Category: Kids

8 must-read summer reading books for tweens and teens who want to stay woke

Lately, as my kids are getting older and the world has gotten (ahem) a little crazier, my 10- and 12-year-old have been questioning what’s going on. I chat with them about my own observations and beliefs…and ask them about theirs. But one thing that helps us both understand where other people are coming from is to read stories written from their perspectives. So I’ve recently tracked down a handful of books that can help kids stay woke. I’ve collected these with tweens and teens in mind (although check them out first, because some of the books on this list...

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Scaring your friends: The best part of summer!

If you thought Michael Phelps racing a great white was the summer’s biggest shark-in-a-pool news, that’s because you haven’t seen this hot water accessory yet. Yes. It’s a wearable shark fin. We know our own aquaphiles will get themselves into a frenzy the second they see them, so be prepared if you’ve got a kid reading over your shoulder right now. Related: The coolest pool floats for the whole family (dibs on the chocolate donut)  Just know the shark fins aren’t flotation devices, they’re scare-your-friends-in-the-pool devices, made with lightweight foamy material and adjustable straps to fit swimmers of all sizes....

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Cards Against Humanity for Her: The most absorbent pack…ever!

What do we girls do after we’ve fixed our men their martinis, fetched them their slippers, and they retire with the paper to catch up on those boring old things like economics and geopolitical conflict ? Why, we play Cards Against Humanity…for Her. Of course. The geniuses behind the play-after-the-kids-are-in-bed game have just won my heart — again — with this new deck made just for women. And what makes it just for women? It’s pink, of course! So what’s different about it? It’s pink, silly! Nothing else? God! No! What’s wrong with you? Are you getting your period? Related:...

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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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All about that babe: 7 of the most outrageous kids’ amenities at hotels and resorts

Sometimes it’s the little things that make your vacation really special … and sometimes it’s the huge splurges you’ll remember forever. If that’s what you’re looking for on your next vacation, check out these five luxury resorts and hotels with some incredibly outrageous kids’ packages and amenities. Like, we’re-a-whole-lot-jealous amenities. Yes, they’re all over-the-top. But if you’re celebrating a special birthday, a huge accomplishment, or a massive tax refund (ha), these family-friendly resort packages could end up making for the family experience of a lifetime. Just be sure to check with the hotel or resort concierge before planning, to...

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This board book about breastfeeding wins baby shower gift of the year!

Graphic artists Tupera Tupera are known for pushing boundaries with their cheeky, irreverent books. I mean, have you seen their Japanese-language book about poop for kids? Well, their newest board book is a winner too, though it might be moms who are more interested in poring over the pages. What Does Baby Want? is all about breastfeeding, and while it celebrates this new-mom experience, it definitely does it in a…slightly more realistic than romanticized way. In other words, if you have a friend with a great sense of humor, it will garner huge laughs at her baby shower, guaranteed. CMP is...

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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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The new personalized books for kids that make the best birthday gifts

We discovered the cool parent-run company that creates personalized Lost My Name books for kids nearly four years ago, and became instant fans. From the gorgeous art to the compelling story, and the clever customization that makes every single book different, they remain one of our very favorite gifts for kids. Now they have two brand new stories to choose from — Kingdom of You and The Birthday Thief. Which means two more easy gift ideas that kids of all ages are going to love. (My kids will vouch for that.) Related: Personalized books that get kids with special needs in...

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The Hamilton Instrumentals: Now YOU (or your kids) can star in the musical

If your kids are as obsessed with the The Hamilton Musical as mine are, then they probably know pretty much all the lyrics to every single song. And, you probably do, too. Well now, you can see how well they do thanks to the release of The Hamilton Instrumentals.  Related: Everything you need to throw the coolest Hamilton party Available on both Spotify and Apple Music, you can now access the entire Hamilton Musical soundtrack with just instrumentals, no lyrics. Hence the name. Now, your kids can put on their own musical performance of it (if they haven’t tried to...

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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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Unicorn Vans in big kid sizes! Join us in freaking out.

