Dadcando: Build, Make, Do ... the Best Way to Spend Quality Time with Your Kids by Chris Barnardo

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Dadcando: Build, Make, Do ... the Best Way to Spend Quality Time with Your Kids by Chris Barnardo

Category: Crafts
Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Ruth Ng
Reviewed by Ruth Ng
Summary: Loaded with fun ideas of things to make with your kids and although it's aimed at single fathers I'm pretty sure mumscando too!
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 256 Date: June 2010
Publisher: Guardian Books
ISBN: 978-0852652015

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The ideas in this book originated as a website that Chris Barnardo set up for divorced and separated fathers to help them spend quality time with their children Now he's written a book that although aimed at single fathers is equally as useful for married dads, and mums too or grandparents or carers to inspire crafty ideas of things to make with kids.

The activities are aimed at children who are older than six, and the majority are for those who are a couple of years older than that at least. I wasn't entirely sure how the ages had been decided upon as I think younger children could easily join in with some of the activities, though they would need the adult to do the trickier parts or anything with hot glue or sharp knives. All the projects in the book look very professional of course, no paint drips or streaks, no fix-ups with sticky tape, so perhaps that's why there are age suggestions for the projects - to give you a fair chance to make something resembling the picture!

The instructions are very clearly laid out, with helpful diagrams and step by step pictures of what to do. There is also a website with printable downloads for some of the projects. Although some suggested equipment is needed, such as double sided sticky tape, paints and various sorts of glue, most of the items are created from bits of rubbish you would otherwise throw away. The projects vary in complexity. There are some very easy ideas involving pom poms or paper folding, but others require a bit more skill with a craft knife or a fair amount of artistic flair. You can make a wide variety of items from Krispie cakes and sugar mice, wizarding wands and floating submarines, through to mini USB Tiffany lamps and samurai swords!

Each section of the book also has some guidance, about 'being there' for your kids. For example how dads can help to create a reliable, helpful routine in their home, what they need so as to be prepared for emergencies, the tricky managing of shared birthdays or Christmas, and how parents with limited contact time with their kids can really make the most of that time. He writes knowledgeably and sensitively about these issues and has some good ideas. I think for any father who is struggling with the idea of alternate weekends with his children, and what on earth to do with them once they are in his home, this book would be very helpful in making things seem completely normal and providing a creative outlet for dads and children to work together, talking and having fun and ending up with a finished product they can be proud of. The focus is, obviously, on the father but I think mums could happily borrow this from the library too to get a few craft ideas to share with their children.

I left this book on the dining table when it arrived and it was quickly snapped up by my husband who has since declared that he really, really needs some spray glue, and a glue gun. I'm not sure what project he has in mind, but I'm starting to save up my empty plastic bottles and cardboard boxes in the hope that whatever he decides to make with our daughter, it will mean a nice long lie-in for me!

I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy to The Bookbag.

For more crafty fun try Making Felted Friends by Sue Pearl.

Buy Dadcando: Build, Make, Do ... the Best Way to Spend Quality Time with Your Kids by Chris Barnardo at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Dadcando: Build, Make, Do ... the Best Way to Spend Quality Time with Your Kids by Chris Barnardo at Amazon.co.uk.


Buy Dadcando: Build, Make, Do ... the Best Way to Spend Quality Time with Your Kids by Chris Barnardo at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Dadcando: Build, Make, Do ... the Best Way to Spend Quality Time with Your Kids by Chris Barnardo at Amazon.com.


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