Friday afternoon saw thejamjar at Alserkal Avenue packed to the rafters with a troop of dads and their excited offspring as part of Friday magazine’s Think In The Box Masterclass for Father’s Day. Fathers from around the UAE attended the workshop organised by Home Centre and settled down into a two-hour session of creative bonding with their kids, designing their dream homes using shoeboxes and recyclable arts and crafts items handed out by thejamjar. The venue was a flurry of activity and colour as dads and kids brainstormed what fabrics and materials to decorate their houses with and pored together over magazines for inspiration.

The judges had a tough time picking favourites from all of the innovative, off-the-wall ideas father-children teams had dreamed up. Meryl Mathews, the events manager at thejamjar and one of the judges, was impressed by the dedication of the participants. ‘Some fathers didn’t give up! They were so involved and we’re glad we could get them to come and spend some time with the kids and understand them better through art.’

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For father-daughter duo Garfield and Gabriella – second-prize winners of the Think In The Box competition, the event was a chance to discover new things about each other: ‘I just came to know my daughter is as [creative] as my wife, because she was calling the shots on how to make the house and I was just following the leader,’ said a proud Garfield of his 11-year-old daughter’s design skills. That they were second runners-up completely stumped them. ‘We didn’t expect to win at all! We were just here for the fun.’

And a lot of fun was had by all the participants at the strictly dads-only event that included a photobooth by Home Centre — a replica of a vibrant kid’s room using products from their summer collection. The photobooth unlocked the little children inside the dads with some of them initiating pillow fights with the kids and creating picture-perfect moments that captured the easy-going rapport between father and child.

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‘Kids ran straight into the photobooth setup, the dads couldn’t control them for long,’ said Mohammad Abubakker Siddique, the marketing executive at Home Centre. ‘It made perfect sense for us to be a part of this event since it was about building a home and dads always want the best for their kids, which is what Home Centre’s children collection is about.’

Some of the other highlights of the workshop was an edible painting session by our food and beverage partner Sugar Factory. The family restaurant got kids to make edible paintings of their newly launched Monster Burger series. ‘Since the kids can’t cook a monster burger here, we got them to paint the Monster Burger using edible paint and edible rice paper,’ said Vinoth Kumar, operations manager at Sugar Factory. While awestruck kids munched on their paintings, their dads snacked on more traditional canapés such as Mac ‘n’ Cheese lollipops, nachos and fried chicken wings.

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There was also a special appearance by Hano the Fox, Hanox’s cuddly mascot, from whom the kids couldn’t get enough of selfies and hugs. ‘We’ve seen kids enjoy the Hanox fox when we’ve put it out in our storefront and we’re glad to see the same happen here,’ said Shahbaz Raquib Khan, marketing executive at Hanox, which provided the shoe boxes for the activity. All the fabulous prizes for the event were provided by The Custom Shop.