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As the Nintendo Switch enters its second year, families have been eager to see what's coming next. While we know that there's a hefty slate of new games on the horizon, one unexpected addition to the lineup will arrive on April 20, 2018 with the debut of Nintendo Labo, a new line of interactive build-and-play experiences "designed to inspire kids and those who are kids-at-heart." Having visited Nintendo HQ myself (twice), I've seen the archives of where Nintendo has been as a company, and they're touting this as being something that's  "building on the 129-year history of Nintendo, which is rooted in innovative entertainment and game-play experiences." I can see that, because Nintendo has never been afraid to smash the boundaries when it comes to their systems and controllers. Get ready to watch a little video and take a look at this...

Craftsman CrewTHE ROCK FATHER has partnered with Sears as a paid member of the Craftsman Crew.

No matter how well the preparation has gone, the Holiday Season has not just "crept-up" on us, but has emerged swiftly and with unusual force this year. It's somewhat hard to get a grip on all the moving parts that go with a successful and stress-free season these days (14 variations on Thanksgiving, 79 versions of Xmas - you know how it is), but when it comes to gifting, I'm pretty good at picking what works, hence my annual Holiday Wish Guide. For me, this is a time for fixing up the place - but even more so, being ready for toys... specifically, always being ready to open the battery compartments on toys. Since just about everything takes batteries at this point (even things you wouldn't expect), I've encountered some tricky spots - spots where some good grip comes in handy. With the new Craftsman Extreme GRIP Lineup of tools, I'm well taken care of - and that's why I'm including them in my 2015 Holiday Wish Guide. There's an Extreme GRIP tool for just about any application, and they're on-sale right now! A great gift idea, and a great asset to any toolbox - the perfect ally in the battle against rounded, stripped or just hard-to-grip fasteners.  Check out some Rock Father picks below, then enter to win a Craftsman Extreme GRIP 6-Piece Diamond Tip Screwdriver Set!

Published in Gardening

When I was a kid, I built model kits regularly. There was a time when you could walk into any Toys "R" Us, Walmart, Target, etc. and be greeted my massive aisles that were towering with hundreds, if not thousands of model kits waiting to be assembled and customized. Modern technology has helped shrink (and in some cases, eliminate) those aisles, and that's a shame... but it's swinging back. With so much focus on "building" and "making" these days, it's important to consider model kits as part of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math). Kids love building things, and the folks at Revell get that - and they embrace the "I made that!" sense of accomplishment that kids can have. They're bringing that into a galaxy far, far away with their new STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS model kits, and the first four are SnapTite Build & Play kits for kids as young as six. No glue. No paint. No tools. Pure fun. Take a look...

Craftsman CrewTHE ROCK FATHER has partnered with Sears as a paid member of the Craftsman Crew. Are you #MadeToMake?

As a kid, the first tools that I ever came to know were Craftsman. Most of those were purchased from the classic Sears store in the long-gone Park Forest Plaza - a store that I have many memories of - a place that seemed larger-than-life. Of those tools, one thing that I eventually inherited was a set of screwdrivers from the late 70s/early 80s - the same ones I use here at Rock Father HQ today... the ones still sold by Craftsman all these years later, and still Made in the USA. They've been regularly-used tools for nearly four decades, and now I use them on my girls' toys. But age has instilled in me a growing urge to make things.

Published in Gardening

More than five years into my gig as a parent, every day is still an incredible thing as my wife and I watch our girls learn and grow, while embracing both their creative side and thirst for adventure. We do a lot of arts and crafts here at Rock Father HQ, all of which reflect our girls' diverse interests. We've gone full-blown Royal, making countless Princess Wands and Tiaras... have gone to Outer Space with planets and spacecraft... have worked with wax, paper, felt, glue and a ton of glitter over the years. Last week, during one of our school-canceling "cold days" (not a "snow day," but a -40° windchill) my oldest and I dug into something new - an activity kit from Seedling, a New Zealand-based company that's just started hitting the U.S. in a big way after merging with P.S. XO in a move that brought Seedling Founder/CEO Phoebe Hayman together with partners Kara Nortman and Soleil Moon Frye (who I watched regularly as Punky Brewster when that show was new). Their toys and kits tap into something that I've discussed many times over the years - letting kids be kids, and letting them play with what they want and follow their own interests. The kit that Addie and I worked on played right into her heroic side... a chance to design her own superhero cape. While I was there for a little fine-tuning with the scissors and glue, she really didn't need me, as the outcome was all her.