Best Musical Toys for Toddlers And Their Dads

Best Musical Toys for Toddlers And Their Dads

Numerous studies have shown a positive relationship between music and brain development in children. So, if you had a chance to positively impact your child’s development while enjoying music and spending time with them, wouldn’t you do it?

For Benni and me, music has always been a great way to have fun together! Hence, I would like to share with you my experience on the topic and give you a top 5 list of the best musical toys for toddlers and their parents.

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How To Spend Quality Time With Your Child – A Top 5 List Of Fun Activities

How To Spend Quality Time With Your Child

You may or may not be aware of the fact that in our family, I am the one who picks up our 3-year old son Benni from kindergarten at least four times a week. When I do that the challenge is always the same: How to make the best out of the time we are spending together on that particular afternoon? How to spend quality time with your child without just “doing something for the sake of it” and counting down the hours until mom comes home from the office?

That may sound a bit harsh. But if you are a busy parent who, besides working and being a mom or dad for the most part, also has interests and hobbies and basically a life of his own, you will most likely agree that keeping your kids entertained while having a good time yourself can be a real challenge.

Which brings me to the point that there is a huge difference between spending time together and spending QUALITY time. It is easy to just being with your kid and deliberately making an effort to make the best out of it you can! While the first is something we all can do “somehow”, the latter can be a real challenge. My goal is to be there for my son as much as possible when he is around; and that can become quite stressful, especially when you happen to run out of ideas.

Hence, in this blog post I want to look at the top 5 activities that I enjoy the most when it comes down to spending quality time with my son. I want to look at five top-level activities that you can leverage to enjoy time together with your kids. Activities, that you can enjoy together as a “team”. So let’s get started…

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Hubelino Marble Run Review: A Lego Duplo Compatible Marble Run System

Hubelino Duplo Compatible Marble Run

Last Christmas my wife and I decided to get our 3-year old son Benni a Hubelino Marble Run Set and since then my son and I are having a blast with it!

I have already mentioned this system in my list of top 10 toys for 3-year-olds and their dads, and with this blog post I want to dig a bit deeper and dive into all the bits and pieces the system has to offer; and why I think that it is the best marble run system out there that you can get.

If you know this blog already then you also know what my personal perspective on toys is. If not, let me give you a quick round up: I deeply believe that FUN is the best way in the world to learn new things and build relations. I look at toys from the perspective of a dad who feels that playing together with his 3-year old son is the best way to connect and bond with him. Hence, I judge toys from two perspectives: They need to be entertaining for both myself AND my son! If they do, they are great toys. Hubelino qualifies as such. Let me explain why…

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The Best Video Games For Kids And Their Dads To Enjoy Together

Video Games For Kids And Their Dads

Ever since I was a little kid, I was into computers and video games. I’m a techie and a nerd. I’m proud of it 🙂 And the reason for that is MY dad; and I can’t thank him enough for sharing his passion for early computer technology with me back in the 1980s and 1990s. He’s the reason why I became a computer scientist and a software engineer; and why I love video games to this very day.

Today, I am a dad myself. My #1 top goal, each and every day, is to be the best dad I can be for my son Benni. Part of that, I believe, is sharing with him the things I’m interested in and that I am passionate about! Benni is turning three years old this summer, and I remember that, quite some time ago, I started to wonder if it would be okay for me to introduce my son to the world of video games and share with him what it is that I do there, why I am passionate about it, and what makes it so special for me; and what the best video games for kids and their dads would probably be. Games that are fun to play for adults, but won’t be overwhelming for your kids. And games that encourage parents not just to consume, but to talk about with their children!

In this blog post, I want to elaborate on

  • why I think there is absolutely NOTHING bad about playing video games as a dad and
  • how you as a dad can enjoy your passion.

Furthermore, I will explain

  • why I think that it is not only okay but why I strongly believe that it is important that you do so!
  • I will go into how you can (and should) play video games with your kids, even if they are just three years old,
  • and what, I believe, are the 5 best games for kids and their dads to enjoy together

Discuss! 🙂

I know this blog post may trigger some discussion. That’s totally fine: I’m not saying that you have to agree with me. I just want to share my opinion and let you know what works for me. How I deal with video games and how I make this work in my family. If you disagree, then let’s have a real discussion in the comment section below!

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Top 10 Toys For 3 Year Olds And Their Dads

Ducks Floating In A River

I’m a toy maniac! I love toys! And if you are just a little bit like me, you’re probably a dad (or mom) who’s always looking out for great toys for his or her child. I certainly am!

At the time I am writing this blog post it is early Spring 2018, and our son Benni is about to turn three years old in just a couple of weeks from now, and I am already excited and looking forward to his birthday (and buying new toys for him (and me 🙂 ), obviously). With that being said I want to give you the top 10 toys for 3 year olds that I would recommend any Mom and Dad getting for their kids.

Why I chose exactly THESE toys?

