Father’s Day Gadgets That Help Dads & Moms

The best way to get a man to lend a hand around the house is to buy him a toy. So I went in search of new Father’s Day gadgets that I thought might inspire men to either hit the honey-do list, or master their grill skills. I got one of each of the following items, and had Dan, my man, test drive them. I’ll demo them on Channel 7 Local news tomorrow, June 4, and will feature them in a column next weekend. So stay tuned. Meanwhile, if you’re in the market for some novel ideas this Father’s Day, check out our favorites:

  • Hug Light – Remember grandpa’s headlamp? This is the next generation of that beacon, only it’s flexible, smaller and much cooler looking. Two beams of LED light emit from the ends of a bendable cord. Hang it around your neck or from a rafter. It’s hands free. Dan says it’s just what he needs when messing with the wires in the speaker cabinet. $14.95 www.mylight.com.
  • iHome Portable Alarm (iH16) –Help him whistle while he works. This new generation iHome is small but mighty. It looks slick, operates on batteries or with a cord, and has an impressive volume projection that doesn’t distort. The point here is your man can hear his favorite tunes while working in the yard or cleaning the garage – no more excuses. $59.99  www.ihomeaudio.com.
  • Grill Right Wireless Talking BBQ/Oven Thermometer – This was Dan’s favorite gadget by far. Anyone whose husband has overcooked the steak will love it. You stick a sensor in your meat, fish or chicken. Then attach a small walkie-talkie-like gizmo to your belt and walk away. The gizmo verbally alerts the chef when the meat has hit the desired temperature. $59.99 www.oregonscientific.com.
  • Ravi Wine Cooler – You like it cold. He likes it hot. This solves that. Stick this pre-chilled chamber in the top of your wine bottle, pour the wine and it comes out chilled. Takes a little planning and maintenance, but once you get the hang of it it’s a neat idea. (Hint: Practice first before serving guests, and not while wearing white pants and serving red wine. Yikes!) $39.95 Beverages & More stores, and wine specialty shops.
  • BBQ Salver Tray – I’m all for anything that encourages a man to cook. This all-in-in-one tray comes with a removable cutting board, three sauce compartments, and a place to park the tongs. It’s well made, well balanced and well designed. Just be sure you have room to store it. $59.99 www.epicureancs.com
  • Condiment Gun – Makes men feel like boys, only useful. Load the chamber and it squirts out mustard or ketchup. Pretty funny. $24 www.weecanshop.com
  • Grill Charms – Like wine charms, these help guests and grill chefs keep track of which piece of meat is whose. Stick these dime-sized solid stainless steel charms in food before grilling to distinguish it from other grill items that have different sauces or are cooked to another degree of doneness. $19.95 www.grillcharms.com
  • Ice-Qube Emergency Kit – Men who pride themselves on being prepared will want this in their car trunks. The sturdy little box has a reflective Mylar blanket, a rain poncho, mini flashlight, and a few more goodies you might need if you get stuck. $23.99 for the starter kit. Higher priced ones may take you farther. www.ice-qube.com.
  • Honey-Do Pilsner Glass – I admit, I liked this more than Dan did. It’s a beer glass hand-painted with not-so-subtle hints like “change the light bulb,” “mow the lawn,” so when your man is kicking back with a beer watching the game, it does the nagging for you. $25/glass www.thelolitastore.com.