Category: Editors Best of the Year

The best kids music of 2016 | Editors Picks of the Year

It wouldn’t be our Editors Picks of the Year if we didn’t give a shoutout to our favorite kids music of the year. And if you’re thinking, huh? Cool kids’ music? then clearly you haven’t spent a lot of time here! For years now, there have been amazing kindie artists  — lots of whom you might have known as adult artists first, like Lisa Loeb or TMBG’s Danny Weinkauf — putting out family friendly music that even parents can get down to. And for that, we are grateful. So if you’re in need of some kids music that doesn’t make you...

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18 best children’s books of 2016 | Editors’ Best of 2016

As the year comes to a close, we’re looking back at our picks for the best children’s books of 2016 — according to our editors, writers, and of course our children! What a perfect way to kick off our Editors Picks of the Year. As our readers know, we all adore books here at Cool Mom Picks and we’ve collectively read hundreds of great kids’ books this year, from the sweetest board books for babies, to excellent picture books for early readers, to compelling graphic novels  — and it’s not an easy job to whittle it down to just a few favorites. Ultimately, we go with the books...

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The coolest kids’ music of the year: Our 15 top albums | Editors’ Best of 2015

2015 was a very good year for kids’ music, with new releases from favorites like They Might Be Giants and Recess Monkey, as well as new-to-us bands like The Bazillions and Jazzy Ash. And if you have kids, but no idea what I’m talking about, well, you’re in for a treat! Kids’ music these days is definitely more than those albums of kids belting out pop covers in unison, and our children are lucky to have so much amazing music out there to choose from, that also happens to have lyrics that are fun, catchy, and don’t make us cringe...

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The 22 best kids’ toys of the year (and other playful gifts) : Editors’ Best of 2015

When you think back to the best toys of the year (and other playful gifts for kids) you probably think about tech, tablets, and things that require cords and batteries. And yet there’s so much more, from wonderful board games, to handmade dolls, to decidedly unplugged toy that inspire tons of creative play and imagination. While we’ve got all the cool tech toys covered for you over at Cool Mom Tech, here are 22 of our favorite new toys of 2015 that captured our — and our children’s — attention. Most are from small brands that really value all the attention they get, but...

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The best children’s books of 2015 : Editors’ Best of 2015

What a treat it is to put together our list of the best children’s books of 2015. Not that it’s easy; we’ve collectively read hundreds of great kids’ books this year — from cute, sweet board books, to excellent picture books for early readers, to heart wrenching YA chapter books — and it’s always a job to whittle it down to just a few favorites. Ultimately, we went with the picture books that we’re gladly picking up to read out loud to our younger kids for the hundredth time and the chapter books that are sparking great conversations with our tweens and teens....

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The coolest accessory brands and shops that we fell in love with this year: Editors’ Best of 2015

You might say we’ve got a little thing for accessories. And you might say that’s a huge understatement. Which is why we have the best time all year poking around the internet, cruising the trade shows, and poking our heads into local jewelers, artists’ studios and museum shops, all to find cool new accessories we love. And we do love them. So we hope you love these, our picks for our artists and resources for jewelry and accessories that we shared in 2015 — but are going to be wearing (or just coveting) long into 2016 and beyond. If it helps update your wardrobe, it it...

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The coolest baby gifts and gear of the year: Editors’ Best of 2015

We’re so excited to wrap up our year by featuring our very top picks in all sorts of categories, starting with our very favorite cool baby gifts and gears that were new or new to us in 2015. This is a tough category to be sure, so we went through our archives, talked to our editors and writers, and put together the few from our archives that we think deserve an extra special nod this year. And perhaps a spot on your baby registry too! In no particular order…our picks for coolest baby gifts and gear of 2015.   This...

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12 of the coolest baby gifts, gadgets, and gear of the year: Editors’ Best of 2014

Shopping for baby gifts might just be among our favorite kind of shopping to do, and we’ve featured no shortage of amazing baby gift ideas on our site this year. (If we do say so ourselves). After much consideration, deliberation, and debate, we’ve narrowed it down to the very coolest, all of which we would have loved to receive ourselves when our little ones were born. Here, our picks for 12 of the best new baby gifts of 2014. That will be just as cool to give to some lucky parents in 2015.   This is post is part of of our annual series of Editors...

