DIY iPad stand

Archie and I needed—yes, needed!—to watch Top Chef‘s Last Chance Kitchen. (Would Kristen get sweet revenge against annoying, guffawing Josie? Would she be able to claw her way back into the competition?) But you can only watch it online. So, Archie grabbed a few Duplos and quickly built a simple but effective iPad stand.

 

What you need:

What You Need

 

Then assemble like so:

Da Stand

 

And you’re done! You can insert your iPad and look at your favorite blog, ahem.

Front Vertical

 

It works both for vertical and horizontal viewing, with or without the cover.

Front Horizontal

 

And you can place it very upright or at an angle.

Vertical Back, Upright

Horizontal Side, Incline

 

P.S. Mega Bloks don’t work: They are too flimsy and loose (they are inferior to Duplo even in this kind of usage!); and you can use regular Legos, but you will have to put in much more effort to get the same degree of support.

The alternative gift guide (for some specific types of 7-and-unders)

1. For the siblings who want to play a game together but can’t sit still (or there’s a toddler in the mix): Chameleon Crunch Game

The object: to throw bugs into the chameleon’s mouth, which opens and closes at random. For added action, the chameleon moves around a bit (and says a couple of phrases). Both my kids (ages 5 and 22 months) love playing this. They had fun playing this with their 3-year-old cousin, too.

 

2. For the on-trend kid: Furby

It’s ba-ack! And it’s one of the hot toys of the season, no less.

 

3. For the anal-retentive Legoist: Lego Sort & Store

Shake, shake, shake, and your Legos get sorted by size into different trays. Now if you could just hack a Roomba to pick them up off the floor first….

 

4. For the DIY diva: Fancy Nancy Sticky Mosaics Fancy Tiaras

The tiaras turn out pretty snazzy! Warning: You and other family members will be expected to wear the creations.

 

5. For the kid who just can’t wait to take driver’s ed: Drive Time Street Signs

For the driveway, or, in our case, for the kitchen. Whichever.

 

6. For the budding magician: My First Magic Set (with DVD Instructions)

We got this for Nica’s birthday, along with a hat and cape. She now performs full magic shows in front of audiences (she’s very picky about which audiences, though—she got it like that). The included DVD doesn’t quite jibe with the items in the set, but Archie and Nica figured it out. Archie is her “lovely assistant” during her performances.

 

7. For the kid who has everything except maybe a street named after him: Personalized sign à la Sesame Street

Adorable! Great for a luxe birthday party or for room décor.

 

8. For the Barbie lover who’s interested in her culture and maybe other people’s too: Dolls of the World (pictured, Princess of South Africa Barbie)

We got Nica the Princess of the Korean Court Barbie, because she’s getting more curious about her ethnicity and feeling some Korean pride these days.

9. For the kid who likes to touch gross stuff in the name of science: Scientific Explorer’s Sci-fi Slime Science Kit

This is so in Ham’s future.

 

10. For the baby with jokester parents: Buff Baby: Dumbbell Rattle

I totally would’ve gotten this for Ham when he was an infant. Because he was enormous, and it would’ve been hilarious. Damn!

 

11. For the music lover who loves to build stuff, too: Quercetti Saxoflute

This is a cool toy the kids’ aunt and uncle got for them. Both Ham and Nica enjoyed making different wind instruments. I did not enjoy washing out the saliva afterward. But, you know, that’s just me.

 

12. For the kid who can’t decide which (s)he loves more, Angry Birds or Star Wars: Angry Birds Star Wars Fighter Pods AT AT Attack

or

Angry Birds Star Wars 5″ Plush

This is on the list because, come on! This is bizarre! Yet strangely cute.