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Fatherhood In a Box

by Ronald A. Rowe | June 11th, 2014 | Elementary, Product reviews

ron n lexToday’s dads are working harder than ever to be good fathers to our children.  According to Pew Research, 63% of fathers say being a good dad is harder now than it was a generation ago.  We all want to do the right thing but trying to strike the balance between our children and our other responsibilities is a challenge.  46% of dads say they aren’t spending enough time with their kids despite the fact that fathers have nearly tripled the time we spend with our kids since 1965.

And when we do finally manage to carve out a little time to spend with our children, many fathers struggle with figuring out what to do with the little bundle of joy.  Many of today’s dads did not have an actively engaged paternal figure to pattern after.  We really want to spend time with the kids but could use a little guidance on what to do with that time.

Enter Cooper & Kid.  Cooper & Kid is a company with a mission to help dads engage with our children in the five- to nine-year-old range.  They offer a subscription service by which fathers will receive one box each quarter.  Each box is brimming over with themed activities specifically designed for father and child bonding time.  The kits are gender-neutral, equally applicable for son or daughter.

Our bug-themed package arrived last week.  Opening the box was a little bit like Christmas and a little bit like watching the circus clown car.  My eight-year-old son, Lex, pulled item after item from the box with shouts of delight punctuating his favorite discoveries.  There is a bug catching net, some toy bugs, larvae worm snacks, a magnifying glass, a kaleidoscope, a western/insect themed activity book called The Good, The Bad, and the Bugly, bug masks, a story book about a bug detective, a fly swatter, and a Bug Barn Kit.  We learned about bugs, honed our carpentry skills, and had an all-around good time together.

Neither of us was quite up to trying the barbecued worms* but we poured through the rest of the items over the course of the week.  From story time to play time to an all-new build a Bug Barn together time, the box became the center of our father-son time for the duration of the week.  The kit was a success because we spent more time doing activities together than we normally do (and we normally spend considerable quality time with one another anyway).

Cooper & Kid’s service is not cheap, but like so much in life, you get what you pay for.  With only four deliveries a year you can spread that cost out over time and walk away with a relative bargain for some directed father-child activities.  There are several options available for purchase on the company’s website,

*My older and braver son Max tried the worms and, predictably, said they taste like chicken.  I am taking his word for it.

(The reviewer received a free sample of this product, but this is his unbiased opinion.)

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