card castles with dad

Card Castles with Dad by Ken Carfagno

Building Card Castles and building relationships…

Picture this. It’s the second grade and math class is in full swing. Each kid scratching their head or tapping their #2 pencil on the desktop as the teacher talks arithmetic. But there’s something amiss. Two kids are in the back of the room, building card castles. Are they in trouble? How could they be? They’re playing while the rest of the class is working.

Hello Dads! I was one of those kids. It wasn’t a perfect system, but what else could the teacher do? The wicked smart Chinese boy and, yours truly, literally finished ALL of the math work before the others started. So the teacher excused us to the back to build card castles.

Dadnamic Connection: Build Card Castles

Have you already perfected the art of card castle construction as a 2nd grader? I’ll pause for dramatic effect… [Jeopardy music plays…]

Okay, good. To anyone who said NO… Ouch, I’m so sorry! You’re never too old to start. It’s simple. Lean and lay. Got it, if not – Google it!

Grab your son and get cards. Now build! The winner is the master builder with the largest and tallest card castle.

Conversation Starter: The Difficulty of Fatherhood

Have you ever been given less instructions for an activity than that? It was on purpose. Dads, this is the perfect segway to a meaningful conversation with your son. That’s what Dadnamics is all about!

Great connection leads to great conversation.

Most Dads aren’t given instructions to this “fatherhood” thing, just like I did to YOU a minute ago! Let’s try the card castles again, but this time with the conversation of fatherhood.

Be Sticky!

When you lean two cards together, did you notice that they slide? As an experiment, try to build a simple triangle with two cards on a hard-surface floor, carpet, or rubber surface. As you and your son try, tell him that the “stickier” the surface, the better the castle. Explain that being a Dad is hard, but the first step is to decide to stick around.

No matter what.

The Right Base…

Now that you’re sticky, let’s build the right base. You can align your triangle pieces or construct them in a circular pattern before you start laying down the “first floor”. There are other methods too, but which will prove most durable? As you’re trying this out with your boy, explain to him…

“Son, the base is really, really important to building a STRONG castle, just like being a good Dad. It represents what you believe and what you place your trust in.”

Counting Cards?

I never told you how many cards to use. Ha! You probably got one deck and split them up. But isn’t that limiting? What if you had 10 decks each? Ask your son about the instructions.

“How many cards were we supposed to use?”

He’ll say, “I don’t know.”

Good. Use that to talk with him more about fatherhood. Being the best Dad requires lots of cards. The more cards, the bigger you can build. Share that the “cards” are resources like books, podcasts, conferences, churches, etc.

Copy That

Search “best card castles” and see what you can mimic.

“Being a Dad is difficult and we need to find those doing it well, and copy them. That’s called finding a mentor. My mentor is __________.”

Hopefully, you have one. No worries. Get one if you don’t!

More Time…

Ask your son, “What was the time limit for this activity?”

He’ll say again, “I don’t know.”

Wrap up this vital conversation on the difficulty of fatherhood like this.

“Son, the more time we invest together into our card castle, the stronger it will become. It’s the same with being a Dad. We have to spend time together.”

Now pause while your son beams back at you.

Hope you enjoyed Card Castles with Dad by Ken Carfagno.  For all his links and resources, please check them out below.

Free Resources:


The Dads Edge Book

Check out this free resource on: CONNECTION WITH YOUR SPOUSE

Check out this free resource on:  CONNECTION WITH YOUR KIDS


Connect with Ken Carfagno, Founder of Dadnamics and Author of the Arctic Land experience:

Skype: ken.carfagno
Arctic Land book:
Dadnamics Live! Blog:

Social Media

card castles with dad

will it fly with pat flynn

Will It Fly with Pat Flynn

Will It Fly with Pat Flynn

Larry and Shawn interview Pat Flynn, founder of Smart Passive Income and author of Will It Fly. In this episode, Pat shares his dynamic story of ground-up success and balancing an entrepreneurship with family.

Key Takeaways:

The intro of Will it Fly with Pat Flynn…We’ve all done it-taken a plain piece of paper, folded it into what we believe will be an aerodynamic masterpiece, only to watch our paper dream nose-dive to the floor. Why? Why would our paper airplane be any different from the other guy’s which looked eerily similar, yet flew like an F-15 Fighter jet? Well, maybe we simply needed a bit more direct guidance. Pat Flynn likens this scenario to entrepreneurship: we see one guy making bank over a great internet idea; we think it looks simple enough, buy business cards, get a great website going and boom. Fail. Why? Maybe that idea worked for that other guy because it worked for them; it fit their values, and it helped them look inward.

Pat states that in work, you don’t need to trade time for money; it’s more trading value for money. For instance, if you provide a service, product or idea online that makes other people’s lives easier or better, you can literally work mere hours in a work week, wake up and see exponential money in your account. Of course, this only works if the idea, product or service is something you believe in and others will need. You need to identify your “why”. Why do you want to create this product, service or idea?

