Author: Lexi Petronis

11 fun and easy flower crafts for kids to make this spring.

Spring has sprung…well, almost. Which means that yards everywhere will soon be filled with beautiful buds and fabulous flowers. And until we thaw out from winter, we can find other ways to bring the beauty of spring into our lives, like with these fun and easy flower crafts for kids. These 11 bright and colorful DIYs are the perfect way to plant the seed of an idea for getting crafty, even if your child is more into Minecraft than magnolias. At top: String Art Flower Cards | Hello, Wonderful   Related: So many easy Easter crafts for kids (no glitter required!) Bottle Cap...

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Testing household hacks: How to clean the 5 biggest kid messes, from Sharpie on the wall to Play-Doh in the rug

There are some facts about the world that are simply not up for debate. Like: Humans breathe air, cats sleep exclusively on favorite black sweaters, and parents will always be searching for how to clean the big messes our kids make. So I took a look at 5 of the most common kid-made cleaning problems that I deal with myself all the time, and I white-knuckled it to put all those quick-fix cleaning promises and household hacks to the test. My goal: To show you what really works, and what isn’t worth your time when it comes to cleaning kid messes. Chocolate ice cream stain...

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7 free St. Patrick’s Day printables that will give luck o’ the Irish to kids everywhere

To help your kids celebrate St. Patrick’s Day this year, you could bake pans and pans of soda bread, or painstakingly place leprechaun prints around the house…or you could download some free St. Patrick’s Day printables to add to lunch boxes or have your kids give out to friends and classmates at school. We vote for the latter. Because, it’s easy. And free! And lucky for our readers, we scoured the internet in search of these easy and free St. Patrick’s Day printables and landed on 7 favorites we just had to share. Related: A DIY Oreo Shamrock Shake. Best St. Patrick’s Day treat ever....

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Try and guess the number of girls worldwide who are denied an education. Nope…higher.

When you look at the data of the number of girls who don’t go to school around the world, it’s nearly inconceivable. The number: 130 million girls. Million. That’s about equal to the entire populations of Texas, Florida, New York, Pennsylvania and Illinois combined. These millions of girls aren’t missing school because they don’t feel like going, or because they’re home sick; they are actively denied the chance to get an education because of poverty. And as ONE.org has been reminding us, Poverty is Sexist. School means more than just education to girls; it means healthier, less dangerous lives, and the opportunity break the...

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7 cool art museum store toys under $50: Supporting the arts through shopping!

We all know that art and design museums are magical. Where else can kids feast their eyes on important paintings, goof around with hands-on exhibits, and giggle at naked statues (come on, you know that’s true), all before dinnertime? And with a lot of us nervous about major reported cuts to NEA funding, we love how shopping through museum stores are another way to help support the arts. Museum shops are often where we find some of the best toys — whimsical, unusual, and often educational. So if you’re looking for a birthday gift or just a “this made me think of you!” kind of present, check out these...

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5 natural recipes for homemade slime, all safe and Borax-free

Slime is sweeping the globe. And I don’t mean that in any sort of metaphorical way. So we looked for some good, natural, homemade slime recipes for you all because eek, there’s been a lot of talk about how dangerous the traditional Borax-based recipe can be for kids everywhere who are busy making, trading and selling homemade, gooey slime with their friends. Sodium Borate, better known by the brand name Borax, is a compound that’s often found in detergents and cleansers, so you can see where we’re going with safety warnings. When inhaled (as in, if particles are flying around the kitchen...

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7 creative winter birthday party themes for the great indoors (no jackets required).

Kids with winter birthdays may not have the same options that their summer friends have — playgrounds, parks, picnics, pools, and other outside fun is, er, out. And that’s exactly why we love these creative winter birthday party themes, and all the smart, fun ideas bloggers and party planners have come up with. Filled with cool details and awesome-yet-totally-doable touches, each winter-centric celebration brings the outdoors inside — and proves that the coldest season can offer up the coolest parties around town. Top: Penguin Jell-o treats | Giggles Galore CMP is an rstyle affiliate Related: The Ultimate Birthday Party Gift Guide: Best gifts for kids of all ages!...

