How To Make Awesome Crafts With Your Kids: Dad Edition

Dad's Book of Awesome Projects

I am not handy. There, I said it. I don’t know how to build a deck or a planter. I can’t fix a car or figure out how to fix a leaky pipe. Heck, I am not even confident in my ability to paint a room properly. That’s not to say I don’t try these things. I’m just not good at them.

That brings me to today’s topic. I picked up Mike Adamick’s, “Dad’s Book of Awesome Projects”, mostly because I was tired of making the same old crafts with the kids and I thought it might help me with my aversion to crafts and general unhandiness (it’s a word, get over it).

Where most “How To” books fail due to lack of information on the “How To” part, Mike’s step by step instructions make it so that even “accidentally glue gunned my fingers together” old me can complete any project with ease. Case and point, this weekend my children and I took to the dollar store to complete our latest Awesome project: Canvas Art!

Dollar Store Craft Materials

You’ll notice I mentioned the Dollar Store. That’s because this entire project, with all the supplies you see above, cost us a whopping $11! I used to make fun of my wife for keeping the old egg cartons but as it turns out, they are pretty good for holding multiple paint colours. So…sorry, hunny. I simply turned to page 139 in the book and went to work on everything we needed to create our very own Jackson Pollock. As you can see, while my son chose to stick to the book’s task of flinging the paint at the canvas, my daughter had a different idea about what Mike should have written about.

Dad Awesome Paint Project Completed

In the end, the best part is the quality time we got to spend, flinging paint, laughing and creating incredible works of art for my “half man garage, half day care toy pile”. So if you are looking for something to get for your husband this Father’s Day and beyond, I highly recommend Dad’s Book of Awesome Projects. If I can take this book and create something amazing, anybody can! On top of that, it has inspired me to take on a few more projects I have been thinking about. Stick around and I’ll be posting them once they are done.

Canadian Spotlight – Todd Churchill’s Charity Rink Of Dreams For Carter

Todd Churchill Rink for Carter

I came across this story on the CBC website and it was too amazing to not write about. Todd Churchill lives in Portugal Cove – St. Philips, NL with his wife Kimberly and their two sons Hunter and Carter. His youngest son, Carter, was diagnosed as profoundly deaf in December 2011 and then subsequently diagnosed with cerebral palsy in January 2012.

Since that time, Todd and his wife Kimberly have become very active in various fundraising efforts for local charities and non-profit organizations associated with or helping with their son Carter’s condition. This past July, they both participated in Easter Seals’ Drop Zone event in St. John’s and personally raised over $8,000 dollars.

Todd then decided that the logical next step would be to build an outdoor rink. This, however, was not just going to be any outdoor rink. Todd had a dream of designing and building a 95’ x 46’ outdoor ice hockey rink in his backyard, complete with boards, painted lines, nets, lighting, etc. His goal was to sell ad space on the boards and also on the ice surface, just like an NHL rink, with the proceeds going to support the three charities that have helped and continue to help his family the most. Those charities are:

1. The Easter Seals of Newfoundland & Labrador
2. Rainbow Riders
3. Mazol Shriners

I’ve included links to the donation pages of all three in case you are compelled to contribute. Todd’s got a website all set up that lists all the amazing sponsors, supporters and news about the rink and his family’s charitable efforts. The website is called Reason For The Rink and I hope you’ll stop in to check it out. I was also fortunate enough to interview Todd for this feature and here is what he had to say.

CD: Where did you get the idea to do this? It’s quite brilliant!

Todd: I received a photo of a similar, albeit smaller, rink done out in western Canada and I always wanted to do one as a personal challenge being an engineer. When my son was born and was diagnosed as deaf and with CP, my wife and I became very proactive in organizations dedicated to assisting children like Carter, namely Easter Seals NL, Rainbow Riders and Mazol Shriners. We both participated in the Easter Seals NL Drop Zone event (9 storey rappel) in July, personally raising over $8,000. As a result, I was invited to participate in the Easter Seals Toronto Drop Zone (17 storey’s). There are links to videos of both events on my website under “Other Fundraising Efforts“. My wife has a small home business called Carter’s Cupcakes, which makes cakes and cupcakes with 25% of the profits going to children’s charities associated with Carter. I started my rink as both a fundraiser and a way of increasing awareness of these organizations which I myself had no awareness of prior to Carter being born.