Let’s be clear about one thing: There are thousands of great toys out there, and a top 10 list can only cover so much. The toys I selected below are either toys that we already own and that Benni and I LOVE, or they are toys I am planning to get for me and my son as soon as possible. Either way: They are toys I am super excited about and I want to share with you why. They all have one thing in common: They are, in my opinion, the best toys to connect with your kid!

So, without further ado let’s get started…

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Lego Star Wars Advent Calendar 2017 – A Daily VLOG

Ah, December 1st! Time to get my yearly dose of Lego Star Wars 🙂 For the fourth or fifth time in a row, my wife was so lovely to surprise me with this awesome gift – again! I love these calendars, the models, the daily surprises. It’s just great!

Opening this post, I would like to take a look back at the recent years and give you a brief  overview of my Mini-Fig and Mini-Models collection that I have built so far (and which has earned a permanent spot in our living room cabinet). Check this out:

Lego Star Wars Advent Calendar Mini-Fig and Mini-Model-Collection

After collecting these for quite a few years now, here is a pretty cool diorama showing Santa Darth and Luke fighting while Santa C-3PO and Christmas Chewbacca are watching. I love it 🙂

Lego Star Wars Advent Calendar Xmas Darth Vader

Now, for this year, I decided to create little timelapse building videos of these models for my blog. So, without further ado, let’s get started!

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Why I Don’t Share Any Pictures of My Son Here

Why We Share No Photos of Our Son Title Picture

This block is 100% dedicated to my son, me and our toys. Yet, you won’t find any pictures of my son around here. “Why is that?”, you may ask.

Well, months before our son was born back in 2015, my wife and I made a decision: We will not share ANY pictures of our son on the internet.

You know, back in 2015, when our son was born, quite a few of our friends were expecting or had already toddlers, and many of them shared pictures of them on social media, blogs etc. A few of them even replaced their own profile picture with pictures of their kids. I never got my head around this, but our decision was clear: We don’t want that!

Let me put a quick disclaimer here:

In this post I am going to share my very personal opinion on posting pictures of kids on the internet. I am trying to explain why I *personally* think that it is a dangerous thing. However, I understand that you may not agree and that you may want to share pictures of your kids. If you decide that this is okay for you and your kid, I totally respect that. This article does not bear any intention to judge you or prove you wrong 🙂

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Make Your Birthday a Father Son Day

Make Your Birthday A Father Son Day
My 33rd Birthday: Free Admission At Our Local Theme Park "Phantasialand"
My 33rd Birthday: Free Admission At Our Local Theme Park “Phantasialand”

It’s my 33rd birthday today. At the time I am writing this I am standing in the line at the top roller coaster attraction of our local theme park, called Phantasialand, which is close to Cologne in Germany, the city where I live.

“So wait: You’re talking about a father son day, yet you are blogging at the same time!?”, you may think. And that’s a totally valid point. Let’s say: My Father Son Day plan had a pitfall I did not see coming! I’ll explain that later 🙂 Continue reading →

VTech Go Go Smart Wheels: Great Toy Cars For Kids And Their Dads

VTech Go Go Smart Cars Collection

When my son Benjamin’s first birthday approached back in July 2016 I found myself looking for a great toy that I could give to him as a birthday present, and that Benni and I could enjoy together. You know, when having a one year old toddler at home, it can become quite difficult to find toys that your kid will love and that you as a mom or dad won’t find boring right?

I was always into Lego, but let’s be honest: Even Lego Duplo is quite difficult to play with for a one year old. I tried it every now and then, but it always turned out to follow one simple rule: I build he, Benni destroys it 🙂 Don’t get me wrong, this can also be tons of fun, and I’ll probably describe my experience with that in another blog post soon, but it is not what I wanted to get as a first-birthday-present-experience!

So, as the toy obsessed dad I am I decided that this would be a great opportunity to go explore and visit a “real store” instead of just searching online. I love toys store anyways, so obviously I didn’t let this chance slip. I drove to Toys”R”Us near where we live and started looking around. There is tons of stuff for babies and toddlers, but I felt that for a one year old lot’s of these toys are either too simple (in terms of: they are made for babies) or simply too boring for me as Bennis Dad. And That Toy Dad does not like boring toys 🙂

Somewhere in the back of the store I found what I was looking for. There was a whole area with VTech toys, and they caught my attention. What I saw there were tons of colorful, well designed boxes with playing and laughing kids on them. Well, obviously, you shouldn’t make your buying decision based on smiling kids printed on a box by some company you’ve probably never heard of before; but what I’m saying that it caught my attention. Another great thing I remember was that if you want to, you can basically try out every toy, as the VTech boxes have cutout on certain positions, and you can press buttons etc. and really see what that toy does and sounds like before you actually commit to spending money on it, right?

So there I was, standing in front of talking crocodiles, singing dogs, plastic sheep, flashing trains and – nice one – colorful, exciting looking cars. Cars with  sound and light. And as we all know: Men and little Kids are ALWAYS attracted to sound and flashing lights, right?

I liked what I saw, so my next step was to look at the company’s age recommendation. It showed “Recommended Ages 1-5 Years” – Ding, ding, ding, I had a winner 🙂 Continue reading →