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5 Modern-Dad Survival Tools I Can’t Live Without

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Some fathers are handier than others. I should have my tool belt confiscated to prevent potential disasters.

My wife built our chicken coop, installed a sand box in our backyard and hung up a hammock that looks great even though we’ve yet to officially sleep on it. I just cheered her on during each task, knowing I would only slow her down if I tried to help.

“A man’s got to know his limitations,” Dirty Harry famously said. Who am I to disagree?

That doesn’t mean I don’t lean heavily on special tools every day to make parenting easier. They just aren’t of the “hammer and screwdriver” variety. The following five items help take the burden off my day-to-day life, and they may help you, too.

1. Amazon Kindle Fire HD
All tablets have their perks, but this Amazon release offers an addictive extra. You can download content from the company’s Amazon Prime service and watch it later without an Internet connection. Traveling with toddlers? Download a few episodes of “Super Why” and fly in peace. When WiFi is scarce, a pre-loaded tablet is blessing from the parenting gods.

2. Baby Wipes
Our boys no longer wear diapers, but I can’t quit these handy wet wipes. When doesn’t a Dad need an all-purpose towelette to clean up a mess? Baby wipes conquer chocolate stains, sticky soda spills and, best of all, the grime on our car’s steering wheel cover. My sons could be college bound and I bet I’ll still throw some wipes into my grocery basket.

3. Picmonkey.com
We live in a world of digital photography, and this free site offers the easiest ways to give your photos a nip or tuck. Want to shrink a photo’s size to make it easier to email to friends? Eager to tweak the exposure on a great picture that’s a bit too dark? This site makes it a breeze. You may also try canva.com, another free site that offers a more sophisticated set of tools better suited for social media.

4. Streaming TV
Where should I begin? No commercials to tempt my children. More content than our family could ever need (or want). One less massive bill entering our home. And no more negotiating with your local cable company for a cheaper rate. No matter how you stream it, gadgets like Apple TV, Roku and Google Chromecast make entertaining your children so much easier. And this father can’t wait to binge watch shows before bedtime.

5. ighome.com
Like most dads, I have a good 8 to 10 web sites I read every day–if not more. Visiting each one individually eats up precious time. Enter ighome.com, a site that lets you compile your favorite sites and shows the most recent headlines from each. One glance and you’ve “seen” a dozen sites all at once. Other sites offering similar services include Feedly.com and uStart.org.

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