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11 fun Oscar party ideas that razzle-dazzle in all the right ways

Whether you’ve seen every film nominated for an Academy Award this year or you’re still trying to figure out what this La La Land is that everyone’s so gaga about, having friends over for an Oscars party is always a winning idea. An excuse to obsess over all the glitz, glamour, and gossip — with champagne? Count us in! And with all the food, decorations, and party games taken care of, you can contemplate the things that truly matter: Will Kate McKinnon present in character (and if so, who)? Exactly how many actors will be sporting bushy beards (and why is that so trendy right now)? Will Viola Davis’ two-decade film...

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The 2017 Grammy nominees for Best Children’s Album are all winners (to us).

Tonight, as we cheer on the nominees for the 59th Grammy Awards whose music plays in our car when our kids aren’t in it, we’ll also be rooting for the nominees whose music often is — and with good reason. This year’s Grammy nominees for Best Children’s Album are nothing short of awesome. We don’t envy the voting members of the Recording Academy — how can you pick just one of these? — but the good news for us is that we don’t have to. Here’s a look at who’s up for a Grammy this year in the children’s music category. They’re all winners to us. CMP is...

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5 creative ways to organize your kids’ books in less than a weekend

When my kids were little, their book collections were small and manageable. But as they grew, so did the mounds of books. It wasn’t long before their libraries turned into massive piles that made it challenging to find the one book they needed right-this-very-second. Sound familiar? But there are so many creative solutions for getting your kids’ books off the floor. I love these 5 easy DIY kids’ books organization ideas because they can easily be pulled off in less than a weekend — like, say, when you’re snowed in? Related: Storage solutions for kids’ artwork (goodbye, clutter!) 1. Repurpose kitchenware. A little sandpaper and white spray paint is all The Sweetest...

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10 cool non-candy Valentine’s Day classroom treats kids will love. And uh, parents will thank you! | Valentine’s Day Gift Guide 2017

Here at Cool Mom Picks, we’re huge fans of non-candy Valentine’s Day treats for the classroom. Not that there’s anything wrong with a little bag of conversation hearts or a cute chocolate kiss with your cards, but not every class allows candy Valentines — and not every parent welcomes them. So I tracked down some really cool and easy non-candy Valentine’s Day classroom treats for kids of all age to help you out. Because while there are no chocolate hearts here, with ideas this fun and creative, I’m pretty sure your kids will still skip home from school, excited about their V-day haul. CMP is an...

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18 non-lovey dovey printable Valentine’s Day classroom cards for boys (and girls!)

It can be a little tough finding printable Valentine’s Day cards for boys. Now that my son is 6, in just a year he’s gone from happily handing out heart cards to insisting on anything with a lightsaber, a zombie, or ideally, a lightsaber-wielding zombie. In other words: No embarrassing love stuff. I know there are a lot of other boys (and girls!) who second that emotion. So I searched the web for fun printable Valentine’s Day cards for kids who are over the sweet stuff, and not quite comfortable with those “you stole my heart, Valentine” messages. CMP is an rstyle affiliate Related: 19...

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19 wildly creative, free printable valentines for the classroom

Here at Cool Mom Picks we’re hopelessly devoted to finding the best of the best free printable Valentine’s Day cards and these that we’ve tracked down happen to be wildly creative! They not only make much easier (really, so much) for our kids to deliver the sweetest of sentiments to their friends and classmates, but they can really show off your own kid’s individual style, interest and hobbies, from sharks to skateboards to LEGO. So we cross our hearts that your kids will fall in love with these 19 creative, free printable valentines for classmates. Did we mention free? Related: More of our favorite free...

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Indoor playhouses so fun, your kids will wish every day was a snow day.