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The best kids’ toys, dolls, and games: Editors’ Best of 2014

From amazing dolls to cool new games and imaginative toys, there have been so many fantastic options out for kids at play this year that encourage things we love, like creativity, imagination, building, interest in STEM pursuits, defiance of gender stereotypes and more. Wow, what a year! Plus so many toys are starting to incorporate tech now, that we included some favorites from Cool Mom Tech as well. We hope our list of the coolest kids’ toys of the year includes some new favorites of your own.   This is post is part of of our annual series of Editors Picks of the Year. No...

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The coolest jewelry and accessories: Editors’ Best of 2014

It’s no secret that we have a thing for jewelry, handbags, and accessories. Have you seen our own style Pinterest boards? Yeah. That’s a thing for sure. So after a whole year of browsing, shopping, curating, and pinning, we’ve pared it down to just a few favorite picks of the year from small companies we adore. Not that we don’t love big designer brands too; but if you’re in the market for a little something for yourself, considering giving one of these cool accessories a look. You might discover a new favorite. This is post is part of of our annual series...

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The coolest kids’ music of the year: Editors’ Best of 2014

Whether you like your kids’ music to speed things up or chill them out, 2014 was a very good year for independent kids’ music, otherwise known as “kindie.” Four of our favorite albums were nominated for Grammy awards, while artists like Lori Henriques and Walter Martin continued to elevate and challenge what is typically regarded as music for kids. And while we never want the artists to forget the pint-sized audience they are performing for, we love that our favorites are albums we often find ourselves listening to in the car even when we’re riding solo.   So, after listening to dozens and dozens of...

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The coolest kids’ clothes and accessories: Editors’ Best of 2014

While we love finding the cutest baby clothes for showers (and our staff members who are going through some sort of group fertility thing this year) as our kids get older, we’re so happy to get to look for more cool clothes for older kids and tweens, who’ve aged out of the 0-6 lines. So we’re thrilled to have lots of both on our site this year, with tons of new brands, plus great new lines from brands we’ve loved for years. While this is always a tough one to narrow down, here are our picks for the coolest kids’...

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The best board books for babies of 2013: Editors’ Best of 2013

To start 2014, we’re excited to feature the best board books for babies of 2013 that we fell in love with. Because honestly, our babies fell in love with them too. And not just because the cardboard covers taste delicious. If there’s ever one New Year’s resolution we all want to keep, it’s “read more.” And we think that “read more to our kids” fits in there, too. When you’ve already got 16 copies of Goodnight Moon, we hope these picks help fill out your baby’s library beautifully. Alphablock ABC book Alphabet books have come a long way, baby. The...

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The coolest jewelry, handbags and accessories: Editors’ Best of 2013

As much as we love picking gear, goodies, and gifts for kids, we just can’t help ourselves when it comes to picking pretties for ourselves, especially from indie brands and small artists. From cool jewelry and handbags to gorgeous accessories to bring our wardrobe staples to the 21st century, we think moms need special somethings too. Maybe even lots of them. So to close out our Editors Picks of 2013, here are our very favorites from 2013, which we think will still look fabulous in 2014 too. Good, because we’ll still be wearing them.   K20 by Karen Ko...

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The coolest new baby gear: Editors’ Best of 2013

A lot of great new baby gear was born in 2013 and, though we hate to play favorites, we have 9 picks that deserve special mention for being extra-cool, innovative, practical, and helping make life with baby a little bit easier. Maybe even more stylish. Even if you’re working on only two hours of sleep and the idea of matching your diaper bag to your stroller is wayyyy down on the list of priorities.       Kinderwagon Hop Double Stroller We waited a long time for the widespread release of this lightweight and narrow double stroller since we...

