Gimmie Your Gold – How to Build a Leprechaun Trap

It’s that time of the year again. Where everyone is wearing green and celebrating their Irish heritage. For us, we do a little celebrating, but our biggest goal is to catch one of those darn leprechauns!

This year we decided to make a trap and see if that improves our chances any. If it does we will be sure to let you know our results and if you’re nice, maybe we will split the gold!

5 Ways to Begin Collecting Toys (and What to Collect)

Vintage toy collecting has become a window into long-forgotten childhood, a way to make a quick buck and a nostalgic’s dream. Think back to the ’70s, before Star Wars became the multi-billionaire franchise everyone knows today. Kids would play with cheap, plastic figurines; toys were tossed into the trash or donated. These little Star Wars figurines, GI Joe Dolls, Hot Wheels cars, Cabbage Patch Kids and Strawberry Shortcake dolls are being sold today for anywhere between $100 to $16,000 on eBay, through collectible shows or auctions.

Rare and collectible toys might be too outrageous to purchase now, but have you been thinking about where to begin collecting the vintage toys of the future? 

A savvy purchaser could be buying a $10 toy today, only for it to sell upwards of $1,000 in 10 or 20 years. Toy collecting is fun, it can be inexpensive, and it can earn you some serious cash (or make a creative home display). Here’s where you can start with becoming a toy collector and knowing what to collect:


Pick a Toy Line

It can be daunting knowing where to begin with collecting. There are plenty of toy lines that have already drawn a collector community: Star Wars, Barbie, G.I. Joe, Polly Pocket, Care Bears, Transformers, and many other brands are insanely popular toys. You can invest in the rare editions released every once in a while or whatever is on the market currently.

Maybe you can take a risk on a toy line. The transforming Donnie toy figure, for example, or the hatching toothless baby dragon at Target might be a good place to start. Think about Littlest Pet Shops, Pokemon, Digimon cards and Bratz dolls– these were all brand new lines of toys no one had ever heard of. You never know who will be interested in buying a new, mint condition toy from your collection.

Go For the Rare Finds

You want to keep an eye out for certain things when collecting toys: age, authenticity, rarity and condition. These factors can majorly appreciate a toy’s value, according to eBay’s entertainment memorabilia selling guide. A rare toy is a find that could be sold for a pretty penny, rather than a doll, toy car or action figure that everyone and their mom had at one time.

Think of the Harry Potter toy collection; maybe everyone was busy buying the Harry, Ron and Hermione figurines. How many people kept an eye on the Dobby, Draco and Hagrid figurines? 

These are toys that could have long been discontinued, but now they have become valuable finds in the toy world. Millions of Harry, Ron and Hermione figurines are produced worldwide, which makes them far less attractive to buyers. However, like the Star Wars toys made during the early 2000s in support of the new franchise, a toy line could flop. Essentially, their line of toys could become worthless. 

You want to be strategic and watch trends.

Keep an Eye on New Toys

Think of the Funko Pop Collectibles—they seem to have burst out of nowhere, even though Funko was founded in 1998, but they are on sale everywhere. Not every single Funko Pop figure is worth collecting because they are so plentiful, but some figures have minimal editions. For example, The Simpsons figures were only made for a short period of time in 2011 and they’ll now run for well over hundreds of dollars on Amazon. The Queen Amidala Funko Pop figurine sells for nearly $110 on eBay.

There are some limited edition Funko Pop figurines explicitly made for gatherings and conventions, like Comic-Con, which are rare collectible finds by the end of the day. The more you begin to collect, the better you will understand the value of certain discoveries and memorabilia. 

Hold Onto Unopened Toys

If you plan to eventually sell your toy collection, there is one important rule you must keep in mind: a toy is worth the most in excellent condition, secure in its original packaging. Toys that have been pulled from their original packaging are called “loose toys,” or “loose in the box,” which refers to an opened box without the toy being removed.  

If you have a child who wants to play with the toy, it would be best to buy two of the same toys. This way, you can leave one toy pristine and untouched in its packaging, and your child has a new toy to play with!

Which Toys are the Best Bet?It is nearly impossible to predict future trends. What you will want to focus on is popular media, like video games, movies and TV shows. If you can find memorabilia from these popular outlets, like a rare Funko Pop Grogu figurine from The Mandalorian. Some popular items might include limited-edition LEGO sets, limited edition board games (collector Monopoly, Candy Land, Life, or Sorry boards), original Minecraft or Fortnite toys, or anything similarly hard to find.

This post is a collaborative effort by St. Louis Dad.

Fun Activities To Do With Your Kids

There are many ways to have fun with your kids and enjoy each other’s company. However, in the moment it can sometimes be difficult to think of what to do or how to spend your time.

The following list will provide you with ideas you can turn to when you’re looking for fun activities to do with your kids. Mix it up so you’re always keeping the days interesting and entertaining. Remember that it’s not only about what you’re doing but that you’re fully engaged and present when you’re having fun with your kids.

Go Sightseeing or on A Road Trip

One fun activity to do with your kids is to go sightseeing or on a road trip together. Hop in the car and check out new landscapes and landmarks. Before you head out, you’ll want to ensure your vehicle is in good working condition and reliable. One idea is to look over your tires and check out wheels and tyres packages that are available if they need to be replaced. The right tires will not only keep you safe on the road but can enhance the look and style of your vehicle as well. Be sure to bring your camera with you because there will likely be many opportunities to capture these special moments and sights with your children.

