Review: 100 ideas for dads who love their kids but find them exhausting

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When Willem van Eekelen was diagnosed with stress-related heartburn that required him to relax, he duly obliged. Or at least tried to. The problem was that he only seemed to suffer the symptoms while he was at home.

One day, while trying to spin two proverbial plates, he challenged his children to come up with games that required him to lie down on the sofa. It worked a treat and the result of it is this new book. When he got in touch to see if I’d be interested in reviewing it, I was in a similar situation – stressed about not having a job, but wanting to keep Dylan and Xander happy while I was trying to find a new one. I had to say yes!

Every parent knows how exhausting young children can be and, with the best will in the world, you can’t keep up with them all day long so the premise is simple but effective. It’s basically a list of fun activities that allow parents to engage with their children and nurture their sense of fun with minimum physical effort. The other big plus is that none of the games cost any money or require much in the way of preparation.

On the face of things, it may look like a lazy approach to parenting but it’s anything but. A great deal of thought has clearly gone into each activity and it’s written with a great fondness for the parent-child relationship.

There are ideas for keeping children entertained at home as well as out and about and they all inspire creative thinking, which can’t be a bad thing at all. Of particular interest to me was the section about keeping them occupied while travelling. We’re off to France next month and keeping Dylan and Xander from causing mayhem on the flight is something that I’ve been fretting about.

It’s all infinitely preferable to sticking them in front of the telly all day and I can vouch for the fun that we’ve had with the activities we’ve tried. They particularly enjoy the ones that involve trying to knock me from my seat and chasing balloons around, but I guess we ought not to play those on the plane. We’ll see.

100 ideas for dads who love their kids but find them exhausting is available at an RRP of £4.99. I recommend it for any parents with energetic little souls to look after!

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