San Francisco, CA – April 21, 2010 – What do an indestructible booster seat, a board game about bankruptcy, a coloring book that teaches critical thinking, and a wisecracking 9-month old have in common? They’re all among the most recent winners of the joint GreatDad.com Recommends/Mr. Dad Seal of Approval awards. Both the Mr. Dad Seal of Approval and GreatDad Recommends programs were created to recognize products and services that encourage dads to spend more quality time with their children."We want to provide a dad-approved list of toys, games, and activities that, among other criteria, are educational, fun, and promote more interaction between dads and kids," said Paul Banas, Founder and CEO of GreatDad.com. "What we’re really doing,” adds Armin Brott, founder of Mr. Dad, “is giving men the resources and tools they need to be the fathers they want to be."
The two awards programs are already trusted by some of the toy world’s biggest brands—including Lego, Haba USA, and the Magic Schoolbus Series—as well as a host of smaller companies. “Although we've won many awards, I am most excited about the MrDad Seal of Approval,” said Craig Olson, creator of the Baffle Gab board game. “Your Seal of Approval assists dads around the country to identify games that bring families together for quality time while having fun and learning. A great combination!” Until today, winners were announced only twice a year—before Father’s Day and before the Winter holidays. However, due to popular demand, Mr. Dad and GreatDad will be accepting applications on an ongoing basis and will announce winners at least four times per year. “Dads are looking for ‘kid-friendly’ labels or seals of approval on products and services,” says Dr. William Bennett, a pediatrician and member of the review panel that evaluates the products and services submitted for the MrDad Seal of Approval and GreatDad Recommends programs. “People should care if a product or service bears these seals because this means real dads have looked at the product, seen it in action, and tested it.” The most recent winners have been divided into a number of categories:
Pregnancy and Infancy
Toddlers and Preschoolers
- New dads often ask themselves, Why is my baby so upset, and why can’t I get him to stop crying? Why is it so hard to understand what she wants? Well, now you can get the answer to those and a lot of other questions by logging on to justaskbaby.com, a video resource that will give you a science-based tour of your baby’s world—from his perspective—guided by Joey, a wisecracking 9-month old who may remind you of the E-trade baby. www.Justaskbaby.com
- The Organic Classic Sorter and Stacker have soft plush fabrics with multiple textures and sounds to engage baby and develop fine motor and sensory skills. The Sorter and Stacker encourage dad and baby play as baby learns to sort and stack with dad's help. Organic fabrics mean that the Stacker and Sorter are better for our environment too, something that every dad would be proud to give to their baby. www.dandelionforbaby.com/
- Most dads believe that computers can help their kids learn, but who has the time to scour the web for fun, educational, safe content? Enter the Zoodles Kids’ Browser , which does all the work for you so you can concentrate on having fun with your child instead of worrying whether something inappropriate (or downright frightening) will pop up on the screen. And if you happen to step away for a minute or two (hey, we all do), you won’t have to worry about your child reformatting your hard drive. www.Zoodles.com
- Thinker Doodles may look like coloring books, but they’re way, way more. Cleverly integrated with the colorful, engaging, fun activities are terrific lessons in critical and organizational thinking, mathematical reasoning, reading, writing, and more. A wonderful way for dad to connect with his 4-6-year old. www.Criticalthinking.com
- Tired of the same old kids’ songs sung in the same old ways? Yaaaawn. The gigglebellies DVD will get dad, kids, and anyone else within ear- and eyeshot, up and dancing. A fun, fresh, entertaining approach that breathes new life into the old standards. www.TheGiggleBellies.com
- This Snazzy Baby’s My Baby’s Own Deluxe Travel Chair is the type of gear dads love. This fold-out "chair" straps to any restaurant (or home) chair to make a temporary high chair restraint system. Other systems exist to do this, but what we like best is the way this simple piece of fabric folds up into itself in a nice pouch, which makes it easy to throw into a diaper bag for travel. The Chair is good for babies who can sit unsupported, up to 37 lbs (17Kg), or from around five months to three years. It also works in shopping carts.www.snazzybaby.us
