Author: Georgette Gilmore

Creative ideas to help little kids with school anxiety: 7 small items that can make a big difference.

Preschoolers or kindergarten students often feel really nervous about their first day of school. Or their first month of school. Even older kids may feel anxious about a new teacher, new friends, or just getting back into a more rigorous schedule after a long and lazy summer. While family discussions should help ease their worries, I also love the idea of giving kids a little gift that can help ease anxieties about going back to school, like these seven items I put together here. But hey, whatever works for your kid — that’s the very best idea of all....

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Moleskine, meet Minions. And Vader. And Potter. And Haring. And Jagger…

Humans can’t live by keyboards alone, and for actual old school writing, we’re big fans of Moleskine notebooks. (Who isn’t, right?) Looking at the new Limited Edition Moleskine notebooks collection has my girls — and me — eager to put pen to paper, to journal our deepest thoughts. Or write a to-do list. Or jot down ideas. Or doodle. Anything really just to score one of these cool notebooks. I think this year’s collection especially speaks to teens (and the grown-ups who love them). With themes from rock n’ roll to pop culture, modern art to Minions, Disney characters...

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Scratch n’ sniff tees for kids! That probably smell better than our actual kids!

Australian brand Cotton:On Kids makes some really cool kids’ clothes, and they may have just outdone themselves with a new line of  100% cotton scratch n’ sniff tees, PJs, and accessories like a fun popsicle pencil case and jelly bags that all have this 70s child feeling really nostalgic. I mean, if I close my eyes, I can totally recall the smell of my album full of scratch n’ sniff stickers. Memories. Sweet, smelly memories. CMP is an rstyle affiliate Related: Bitchen! Found totally tubular 80’s clothes for rad babies, like, yours, you know? The food graphics on the clothes and accessories actually...

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Get out the scissors! Check out these 7 sets of cool, modern, free printable paper dolls, from Wonder Woman to Hamilton

We’re big fans of free printable paper dolls and find ourselves downloading them all the time for our kids. But while vintage Betsy McCall paper dolls from our childhood still hold a nostalgic place in our hearts, our older kids are often drawn to more modern paper dolls with an edgier vibe, or at least pop culture references from their own lifetimes. With that in mind, I searched and found tons of fun, free printable modern paper dolls that get a big thumbs up from my older girls, including my picky teen. Related: The motherlode of free printable paper dolls for...

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What’s new about the new AAP car seat guidelines that parents need to know.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) wants to be as clear as can be on the safest way to buckle up your kids in the car. They just released new car seat guidelines for 2017 with very specific age and weight requirements and the folks at Healthy Child have conveniently summarized the important parts, should you not want to order a whole brochure. The AAP has even gone a step further and compiled a list of 2017 approved car seats that you can feel good about buying. Way to make a parent’s life easier, AAP! Related: Mifold vs. BubbleBum: Travel booster seat...

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3 fantastic children’s books to get the kids to read before they become hit movies.

There are three fantastic children’s books being made into movies for release this fall and early 2018. The way I see it, that gives us plenty of time to read them before scheduling a family movie night to see them! I’m a big believer in reading the book first before seeing the movie version. Although there have been times where a movie inspired someone in my family to read the book, and that’s always a good thing, right? CMP is an Amazon and rstyle affiliate Related: 9 fantastic girl power movies for kids, streaming right now Wonder by R.J. Palacio Since...

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An animated film celebrating Black dads, daughters, and a whole lot of hair love.

When I discovered a Kickstarter project for an animated children’s short film that will celebrate Black dads, their daughters, and the beauty of natural hair, my heart swelled with love. As a mom to two curly-haired biracial daughters, I personally know how important the impact of the Hair Love animated film will be on the Black community and I jumped to make a contribution to it. Writer and co-director Matthew A. Cherry was inspired after seeing the many viral videos of Black fathers doing their daughter’s hair (this link goes to my favorite) that so many of us have...

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Come on, rap me Amadeus: Mozart meets hiphop for kids!

As long time fans of funky kindie artist and now Grammy winner Secret Agent 23 Skidoo, we knew that their latest 5-song EP Mozartistic would be cool even before we listened to it. And… it is. As you might have guessed, the album blends the classical Mozart with hip hop but there’s more to it than just mixing two genres. Related: The Best Kids Music of the Year: Editors Picks  A string quartet mimics the hip hop sound of record scratching and heavy drums and a killer bass line blend beautifully with the classical sounds of the Asheville Symphony Orchestra. Plus, the...

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5 sleepaway camp postcard sets that are cool enough for cynical kids.

Since old fashioned pen to paper is usually the required form of communication at camps, cool sleepaway camp postcards make it easy! They keep writing short and sweet, don’t require envelopes, and if you give your kid a set all stamped and ready to go, the odds are in your favor to receive some updates and maybe even a few I miss you‘s Even from kids who prefer to communicate in emojis. So grab one of these 5 cool sets we found and mail them to your camper in a care package, or send them off in that trunk...

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14 cool, creative summer camp care package ideas for your happy campers

If your kids are headed to sleepaway camp — or already there — you’re probably already planning out a great summer care package, filled with items your kids will love, to help ease the anxiety, keep them busy during quiet hours, help them make friends, or just make them even happier campers than they already are. But with a lot of camps banning the sugary stuff or discouraging food altogether, I know it can be hard to think of care package ideas besides gummi worms and Oreos. So I’ve spoken to our resident sleepaway camp parents, and we’ve put together...

