Book Review – The Dangerous Book for Boys

Whether you’re a boy of 8 or 80, you’ll love The Dangerous Book for Boys!  The title sounds a little intimidating, but be sure to dive in a bit before making a snap judgement.  In these days of video games and battery powered toys that do everything except buy themselves for you, today’s unimaginative kids need to learn how to PLAY again. This book is filled with good old-fashioned, get-off-the-couch, get-out-of-the-house and get dirty ideas.

Book Review - The Dangerous Book for Boys

A perfect way to stay out of trouble but still have fun, The Dangerous Book for Boys covers essential boyhood skills such as building tree houses, learning how to fish, finding true north, and even answering the age old question of what the big deal with girls is. In this digital age there is still a place for knots, skimming stones and stories of incredible courage.

This book recaptures Sunday afternoons, stimulates curiosity, and makes for great father-son activities. The brothers Conn and Hal have put together a wonderful collection of all things that make being young or young at heart fun—building go-carts and electromagnets, identifying insects and spiders, and flying the world’s best paper airplanes.

As one reader put it, “It is perfect tinder for a young mind to fan the flames to the fire of personal wonder for the rest of their lives.”

You won’t want to put it down!  Pick up a copy today at jmcremps.com, and be sure to take a look at The Pocket Dangerous Book for Boys: Things To Do, and The Pocket Dangerous Book For Boys: Things To Know.  Happy reading!

5 Father’s Day Traditions from Around the World

Father’s Day is coming up soon, and here in the United States we are getting ready to honor Dad.  A typical Father’s day celebration in the United States can include a gift for Dad, a special dinner or dessert, a Father’s Day card, and hopefully a hug or two for dear old Dad.  Have you ever wondered how Father’s day is celebrated in other countries around the world?  Below are some traditions you may find interesting.  Who knows, maybe this Father’s Day, you can incorporate one of these ideas into your Father’s Day celebrations.

Father's Day Traditions vary around the world.
Father’s Day Traditions vary around the world.

Germany: Father’s Day in Germany is called Vatertag (Man’s Day). The tradition began in the Middle Ages as a religious procession. In modern days the day begins with a male’s only hike where the men pull wagons filled with regional food and drink.

Japan: In Japan, children give their fathers flowers, handmade beer glasses, origami, special sweets, and gifts. A typical Father’s Day dinner is a special dish made of crab, prawns or other seafood.

Brazil: In Brazil, Father’s Day is celebrated with a huge barbeque. Families get together for an all-you-can-eat feast either at home or at a Brazilian Steakhouse.

Russia: In Russia, Father’s Day is celebrated more as a tribute to all men. It has evolved from a military commemoration and therefore still has a strong military overtone. Defender of the Fatherland Day, as it is known, is commemorated by a parade honoring the Russian Armed Forces. Men typically receive gifts from the women they are close to.

Thailand: In Thailand, Father’s Day is celebrated on the birthday of King Bhumibol Adulyadej. On this day the King gives a speech and the Thai people honor their fathers and grandfathers with the Canna flower.

How to Make a Kite – The Perfect Fall Activity!

Learn how to make a kite yourself - it's fun and easy.
Learn how to make a kite, and you’ll be ready for some real fun on the next windy day.

Fall is here!  Besides school, apple pies, and pumpkins, it’s also the best time of year for kite flying.   Fall days are often windy which makes them ideal for some fun in the sky with a kite.  You may not be an expert kite flyer – yet, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get out there on the next blustery day and have some serious fun.  Don’t have a kite of your own?  Well don’t worry, you can make one yourself, and it’s actually pretty easy!  (See below for complete instructions on How to Make a Kite.)

EO Atom Kite is an alternative to learning how to make a kite yourself.
The EO Atom Kite is ready to fly, flip, and have fun.

Don’t want to fuss with making your own?  That’s understandable.  JM Cremps carries some really awesome kites that are super-fliers, and we are giving our loyal followers a huge discount!  This week only, save big on one of our favorite kites.  The EO Atom Kite not only looks ultra cool, it’s unique shape offers some fun advantages.  When the kite is in the air, give the line a tug and the kite will give you a great tumbling show.  Don’t let the crazy shape scare you – it’s still easy to fly.

As a special offer to our blog readers, SAVE OVER 25% on the EO Atom Kite right now!

Looking for a more traditional kite?  Then check out the Jazz Stunt Kite Fire.  It’s durable, beautiful, and will fly the blue skies at altitudes that birds dream of.

How to Make a Kite:  (Download your printable How to Make a Kite instructions right now!)

Kites come in many sizes, shapes, and colors, but to keep it simple, we’re going to make a traditional diamond shaped kite. First, before we learn how to make a kite, we need to gather our supplies and tools.

Supplies needed to make your own kite:

  • A kitchen garbage bag
  • Two wooden dowels. One that is 24 inches long and one that is 20 inches long.
  • A roll of string or fishing line
  • Clear packing tape
  • Glue
  • Markers, stickers, etc. for decorating your kite
  • Scissors
  • Ruler or tape measure
  • Ribbon
  • Knife for notching your dowel – Make sure parents say it is ok to use a knife!

