A father from the UK may be in the running for the “coolest dad in the world” award after transforming his home into an enormous ball pit.
Joel Conder, 34, is known for surprising daughters Kaci, Grace, Sophie and Chloe — aged 14, 12, 8 and 2, respectively — with quirky stunts and practical jokes around the house, whether or not his wife Sarah, 33, is involved. The pranks are so outlandish that the father with a background in cinematography shares videos on social media through his Dad V Girls channel, which now boasts nearly 930,000 subscribers on YouTube.
“Some of the videos we want to do, I almost sometimes think, ‘what would have been my childhood fantasy?’,” the vlogger father told SWNS.
But when the family from Surbiton, Surrey, was forced indoors indefinitely during the coronavirus outbreak, Joel knew he would have to be both creative and cautious to protect himself, an asthma patient, and daughter Sophie, who “has special needs … and a low immune system.”
That’s when he came up with the ultimate “childhood fantasy” that would take place in a safely isolated and enclosed space: “Imagine coming home to your house being a giant ball pit.”
“My wife and my kids didn’t know,” Joel explained. “I was working on the idea with my friend and I was like, ‘It can’t just be like a few balls round your ankles; you’ve got to jump in and get lost in it.’ ”
‘Everything was worth it just for that reaction.’
So, in ways he did not disclose to the public, the stuntman managed to obtain a rainbow of 250,000 plastic balls designed for a playground ball pit.
“Everything was worth it just for that reaction,” Joel said of his daughters, who walked in on the ball torrent before his wife.
“They were shrieking with laughter — Kaci was like, ‘Mum’s going to kill you,’ ” said Joel.
The reaction on Sarah’s face, according to Joel, was that of “Oh my God, what have you done?” he said. “Then she dived in and started playing with all of us.”
Joel said he has no regrets about the over-the-top joke. “It’s honestly one of the best memories I think we will have,” he said.
He went on to say how much he and his wife are cherishing this time “without the distractions” with their daughters during the pandemic.
“We probably will never get this chance again as families, to all be at home together. Let’s just make the absolute most of it — let’s try and get back to real family life,” he said.
“Just to have my eldest daughter nagging me to play more board games with her,” he joked, “that just shows me how special this time is.”