Tired of the typical craft projects? It’s time to think outside of the popsicle-stick house.

Handy Dad is a new series of DIY project kits that encourages little tinkerers and their parents to take a break from the glue stick and pick up a screwdriver and safety goggles to create full-blown toys that inspire imaginative play.

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The kits are created by Todd Davis, a dad, designer and host of the HGTV series “Room Crashers.” Handy Dad started in 2010 as a book that described how to make fun, interactive family projects using household materials. Now the whole process is made super-easy, because the new kits ship all the materials you need to your home, along with easy-to-follow directions and ideas for games and activities.

About Todd
On his HGTV show, Todd, who lives in the Bay Area, is known for giving families the inspiration and tools they need to change their homes in amazing ways. “Some people I’ve worked with have never picked up a paint roller before, and I try to make it easy for them,” he says. He realized the same could apply to family play time. Todd has two boys, ages three and five, and when he noticed their fascination with tools and building, a lightbulb went off in his head. They began making things together and had a blast.

Handy Dad kits are intended for families to enjoy together. Half of the fun is making them. The other half is putting them to thrilling use afterward.

bird-buffet

Bird Buffet
Nom, nom, nom. Your backyard birds will have a field day once you’ve put together this DIY birdhouse. The kit includes pre-cut and pre-drilled redwood boards, plus a real screwdriver, screws, safety glasses, sandpaper and a little bird food. Kids over the age of eight should be able to handle this project solo, while younger ones will want Mom or Dad’s spare hands to stablize things as they handle the tools.

epic-bubbles

Epic Bubble Kit
For a less intense project, make bubbles the size of basketballs. This kit includes soap and other ingredients needed to make your own bubble mix (secret recipe included), plus adapters to play with the size and shape of bubbles.

stunt-monster

Stunt Monster
Special delivery! This arrival looks like a pizza box. Open it to find everything you need to make your own monster plushie. These beasts are ecofriendly because you fill them with recycled materials (all are included — even a little monster “heart”). Choose from Mongolian Fur, blue fleece or organic bamboo for the body. Your kiddo will be happy to curl up with his new buddy or toss it around to do “stunts.” The fun is imaging cool ways to get the monsters soaring — preferably outdoors and not at your living room ceiling fan.

Handy Dad kits are available online for $28-$56 at handydad.com.

What do you think of these kits? Which one would you try? Let us know in the Comments section below.

— Kelly Aiglon

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Photos: Courtesy of Handy Dad