Lifestyle & Travel

Published on June 1st, 2014 | by Kelly Rose Bradford


Forget a father’s day gift idea – this is the BEST book for mums

As everything from male hair dye to garden spades is being branded up as the ‘ideal father’s day gift’ on the high street right now, I was quite surprised to find myself in receipt of a present idea that actually was, on first glance, aimed just at dads. Although it turned out that actually, it wasn’t at all.

As much as I would like to believe I can be both a mum and a dad to my son whenever I need to be, the reality is that I can’t. He often asks me to do things that I don’t have a clue about, or, if I’m honest, which I assume I’ll have no interest in and frankly, can’t be arsed to spend ages researching/learning/failing at (I’m looking at you, Arduino projects…).

But this could change thanks to Ultimate Dad Stuff by Steve Caplin and Simon Rose.   It promises to ‘put the fun back into being a dad’ (which is sure to ruffle some feathers as a premise) with a whole host of activities, games, facts and figures, and answers to (tongue in cheek)  ‘difficult’ questions. Obviously the ideas are great rainy day/car journey/I’m bored suggestions for everyone, but in my case, whether I like it or not, there are things I know my son’s dad just kind of instinctively does with him which I just don’t, for the reasons mentioned above (time, interest, arse). Things like model making or constructing bottle rockets . Wiring things up.  Ditto knowing stuff like ‘what’s the chance of dying while hang-gliding’ or ‘how do you read minds?’ (Although, actually, I’m not certain his dad knows that either).

Much to my son’s delight, I’ve now been  inspired to make a rocket powered by Alka Seltzers and build a rope swing from a tree (although will need to source a tree first). This is probably because it’s a fun(ny) read and makes everything seem easy and non-time consumey, but the very fact it has made me want to do the kind of stuff that usually gets filed under Things For You to do With Your Dad is surely an indicator of a good book?

So despite it’s naff title,  I’d say Ultimate Dad stuff is must have for all parents’ bookshelves (although I will concede it would also make a great father’s day gift on June 15). And I don’t often say that, as generally I hate preachy, ‘this is how to do it’ parenting ‘manuals’ and guides. 

(It even has a whole section devoted to dad jokes – What was Beethoven doing when they opened his coffin? Decomposing… – what more could any parent ask for?)


About the Author

Kelly Rose Bradford

is a London-based journalist and broadcaster, writing for the Daily Mail, the Daily Express, the Sunday Telegraph, and a host of women's magazines. Her robust opinions and feisty debating skills make her in demand as a social commentator, regularly guesting on ITV's This Morning programme, and across many radio stations, including 5 Live and BBC Radio London.

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