Head to the Zoo

Another fun way to spend the day with your kids is to take them to the zoo and go learn about and visit the various animals that are there. They’ll love seeing the different animals and it’ll be good exercise for you all to walk around the park and area. Be sure to bring along some extra spending money for food and snacks that you can enjoy together when you’re ready to take a break. Also, wear plenty of sunscreen to stay protected from the harsh sun rays if the weather is nice. Your kids will have a great time and will always remember the fun they had at the zoo.

Arts & Crafts

You can also consider pulling out the arts and crafts at home when you’re bored and looking for something to do. It may help to keep a box of items you can pull out whenever you’re feeling creative and want to dive into some projects. It’s a great way to spend a rainy day and a chance to just relax and enjoy seeing what your kids make and all the artistic talents they have. Join in with them to create your own masterpiece or be there to help guide them when they have questions. Ask your kids about what types of arts and crafts activities they learn and do at school so they can show you at home.

Play Games & Watch Movies

You may want to pop in some good movies when you want to relax with your kids. See what mood they’re in and have a good laugh together if you want to watch a funny option. Before or after the movie you can also pull out the board games and play a few of your favorite selections to pass the time. You might have so much fun that you’ll want to schedule a regular movie and game night each week. Make your favorite snacks, put on your comfortable clothes, and turn on the fire for an enjoyable night in with your kids.

Cook & Bake

Kids love to be creative and to experiment in the kitchen. They watch you cook all the time and may want to join in on the fun. Therefore, an enjoyable activity you can do with your kids when you have the time is to cook and bake yummy treats. Start easy and challenge yourselves to more complicated recipes as time passes and you improve your skills. It’s an excellent way to get them to help out with planning your dinners and meals. After you’re finished, you can all sit down and have a nice meal as a family. Don’t forget to bake a delicious dessert you can all indulge in after you’re done eating dinner.

Play Outdoors

It’s always favorable to spend time outdoors and get some fresh air. It’s good for your mental health and running around will also benefit your physical health. There are many fun activities you can do as a family outside. For instance, maybe you want to play sports, play on the playground at the local park or go for a walk or hike. If you have a dog, then be sure to get them outside so they can join in on all the fun with you and your kids. Remember to stay hydrated with a lot of water if it’s warm outside.

Read Books

Reading books is another fun activity you can do with your kids and a great way to spend your free time. There are many fun and interesting kid’s books out there that you can read together. Reading books is good for your children because it’s an opportunity for them to learn and practice their reading and comprehension skills. If you’re feeling up for it you may even want to take a quick trip to the library and read some books in the peace and quiet as a family. You may find additional books at the library you want to check out and take home as well.

Conclusion

These fun activities will have you enjoying one another’s company and laughing and having a good time as a family. Keep this list handy so that you can refer to it whenever you have a little extra time to fill or want to keep your kids entertained and preoccupied on the weekends. Let your kids have a say in what you do too so that you’re all engaged and excited about being together and participating in an activity. These are just a few ideas to get you started thinking on the right path. You may want to add to this list as time goes on and you find more fun and exciting ways to spend time with your kids and as a family.

This post is a collaborative effort by St. Louis Dad.

How to Plan The Perfect Family Night In

Family nights are one of the best ways to help you curb the lockdown boredom. But anyone who has kids understands that getting everyone together to enjoy a Friday night together is easier said than done. This is why you need to know how to plan a family night that will go down in history as the best ever, so here are four ways to do that. 

Take It In Turns to Choose 

No one likes or wants to be the family night dictator that chooses what everybody does every week. This is a straightforward way to make your family dread the coming Friday before it has even begun. Instead, you can let everyone take it in turns to choose what they want to do. They might decide to watch a movie, play video games, or get everyone around the dinner table for a board game night. Some kids might even prefer baking to anything else, which gives you something for dessert once you’ve finished tour pizza. 

Offer Some Variety 

Variety is the spice of life, and this is no more crucial than when you’re stuck inside with nothing to do. If your kids aren’t old enough to make decisions (or you flat-out don’t trust them to pick something sensible), you can create an illusion of choice by offering a variety of things to do. For older kids, you might want to introduce them to tabletop RPGs, and if so, you should try SkullSplitter Dice to make them even more interested in the game. You never know, this could be the beginning of an exciting Dungeons & Dragons campaign for the whole family. 

Don’t Force It 

Sometimes, everyone might feel too exhausted to do things, or they might have other stuff to do such as schoolwork or ready-made plans with their friends. If so, you mustn’t force everyone into the family night no matter how much you want to do it. No one will be in the mood and this can make them wary of other nights in the future. So, if people don’t seem into it, don’t be afraid to take a week off. 

Tidy Up Together 

Ordering pizza, baking cakes, and munching on snacks all night is all well and good, but it isn’t any fun for the person who needs to clean and tidy up after everyone. As everyone has been involved in the family night, you should make sure that everyone pulls their weight and cleans up after themselves. Assign jobs to each other such as wiping down the surfaces or vacuuming crumbs from the sofa or floor before going to bed. Not only is this fair, but it also means you can wake up to a clean, tidy house tomorrow morning. 

Family Fun 

These family nights are a fantastic way to create memories and bond with each other. It gives the kids a chance to feel like they’re more adult, staying up later than usual, and it allows the parents to treat their kids like buddies, rather than children. Not every night will be a hit, of course, but with proper planning, you can expect it to be a success more often than not. 

This post is a collaborative effort by St. Louis Dad.