My girls have been eying those unicorn Vans forever (because who isn’t obsessed with unicorns right now?) but they’ve only been available in baby sizes. Until now. That’s right, they’re available in big kid sizes, and you know I’m snatching up a pair before they sell out. I have to say that I’ve always had a fantastic experience with Vans. As our go-to back-to-school shoes for years now, they hold up very well, which means I can hand them down through my three girls. Not to mention, I find my girls wear them for a solid three seasons each...

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Tea Collection summer clothes go on sale, parents rejoice!

Several times a year, I stalk my inbox for notifications about the seasonal Tea Collection sales. And now, right in time for summer (and my kids’ outgrowing everything, sigh), here it is again! With nice prices on their Australian-inspired summer collection, and more. CMP is an rstyle affiliate Click over for 40-70% off all kinds of styles for boys, girls and babies, with more items being added all the time. And use the discount code BIG40 for an extra 40% off sale prices! But hurry because the sizes are limited, of course. Related: 6 of the snappiest water shoes...

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Here’s why you may now need a passport to fly domestically, and how it impacts family travel.

If you’re a parent in Kentucky, Maine, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania (sorry, Kristen!), South Carolina or Washington State, a simple family trip to visit the grandparents is about to get trickier. And a lot more expensive. All thanks to the REAL ID Act of 2005, which goes into effect this year. And it may impact even more states and US territories than that. If you’re not familiar with the REAL ID Act, just a little background: it’s a fairly controversial measure passed after 9/11, designed to establish federal standards for the issue of state IDs for entrance to federal facilities, and...

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Fun July 4th party must-haves because hey, you only turn 241 once.

Do you like July 4th parties? I like July 4th parties. I mean, what’s not to like? Sparklers, hot dogs, watermelon, friends — and I don’t have to wrap any gifts! If you’re planning on hosting a shindig — or just bringing something to a July 4th potluck — I’ve found these fun July 4th party supplies to help amp up the festivity quotient. Besides wearing top-to-bottom red, white and blue. And why not? It’s the one day a year you can do it without looking like a campaign convention delegate.   Printable July 4th Party Paper Stars –...

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Who was John Newbery? This children’s book makes finding out so fun.

We’ve shared so many children’s books over the years that bring history’s most wonderful real-life heroes to life for kids. From specific heroes like Frederick Douglas (whom a few adults need to read more about too, ahem) and Josephine Baker; to pioneers of space and sports and science;  our favorite artists, activists and revolutionaries; and of course dozens of rebel women. (Hey! We have some pretty awesome children’s book recommendations over the years!) But one thing I haven’t seen is a children’s book about the father of children’s books, John Newbery. Until now. From the very first page, kids just know that Michelle Markel’s Balderdash!: John...

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The Beyond Tablet: Is this cool new screen-free gaming system worth the price?

When my kids get bored over the summer, their go-to entertainment, other than the Xbox (of course), is board games. So when we got a chance to try out the new Beyond Tablet — an electronic, but screen-free, tabletop gaming system — in advance of its release, we were excited to see if it held our attention. And to find out whether it’s worth the hefty price tag. Here are my feelings. TBH, they’re…mixed. CMP is an rstyle affiliate Related: The best family board games of 2016 What is it? The Beyond Tablet is a large (17-inches square) electronic smart tablet…with...

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23 of the coolest mermaid party ideas we adore. Fin-tastic!

Mermaids are big with kids. In other news, water is wet.  So of course, mermaid parties are big with kids and honestly, with us adults too. In fact, this mermaid trend has legs. (So to speak.) And that means if you’re looking for amazing mermaid party ideas for an under-the-sea theme, we’ve got you covered with the best of the web, from cool mermaid invitations to decorations, food and activities. Let’s dive right in, shall we? At top: Mermaid slime | Darby Smart CMP is an rstyle and Amazon affiliate Related: Magical ideas for unicorn birthday parties  Mermaid party ideas: Invitations Everything oceany,...

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So smart! A new board game subscription box to keep family game night fresh.

My kids’ playroom has a bookshelf with piles of board games taller than me. So yeah, you could say we’re fairly avid tabletop gamers at our house. But, even so, we’re still always on the lookout for fun new games. If they’re really affordable, even better. So you can imagine how happy I was to hear that Hasbro just announced their first-ever board game subscription box service. Subscribe, and every three months you get a crate with three new board games right to your door. Choose from either a family game option and an adults-only option for $50 a...

