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37 of 37 people found the following review helpful
on 6 March 2006
As Dad to a three-year-old daughter, and with a son on the way, this book is going to get increasingly well thumbed. It’s packed with no-cost ways to keep kids amused on a rainy day at home, in the car, out and about, or when you need to entertain a bunch of them and want to be remembered for doing something special.
As well as bringing back childhood memories of tricks and games that still amuse today (such as pretending to break an egg on your child’s head by patting and squashing a loosely formed fist), the book also includes bang up-to-date stuff like how to create a 3D image on your computer by arranging two photos taken from slightly different angles side-by-side on the screen.
The chapters include ‘Fun with everyday objects’, ‘Batteries not required’, ‘Are we there yet?’, ‘Puzzles, tricks and jokes’ and ‘What where who why how?’. Each chapter has dozens of things to do/make/say. And there are plenty of illustrations to demonstrate things where required.
I really don’t think I’m ever going to run out of ideas with this book – the real challenge is deciding what to do from all the great things suggested. So far, my daughter just thinks I’m full of fun things to do (like creating shadow animals, making duck calls out of drinking straws or being the tickle robot), because I’ve secretly read up on it….I’ve toyed with sharing the book with her, but that would take the magic away.
I anticipate many years use out of this material – there are some science experiements which would probably occupy 10-12 year old minds successfully.
The authors have also set up a web site with a forum for Dads to share more stuff with each other.
One of the final entries is a list of fun stuff to mess with your kids' heads, like "There's a little man who lives at the back of the fridge to turn the light on when we open the door." If you're looking for more of this kind of stuff, I'd also recommend 'Great Lies to Tell Small Kids' by Andy Riley.
If you ever have to entertain children buy 'Dad Stuff' and you'll be totally sorted.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on 10 November 2005
Dad Stuff is the perfect read for fathers and frankly most mothers too. Not only does it contain a myriad of tricks and games to entertain ones children for hours without the aid of a playstation or dvd player, but it achingly amusing for adults to read as well.
Steve Caplin and Simon Rose have managed to find something to entertain kids of every age - even this 33 year old one. Everything is there - how to answer awkward questions like 'why is the sky blue' or 'where do babies come from'. How to make a car or plane journey less of a horror and more of a fun family trip. How to stun your children into an incredulous silence with puzzles and tricks - even pretending to read their minds.
This book is essential reading for all parents and the perfect Christmas present for the father of the family - he can do a lot more with this than socks and ties !!
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on 10 November 2005
This is a great book! There are loads of ideas for tricks with which to impress young family members. It really is the sort of book where you think 'I'll just read one more page/chapter' and an hour later you are still sitting on the stairs, reading, on your way to bed. At least, that is what happened to me last night. And a huge advantage is that this is the perfect Christmas present for men, who are otherwise impossible to buy for, although I will be needing a Volume 2 by this time next year.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on 9 September 2006
Buying this book doesn't imply you are inadequate!

Totally unlike a TV show which aims to change parenting by whipping stupid, dull or uncaring parents into shape, this book is perfect for smart, funny and friendly adults who want MORE (both NEW and TRADITIONAL) games, facts, jokes, activities and ideas that appeal to kids and the kid in all of us. Also, it's useful to have a compendium of dad stuff in one place.

I'm interested in how this compares to other books, e.g. to the Dangerous Book for Boys, which sounds a little similar, but which maybe appeals to nostalgia in adults themselves, hence its title. Title wise, Dad Stuff is the winner. If you have a dad yourself or are buying a book for one with a child, it is a very enjoyably thing to buy from the child's point of view. The kid gets a thrill a bit like buying "what not to wear" for someone. It has a cheeky aura.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Dad stuff is a classic. While it does actually give you shed loads of ideas, the authors cleverly resist being clever, patronising, or competitive, and retain a healthy skepticism and humour about what it means to be a Dad.
Dads will be transported back to their own childhood by the charm and ingenuity of the tricks, tales and techniques which don't require computer-based gadgets, expensive subscriptions or even batteries to succeed.
On a practical note, everything is explained and illustrated with admirable clarity and brevity, the tricks and projects are things you can actually - indeed easily - do. You get the impression that Rose and Caplin have spent many a happy hour (with or without children) personally testing out all the ideas here. Dads will be perfectly equipped to fulfill their role with offspring all ages that are still happy to be called children.
As well as solving your "present for Dad" dilemma, this book could be the most significant thing to happen to Christmas for a couple of thousand years.
Under the guise of entertaining the kids, this book magically infuses the fatherly reader with warm feelings of Daddishness.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on 13 December 2005
A wonderful book that will have every mum or dad chuckling to themselves. so many great ideas and so many of which I remember from my childhood and now I have them all written down in this magical little book. Keep this book a secret from your kids and just watch their faces light up when you roll out the tricks and games the book offers. Fantastic!!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 12 November 2005
Ideas come tumbling out of this beautifully illustrated book. Full of practical ideas for dads to keep kids busy and amused - or at the very least laughing at dad's attempts to distract from the game boy or PC. You can't go wrong for dads of all ages
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 10 November 2005
Ideal gift for all father's. Loads of great tips and tricks to keep the kids occupied and Dad too. Good fun even if you're not a dad!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 9 November 2005
Honestly, even women can do these things - and grandmothers too! Get it for Christmas if you want to amuse the dear little things.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 10 November 2005
They should put a copy of this in those bounty packs they give to expectant Mums and Dads in hospital. Fantastically useful guide to keeping kids entertained - expecially if like me these things don't come that naturally. And I guarantee you'll have fun too. A great present for any new Dad or Grandad
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