Once you’ve got all your supplies ready, you are all set to make your kite.  Let’s get started:

  • Take your 24 inch long dowel and measure 6 inches from one end.  Mark that spot.
  • Take your 20 inch long dowel and measure the halfway spot (10 inches from one end).  Mark that spot.
  • Lay the shorter dowel across the longer dowel lining up your marks. Your dowels will now make a cross shape.
Learn How to Make a Kite Step 1
Glue your dowels together to create the cross-shaped frame.
  • Glue the dowels together where they meet. Once your glue is dried, reinforce this area by wrapping string around and over this spot crisscrossing the string as you go.
  • With a knife, carefully notch each end of your cross so that there is a groove along the edge that the string will slip into. Make sure you carve the notch at least 1/8 inch deep.
  • Take a piece of string and run it along the edge of each dowel to form a “frame” in the shape of a diamond.  Make sure the string fits securely in the groove at the end of every dowel.  Make sure your string is taut, but not so tight that it bends the dowels or snaps the string.  Reinforce the hold by placing a dab of glue on each notch.  You’ve now created the frame for your kite!
Learn How to Make a Kite Step 2
Run string all around the ends of the dowels to complete the frame.
  • Take the garbage bag and cut it open along one side seam and the bottom seam. The bag will now be a flat sheet.
  • Lay the frame on the top of the open garbage bag. Trace the diamond shape onto the bag.
  • Now it is time to cut out the diamond, but in order to wrap the plastic around the frame, you need to cut the diamond about two inches bigger on all sides than the shape you traced onto the plastic.  This will give you enough room to wrap the edges of the plastic around the frame.
  • After you’ve cut the plastic diamond, decorate the top and bottom of it however you would like.
Learn How to Make a Kite Step 3
Cut out the plastic and secure it to the frame.
  • Place the plastic over the top of the frame.  Flip it over, and wrap the edges around the bottom.  Tape the edges to the underside of the plastic. You’re almost done!
  • Cut a piece of string 20 inches long.  Poke holes in the top and bottom of the kite one inch from each end.  Tie one end of the string to the top hole, and the other end of the string to the bottom hole.  This is your bridle.
  • Tie the rest of your kite string to the bridle string at about the same point where the dowels intersect.
  • Attach the ribbon by taping it, gluing it, or stapling it to the bottom end of your kite.  This is your tail and is important for your kite to fly properly.

Now get out and fly your kite!  It’s fun and easy. On the next windy day, just start running with the kite dragging behind you a couple of feet. As your kite lifts into the air, let out more string. Be careful of power lines and trees. You do NOT want to fly your kite anywhere near power lines, including the lines running to your house.

How to make a kite - the finished product can be decorated however you like.
Decorate your kite, then get outside and fly it!

The 9-piece Grip On Kids Tool Set – A Kids Tool Sets Product Review

Kids Tool Sets - Grip On 9-piece Tool Kit
The 9-piece Kids Tool Kit is NOT one of your average kids tool sets.

As parents, we live out a constant balancing act.  On one hand, we want to please our children with the flashy, “works today, but broken tomorrow” toys that they ask for. On the other hand, we’d prefer to buy them things that are educational, worth-while, and will last them a lifetime.  JM Cremps is committed to leveling the playing field so that both sides of this struggle come out on top.   One of the products that will please both kids and parents, is the Kids Tool Kit from Grip On.

The only difference between dad’s tools and the tools in the Grip On Kids Tool Kit is size.  The Grip On tools are made specifically to fit smaller hands.  This custom design means that little hands can expertly wield these tools.  When a child is using tools that fit their hands, they can confidently and comfortably complete tasks that would be too difficult with bigger and heavier tools.  Imagine if you tried to pound a finishing nail with a huge mallet?  It wouldn’t be very easy!  That’s what it is like for a kid when they grab dad’s hammer.  It just doesn’t work.

The 9-piece tool kit has the basic tools necessary for most simple projects and fix-it chores.  However, there is one major difference between these tools and the average kids tools – quality.  Most kid’s tools are designed to be playthings.  These tools are the real deal and will do the job that dad’s tools will do.  They are built to last with quality components, not cheap plastic and thin metal.

These tools are a perfect gift for your little carpenter.  One grandma wrote, “I purchased these as a gift for my granddaughter, and discovered that these are good, high-quality tools – much better than you can buy at a discount store. In fact, the adjustable wrench that came in this set works better than my “name brand” wrenches! If your child or grandchild likes to help out, and you’re thinking about a set, you won’t go wrong with these. You may even want them for yourself!”

As with any real tool or kids tool set, safety must considered.  What we’ve found is that because these tools are real, many parents have removed the scissors before giving the set to their child.  The scissors included in this set are sharp, and may not be appropriate for younger children.  There are eight tools in the set, and they come is a soft-sided tool bag that is just as durable and well-made as the tools themselves.

The Grip On 9-piece Kids Tool Kit includes:

  • Phillip’s screw driver
  • Needle-nose pliers
  • 12ft Tape measure
  • 7 oz. Claw hammer
  • 6″ adjustable wrench
  • Slip-joint pliers
  • Scissors
  • Soft-sided tool bag with easy-carry handles

This tool set is the perfect set for our Tool Box Project.  If you are looking for an easy and fun woodworking project, download the instructions and get started.  It’s the perfect father and son activity.

How to Build a Tool Box
A simple woodworking project to build great memories for father and son.