Last-minute Father’s Day gift: Geek Dad

Geek Dad We try to keep Father's Day low-key around here (relaxation, BBQ, other manly forms of non-activity), but we also know that Daddy likes to open a little present as much as the next kid. If you're still scrambling for a gift, here's the perfect solution: Geek Dad: Awesomely Geeky Projects and Activities for Dads and Kids to Share.

This book, inspired by the Wired blog of the same name (and, to which, some time ago, I was lucky enough to contribute), is full of the same sort of playful enthusiasm editor Ken Denmead and the rest of the GeekDads bring to their online writing.

Finally, inspiration for the indoorsy Dad who wants to bond with the kids over something other than touch football, but more than videogames! This book beautifully fuses geekiness with DIY, and there are creative projects that go way beyond the expected Legos and Coke + Mentos display. Create-you-own board game, windup toy finger painting, cyborg Jack-o-lanterns…the fun goes on and on.

Even better, there are outdoor projects that encourage the intellectuals out into the fresh air. How about setting up an outdoor movie theater? Or staging an outdoor version of your kid's favorite videogame? Think: A Mario-style obstacle course in your front yard.

There's so much fun, learning, and woot! energy in this book, I would venture to say it's a Father's Day must-have.

Win it! If I were smart I would have posted this review two weeks ago so you could have given your potential winnings as a gift! Alas, it's not to be. But I've still got three copies to give away…perfect for Geek Dads who want to share their bounty with friends. I'll randomly choose three Parenthackers who answer the following question in the comments:

What's the best Father's Day gift you've ever given or received?

I'll choose the winners tomorrow morning, 6/20/10, around 9AM PST! Good luck!


  1. says

    I bought my geeky husband a brand spankin’ new copy of ProMotion Plus for father’s day this year. it’s a great little program for animator’s and pixel artists. I gave it to him so he could recreate old adventure games of yore (that’s his hobby) with a more authentic flavor. he’s currently working on the sequel to Loom. Haha.

  2. AmandaL says

    I got my dad a GPS computer for his road bike so he could track himself in all his nerdy glory. I also got him a spool of solder one year, for his soldering iron, back in the 80s when he was making his own computers.

  3. Ginger says

    This year the kids are giving my husband this book:

    MEMENTO it asks questions and then gives room for the dad to fill in his answers. I think I’ll get one for each of my parents for Christmas too. I love that it asks questions about his childhood and the kids will be able to know more about him when he was younger.

  4. NancyK says

    My husband is really into music- so for Father’s Day I give him one i-Tunes card that is all for himself, and one to use for picking out music for our son. He has fun picking out new music and we expand our son’s playlists at the same time. :)

  5. says

    Love it! We chose some projects from Handy Dad but this one looks more like our geeky dad’s style. One thing we gave him was the create your own lego photo, which we found on this site.

  6. Julie M. says

    My three year old came home from daycare with a card for my husband .. and one for me, too. When I asked him why I was getting a card, he said, “Because … I just love you and I wanted to celebrate.” Aww. Best (and only!) father’s day present I ever got. :)

  7. Amom says

    I started a notebook for his first father’s day. Every year I write a summary of the year with pictures written from the kid’s point of view. Just a one pager. Hopefully the kids will help more next year. That’s my favorite, but his favorite might be a voltage meter.

  8. says

    I gave hubby a motorized tie rack for his collection of fat vintage polyester ties. He loved it!

  9. says

    I’m taking Husband to see a play at the local theater for Father’s Day — it’s been one of his favorite movies forever and it was luck that I noticed the flyer while trying to figure out what to get him. Wondering what we’re going to see? Noises Off. If they do half as well locally as they did in the movie version it will be great fun.

    (My best presents have accidentally been reserved for Valentines Day where 10 years ago I’d gotten him the VCR tape of Predator and taped it to the wall along with two bags of foil-wrapped heart candy, scattered throughout the house, and the replay of that with a DVD a few years later.)

