Category: DIY

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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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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3 cool ways to display travel photos that inspire you to take another trip soon

My husband and I recently spent two life-changing weeks in Seoul, South Korea, which means I have a zillion gorgeous photographs to show off to family and friends. On that 16-hour flight home, I spent some time scanning Pinterest and geeked out over these cool, creative ways to display travel photos. I can’t wait to get started on these projects. Once the jet lag passes. Related: The coolest travel journals for kids to help them remember every awesome moment As long as you have a steady hand with scissors, this travel photos map at Cut Craft Create (also shown at top) shouldn’t be too hard....

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9 easy, Valentine’s Day heart crafts for kids we totally love

Valentine’s Day is already upon us and we’ve found some of the sweetest Valentine’s Day crafts for kids from some of our favorite bloggers, DIY-ers, and clever makers. Whether you want to embrace the mess with your preschoolers, or you’re looking for a cool craft to do with bigger kids — or, hey, you just need to use up your empty toilet paper rolls — we’ve got a craft for that. Related: More easy Valentine’s Day crafts for kids from supplies you already have For this Valentine Shaving Cream Heart Art at Hello, Wonderful, kids get to dip their paper into a tray of...

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Spicing things up this Valentine’s Day with…a box.

Sometimes it can be hard to think outside the box when it comes to date nights for me and my husband. Actually, as busy working parents of four kids, it can be hard to even think outside the house when it comes to date nights. Netflix and wine, anyone? So, when Datebox sent me a sample of their subscription boxes to try out, I was curious to see the fresh, new ideas it claimed would help amp up our couple time together. (Ha! Couple time! What’s that, says the mom of four?) Related: Condoms for Valentine’s Day that give in (ahem) more than...

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The prettiest Chinese New Year craft brings good fortune all year long.

This Saturday marks the start to Chinese New Year, and we’ve found a fun craft for kids to celebrate in the prettiest way possible. Using these easy instructions at Handmade Charlotte, and just a few materials you probably have in your craft bin already, you can DIY Chinese New Year paper lanterns in any color combination you like, whether you choose traditional red and gold to symbolize good fortune, or your kids’ favorite colors. Related: How to make tea eggs with kids for Chinese New Year We love how easy this craft is for kids, although if you want the paper lanterns to...

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You’ve got to see this cool DIY dragon craft for Chinese New Year. So fun!

If you’re looking for a fun and easy way to celebrate Chinese New Year with the kids this weekend, we have just the thing for you! This DIY craft from our friends at Alpha Mom imitates the fabulous street parade dragons we all know and love from Chinese New Year celebrations around the globe. I love the festive red and gold sparkles of this craft, and the slinky, slithery motion the dragon makes when assembled. Related: Easy dumpling recipes for Chinese New Year that kids can help make.  Click over for the easy-to-follow instructions; I love their BTDT tips to make it...

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Free printable Valentine’s Day cards for the classroom that celebrate friendship, not romance. (Phew!)

Valentine’s Day will be here before we know it, and I’m excited to share these brand new free printable Valentine’s Day cards and treat bag toppers from Free to Be Kids — a site we already love for their adorable, empowering t-shirts — and the printables happen to be perfect for every kid in the classroom. I think parents will really appreciate that these aren’t the typical lovey-dovey crush cards, but instead celebrate friendship in the sweetest way possible. Instead of Be Mine, they say I’m glad we’re friends. And I’m such a fan of Love must be your superpower, ’cause you’re a super friend card. Related: 3 adorable...

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3 inspiring ways your kids can design, create and invent using Tinkercad.

Last week, we introduced you to 3 cool kid inventors who we actually got to meet and chat with on behalf of our sponsor Autodesk. Well, since then, my tween Quinlan, who actually interviewed the inventors on Facebook Live (so fun!), has been learning how to use Tinkercad. She’s been playing around with this free web tool, creating 3D designs the same way those remarkable kids created their own inventions. I’ve been so amazed seeing how my daughter can just take an idea from her own imagination, design it, and use a 3D printer to print and hold it in her hand. And did I mention it’s fun? Take...