Tweens and Teens
- While other boosters are functional and some even sleek, the Clek Oobr is ahead of its time. It’s hot. It’s fashionable. It inspires awe. And, it’s a pretty good booster as well.—one that’s sure to be your child’s favorite. It’s pitched as being for kids 4 to 12, but that will depend on the size of the child and, realistically, their willingness to stay in booster seat. Designed by auto seat designers, to be super sturdy and protective, there is no plastic-y feel about it. Unfortunately, that makes it very heavy compared to simpler seats. We’re grateful it almost never leaves the back seat. www.magnaclek.com
- StoryBoy is an innovative e-book reader and library portal application for iPhones and iPod touch devices that provides animated and interactive storybooks for children up to age seven. Supported by an online library of original and public domain content, StoryBoy combines animation technology with the power of wireless networks to directly deliver educational, entertaining, kid-safe, and parent-approved e-books to parents and children everywhere. www.storyboy.net
- Elia Miniature Cardboard Chair Kit is a great first-building-project for dads and young children. With no tools required, even the least-handy dads can get involved. Kids will love the wonderful feeling of building an actual, useable item (instead of those macaroni art projects they brought home from preschool). When assembled, the Chair supports up to 200 pounds, and it comes with cool stickers so the kids can personalize it. http://www.vat19.com
Family Wii game
- Any game that can keep teens and dads in the same room and having fun together has got to be good. And this one is. You're the Chief Financial Officer of a floundering bank. And you need to get bailed out in a hurry. You'll have to undermine the competition, endure the uncertainty of the markets, avoid hostile takeovers, and more. Very topical, with some good educational content (for you and your teens) too. Ages 14 and up. www.bailoutthegame.com
- Outdoor Parents, Outdoor Kids is a manifesto for parents (and especially dads) who refuse to let their children become an obesity statistic and who understand that the fate of the environment resets with connecting our kids with the outodoors. Author Eugene Buchanan’s enthusiasm and passion for sports and the great outdoors is infectious (in the best way possible). And even if you’re not an athlete, or you cringe the thought of pitching a tent and having to wipe your butt with dry leaves, you can’t help but get inspired.
- Family Wii games aren't a slam-dunk. While the Wii is perfect for family play, too many titles are ported from Playstation or XBox and are really made for single players. While Alvin, The Squeakquel can be played solo, it's far more fun as a party game or played by dad and two kids. This is a classic rhythm game, minus the expensive Rock Band paraphernalia. Players just use their WiiMotes to match the required rhythm for Alvin and Chipmunks covers of hit songs like "Girls Just Want to Have Fun" and "Funky Town”—which dad probably knows—and some more recent ones that he might now. If you want to try out a music and rhythm Wii title that will work for little kids, it isn't too complicated, and doesn’t require a $300 investment in a Rock Band set, this is an amusing title to start with.
The GreatDad Recommends and Mr. Dad Seal of Approval programs offer entrepreneurs, small businesses, large manufacturers, merchants, services, and others a proven way to reach millions of men who are passionate about fatherhood. For more information, visit greatdad.com/Greatdad_banner/leadingpage.php
- A father never stops being a father, even after the kids have grown up and moved out of the house. The KODAK L200 2 megapixel auto focus Webcam helps keep families in touch but letting dads connect with the kids while they’re on the road (or on military deployment), and grandfathers keep up to date with grandchildren who no longer living close by. Compatible with Macs and PCs, the KODAK L200 webcam provides an easy and user-friendly video calling experience and is compatible with a variety of programs, such as YAHOO!, AOL, MSN Instant Messenger, or SKYPE. The Webcam also has an easy drag-and-drop feature, allowing the user to easily upload and share images and videos to social media sites, such as Facebook, Flickr, YouTube, and PHOTOBUCKET.