We live in New Mexico, which means our kids look forward to playing in winter’s cold air and occasional snowflakes so much, they’ll dart outside without jackets, socks, or shoes, and — on one memorable occasion — pants. Still, their cold tolerance is low enough that it’s not long before they’re back inside, looking for something else to do. That’s where these genius playhouses come in. From make-it-yourself to buy-and-install, hallway hangouts to interactive hideaways, each one of these fun indoor playhouses for kids can help turn your house into its own kind of wonderland this winter. Related: The most outrageous playhouses around CMP is an rstyle affiliate Handmade cloth card table playhouse...

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New Jersey parents of newborns can take home baby boxes filled with everything—even a bed.

When I was an overwhelmed brand-new mom, I wished for a magical box that would somehow contain all that my newborn would need: Diapers, health supplies, onesies, how-to guides, a baby bed for safe sleeping. Yes. An actual baby bed. In a box. It turns out that the idea isn’t only real, it can be life-saving. And thanks to The Baby Box Co., 105,000 new families in New Jersey will experience them firsthand — for free! Related: Safe sleep sources on SIDS and more The creators of The Baby Box Co. were inspired by a 75-year-old Finnish initiative that sends new families home with baby boxes after they’d received prenatal care and...

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Cute photo Valentines that make up for the fact you forgot to send holiday cards.

In the 10 years my husband, kids, and I have been a family, I’ve managed to send out holiday cards exactly three times. These are not good odds. Like, if I were a team in the Super Bowl, bookies would strongly advise against betting that I would even remember to show up. Luckily, for all the parents, like me, whose packed schedules and busy brains preclude us from sending out holiday cards, there’s still a chance to make up for it in a big way: Valentine’s Day photo cards! And, with super-cute options like these that your friends and family are sure to love, maybe it’s okay to...

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The heroes of these fantastic fairy tales? Real women. (Really.)

When it comes to imaginative stories and tales, my kids have always been somewhat confused by what’s real and what’s make-believe. This is especially true of anything Star Wars (“Did his hand really come off?”), Harry Potter (“Do house elves really exist?”), and fairy tales (“Can someone really have hair that long?”). But now, they’ll get the Yes-es they’ve been looking for. And it will surely blow their minds. Related: Girl power! Empowering books for girls In Queen Girls stories, the heroes don’t wait for a magical kiss from a handsome prince, or a swift flick of the wand from a fairy godmother who can quick-fix their...

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The STEM building sets that empower girls to engineer their futures.

A few years ago, my now 9-year-old daughter had an epiphany while wandering the toy aisles at a discount superstore. She eyed a pink toy vacuum cleaner with suspicion, then asked to go to the boys’ aisle instead, because she wanted to be where the bulk of the cool building sets were. In the last few years, there have been serious strides in STEM toys geared toward girls, but it’s this one that I wish had been on the market on that fateful shopping day. Related: 12 cool STEM gifts for girls (and hey, for boys too)  Wonderhood Toys is the brainchild of two business-school...

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This cool Keith Haring wooden stencil set will inspire your kid to draw like…well, Keith Haring.

If your kids are anything like mine, there’s a good chance they may not recognize the name Keith Haring in the same way they might, say, Stan Lee or Matt Groening. After all, Haring was making his most major marks in the art world way back in the ’80s. You know, a time in ancient history during which, according to my 6-year-old son, I must have had to walk to school because cars hadn’t been invented yet. But even though the artist’s name might not yet ring a bell in those growing brains, his art will, all thanks to this cool Keith Haring wooden Stencil Set. CMP is...

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A play mat that teaches your baby how to speak emoji. (Insert winking face here.)

When my kids were babies and tummy-time touring their way throughout the house, it was a given that their play mat migrated to each room with them. And while I have fond memories of our jungle themed mat and odd interactive thingies (who doesn’t love a squeaking, googly eyed hippo, honestly?), I’m at least 98 percent sure my now-tech-loving littles would have preferred the Emoji Baby Play Mat. CMP is an rstyle affiliate Related: Fun emoji gifts: For kids or kids at heart Exclusive to Land of Nod, this hand-quilted mat is just soft and squishy enough to be both comfy and sturdy as your baby strengthens her...

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