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5 wonderful MLK Day crafts to help inspire important conversations with kids

My kids, like so many, have this Monday off of school to honor the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and I always find that craft activities are a good way to engage kids around any important day. So I’ve tracked together some really fun craft ideas for MLK Day that my kids can create to help us celebrate diversity and inclusivity — and hopefully get some important conversations rolling around any household. And if for some reason your school isn’t off for the day, these could be great classroom activities as well, along with a watching of King’s famous I Have a Dream speech (linked...

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18 pretty, printable 2017 calendars, lots free! Because free is a good way to start a new year.

If you’re looking to plan ahead for 2017 and impose some organization on the post-holiday chaos, we’ve scoured the web for beautiful printable 2017 calendars and put together 17 of our very favorites. There are tons of cool designs available online, whether you want a clean, structural design or illustrations pretty enough to blend in with your wall art. Plus, plenty of these options are free, so you can switch motifs mid-year if the calendar you liked in January isn’t jiving with your mood in July. CMP is an rstyle affiliate Related: One-word New Year’s resolutions: The trick to making one you can finally...

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15 Glitzy and glam 2017 New Year’s party printables, recipes + DIY decorations to help you kick 2016 out the door

While every year we put together our favorite New Year’s printables for those of you partying like it’s…well, the beginning of a new year, this New Year’s Eve feels a little different for a lot of us. Maybe you’re saying goodbye to a really tough 2016; maybe you’re throwing a glam, glitzy shindig as a brief respite before the reality of what may be a tough 2017 sets in. Or hey, maybe you’ve got a lot to celebrate in your own life. As I stare at my own personal fire hazard (A.K.A. the Christmas tree) and dread taking down the lights and ornaments...

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13 of the cutest printable coloring pages for Christmas, to keep kids away from those presents just a little longer.

I know that the days before Christmas can seem unusually long, especially when kids are out of school and the presents are taunting them (my nieces’ word, not mine). So if you’ve got a household of over-excited kids, we’ve got just the thing to help you keep them occupied and away from those presents under the tree. All you need is a printer and some freshly sharpened colored pencils. Or crayons, or markers too. From your basic coloring pages, to wall art, cards, foldable villages, and even placements, these coloring pages — most of them for free! — are just the...

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15 festive, fun, and free printable gift tags for the holidays. Now, get wrapping!

On your mark, get set, wrap those gifts! And, as always, we’re coming to the rescue with 15 of the most festive, fun, and free printable gift tags for all your holiday gifts. Some of the printables on this list were in our round up last year, and we love them so much we had to include them here again. Others are brand new finds that we hope you’ll love just as much as we do. And thanks to the amazing, talented designers who offer up all kinds of fantastic — and did we mention free? — printable gift tags for us all to...

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Creative holiday gift wrapping ideas to make your presents even more amazing.

I love the simplicity of brown paper packages tied up with string as much as the next person, but sometimes I’m in the mood for more creative holiday gift wrapping to make my presents really stand out under the Christmas tree or by the menorah. There are no shortage of cool gift wrap options and ideas out there; you just have to know where to look. And we’ve done that part for you! From free color-your-own printables to reusable bags, here are some of the coolest and most creative holiday gift wrapping ideas I found — including a way to pretty up a regular old brown paper...

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6 DIY holiday classroom gifts that are festive and fun

So apparently giving out holiday classroom gifts are a real thing. How I’ve managed to get my kids from preschool through middle school not knowing about this, is a mystery to me. But this year, I was tasked with searching for ways to make cute DIY holiday classroom gifts that are festive and fun, and I found so many great ideas to pull off this really sweet gesture just in time. Related: 6 DIY holiday gifts for teachers from the kids that will get an A+ While there are tons and tons of ideas for easy and inexpensive DIY gifts out there on some...

