Father’s Day For $5: Kids Want to “Use Their Own Money”

nothing arizonaJune 19, 2016 Update For kids who don’t have much coinage and dads who aren’t big on consumption, homemade ‘aww’ gifts always appeal, but for those tweens and teens frustrated by their dad’s shoulder shrug about the whole fandango, here’s a FREE last minute download certificate to show you care without spending a cent.

Yep. That’s right. For kids asking, “Dad,What d’ya want for Father’s Day?” “Nothin.” Well…consider it “done.” A little parcel of Nothing, Arizona to land a tidbit of love and laughter into the commercialized holiday and branding bonanza…

Kinda kitsch, kinda clever, wish I had it back in the day…“Give Dad Nothing.com” Enjoy! 

piggybank redGifts Under $5 That Kids Can Buy Themselves

Original Post circa ’09/’10: As I cruise through all of the meaningful media posts and gifts of time and tech training with “Think Geekery” cues about “what guys want” I can’t help but think the  consumption cues heralding “Father’s Day gifts on the cheap as under $200!” (or even under $50) are head-spinners for folks like me…

$200? Say whaaaa? Young kids who genuinely want to do something nice for Dad beyond the homemade, sentimental favorites, find that even parting with a Jackson is like solid gold, so what if we take the benchmark down to “Gifts for Dad under $5” that kids can buy themselves?

Yes, I realize that won’t even buy a movie ticket anymore, and one on one experiential gifts, like go-see-do days, hugs, handmades, attaboys and back-patting from appreciative spouses AND kids are irreplaceable, so this is more of a ‘if kids want to buy for the guy’ type of gesture that won’t break junior’s piggybank or seed consumption in the double-triple digits…

eco golf ballsBefore I get to my $5 finds, a reminder that there are other ways to make pennies go farther too: (I love the dissolvable Eco Golf balls for those lake shots, $10!)

There are plenty of other do-good gifts for dad plus  eco-reminders and freebie finds as I mentioned in my post yesterday. (I love the dissolvable Eco Golf balls for those lake shots, $10!)

But as promised, today I’ll be focusing ‘under $5 Poppa Picks’ as five dollars actually WILL buy some very cool media favorites for self-expression, from iTunes music sharing and podcast picks to apps and playlists that go a long way in entertainment value…

Here’s Common Sense Media’s “Best Movie Dads” and also “Best Dad & Daughter” movies, a category called “Goofball Guy Movies” and lists ranging from Trekkie faves to sports, robots, and action/thriller flicks.

green ribbonAlso, for those dads desperately trying to keep abreast of what’s going on in the world in real time, here’s a timely “lifehack” for communications currency:

Twitter translation tips to automatically convert Persian to English (v/v) and a way to modify the script to default to a different source language.

The blog gives the how-tos and adds, “this script works with any of the Google-supported target languages, which include Arabic, Korean and Estonian.”

Handy for all dads concerned about the family of mankind. And aren’t we all?

On the ‘toy’ front, nothing quite like a retro flashback to balsa wood airplanes and building kits…(The twin boys on the block have got an amazing hangar of elaborate creations!)

In my house, there’s a tradition of a ‘solar kit’ buildable of some sort each year, for dad-n-daughter time…(ever made s’mores on a solar panel? Good times!)

So for those who have asked me, “what are you gifting?” Here’s our cute lil’ guy, below…

mousebotHerbie the Mousebot (based on Randy Sargent’s popular robot and featured in the books “Junkbots, Bugbots and Bots on Wheels”) is clearly not $5 (more like $40) so doesn’t belong in this media-iPhone app post, but I had to share, as Solarbotics makes amazing kits with a portion of the sales going to technology education.

This year at the Maker Faire, I splurged on him when I saw this ‘Solarbotics robotic rat’ was PERFECT for our inside joke about our ‘mouse in the house’ amnesty program (my daughter ‘adopted’ the baby mice caught in the humane trap and started her own ‘rat relocation program’ to the woods at Coyote Point!)

