, we knew what we were going to do.   BEHOLD! That’s it. That’s our masterpiece. Will it win? Probably not but it was fun to create with my artsy daughter. It also helps that these taste pretty good. I’m a big fan of the Flamin’ Hot Cheetos snacks already, and I bring them home way too often. When I offered Samantha some of the Cheetos Mix-Ups, she declined (I’m guessing she could tell by the color of the deep red ones that they were spicy). Why don’t you head on over to the contest page on Life of Dad, and then come back here and let me know what you think of our masterpiece compared to that others…? Share...

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Found Around The House

I find some pretty ridiculous things around my house.  As I talked about a few weeks ago, the kids bring home a literal mountain of paper from school every week.  Someone had commented on that post (since removed because I changed commenting systems… sigh) that I should take a picture of some of the artwork in order to keep the memory forever, instead of trying to hold onto reams of paper. This sounded like a great idea and it gave me another idea for my blog. I’m going to take pictures of (some of the better or more creative) artwork my kids either bring home from school or leave laying around the house and share with you, dear reader. Found Around The House My daughter has really taken to coloring. My son was never really much of a color-er. He would do the random thing here and there but, honestly, I do not have a ton of “non school-required” coloring for him.  My daughter, on the other hand, constantly has the bucket of crayons and markers out and is constantly drawing and leaving pictures all around the house.  She has also taken to running into our bedroom and leaving pictures for us to find. One night, I found this on my nightstand: I knew exactly what this was by the way the sticker-figure’s arms stuck straight out, and that it took place at night: A zombie. I was very impressed with her choice of blue paper for night sky and the moon. She knows how much daddy loves zombies and decided to leave me a little present. I’m glad that she has developed this artistic streak in her. My son typically takes a strictly perfunctory stance on coloring; a splash of color here, a giant splotch of color there. His forays into coloring evoke the feeling that he just wanted to get it over with. I think his medium is more Legos and Minecraft than coloring. This picture now resides in my nightstand. It...

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Celebrate Star Wars Day This May 4th

This weekend is jam-packed with goodness for us nerds. Not only is Iron Man 3 coming out this weekend; not only is Free Comic Book Day this weekend; this Saturday, May 4th, is Star Wars Day! (“May the Fourth Be With You!”) There are any number of way you can celebrate Star Wars Day this year: You can watch the entire Star Wars saga from beginning to end! (which, any nerd worth their Imperial Credits knows goes in order of IV, V, VI, I, II, III). You can pick up and play any number of Lego Star Wars Games (man I love those). You can combine Free Comic Book Day and Star Wars Day and go pick up the free Star Wars comic (make sure buy something while you’re there and support your local comic book shop!). And, when you’re done celebrating Star Wars Day, you can go to and buy some awesome Star Wars swag.  Might I suggest Slave 1? The fine folks at Hasbro have provided me with a 20% off coupon code to share with you so you can save a little cash while you celebrate. Use the Promo Code SWFANDAY for 20% off any Star Wars toy on, only on May 4th!* Have a great weekend.  Go see Iron Man 3 (let me know what you think), go check out and save 20% on Star Wars products, and use the money you save and go check out Free Comic Book Day (and buy an issue or two to support the shop!). I will definitely be taking my kids to pick up some free comics, and maybe even watch The Empire Strikes Back with them for the first time.   *20% Off STAR WARS Fan Day, One Day Only-May 4th 20% off offer may only be redeemed through the website toward the purchase of STAR WARS products currently available on the site. Discount applies to pre-tax and pre-shipping amount. This offer cannot be combined with any other coupon or offer. Offer cannot be redeemed for cash....

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No one needs a butt kickin’

May 02, 13 No one needs a butt kickin’

Posted by in Kids, My Life, Parenting

It was a beautiful day yesterday. It seems (knock on wood) that the Cleveland weather is finally changing over to Spring and it’s safe to leave your house in a short-sleeve shirt without fear of the temperature dropping below freezing before you get home. Since it was such a beautiful day, I decided to do what all great fathers do on beautiful sunny days: mow the lawn. I also kicked the kids outside and instructed them to play. While I walked around in circles for two hours, the kids dutifully played outside. I’m so glad they are finally at the age where I don’t have to continually break them apart, or chase them down, etc… I can actually leave them outside by themselves and not have to constantly be on top of them. Well, usually anyway. Our back yard connects to other back yards of the houses around us. There’s a boy, a year older than my son, who lives in one of the houses our yard connects to.  This boy is the youngest in his family (with multiple older brothers and sisters) and is very, let’s say, “mature” for his age. I mean, this kid is 8 and he’s outside running the lawnmower; unsupervised. Due to (my opinion anyway) the “maturity” disparity between the two boys, I’ve found my son’s interactions with the neighbor have been less than desirable. There is definitely a lot more rough-housing and, in the past, Chris had always seemed to be on the receiving end. After a few past incidents, we asked Chris to keep his distance from this boy (just like we did here). But, kids will be kids, and it’s been months since Chris has actually spent any real time with this neighbor so I was willing to give it a chance again. For the most part, things were fine. I’d see them all playing in the neighbors yard, on the swing set, running around, etc… Then, about an hour and a half in, Sam comes running...

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