  10. says

    This book sounds awesome! We are a geek family extraordinaire so it won’t be just the menfolk plowing through the activities.

    I think the best father’s day presents I’ve ever given, based on the reactions of the recipients, were:

    – for my dad, it was the thank-you letter I wrote to him the year after my son was born. That’s when I truly understood how much he loved me, and I wanted to let him know that, and that I appreciated it. It was just your standard “Thanks for being the best Dad ever!” letter, but I think it meant much more when it wasn’t being dictated by a grade school teacher to students that can’t spell half the words in it, lol.

    – for my husband it was a kick in the head. No really. He felt our son’s first kick on Father’s Day. I’d been feeling him kicking for a couple of weeks by then, but every time I called my husband over to feel it as well the baby would stop by the time he got there. On Father’s Day he got up to go to work and as he was saying bye to the baby he got kicked square in the ear.

    Both of these made the fathers in question tear up and get all sappy. It was awesome.

    jibssa at gmail dot com

  11. says

    I think the best FD gift I’ve given is the one I’m going to give my husband this year. I spent the past 12 months taking photographs of him and the kids together and I had them all printed in a very sleek photo book to put on his desk. Oh, and I gave birth to his 3rd child a week ago…does that count? haha

  12. says

    The best gift I ever got was a photo collage of all my daughters doing geeky stuff (snorkel gear in the bathtub, etc). All the photos where in their hand prints cut out of water color they all collaborated on.

    It will always hold a special spot on the book case next to my computer desk.

  13. Mary A says

    After a run in with a snake in the house while I was pregnant I got my husband a pair of snake tongs for his first Father’s Day. Although I really hope no more get in the house. Thanks for the giveaway.

  14. Kelli says

    My husband always says our son was the best gift .. his arrival came moments before father’s day. Tough to top that with a present each year!

  15. says

    My youngest son was the best father’s day gift I ever gave. He decided to come before his due date, but a close to Father’s Day.

  16. says

    My dad is getting a Wii for Father’s Day this year (thanks to my brother who paid for it, and we are setting it up). He is going to be blown away. Unfortunately, I haven’t gotten anything for my poor husband yet :-( But this would probably redeem me so I hope I win one!

  17. Alexis says

    My dad loves books that make rather esoteric things like chemistry and economics more accessible. His favorite gift recently was “Napoleon’s Buttons” about the huge impact that chemicals have in history.

  18. says

    My favorite father’s day gift was the year my wife saved up some money from a side job she had been working for a number of months and completely surprised me on that morning with a list (with pictures) of things that I could get with that money- it didn’t matter so much what I ended up buying, but the thought and effort that went into it.

  19. Justin says

    My daughter was only 1 at the time, but last year she “painted” my husband a beautiful card. It “said” something like “Happy Father’s Day” and “I love you, Daddy”, but really it was just a few splotches of blue paint :) I think he loved it just fine, though :)

  20. Tara says

    My husband will celebrate his very first Father’s Day tomorrow and his gift is the “Mac Daddy” tee. He had no patience to wait until tomorrow to open it, so when he saw it a few days ago, he was elated. Given his obsession with everything Apple, this ode to the old school and shout out to his new stature as a father, was the perfect gift. Here’s a link to the tee:

  21. Kathleen says

    I’ve been eyeballing this book for a year or two down the road. My father would vote the best gifts have been some combo of poem/picture collage- he likes the crafty things (or at least says he does!) But I’m proudest of the Vikings sweatsuit – for my then 5 month old) that I got my husband (a Vikings fan displaced to Colorado) last year. He dressed kiddo in it for every Vikings game all season, and watched every game with him, narrating it as they watched. Instant bonding.

  22. jody says

    The best father’s day gift my husband ever received was our one and only child. I would like to think I played a role in giving him this gift.

  23. Jen says

    We need that book! One year I had to be out of the country on Father’s Day, so I made a meal and dessert I knew my dad would love and hid them in his freezer beforehand, then sent a card telling him. I’m not sure if that’s the best F.D. gift I’ve ever given, but it’s the best one that comes to mind.