Here are some other cool Maker Faire ideas …Anyway, I digress…back to the $5 finds…

First the round-ups of link lists from other resources:

About.com: Top Ten iPhone apps every dad should have

MommyPoppins: Top Ten iPhone apps

CoEd Magazines: 14 Awesome Father’s Day iPhone Apps

Apptism: Tracking 53,122 apps as of Father’s Day Today!

Time Magazine: Sorting the Jewels from the Junk: iPhone Apps

$5  and Under iPhone Apps:

Shaping Youth’s Poppa Picks for Every Personality

1.) For the crunchy dad: iPhorest ($4.99) or Zen Bound ($4.99) I’ve written about these two “pricier” apps before…Ironically, people that have gotten used to everything being “FREE” balk at ANY pricepoint, but when you put it in the context of a movie ticket and jailbreak the ‘digital is free’ myopic mindset (these things take brains & bucks, people, just like the ad-free kids’ subscriptions, premium virtual worlds etc.!) then you can see the phenomenal value of these “under $5” finds!

ZenBoundZen Bound is a puzzle game (3D meditative, imaginative, serene music complete with ‘Tree of Reflection and Tree of Challenge) which basically still comes down to wrapping string around a block.

Kinda strange concept, I realize. But hey, there’s a FREE version to try out, which I did, and it actually is a bit of mesmerizing physics and ‘HowStuffWorks’ all rolled into one $5 find. (arstechnica review here)

iPhorest is my “splurge” for a gift that keeps on giving because it’s got a USEFUL application too. Created in a collaboration between iPhactory, Ecolife and The Conservation Fund, you “plant a tree on your iPhone” and plant a tree in the real world as you water and care for it (complete with rainshowers, forest canopy of birds tweeting and shake/dig interactivity)…Worth seeding green philanthropy if you’re going to pass the iPhone to the kids for screentime. Which brings me to…

2.) For the stay at home dad: (most $.99 ea) Here’s a resource round-up of ‘child-friendly’ apps via: Dadomatic’s list and also DooDaddy’s list and DIY Father, and Examiner.com’s Dori Reuscher but to name a few…

Now…Full disclaimer time: I have concerns about cellphones/wi-fi/screen time for pre-K kids due to the warnings and studies of risks involved and  lack of data on health impact (brain development, cancer, EMF issues etc.) but for boredom busters in short spurts (away from their heads!) these apps lists will take you beyond Bubbles and Bubblewrap: (though I still prefer the tactile versions of both!)

burger23.) For the junk food junkie dad: Fast Food Calorie Counter ($2.99) is an app I use for Shaping Youth’s counter-marketing projects with kids on the fly. It’s fun to play guessing games of “which is healthier” (all relative, I realize) with analysis of over 6600 menu items at 60 popular eateries.

It’s a handy mobile app to double-check what SOUNDS healthy (as CSPI, Center for Science in the Public Interest would remind, it’s far from being intuitive, especially in the salad category!) (I also use a ‘what’s in it’ (additive) app for more extensive nutrient info on the fly too…handy for shopping)

4.) For the single dad: Fake Calls ($.99) seems to be the gent’s version of the Rescue Me, He’s Wearing a Moosehatbook.

Admittedly ‘little white lies’ can get messy, but I’ve seen ‘deception’ put to some interesting uses to save face, preserve professional appearances (and egos) or get out of a meeting in time to see little Johnny hit a homer at his little league playoff…

Yes, I know it’s ‘deception’ but I’m not the morality police, and I dare say teens could make some solid ‘exit plans’ to get out of sticky situations with this app too! (see video demo below)

colorsplash5.) For the artsy dad: ColorSplash ($1.99) by Henrik Kueck (video demo here) is a cool way to manipulate photos into art, turning ordinary pics into B&W classics with a punch of color, with eye-catching dramatic flair. Here’s an example of how a dad has used it for family photos.

