Summer is here and that means more hours spent in the backyard. While most dads take their jobs and responsibilities pretty seriously, make no mistake about it: We want to play, too! With Father’s Day right around the corner, here’s a list of things dads will enjoy that will take backyard playtime with the kids off the charts.
It’s happened to all of us. The kids are hungry, the table is being set, and you discover your grill is out of propane. Refuel by Quirky monitors the weight of your tank and allows you to remotely check how much propane is left in it via an app so you never unexpectedly run out again.
The second biggest BBQ bummer is trying to enjoy some quality family time in the backyard and getting eaten alive by mosquitoes. The Dynatrap DT2000XL Outdoor Insect Trap attracts and kills mosquitoes across an entire acre without using chemicals harmful to humans or creating any strange odors. While I still can’t fully understand how it works, I’m pretty sure it’s magic.
I’ve also heard that heat stroke can really put a damper on a family’s outdoor activities. So aside from keeping everyone hydrated, stay cool in the summer sun with the inexpensive FlexCobra Flexible Three-Nozzle Mistand Mister from Orbit.
Dad: Professional Backyard Athlete
The football, basketball, volleyball, and soccer ball have likely been left in the garage for too many cold months. Does anyone remember where you put the air pump last summer? Didn’t think so. Avoid a family “deflategate” scandal with this Nightball Football from Tangle Sportz. Not only does it never need to be inflated, but it lights up when you throw it, allowing that game of catch to go on well past your kids’ bedtime (a win-win for everyone).
Whether you just discovered Spikeball when Chris Ruder did a deal with Daymond John on the recent season finale of Shark Tank or if you remember its first incarnation back in the ’80s, there’s a reason why Esquire magazine said it “might be the next great American backyard sport.” Somewhere between handball, foursquare, volleyball, and the trampoline (or perhaps a combination of all four) Spikeball might just become your family’s new favorite activity.
But all that physical activity might make you pretty hot and sweaty. What better way to cool down than with a balloon fight? Bunch O Balloons are pre-tied water balloons from Zuru Toys, and they are sure to take backyard balloon battles to a whole new level, since you can fill 100 of them in less than a minute.
If you have a pool, you also probably have those ubiquitous pool noodles. And what do dad and the kids do with them? They hit each other, obviously. The Pirate Noodle Sword from Canoodle is an inexpensive way to turn those mindless beatdowns into creative play sessions.
Go Big or Go Home
If the size of our cars, houses or –ahem– #dadbod bellies, are any indication, America seems to subscribe to the “bigger is better” mentality. We believe that philosophy is best practiced when it comes to backyard fun. Sure, these giant inflatables may do a number on your grass, but remember: You can always replant grass seed, but memories last a lifetime.
For the family that wants for nothing, there’s the not-at-all-cheap-but-totally-amazing Human Bowling Ball set from Hammacher Schlemmer. But if you’re like us and don’t have an extra $5,500 lying around, Hammacher also offers an amazing Two-Minute Inflatable Water Slide (complete with two water cannons!) that will transform your backyard into a mini water park.
But perhaps the inflatable “toy” dad will appreciate the most this summer is this massive 14.5-foot Inflatable Movie Screen from Gemmy. The drive-in theater may have gone the way of the VHS tape, but its spirit lives on in your backyard.
No matter what you plan to get dad this Father’s Day, just remember that having fun with the family is the only gift we really need. Getting to do it in the comfort of our own backyard is just gravy.