  24. Shannon says

    That sounds like a book my husband would love. I think the best gift right now would for me to take the kids out in the morning and let him sleep in.

  25. Vivian says

    When I heard U2 was coming to town I bought tickets my hubby and a date. Thankfully he chose me :-) unfortunately the show is postponed so it will be a thing to keep looking forward to probably till next year.

  26. says

    My husband is pretty easy to give to. His favorite is just a new book and maybe a new shirt. That is what he is getting this year!

  27. TallyMichelle says

    A day to do whatever he wanted…no commitments, no chores, no guilt…a free day!
    Of course, it was spent playing Legos with the little guy, and sleeping in with an afternoon nap too!

  28. Altissima says

    My Dad was an airline pilot. He trained with the RAF, and flew fighter refulers. But he had mentioned a number of times that he had never been in a hot-air balloon. So a few years ago, my sister and I got him a hot-air balloon flight. I am scared of heights, but didn’t want to miss out so we all went together, He loved it!
    Dad passed away last year and we miss him so much.

  29. JenO says

    My husband’s first father’s day was spent on the road, coming home from a wedding for my side of the family, and he gave me a really hard time about it. But I think the gift our 2 month old daughter gave him made up for it. When he got her up that morning there was a nice double picture frame waiting in her bed for him. One side had her pic and the other had a sign that said “I ‘heart’ daddy.” The heart was made from her footprints. He still has it on his desk at work 2 years later.

  30. adriane says

    I flew to CA from Seattle to celebrate with my dad, grandpa, and my grandpa’s 80th birthday!

  31. adriane says

    I flew to CA from Seattle to celebrate with my dad, grandpa, and my grandpa’s 80th birthday!

  32. Anissa says

    A Wii Fit…no wait that’s what he gave me for Mother’s day…ummm…this book? ;)

  33. Fawn says

    Oh, this book looks likes so much fun! My partner would love it for when our little one is a bit older. So, we are only on our second Father’s Day, but this year I got him a book of photos of him and our daughter and also included all the goofy shots he took of her dressed funny and putting things are her head, etc. He’s love it. I also got him a handmade wooden cutting board from the farmer’s market–perfect for cutting up little snacks, which he is fond of–and we’ll both like it.

  34. beebalm says

    I think this year’s Father’s Day gift is the best so far. The kids chose their favorite pieces of art from the past year, I photographed them, and then created a museum-style art poster. It will look great in dad’s office!

  35. Rebecca Ho says

    Last year I gave my hubby some gear for his bike as well as a toddler bike seat and helmet so he and the kiddo could ride together joyfully. They used it a lot and both had tonnes of fun.

  36. Kerstin G says

    My husband travels almost three weeks out of the month. So the kids and I came up with “Daddy’s TLC Kit” for when he’s on the road- some geeky stuff and some not so geeky stuff. It’s a plastic envelope (less is more) filled with a hand print from the kids, a hand-made heart, a card with emergency items (change for a newspaper, band-aids, rubberband, etc.), gift cards for coffee and food and iTunes, a hand-made picture of the kids and Daddy doing something together, and annual interview questions that the kids fill out about their thoughts of Daddy. In addition to the portable, durable envelope. We also put a picture on his phone of the kids, as well as a video of my oldest reading him a bedtime story.

  37. Shara says

    The best gift…a scrap-book with pictures of just him and the kids, and answers to questions like….what is Daddy’s favorite thing to do..

  38. Steve B. says

    This morning I got a set of puckered lips ready for a smooch, and heard “wuv vooo” from our 19 month old daughter. No presents necessary!

  39. Juan says

    Last year my son had one more month to bake and my daughter was just starting to talk. For Father’s day, my wife gave me a card signed by my unborn son and scribbled on by my silly little daughter. That’s going to be tough for my family to beat this year. :) Happy Father’s day everyone!