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The 10 coolest kids’ albums of the year: Editors Best of 2013

My favorite of the coolest kids’ albums of 2013 are as eclectic and diverse as the kids who listen to them. So whether you like it loud and rocking, prefer your music to have a bit more soul, or would like to sing along en Espanol, here’s our top picks for you stock up on and freshen up those playlists.     1. Shine and the Moonbeams by Shine and the Moonbeams Soulful and smooth, with the unforgettable voice of Shawana Kemp at the helm, this is my #1 pick of 2013.    2. Singing our Way Through–Songs for the World’s Bravest Kids...

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The coolest kids’ clothes and accessories: Editors’ Best of 2013

One of our favorite things about our job is tracking down the coolest kids’ clothes, whether it’s casual tees, trendy but affordable pieces, or the splurgey stuff that makes you yearn for four more kids for hand-me-downs. You’ll find all of them here, in our picks for our favorite kids’ clothes of 2013. Wunway Clothes for Girls We want pretty much every single thing Wunway makes in our own sizes, but we’ll settle for dressing our girls in it. Moms with growing girls will be thrilled to discover their stylish, age-appropriate clothes that let girls be girls, not teens....

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The coolest kids’ toys: Editors’ Best of 2013

There are always so many of the coolest kids’ toys from small companies for us to discover each year and 2013 was no exception. In our Editors’ Best of 2013 series, we offer you our very favorites of the year, each of which was chosen for its originality, craftsmanship, great design, and low wear-out factor. They’re not all the toys you’ll find in the big stores, and that’s in part what we love about them.       The Rainbow Loom As our editor Liz said on CNN this year, 2013 was the year of the Rainbow Loom! Girls...

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The best cookbooks for families (that you’ll actually cook from!): Editors’ Best of 2013

By now, you’ve probably come across several Best Cookbooks of 2013 lists, each filled with drool-worthy tomes that would make great coffee table staples. But if you want to gift your favorite family cook — including yourself — a cookbook that’s actually useful in a busy home kitchen, check out my favorite family cookbooks of 2013 as part of our Editors’ Picks of 2013 series. Filled with mouthwatering photos and doable dishes, these books not only make pretty gifts, but they also make practical ones. Which is pretty much what every parent needs.   Keepers (above) is among my favorite cookbooks...

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The coolest kids’ furniture and decor: Editors’ Best of 2013

The coolest kids’ furniture and decor of 2013 is next up in our series of Editors’ Picks of the Year. We love daydreaming about all the ways to make our nurseries and kids’ rooms even cooler–or to rewind time and start over from scratch when we see some of the awesome options available now.  And yes, they are awesome.   Snurk Kids’ Bedding This is easily the coolest bedding we’ve ever seen. It looks fantastic on its own, but even better with a real live kid in there. And when you think about it, it’s a pretty smart way...

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The cutest baby clothes: Editors’ Best of 2013

We’re so excited to present our Editors Best of 2013 series. As always, no voting, no vote-begging, no entrance fees. Just the stuff we really really loved this year–starting with the cutest baby clothes of the year in 0-12mo. This is always one of the hardest for us–not necessarily because there are thousands of great ones, though there are lots, but because every single one makes us miss those little toes and little fingers and sweet little baby heads. (Though not so much the diapers.) Nununu (at top) It’s always refreshing to find cool clothes for baby that go beyond...

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The coolest children’s books of the year: Editors Best of 2012

We can’t think of a nicer way to end our Editors Best of 2012 than with our very favorite kids’ books of the year. Especially because they will still be relevant in 2013 and beyond–unlike handbags or even tech, books never go out of style. Here, three of our editors present their very favorite books for children that we discovered this past year. Enjoy! Liz Baby Lit Books by Jennifer Adams and Alison Oliver I can’t help it. After suffering through the same board books for months on end when my kids were little (you know the ones!) it’s...

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The coolest kids’ albums of the year: Editors Best of 2012

Whether your family wants to get the party started with some kid-hop beats or needs to settle down to some gentle folk tunes, our top kids’ music picks of 2012 has a little something for every mood. And, you’ll find great musical options for the youngest babes all the way up to the ficklest of tweens.  [click the links for our full reviews] 1. Can You Canoe? by The Okee Dokee Brothers 2. In Tents by Recess Monkey 3. Make Believers by Secret Agent 23 Skidoo 4. Radio Jungle by The Pop-Ups 5. Tumble Bee by Laura Veirs 6....

