Author: Christina

Fun backyard Olympic games that give your own gold medal athletes a chance to shine

With the Summer Games set to begin on August 5, we are getting ourselves ready to do some Olympic-sized television viewing as we cheer on the amazing athletes from around the world. So if you’re celebrating what is sure to be a spectacular opening ceremonies this weekend, we’ve put together some awesome ideas for throwing your own backyard Olympic games, with Olympic themed activities for all ages. Here are our favorite ideas! Don’t worry…no pole vaulting. (Top: Olympic javelin toss backyard game idea via Hoosier Homemade) Related: Throwing an Olympics Party? Some of the coolest printables, snacks, and party ideas.   Bring all of your athletes together with the free printable...

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FinFun: Mermaid tails for swimming that take summer fun to new heights. Or, depths.

The coolest thing you’ll encounter in the water this summer may be my daughter, who has transformed herself from a normal 13-year-old into a full-fledged mermaid. And, whoa, if you have a child who would love to swim like one of these creature of the sea, you’ll want to check this out this awesome product my kids had the chance to try out. FinFun Mermaid Tails are real swimmable tails for kids, teens, and adults (though I’m leaving this trend to the kids) that actually let you swim through the water like Ariel — or Ponyo, depending on your family’s animation preferences. Related: Blankie Tails turn...

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Over 20 of the best Finding Dory birthday party ideas

Even though Finding Dory has only been out for a few weeks, she already has a ton of fans who are likely going to want her be the star of their birthday party (well, after the birthday child of course).  So we’ve gone fishing for some of our favorite Finding Dory-inspired birthday party ideas from invitations, decor, food, and party favors. And we’ve even put them all in this one spot so you won’t forget anything, unlike you-know-who. Related: 10 cool summer party ideas for kids, and lots of inspiration to help you pull them off (Top image: The...

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16 essential skills kids learn from LEGO, and fantastic resources to help get them going

Of all the toys that have passed through the hands of my three kids over the past dozen or so years, there is no question that LEGO bricks have been the most enduring and versatile. From their first little plastic bucket of mixed bricks, to those 1000+ piece architectural kits that require hours of concentration, LEGO remains a favorite toy — for all of us — even up against the siren song of video games. But even more than just being fun, I love the important skills that LEGOs can teach. I’ve seen so many of them firsthand as a...

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Shark Week is coming! Get ready with our 10 favorite shark picks for kids

Though the Fourth of July may be the number one holiday of the summer, Shark Week comes in a close second. It’s pretty popular among our readership because our kids get a good excuse to watch an entire week’s worth of programming about our favorite toothy fish. And, for that reason, it’s become somewhat of an annual tradition to round up our favorite shark picks for kids. If your kids are big fans of sharks too, get ready to tune into the Discovery Channel starting this Sunday, and check out our top 10 shark picks we’ve hooked just for you. CMP is an rstyle affiliate You’ll...

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Renegade Made helps kids create random acts of kindness through crafting.

Over the years, we’ve featured loads of great craft kits for kids that flex our children’s creative muscles as they try their hand at making cool new works of art. But I’ve never seen anything quite like the brand new craft kits for kids by Renegade Made that aim to turn crafting into a larger social movement for good. The idea is that these clever craft kits for kids are designed to deliver random acts of kindness around town, through one of four kits, and kids as young as 8 (though likely younger with an adult’s help) can find one that keeps them busily entertained, all while...

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26 of the best car games and activities to keep kids happy without screens.

I was one of those parents who insisted that I’d raise the kind of kids who would play fun, screen-free car games on our family road trips, or perhaps watching the world whiz by while asking intelligent questions about all the sites and sounds around them. Sound familiar? Yeah. Well after one particularly long road trip, I quickly learned that sometimes screens are really, really useful for making an endless drive feel… not so endless. But that doesn’t mean that I’ve totally surrendered to the lure of electronics. There are times when all the screens need to go off so we can discover other ways to...

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The world’s cutest tableware for kids: We have a contender!

When my kids first started eating solids, they often reminded me of wild baby animals — flinging food all over the place, trying to eat without using their hands, and getting all the gooiest stuff mashed into their hair. So I’m pretty impressed with the new kids’ tableware line from Marcus & Marcus  which offers cute, animal-inspired designs help our littlest ones learn to eat like, well, like little humans. CMP is an rstyle affiliate Related: 14 of the coolest baby gifts and gear we wish we had when we were new moms. The easy-to-clean, brightly colored collection was developed by two parents who know a thing or...

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The clever Bring Your Own Book game is our new favorite for family game night.

Now that my kids are old enough to play “real” games — you know, the ones where I don’t have to let them win — I love finding new clever and fun options for when we all gather around the table to play. So I was really excited to learn about Bring Your Own Book, a truly unique activity for our family game night. Created first by Matthew Moore and Luke Nalker, who launched it successfully via Kickstarter, it has been newly released by Gamewright, one of our favorite game companies, for people ages 12+. Since each game only lasts about 20 minutes, it’s perfect for families who might...

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7 smart sleepaway camp essentials that help stave off homesickness.

If your little camper is heading off to sleepaway camp this summer, possibly for the first time (sniff), you’ll likely receive from the camp a long list of all the essentials to pack — extra socks, bug repellent, water bottles, headlamps. But, on top of all those must-haves (and they really are), we think that a few special items that connect them to home can help make the transition from bed to bunk a little easier. We spoke to our experienced sleepaway camp parents around here, and put together 7 of our favorite ideas for sleepaway camp essentials that help stave off homesickness and ensure the transition...

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