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3 artsy, whimsical craft kits for kids with big imaginations

For the little girls in my life, ages 6–9 has been a craftaholic phase. One that’s moving away from cardboard and pipe cleaners and more toward DIY craft kits for kids that result in beautiful finished products they can keep themselves or give to others — like to their favorite aunt on Christmas (hint). And since crafting can be a fun bonding time for us, I’ve been looking for artsy DIY kits for kids that don’t require too much painstaking detail work and that are totally self-contained, so we can eliminate any frenzied last-minute trips to the art supply store. Three cheers...

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6 DIY holiday gifts for teachers from the kids that will get an A+

When it comes to holiday gifts for teachers, as a former teacher myself I know first-hand that there is no way to really thank the fantastic teachers of the world enough for all that they do. All day long. Every day. But there are still meaningful holiday gifts for teachers that I think start to do the trick. And, take it from me, a gift with meaning doesn’t have to mean it’s pricey. Truthfully, even when I received a generous gift card to my favorite book store, I usually used it to purchase more books for the classroom. But really it was the handmade...

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The papercraft book that makes Christmas crafting so, so easy.

Houses up and down our street are starting to turn on their holiday lights, and it’s beginning to look at lot like Christmas in our neighborhood. My craft-loving kids would like for us to DIY everything holiday around here — cotton-ball snowmen, reindeer food, glitter wreaths…you name it. So when I discovered Papermade’s new book Paper Holiday, I knew I’d hit the holiday craft jackpot. The book includes 20 Christmas ornaments you can make in about 10 minutes each — just punch-out, fold up, and hang on the tree. No scissors, glue, or tape required. It even includes paper hooks. The ornaments are definitely Christmas specific,...

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Free printables + activities that help grow kids’ hearts 3 sizes this Grinch-mas

Maybe Christmas, he thought, doesn’t come from a store. Maybe Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more. We read that line in Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas every year, but it can sometimes be difficult to drive home the message with kids who are a bit more focused on their shiny, wrapped presents. (Not that we blame them entirely.) Related: Deck the house with the coolest Christmas printables, lots of them free If you want to find the strength of 10 Grinches plus two this holiday season — and mobilize your kids to do good in the community...

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14 festive and fun advent calendars to count down to Christmas.

I, like Buddy from Elf, loooove Christmas. Christmas is my favorite. So once November gets here, I start planning my holiday decorations, meals, and festivities. And one of my favorite ways to kick-off the season is with advent calendars. For my family, nothing creates more excitement than counting down the days until the Big Day. Getting a treat each day makes it even sweeter. Every year, Cool Mom Picks searches high and low for all kinds of advent calendar options for our homes so that our families — and yours! — can count down to Christmas in fun, festive style. From...

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Color your home grateful with these cool printable Thanksgiving posters from Caravan.

If you’ve been following us this season, you know we’ve already discovered some amazing printables for Thanksgiving. And while these activities should buy you at least some free time Thanksgiving morning to conquer your cooking, we thought a larger-scale printable could be helpful too. I was excited to discover these printable posters from Caravan, which encourage kids to creatively express their gratitude and decorate the walls — all without damaging the interiors of your home. I love the GIANT Thanksgiving Coloring Poster that offers a mind-boggling amount (seriously, whoa!) of Thanksgiving-themed detail for kids to fill in with a marker or crayon. And check...

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4 fun DIY mobile kits that you won’t be able to stop looking at either.

As a first-time pregnant lady, I’ve been dreaming up color schemes for a nursery for oh, the past 5 months or so. And with my recent gender reveal party (it’s a boy!), I’m now even closer to honing in on colors, patterns, and styles for my baby’s room. And one thing I’m really on the lookout for is a bright, fun, friendly mobile. Which is why I was so excited to find these really cool DIY mobile kits on Etsy that let you create the perfect mobile for your baby’s nursery. None of these seem to require too much skill, and they all look amazing....

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How to make a DIY Thankful Turkey with your kids in 4 (very) easy steps.