(Note: For “real” photographers on “real” cameras, families will appreciate the $20 value of fixing flash/lighting probs via Prof. Ken Kobre’s LightScoop, which I wrote about here, and the NYT’s David Pogue raved about here)

6. For the business dude dad: Art of War, by Sun Tzu ($.99) I’m not advocating a Great Santini style dad by any means, I just think this is an innovative app for a buck that takes a book far beyond military strategies and 6th century BC warfare tactics into audio style and a reading/listening must.

gasbuddy7.) For the road warrior dad: Gas Buddy ($2.99) has great little visual icons to not only tell you the nearest gas, but what brand, type, grade, price and fuel finding efficiency you’ll need for USA/Canada trekking. (I’m downloading it now to see if it has DIESEL spots too, and biodiesel and eco- alternative french-fry fuel, etc. If not, why not?)

8.) For the “lifehacker” dad: Big Keyboard Email ($.99) is supposedly a solution for “fat fingering fellows” and I’m going to give it a go myself, because I have bony thin ‘piano hands’ that try to touchscreen-type too fast and need wider keyboard solutions, so I can’t begin to imagine how guys don’t make umpteen mistakes!

I also hate how my ‘smart phone’ tries to ‘think for me’ and anticipate my flub ups (yah, I know, turn off that setting, yadayada) so can’t imagine how guys get along without “building a better mousetrap” so to speak. For a buck, I’ll get back to ya on this one…Meanwhile, freebie lifehacks like the Free Level to line up and hang pictures is fabulous…

9.) For the covert ops dad: Picture Safe ($1.99) and its popularity gave me pause wondering why guys needed such a lockdown photo vault unless they were stashing stuff the family shouldn’t see to begin with…(ahem) Then again, it’s good privacy practice to ensure a misplaced phone doesn’t give access to ANYone who could post your child’s face or family photos into a PhotoShop version of some skanky site…

It goes well with “Keeper” the password and credit card vault I wrote about yesterday and other identity theft first strike protections you can take to prevent becoming a cybercrime statistic like the latest Consumer Reports state of the net notes just out in the digital sphere.

clef10.) For the music man: (from free-under $5) Big toss ups here, so I’ll group them: iLounge offers a solid list of  “best music creation apps” including Guitarist, Beatmaker, Band and such…

NPR lists their ‘Top 5 iPhone Music apps” from Shazam (song recall) to the Guitar Toolkit (where was this when I was a teen?!)

So many fun ones to choose from SurfaceDJ to synthesizers and piano freebies…pick your passion!

FREEBIES: For the diehard romantic dad (or um, groveling guy?) : Love Poems (developed by Philip Huber) offers 40 favorites for free if you need to debrief on a plane to save your hide in case you forget your anniversary, Valentine’s Day and need a recitation-ready collection of classics. OR.. Love Poem Generator which makes even the most tight-lipped guy a wordsmith Romeo by jumpstarting your own creative flow…

HappyFathersDayHappy Father’s Day, guys!

In my world, Father’s Day usually involves me towing guys on the lagoon as skiboat Captain with assorted wakeboards and boy toys…

Soooooo, a salute to all of you dads, step-dads, newbie dads, grand-dads and wanna-be dads today…

I’m hoping you’ll fill in the blanks with YOUR favorite apps in the vast array of other categories… Gamer guys? Fitness freaks? Chef dads? This is just a ‘starter’ pack for the under $5 finds…A buck is a buck, so let me know what’s “tried and true, and how you spent YOUR Father’s Day with YOUR family.

Meanwhile, Happy Father’s Day, everyone! (I’ll let you know if Herbie the Mousebot is a hit, though I think the waterskiing tows are the hands-down year-round favorite!)

p.s. Remember this post?Apple iPhone Hype Seeds Kids’ Consumerism Well, now the same goes for the 3G S release…easy does it folks…it’s a cool tool, but remember, ‘the kids are watching.’ 😉

Deception, Deception? “iSoda” , “Amazing X-Ray” & Fake Calls:


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