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21 fun ideas for 4th of July activities for families to make your Independence Day a blast

On Tuesday, July 4th, we celebrate America’s birthday. And ain’t no party like a 4th of July party because a 4th of July party don’t stop! That is, if you make sure to have plenty of food, festive cocktails, and plenty of fun. Don’t worry, we’ve got you families covered. Here, I’ve put together dozens of fun 4th of July activities for families that will make America’s 241st birthday one to remember. Related: The hip, historical t-shirts for kids we’re obsessed with right now 1. Keep the kids busy in the morning with loads of fun 4th of July crafts,...

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Everybody in the pool! 10 of the coolest pool floats for the whole family that are sure to make a big splash.

Sure you can bring out the boring inner tubes at the pool this summer, but we say go big with one of the coolest pool floats around. Sure, some of these are a bit spendy, but these 10 inflatables offer fun and lazy lounging for the whole family. Plus, they’re totally Instaworthy. Everybody in the pool! CMP is an rstyle affiliate Related: Life saver! 8 super cool swimsuits for picky tweens and teens that their mothers will approve of too. Chocolate Donut Pool Float ($20, Big Mouth Inc.) The good news is that this super sweet Chocolate Donut float won’t melt...

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6 fantastic children’s books celebrating LGBT families, because #LoveisLove

If there’s one thing we know for certain, it’s that all families should be celebrated, all the time. Because, love is love. So we pulled together these 6 excellent children’s books that celebrate LGBT families. The way it’s important for children of color to see themselves represented in the books they read, for children with special needs, and for children with single parents, the same applies for children in LGBT families who may not have the same family experience as many of their peers. So we’re so grateful to these authors who are looking out for so many kids. Whether...

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5 funny books on fatherhood from dads who definitely know funny | Father’s Day Gift Guide 2017

Being a parent really does require a great sense of humor, especially in those early years. And these five funny books on fatherhood should help. All written by fathers who also happen to be hilarious (Michael Ian Black? Jim Gaffigan? Hello!), these memoirs and cheeky advice books are sure to put a smile on a dad’s face, make him LOL, and possibly make him cry — in a good, joyful, heartfelt way. CMP is an Amazon affiliate Related: 5 of the worst Father’s Day gifts: Steer clear of if you want to stay in his will! Being a Dad Is Weird: Lessons...

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A book club that supports Black women authors sets its sights on a festival you should know about.

From Brooklyn to beyond! The Well-Read Black Girl Book Club (WRBG), which has been bringing together women of color to celebrate and raise awareness of Black literature, will be hosting its first-ever The Well-Read Black Girl Writers’ Conference & Festival this fall and we couldn’t be more excited! Since its launch in 2015, WRBG has rapidly grown its Brooklyn chapter, as well as its nearly 20,000 online community members nationally, to meet monthly to discuss celebrated works from literature greats, such as Toni Morrison and Alice Walker, as well as contemporary authors like my personal favorite Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and our amazing friend and former CMP contributor...

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5 of the worst Father’s Day gifts: Steer clear if you want to stay in his will!

With every dad’s special day coming up, we feel that it’s our duty to point out some of the worst Father’s Day gifts we’ve been seeing. Not because we’re mean. But because we love dads. And we have their backs. Kristen and Liz had a hilarious discussion on Spawned about the very worst Mother’s Day gifts last month, featuring items they had actually been pitched by brands like uh, oil change gift cards. And discount bikini wax packages. (Yeah, that bad.) But, I have to say, these 5 terrible gift ideas I found for dads may be even worse. On the flip side, we’re here to...

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15 of the funniest Father’s Day cards that will have him laughing til he cries

Father’s Day is coming up, which means we’ve been busy searching for the coolest, most unique and fun gifts for dads. And one of our favorite roundups we do every year is finding the funniest Father’s Day cards, because we’re suckers for a good laugh. If the dads in your life love a good laugh too, then we’re sure you’ll find the perfect card for him here. At top: Push That Stroller Father’s Day card | Just a Wink CMP is a rstyle affiliate Related: Super rad Father’s Day T-shirts? Check. Sarcastic Father’s Day Card (Tense and Urgent) Because, when you have a teenager, the sarcasm is...

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10 inspirational art prints for grads that will encourage them to work hard, be kind, and follow their dreams.

I’m a real sucker for a feel good, motivational quote, so I love the idea of giving an inspirational art print as a gift to a recent grad. They can hang it on a wall or prop it up on a desk, and it’ll be a daily reminder to go out there and go get ’em! These 10 inspirational art prints for grads are the ones I feel will most encourage hard work, kindness, and a belief in themselves to follow their dreams. Cue the Pomp and Circumstance… At top: Work Hard and be Nice to People Print by Stars and Type...

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8 tips to compliment your kids in ways that are meaningful and empowering

As parents, we’re our kids’ biggest fans, right? That’s why a lot of us tend to compliment them. A lot. Whether it’s the first time they learn to ride a bike, the masterpiece they created in art class, a stellar report card, or even that time they remembered to clean up their toys without being told, we want to praise them like we should, as the song goes. But it turns out, those positive words and our best intentions can have some unintended consequences. And I know, that seems like such a backward way of thinking. Related: Should every kid get a trophy?...

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5 important dystopian novels for tweens and teens to inspire critical thinking and positive action

In the age of “alternative facts,” it’s no surprise that classic dystopian novels, which encourage readers to take a critical look at things, are dominating bestseller lists right now. While dystopian literature has always been popular with middle and high schoolers — probably because adolescence is a time when kids start focusing on their individuality and independence, questioning authority, and caring more about issues in the world — since January of this year, sales of the quintessential dystopian book 1984 has spiked, putting the 70-year-old George Orwell novel at the top of the Amazon bestseller list. Other classic novels warning of oppression, propaganda, and government control have had...

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