CD: Was the rink a community project or more of a solo effort?

Todd: It was a solo project that I started planning last winter but actually physically started in June building a prototype corner and straight section to work the bugs out of my design.

CD: Now that the rink is built, what are your goals for it? Will there be more fundraising or is it a community rink?

Todd: I am going to have to some fundraisers for people at work. I am currently working on the Hebron project here in NL so I am going to have a hockey tournament for employees of the major companies, ie. ExxonMobil, WorleyParsons, KCAD and Kiewit-Kvaerner Contractors. I have also been receiving a lot of offers to rent ice time with proceeds going to charity.

CD: How difficult was it to sell the ad space?

Todd: It was slow going at first as companies didn’t really know what to make of what I was doing. Some companies jumped right on board, while others needed some convincing and others never responded at all. After I launched my website, I had more demand than available spaces so City Honda here in St. John’s offered $1,000 for an in ice ad, which is something I never considered before. I was only going to have the charity logos in the ice, but I could not turn down that type of donation. Provincial Airlines, ExxonMobil (Hebron Project) and Ranstar* soon followed and took the remaining three in ice logos for $1000 as well. I have now raised over $16,700 to date.

Rink BoardsRink DrawingRink Frame

 

 

 

 

 

This was such a great story and I was so glad to be able to speak with Todd about it. For more information about Todd’s charity rink or on how you can donate, you can visit his website, Reason For The Rink, and you can follow him on Twitter @Reason4TheRink.

I wanted to leave you with one last look at the finished product. Admittedly, this photo makes me want to hop on a plane and fly out to Newfoundland to take a lap on the ice. So, if anyone has an extra plane ticket to Newfoundland… Yeah, didn’t think so! I want to thank Todd Churchill for the interview and also for being an Awesome Dad and human being, along with his entire family. Keep up the great work!

Churchill Rink Night

Cheers!

AwesomeDads

Return Of The #AwesomeDads!

I took a bit of a Holiday break since my last #AwesomeDads post but I think it’s time for a Dad revival!

My goal is to feature Awesome Dads doing awesome things with their kids. Whether it’s hitting the slopes, helping with homework or snuggling them back to health, I want to showcase the changing face of Dad. That said, here are this week’s Awesome Dads!

AdultEssentials

 

 

This is a great shot of Stuart Lowther and his 3 daughters, as they are about to cross the finish line at Gabrielle’s Ride in Oakville. Stuart is the Founder/President/CEO at Life Science Nutritionals, which create the Adult Essentials and IronKids Gummies brands of vitamins.

 

 

Trev Mahoney

 

 

Trev Mahoney is seen here with his kids, on a Whale Watching tour in Newfoundland. Trevor writes over at the Just A Dad blog and also on the Cheo Moms & Dads blog. You can catch up with him on Twitter at @Trev_Mahoney.

 

Cloak&Curio

 

 

Steven Grossman knows how to tire his kids out before bedtime. He opens up the Daddy Gym! A big thanks to his wife, Roshan, who runs Cloak & Curio, for submitting this picture (with his permission, of course)!

 

Justinvl

 

 

 

 

Photographer Justin Van Leeuwen sent in this hilarious picture of his kids invading his private time. Justin runs JVL Photography out of Ottawa and can be found on Twitter at @JustinVL.

 

 

 

 

 

That’s all for this week’s edition of #AwesomeDads! Keep an eye out each week for a new set of amazing pictures and feel free to submit pictures for future editions to my Facebook and Twitter pages.

Cheers!

Hanging With Dad

How About Another Dose Of #AwesomeDads

After a great response to last week’s Awesome Dads post, I’ve decided to keep it going as long as I keep getting photos submitted. I’m also working on a design for the main photo, so it doesn’t look like I’m implying how awesome I am from week to week, haha.

My goal is to feature Awesome Dads doing awesome things with their kids. Whether it’s hitting the slopes, helping with homework or snuggling them back to health, I want to showcase the changing face of Dad. That said, here are this week’s Awesome Dads!

