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Time to Play with Cooper & Kid

An activity box built for dads

cooper & kid!

Last spring, Nichole Smaglick sat outside a San Francisco cafe watching a parade of baby-toting dads. And she realized something we’ve known in our own home for a while — the role of father has shifted.

Dads want in on the parenting action. Big time. (Can we get a “hallelujah”?)

But most companies are so mom-centric that they can’t see Dad bringing up the rear with a double stroller. So Smaglick is holding the door wide open: Her business, Cooper & Kid, focuses on fostering experiences between dads and kids — and building an online community to support Pops in his efforts.

First up is the Cooper Kit, a limited-edition activity box to be released quarterly and covering themes such as Science as Magic and Ironkid Decathlon.

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The debut box, How Things Fly, includes simple activities, sky lanterns for exploring the concept of lift, and more complex undertakings, such as a cookbook for an airline food-themed dinner complete with boarding passes and a script for a preflight safety announcement. The box itself turns into a biplane glider.

Each activity is explained in detail in the booklet “The Secrets to How Things Fly,” so Dad is never without an answer (or an idea of what to do next). Beyond-the-box online content includes more than 60 types of paper airplanes.

To be clear: We know moms like things that fly as much as dads. And, conversely, that dads can tea party as hard as moms. But we also know that the dad in our house is more likely to dive into this box than he is to scour the blogosphere for garden party DIYs to make with our girls.

Here’s hoping Cooper & Kid really takes off.

Available at cooperandkid.com, $65.

cooper & kid!

Photos: Jose Luis Pelaez / Getty Images; Courtesy of Cooper & Kid