Then, once you’ve got that great product and it’s time to market it and get your business up and running, you have to balance your family and home life as well. Schedule your work around your life, not your life around your work.  This means building entrepreneurial boundaries. In other words, make your own set hours, stick to them and “check-in” to your family and other core values. This way, you are able to focus 100% on what is directly at hand.

So, maybe your first attempt with the paper airplane didn’t fare so well. But, in your second attempt, you got guidance, you decided what you wanted the airplane to look like and it was a total success.

Free Resources:

Check out a free chapter from: THE DAD’S EDGE on UNLIMITED PATIENCE HERE

The Dads Edge Book

Check out this free resource on: CONNECTION WITH YOUR SPOUSE

Check out this free resource on:  CONNECTION WITH YOUR KIDS


Pat Flynn Links:

If you enjoyed this episode, Will It Fly with Pat Flynn, let us know. Leave your comments below as we would love to hear your thoughts so we can continue to provide you with content you enjoy.

Dad Edge

The Dad Edge: Progress Vs Perfection-GPD030

Episode Overview:

In this episode, Larry and Shawn go over some key takeaways from Larry’s Amazon #1 Best Seller, “The Dad’s Edge.”

Key Takeaways:

  •             Discover Unlimited Patience
  •             How to be a good dad by being a good husband
  •             How perfection will cripple your journey as a father

Having the “DAD EDGE” means making mistakes

As you guys know, a few weeks ago, I launched a book called  The Dad’s Edge:  9 Simple Strategies to Have:  Unlimited Patience, Improved Relationships, and Positive Lasting Memories. I was humbled by the response.   After being on Amazon for just one day, it hit #1 in 2 categories and hit #4 in the Fatherhood category.   When I first launched this book, I thought it would be great to land somewhere within the top 100 of Amazon’s Best Sellers..but never did I think it would gain so much momentum so fast.  As I have stated time and time again…I am no dad expert.  I have no accolades behind my name.  I am just another dad who makes a million mistakes a day.  I put this book out there for several reasons.

When I first started my dad journey 9 years ago, I felt frustrated and lost.  I felt I was trying to find a destination without a map.  It was confusing, frustrating, and defeating to say the least.  I decided long ago to simply become a student of fatherhood and just try to learn as much as I could.  I opened myself up to learning because simply wanted guidance and I was tired of feeling defeated.  Once I opened myself up to learning…my life and fatherhood journey changed more than I could ever imagine.  What I have learned and lived by is 9 simple strategies that have made all the difference in the world.  I’m not saying everyday is perfect…far from it.  In fact, I have learned a very hard lesson about trying to be perfect…it doesn’t exist.  In fact, measuring myself against perfection was the quickest way to cripple my journey.  Being a good dad means mistakes and a lot of them!

Dads and Men are wired to solve problems

As men, we are wired up to conquer and solve problems.  We don’t like to show weakness or make mistakes.  We view ourselves as leaders and the rock of strength for our families.  It is something we take very seriously.  However, it is something we don’t have to take so seriously to the extreme.  For example, when we dads make mistakes we can be incredibly hard on ourselves.  Maybe we went overboard blowing up at our kids for doing something wrong?  Maybe we came home from work in an awful mood and ended up taking out our aggressions out on our families.  Not only do we feel bad about our mistakes, but we also feel bad the mistake was made in the first place.  Listen, I want you to know here and now mistakes will happen and they will happen often.  Being a good dad is how we respond to those mistakes.

Being a Good Dad Means Mistakes and Lots of Them

If you are not a Dad who is making mistakes then it simply means you are either not human or not engaged.  If you listen to our podcast or read our blog, that is not who you are.  Mistakes are a part of being a dad.  Plus, if you feel pretty bad when you make mistakes, that is a really good sign.  The men who are worried about whether or not they are good dads…are good dads…simple as that.

The Dad Edge Takeaway Tips:

  1.  As a Dad, be prepared to make mistakes and laugh at yourself. If you want to really put a damper on your enjoyment during the journey of fatherhood, make sure you are super hard on yourself and beat yourself up when you make a mistake.
  2.  When you make a mistake, be the first to openly apologize to your kids and/or wife. Being open about being human and apologizing will teach your kids the same valuable lesson. You are teaching them to be human and mistakes are not necessarily “life-ending,” but instead a learning experience from which we all can grow.
  3.  Know that when you are making mistakes, it means you are more engaged and involved. The player that never makes a mistake is the one that is sitting on the bench. If you are an active, involved, and engaged Dad, you will make mistakes. But that simply shows you are there and present.
  4.  Remember: You are a Dad, but you are also human. You are most likely doing a better job than you think.

Free Resources:

Check out a free chapter from: THE DAD’S EDGE on UNLIMITED PATIENCE HERE

Check out this free resource on: CONNECTION WITH YOUR SPOUSE

Check out this free resource on:  CONNECTION WITH YOUR KIDS


Thank You!

Thank you so much for checking out this episode of The Good Dad Project. If you haven’t done so already, please take a minute to subscribe and leave a quick rating and review of the show on iTunes by clicking on the link below. It will help us to keep delivering life-changing information for you every week!