 

 

Here’s Oren Miller from the blog, Blogger Father. This isn’t the first time he’s appeared on my site and the write up I did on him for Dad Blogs Exposed will tell you more than I could write now. To follow Oren’s journey, you can check him out on his Facebook Page! Thanks, Oren!

 

 

 

 

 

Meet Mike Reynolds from the blog, Puzzling Posts. I don’t really know how else to describe Mike, except to say that he is one of the really great ones. I’m not talking just Dadding here either. He just seems to be a genuinely kind person and I’m happy to have met him and his family. Of note, Mike just single-handedly raised over $1800 for our recent Movember campaign. Not an easy feat. You can catch him on Twitter at @PuzzlingPostDad.

 

 

 

 

This is Kevin, who I only know as @KevinSky on Twitter. The best thing about pictures is that you don’t need to know somebody to appreciate them and I love that Dad and Grandpa are present in this amazingly patriotic shot.

 

 

 

 

Here is a photo of Chris, helping his daughter learn how to swim. This one strikes a chord for me because it’s one of my favourite things to do with my kids. It’s great when you can capture pride in a picture!

 

 

 

 

 

Last but certainly not least, meet Ryan Sanders from The National Fatherhood Initiative. This photo has me missing our Expos and even more so because he’s cheering for the team that they left for. Ryan has also been kind enough to offer me a guest post on his blog and I’m grateful for the opportunity. You can also follow him on their Facebook Page.

That’s it for this week! Thanks to all the Dads and wives who submitted pictures. They were all great! If you’d like to submit your great Dad pics, please send them to chris@canadiandad.com, along with their name and a link, if any, to your site. Til we meet again!

Cheers!

Forget Dad Fail; Here Is Some Dad Awesomeness! #AwesomeDads

I got slightly annoyed this week, after seeing two separate posts featuring photo slideshows with the tagline of DadFail. I won’t link to them but I assure you, they are out there and the pictures were a complete misrepresentation of what I’m guessing in 98% of the Dad population.

I thought it would be a fun idea to counter that post with some pictures of the Dads I associate with, doing the things that real Dads do with their children. I’m sure it won’t get even 1% of the hits those other posts got but it’s a start. We’re certainly not perfect but we are definitely not failures. I put a call out for photos and received so many that this could become a weekly feature.

 

 

This is another Canadian Dad blogger, James from EduDad and also from the Dads Round Table. You can catch him on Twitter at @SaskaDad. He’s a good dude and a great Dad!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Meet Trent Hamilton, who blogs over at Green Eggs & Hamiltons and also at Life of Dad. Don’t be afraid to hit him up on twitter at @mrThamilton. He is a perfect example of the changing face of fatherhood today.

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is Spencer Warren and his daughter at last year’s Ottawa Children’s Gala, which he also organizes. It’s an excellent event, for kids too, which raises money for the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario’s ‘Plan It Safe’ Program. He is a really good person and has committed a lot of his time to helping kids in my community. You can follow him at @CharityForCHEO on Twitter.

 

 

 

 

 

This is Daddy Nickell from the website Daddy Scrubs. It’s actually a very cool website and I encourage you to check it out. You can also catch up with him on the Daddy Scrubs Facebook page.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How about a Dad who doesn’t blog? They are the majority after all! Here is a cool shot of Darryl hanging with his kids out in the wilderness. I’m willing to excuse the Penguins hat here because of the amazing setting and the giant smiles!

 

 

 

 

 

Last but certainly not least, we have Mark Buell from my hometown of Ottawa. Hard to believe we are back to tobogganing season already! You can find Mark writing things at, A Semitone Higher and on Twitter @MeBuell.

 

 

That’s all for this week’s Untitled Dad Awesomeness Feature! I hope enjoyed it as much as I did putting it all together. I’m hoping to keep it going but I’ll need your help. You can do so by sending me your cool, Dad pictures, of you and your kids spending quality time together. You can send them to me on Twitter at @CanadianDadBlog, via my Facebook Page, or email them to me at chris@canadiandad.com. Have a great week!

Cheers!