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Reviews

We review things and tell you what’s good.

8BDIY Dad: Custom Potty Training Step
5 years ago

8BDIY Dad: Custom Potty Training Step

By  •  DIY, Gear

Fernando's DIY Potty Training Steps

We put out a call for DIY-dads to send us pictures of projects they’ve done for their kids – and our first one came from Fernando, in Sacramento, California. Fernando ran into a common complaint while potty training his daughter Eva: almost all of the steps at the store are too high or too low, and since toilets are all different heights, it really takes a custom project to make for perfect potty practice. “I shopped for hours looking for a good step and there’s nothing really stable out there for the little ones, they all seemed to be designed for bigger kids,” Fernando told us in an e-mail.

Most of us just cave in and buy one of those little kid floor potties, then slosh toddler poop everywhere and stub our toes on it every night. Not Fernando.

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Book Review: How to Con Your Kid
5 years ago

Book Review: How to Con Your Kid

Are you having trouble getting your kid to eat, go to sleep, sit still or do your taxes? A parenting manual from Quirk Books might be exactly what you’re looking for. The book, How to Con Your Kid, features games and tricks for parents to get their kid to do anything.

Think of it as how to Win Friends and Influence People – Parents Edition.

The introduction claims that after reading the book you’ll be able to beat your children at their own game. The book will show you how to track distract and redirect your child so that they behave. But shouldn’t you feel bad about tricking your child?

Abso-effing-lutely not!

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Book Review: The Art of Roughhousing
5 years ago

Book Review: The Art of Roughhousing

Many parents wonder how much roughhousing is too much roughhousing. Two fathers set out to answer that question with their book The Art of Roughhousing: Good Old-Fashioned Horseplay and Why Every Kid Needs It. The dads, Anthony T. DeBenedet M.D. and Lawrence J. Cohen PhD, make a great case for throwing your kid around like a sock monkey, then show you some tactics and how-tos for doing it effectively.

There has always been some grey-area discussion about acceptable levels of roughhousing, and whether it’s good for your child. The truth is that roughhousing is great! Every family child is different, so appropriate (and physically-possible) roughhousing games will vary from one house to the next. DeBenedet and Cohen offer many activities that are broken up by chapter into different physical classes, such as “Games,” “Contact,” and “Imagination.” The book covers over 60 activities in six classes, so there’s something here for every type of parent.

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App Review (and Code Giveaway!): Baby Pic for iPhone
5 years ago

App Review (and Code Giveaway!): Baby Pic for iPhone

Take a cruise around Instagram and if you didn’t know it already, you’ll soon learn that parents love to take pictures of their babies. You’ll also learn what baby ears look like, because babies have this crazy way of knowing when you’re about to snap a shot and turn their heads. Two Brazilian fathers found a great way for parents to get great photos of their babies’ faces, and you’d be surprised to learn their inspiration for their new iPhone app, Baby Pic.

We’ve also got one code for Baby Pic lyin’ around and will give it to one of you readers (see details after the review)!

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Review: Mario Kart 7 for Nintendo 3DS
5 years ago

Review: Mario Kart 7 for Nintendo 3DS

Being a Nintendo fan for the better part of my 31 years, I’ve known frustration. I’ve been through the gauntlet on NES games, tasted the satisfaction of SNES, felt the burn of multiplayer party games on the N64, GameCube and Wii, and gone it alone on all the handhelds – GameBoy, GameBoy Advance, DS and DSi to name a few. But the 3DS brings a new mix of all those things – frustration, satisfaction, multiplayer fun and portable distraction. So is the story of Mario Kart 7 – a game that has flaws, sure, but is a whole lot of fun – and championed-in a very important 3DS update.

That update included the ability to join friends’ games via the friends list – a vital function of the friends list initially left out. As well, players met through Mario Kart now show up in your Mii Plaza. But these things aren’t as important as the gameplay in Mario Kart 7. After all, it doesn’t matter if you can join a friend’s game if you’re not interested in doing so. It’s good news then, that Mario Kart 7 is loads of fun, despite some quirks and problems, and it’s a really fun game to play with your kids for all of the obvious reasons.The gameplay in Mario Kart 7 is, at its most basic, the same thing you always expect from a Mario Kart franchise game: you race, you shoot stuff at each other, you win, you lose. And if we just took MK7 straight based on that, I’d still be on-board for a near-perfect score. Just fair warning.

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Review: Kirby’s Return to Dream Land for Wii
5 years ago

Review: Kirby’s Return to Dream Land for Wii

Some time ago, we reviewed Kirby’s Epic Yarn, which was decidedly not-epic for dads to play. With a no-death system and non-traditional Kirby play, it left father-fans of the franchise wanting a real Kirby experience to share with their kids.

That’s why I’m happy to announce that Kirby’s Return to Dream Land is nothing like Epic Yarn – and that’s a good thing for you dads. As well, kids (let’s say kindergarten to tweens) will get more of a kick out of the risk-vs-reward gameplay moreso than the all-rewards gameplay of Epic Yarn. There’s not too much risk, but I’m pleased to report that you CAN die in Kirby’s Return to Dream Land, but a little saddened to report that you might not ever taste that bitter death because the game’s so easy. More on that later.

Surprisingly enough, I can’t remember the last time I played a proper Kirby console game, aside from Epic Yarn – which was not a “proper” Kirby game at all. In the meantime, I’d played all sorts of handheld iterations of the franchise and enjoyed them all. Humorously enough (and I’m talkin’ gamer humor, not real, actual humor), Kirby’s Return to Dream Land was supposed to be released for the GameCube in 2005, but then got pushed back to the Wii. It was then put on hold in favor of Epic Yarn (good call, guys), yadda yadda yadda, and here we are.

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Review: Tetris Axis for 3DS
5 years ago

Review: Tetris Axis for 3DS

Do you remember the first time you heard those down-home old-timey Russian folk songs while dropping blocks into stacks, trying to clear the screen line-by-line? Yeah, me neither. But I remember how simple Tetris was – back in my day – and how much fun it was with such a simple formula. Somewhere between the game’s first playable version in 1984 and now, Tetris got more and more complicated when variations of the game landed on different systems. Somewhere around the original Xbox generation, I got sick of wondering what changes I’d have to endure with the series. I just wanted old Tetris back.

Well, my hiatus has been broken by Tetris Axis for the 3DS (by Hudson Soft, published by Nintendo) – and while it’s not a perfect game, it’s a great experience that can be amped-up or dumbed-down to your liking. And this isn’t just a game for you to play alone – there’s plenty of party modes that you can play with your kids that’ll keep you guys busy for a long while.

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Review: ‘OMG Pancakes!’ by Jim Belosic
5 years ago

Review: ‘OMG Pancakes!’ by Jim Belosic

Ask any typical father the kind of breakfast he enjoys cooking for his kids and pancakes will come up in the conversation. Let’s be honest – pancakes are awesome. First of all, they’re cake that you eat for breakfast. And actually, there’s no second point – they’re cake you eat for breakfast!

But most people make the same old blah pancakes for their kids – big circles, smaller circles. And if you really want to look like a hero in front of your kids, you make the old Mickey Mouse pancake – one big circle, two smaller circle ears. WTG, bro. Well, Jim Belosic’s got you beat. I mean, unless you’ve made The Golden Gate Bridge out of pancake, then maybe you’re on his level. Oh, you haven’t? Then shut your hole and read the review of his new book, “OMG Pancakes!”

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