Tag Archives: Toys

DIY Kite Messenger Parachute Drop

A kite messenger is a clever little device that slides up a kite string, releases a light payload, then slides back down to the bottom of the string for more fun. I made one with some cheap materials and finally found some windy days to test it out. Some kite messenger designs use sails to pull up the kite, but I’m starting out with a simpler design that uses toy parachutes to catch the wind. It can be made in just a few minutes using drinking straws, wire, tape, and a toy parachute.

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Here’s how it works: The front loop of the wire hits a simple cardboard bumper attached high up on the line. As the wire stops, the rest of the unit continues forward, opening the middle section where the parachute is held. Once the parachute releases, the messenger slides right back down towards the spool of string, ready to be reloaded for more fun.IMG_1338
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IMG_9652It’s fun to see the kid’s excitement build as they watch the messenger climb up the string, eagerly awaiting the parachute’s release so they can chase it down.

Here is a tutorial on how to build your own kite messenger. I used replacement Tervis straws that I purchased at Bed, Bath, and Beyond, because they’re much sturdier than your average soda straw. To hold it all together I used packing tape as well as a bit of super glue for good measure. The climb to the top of the kite line seemed to take a little long, so my next modification will be to use a much lighter gauge wire to reduce the overall weight.

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Barbie Birthday Party Photobooth

Barbie Photobooth

My daughter’s birthday is just around the corner, and we’re making all the preparations for a Barbie-themed party. Party planning for girls of kindergarten age not being my specialty, my wife assigned me the task of building a Barbie toy box to be used as a photo booth. I love playing with cardboard, so this was a perfect task for me. In what was clearly a matter of fate, my neighbors had just bought a patio set and were discarding a huge cardboard box in their weekly trash pile. Upon closer look, it turned out to be three-ply cardboard. This is a cardboard aficionado’s dream come true! We’re talking cardboard that is quite possibly sturdier than the body of my compact car, and certainly far superior to the flimsy, run-of-the-mill cardboard that my son used to build this couch bridge.

Using two of my favorite tools, a jigsaw and a hot glue gun, I cut and refolded the box into a suitable shape and size. I finished it with some spray paint, taped some wrapping paper for the background, and cut out and glued some letters. Voila! An afternoon of work and now we’re open for business.

Final Dinovember Recap Photos

Well folks, Dinovember is officially over. We’ll miss those crazy guys. Here’s a recap of the days leading up to extinction.

Here comes December.

Here comes December.

Dino-rock

Dino-rock

Look- fresh meat!

Look- fresh meat!

Mustachosaur

Dinovember + Movember = Dinomovember!

Classic

Studying up on the Classics

EXTERMINATE yourself!

EXTERMINATE yourself!

Yep, that is definitely what it is for.

Yep, that is definitely what it is for.

One grande salted garlic latte. Whipped cream with that?

One grande salted garlic latte. Whipped cream with that?

Previously on Secret Dad Society:

Dinovember Update #1

It’s Dinovember!

Be sure to follow me on Facebook and Twitter for more Secret Dad Society content!

Dinovember Update #1

If you’re not already following Secret Dad Society on Facebook and Twitter (hint, hint), then you’ve been missing all of the dinosaur hijinks going on at our headquarters. There’s plenty more mischief to be had, so be sure to tune in for more dino fun!

Here’s a recap of the last few days:

We've got our eyes on you...

We’ve got our eyes on you…

Our hero!

Our hero!

It's not at all what it seams.

It’s not at all what it seams.

Just foilin' around.

Just foilin’ around.

Whistlin' Dixie

Whistlin’ Dixie

"OK, who's the best swimmer?"

“OK, who’s the best swimmer?”

It’s Dinovember!

"OK, who's the best swimmer?"

“OK, who’s the best swimmer?”

Well, the month is half over and I’m just hearing about Dinovember, a month-long assault by toy dinosaurs that come alive each night to wreak havoc in homes around the world. It troubles me that I am just now hearing about this, when my love affair with dinos began over thirty years ago.

Is Dinovember news to you, too? Well, there’s no need to get your conifers in a twist, because plenty of time remains to get in on the action. Report sightings of dino-destruction near you by using the hashtag #dinovember. Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook and Twitter to catch the Jurassic chaos here at Secret Dad Society – ROOOAAAARRRR!

Robot Part Roundup #3

Robot

Today we have an old toy toaster and a broken kiddie cup. The toaster is solid upper body material, while the cup lid looks like it may make a good helmet. The kitty is already wary of this whole situation, which, on a side note, reminds me of a fun game that we play on the iPad called Robot Wants Kitty.

Robot Roundup 3

Previously:

Robot Part Roundup #2

Robot Part Roundup #1

Robot Part Roundup #2

Robot

While my wife and I were getting rid of some old and broken toys, I managed to squirrel away a few things for my toy robot that I hope to someday make. Today’s additions include:

  • A broken spin-toy. I like the plastic bubble casing, and look, a motor!
  • A broken face from a kid’s meal toy. I’m eyeing those eyes!
  • Another spin toy, sans motor. Good robot head potential.

Robot parts

I should probably be on the lookout for some core body parts. Suggestions welcome!

Robot Part Roundup #1