Our favorite crafts around here are simple ones that don’t require an MFA, and it’s a big bonus when we don’t even have to head to the craft store for supplies. And if these crafts help us have conversations about the world around us, allow our kids to get in touch with nature or our community, or teach them the importance of gratitude, then even better. This cute DIY thankful turkey craft is a very easy and fun craft that fits all these categories. I’ll be making these with my kids this year while we wait for our turkey to cook, because we really do have...

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13 amazing, free Thanksgiving printables from a cute pie box to a fun I Spy game for kids.

I’ve always loved Thanksgiving and although I have been looking forward to it for weeks now, it feels like the events of the election may loom over the dinner table like 50-foot floats in the Macy’s Day Parade (except not as cute and friendly). It’s been an emotional November for many of us, but at the end of the day, Thanksgiving is all about gathering together, practicing gratitude, and remembering how important our friends and family are. So in the spirit of this special holiday, I’ve rounded up 13 free Thanksgiving printables — games, coloring pages, decor ideas, and more — to help us...

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8 fun and easy Thanksgiving crafts for preschool kids beyond tracing a hand to look like a turkey.

I truly love spending autumn weekends doing fall crafts with my nieces, and now that we’re done with pumpkins and ghosts, I’m looking into cool craft projects for Thanksgiving. I searched around and found some favorites — corn on the cob, the Mayflower, and of course, turkeys (so many turkeys!) — that are perfect for even the youngest preschool kids. Here are 8 of my favorites — all super fun and easy Thanksgiving crafts for kids. And all fridge-worthy.  Related: 6 adorable pinecone crafts that go way beyond wreaths. Hello, fall! Love that this Fork-Painted Turkey Craft at I Hear Arts n Crafts, doesn’t even require a...

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What to do with leftover Halloween candy: 10 creative ideas besides you know, just eating it.

We’re always happy to offer up parents lots of ideas for what to do with all that leftover Halloween candy you’ll surely end up with. Well, at least after the small gorge-fest that your trick-or-treaters may be entitled to after all their hard work. So I’ve put together some crafts, causes, recipes, and even experiments you can do with leftover Halloween candy that are just as much satisfying as eating it all. Well, kind of. Top Photo: Sam Howzit on Flickr via Compfight cc 1. Donate Halloween Candy to a Good Cause One of our favorite ways to get candy out of the house is to send...

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Down with masks! 7 quick, easy face paint tutorials for kids this Halloween

Take it from an ex-face painter: Face painting doesn’t have to be hard for you — or on your kid. The first rule of Face Paint Club is to avoid using the crummy cheap face paints that are sometimes sold at grocery stores — they tend to be coated in chemicals and are sometimes expired too. It’s important to buy quality face paints for kids, which you can probably get at your local craft store. I’m a big fan of Snazaroo face paints, which are non-toxic, washable, paraben- and fragrance-free, and made for sensitive skin. You can order that brand on...

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How to get some Hamilton on your front porch this Halloween.

Look around, look around, at how lucky we are it’s Halloween right now! Why? Because the awesome people at the Hamilton Facebook page have released the official instructions to create a #HamiLantern. And who wouldn’t want a little Lin-Manual Miranda hamming it up on their porch this Halloween? At top: #HamiLantern Hamilton pumpkin by Olivia Rose Lee via Hamilton Facebook page   Related: The 13 most outrageously awesome carved pumpkins you just have to see. Because, whoa. Choose from one of three versions, then, remember these few quick tips if it’s your first Hamilcarving: Leave those dull kitchen knives behind and...

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7 fun political activities for kids to do on election night. No mudslinging included.

This election in particular has been a tough one for me to wade through all the issues with my kids, so I’ve been getting creative with how I’m involving them in our family’s political discussions. I’ve been implementing Kristen and Liz’s great tips for talking politics with your children in a nasty election year, and I’m also planning to take mine with me when I vote so they can see firsthand what that experience is really like. I’ve also been looking for some fun political activities for kids to help mine get a little involved and learn a thing or two about our election process....

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