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The coolest jewelry, bags and accessories of 2012: Editors Best of 2012

This year felt like an extra amazing year for discovering gorgeous jewelry, bags, and accessories that keep mamas feeling cool. (Even if we’re just faking it.) Here, a few of our editors’ very favorites of the year. And phew…it wasn’t easy paring it down. So congrats to all our favorites! Kristen Leigh Luna braille jewelry It’s no secret that I love braille; I have my kids’ initials tattooed in braille on my wrist! But even I can appreciate the gorgeous braille jewelry from from this artist, which is a personal but much less permanent option. Metallic Cambridge Satchels I...

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The coolest kids toys of 2012: Editors Best of 2012

We love nothing more than finding toys for kids that are handmade, or at least, don’t require an on and off switch and 300 batteries. Instead, our favorite toys of 2012 are all powered by the imaginations and little hands of kids. Liz LEGO Friends As one of the original they’re doing WHAT with LEGOS? cynics, I have come full circle, completely respecting the way that LEGO Friends sets give more girls the chance to combine building skills with imaginative play. I will say I prefer the veterinary clinic, flying club, or invention workshop to the uh, beauty salon; but hey, no one says...

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The coolest ways to decorate a kid’s room: Editors Best of 2012

Decorating the baby’s room may be the most fun thing about being pregnant. (Unless you eat a lot of chocolate chip pancakes, which would make it a tie.) We had so much fun rounding up our picks for the coolest nursery and kids’ room decor of 2012. Liz Aden + Anais muslin crib bedding Muslin is so genius in all seasons, that I’m so happy this mom-run company finally turned their uber-popular swaddler designs into sheets for your baby’s crib. Also? Utterly adorable. Amanda Vissel Boys Posters In a world where so-called boys’ artwork is either super precious or el destructo, I...

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The coolest new baby gear: Editors Best of 2012

While our annual guide to the best baby shower gifts is always a smart place to search for the coolest baby gifts and gear, so many fabulous new gear essentials have come out in 2012 that we’re excited to share some of our very favorites. Liz Bloom Zen Stroller When one of our resident stroller experts, Melissa, swears by a stroller I sit up and take note. She called the Bloom Zen “the perfect compromise between an umbrella stroller and a heavy-duty buggy,” with a super easy fold, and compact profile for small spaces. And if you’re not up...

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The coolest boys’ clothes and accessories: Editors Best of 2012:

Every time we hear a parent say, “We can’t find cool clothes for boys,” we say, “Visit Cool Mom Picks!” We like a challenge. However, it is getting easier each year, and it’s fun finding the clothes that make our little fellows a little funkier. Liz Aven clothing If I had a cool little guy to style, I’d be hitting this website first. From rockin’ denim jackets with leather sleeves, to plaid blazers and topstitched jeans, you’re dressed for Williamsburg or Silverlake in a snap. I mean uh, your kid is. Okllo boys’ tees We already gave a shoutout to the cool...

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The coolest girls’ clothes and accessories: Editors Best of 2012

Okay, so we moms of girls try to play it down, but we admit it can be pretty darn fun shopping for them. On the other hand, it can get a little harder as they get older and the designers want our kids to grow up faster than we’d like. So kudos to these brands which really made us happy this year. Kristen Inspiring women tees for girls by Okllo In the sea of blinged out, sequined covered girls’ clothes out there, I was thrilled to find these awesome inspiring shirts for girls featuring historical female heroes. We need...

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The coolest modern kids furniture: Editors Best of 2012

Finding modern kids’ furniture has gotten so much easier in recent years (hooray!) that the only downside is having to choose what you want. And what you have room for. And what’s worth the investment. Hopefully these picks of 2012 will help. Kristen: A desk that’s also a playhouse? That’s exactly what the Deskhouse from Cool Kids’ Company is (at top). There’s just too much awesome about this concept. Plus, it’s perfect for families with lots of kids like mine. They’re tables! or ottomans! or both! Either way, the Quinze and Milan Jellyfish Ottomans are brilliant, and remind me...

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