Author: Christina

Tegu blocks, now customizable. And adorable. And possibly covered in pink dinosaurs.

Since their launch, we’ve been huge fans of Tegu, makers of the smart, high quality, sustainable wood and magnetic block sets that have just blown up over the years. While their collection of choices has gotten bigger, now Tegu has a wonderful new offering that’s going in the other direction. The adorably creative  Tegu MyBLOCKHEAD wooden block sets are little customizable block sets that let you add a whole lot of personality to an existing set of their blocks, or just create a fun little toy for a kid all on its own. Whether your child is a soccer star, likes everything to be pink, pink, pink, really digs Nyan...

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15 of the coolest Advent calendars to make waiting for Christmas more fun.

Even though I’m still finding Halloween candy wrappers hidden under the couch (kids!), I’m keenly aware that December isn’t that far away. Which means that it’s time to start thinking about which Advent calendar we want in our home to help us count down the days to Christmas. As we’ve done for the past seven (wow!) years on Cool Mom Picks, in 2015 we’ve searched high and low for all kinds of options for your home. From clever DIY calendars, to fun kid-like designs, to gorgeous pieces you can reuse each year and treasure, here are 15 of the best Advent calendars I really love this year....

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Pop culture peg dolls, for fans of The Penguin, Harry Potter, pirates, princesses, or Percy Jackson.

Though there are sure to be many awesome high-tech toys out there this holiday season, our latest obsession is the adorably low-tech wooden peg dolls by Wooly Llama on Etsy. I mean, what could be better than hearing your kids playing their own imaginary game of Star Wars while making their best beep-beep-boop noises for the wee little R2D2 peg? Or doing their own version of Harry Potter complete with a rolly-polly Hagrid? Beyond those two huge franchises, Wooly Llama has even more incredibly cute wooden peg dolls, with sets paying homage to the casts of Lord of the Rings, and Percy Jackson so you can pick one that appeals...

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The closest you’ll get to making time with rock stars

If you happen to have a cool grand or more to spend on a very special, one-of-a-kind gift for a rock fan in your life who you love a lot, we’ve just discovered maybe the coolest ever gift that will connect them to some of the biggest rock icons of our time. And also to help them keep get to places on time; something musicians are not always known for. The brand new Nixon Rock LTD Watch Collection, goes on sale in mid-November, and fuses music and fashion in such an amazingly cool way; they’re taking donated leather from some of the some major rock legends’ personal items and...

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What to do with extra Halloween candy: 9 ideas you may not have considered.

After the fun of trick-of-treating and the trading of the candy, we are pretty sure that your kids are still going to have piles of candy leftover that weighs about as much as a toddler. Now is the time to think of a good plan for what to do with all that extra Halloween candy. Oh, sure, the kids can eat some of their hard-earned snacks. But, instead of throwing the rest of it in the trash, we have a bunch of great ideas that will turn that candy into something more than a messy pile of wrappers. Related: 10 delicious recipes that use...

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20 non-candy Halloween treats to buy or DIY. Because they are going to get a boatload of candy anyway.

I wish my kids had more candy this Halloween is not something you’ll hear from our lips because–wow–candy is everywhere. And, while we’re not against our kids collecting sugary treats (In fact, I’ll be taking- um, sneaking – all of their Mounds), we’re also in favor of mixing up the selection with some great non-candy treats to hand out at a Halloween party, or as a no-sugar option to give out to trick-or-treaters. Yes, it is ok to be that house. So, we’ve pulled together 20 non-candy Halloween treats that you can either buy or DIY as a project to do...

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Fids and Kamily names the best kids and family albums of 2015

If you want to know about the best of the best in music for kids and families, you have got to check out Fids and Kamily, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary. This annual poll is voted on by publishers like us who cover the best kids’ music, as well as other notable people in the kids’ music industry. We take this role very seriously, as we listen to dozens and dozens of new music releases each month, just to help pare it down to those amazing tunes that appeal to kids, but that we adults really like too. And thankfully, there are tons of fantastic artists lending their...

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10 scary Halloween decorations that you can DIY… if you dare

Now that my kids are a little older—and a little braver—we can finally bump up the fear factor when it comes to decorating our home for Halloween. That means that the smiling cartoon ghosts and friendly pumpkin faces are about to be replaced with decorations that are a bit scarier. However, I’m making sure that the decorations that we use aren’t too creepy since I still need my kids to go upstairs without a personal escort.  So, I’m aiming for DIY Halloween projects that we can work on together, which will hopefully make them a little less scary since they’ll have a hand in creating...

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5 fun, easy ways to celebrate 10-21-2015, or Back to the Future Day. Whoa, the future really is now.

Though there have been many incorrect memes circulating on social media over the years, today, October 21, 2015, is the actual day that Doc Brown, Marty McFly, and Jennifer first left their cushy 1989 lives to travel “to the future” in Back to the Future Part II. Meaning that, today, we are finally the future that was envisioned 30 years ago. While the future as conceived in 1989 isn’t quite what we have today–check out this entertaining article in The Guardian which compares Back to the Future predictions with 2015 reality, here are a few cool ways to take advantage of the...

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10 creative Zombie party ideas that are more creepy-fun than outright disgusting.

If cackling witches and spiders that drop from doorways aren’t quite creepy enough for you for Halloween, perhaps a zombie-themed party is more your speed. I started looking for some fun zombie party ideas now that my kids are getting older, but I realized so many of them are absolutely gross. As in brain cakes, that look so realistic I couldn’t even eat one. So I pared it down to the party ideas that are more fun and creative; hey, we don’t want your guests to lose their appetites for all the delicious food you’re serving at your party. Before you invite the undead to your...

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