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The Rebel Girls are back, and they’re more badass and inspiring than ever.

It’s hard to overstate how excited I was about the first volume of Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls. A whole book full of the biographies of stereotype-busting sheroes? Illustrated with gorgeous portraits from female artists around the world? Heck yeah, I was sold! And this beautiful book far exceeded my already sky-high expectations and became a permanent fixture on my coffee table. So obviously I’m now bouncing up and down for the second volume, which by the way, includes Beyoncé. Okay, now I’m really freaking out. Related: Launch Ladies: The new children’s book all about the trailblazing women of space...

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The new Ken dolls are here, some with big muscles in case you’re thinking of mocking their man buns.

In light of last year’s big launch of the curvy Barbie dolls in three curvalicious body types, Mattel is following suit with a whole new series of next gen Ken dolls, A.K.A. “The Fashionistas.” Let’s just say, they’ve come a long, long way from the pale, scrawny original Ken doll of the early 60’s, let alone the vapid Valley Dude looking Ken doll of my youth who always appeared ready to burst into Jessie’s Girl at the drop of a hat. The 15 new Ken dolls come in 3 different body shapes (all of which look good in slim-fit...

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The sports bra solution for girls who don’t quite need a sports bra.

It’s hard to believe that when we started this site, I was thinking about binkies for my daughter, and now it’s like I blinked — and I’m thinking about bras. Gah! While I wholly admit that the affordable Target made-up-brand-name bras are pretty great, especially for the price, nothing even come close to the Yellowberry bras I bought on Kristen’s recommendation, in terms of quality, durability, and comfort. (Plus, those colors are so cute!) Related: 8 super cool swimsuits for picky tweens and teens that their mothers will approve of too. While developing tweens and teens don’t have the uh, bounce factor...

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Dad wisdom: Quotes from 16 of our favorite cool dads

We recently spoke to 16 of our favorite dad bloggers and put together their best Father’s Day wisdom and words of advice all in one place. It’s absolutely worth a read for these dads’ humor, their insight, their sincerity and their wit — especially this evergreen advice from our friend, and bona fide cool dad, Christopher Persley of The Brown Gothamite and City Dads Group. And hey, if you’ve got some favorite #dadwisdom on your minds today, we hope you’ll share it far and wide, and honor the words of the amazing fathers, grandfathers, and stepfathers in your own life. Here’s to all...

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A fun board game for summer that our kids can’t stop playing.

Last week, my son and I visited the Innovator’s Fair here in Philadelphia and discovered our newest board game obsession: Maze Racers. It combines creativity and building with mazes in a super fun way. Let’s just say, we’re all addicted. Including me. Related: The best board games for summer travel.  The game comes with two magnetic boards, a bunch of small magnetized foam pieces in various shapes and sizes, and marbles. Using the pieces, each player creates their own maze (like a Labyrinth, if you ever played with those), then passes their board to their opponent. The goal is...

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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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We’ve found the cutest pool floaties known to man…or bird.

Pool accessories have come a long way since I was a kid. Back then, we made do with inner tubes and foam noodles, but now there’s larger-than-life, lounge-able swans and rainbow unicorns. Not to mention huge floating hashtags. But my favorite new pool must-have takes the trend small-scale, with these magical inflatable Pink Flamingos Arm Floaties. OMG, adorable. CMP is an rstyle affiliate Related: We’ve got five of the cutest reusable swim diapers for boys.  Love that these long-legged wonders have graduated from kitschy lawn art (no offense, Grandma!) to seriously cool summer garb, and we predict they’ll be...

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From unsolved science mysteries to Hamilton, 5 cool educational videos tweens and teens will love

If you’re like me, you’re currently scrambling to find ways to keep your kids occupied — and better, still learning — during summer when school’s out. That’s where our newest sponsor The Great Courses Plus comes in. They turn screen time into educational time, offering unlimited courses on topics from science and history, to music and art, and pretty much everything in between. Plus, the video courses can be streamed from any device, anywhere you are. Because you know, kids and devices. Whether you want to start yoga, learn a language, or brush up on your chess skills, there are so many...

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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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