Category: Toys + Other Playthings

7 of the coolest, most covetable fidget spinners. Because OMG, kids are obsessed.

Cool fidget spinners and fidget cubes are absolutely taking over the world these days. In fact we’ve compared notes here on team Cool Mom Picks and yep, kids across the country are collectively losing their ever-loving minds over these fidget spinners. Stores are sold out and kids are spinning obsessively. All. day. long. For some kids who have trouble staying still or need to redirect all that physical energy to help them stay focused, the original KCHKUI fidget cubes can be truly fantastic. A few of the moms here have seen some great results with our own kids, and some of...

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How your princess can win her own set of wheels! White horses not included. | Sponsored Message

This is a sponsored message from Dynacraft In celebration of #PrincessWeek, Dynacraft will be giving one lucky little princess her own Disney Princess Carriage.  This way she can hit the road in royal style, whether she’s racing around to save the world, or just heading back from the magical forest to the castle, when her royal parents call her in for dinner. To enter the Dyncraft Princess Contest, all you have to do is create a 15-second video answering the question What does it mean to be a Princess? and submit it on the Dynacraft contest page any time between now and Sunday, May...

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Keeping little hands busy without a screen in sight

While you’re getting those Easter basket toy ideas together for the kids, we’ve shared a ton of fabulous ideas, including plenty of non-candy Easter basket gifts if you’re trying to go easy on the jellybeans. And now we’ve got one more: This fab little French Woody the Sheep knitting toy. Isn’t it just adorable? Related: The coolest gifts for five year olds for 2017 It’s a sweet way to teach kids problem-solving and patience (ahem) as they wrap him up with the organic wool yarn that comes included. I love this toy for keeping little little hands busy instead of screens, whether the kids stuck...

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A penny for your thoughts? This new card game helps kids process those hard emotions.

When I look back at some of my biggest parenting fails, most of them have occurred when I haven’t taken the time to consider my kids’ emotions or help them process their worry, anger, fear, or whatever else it is they are experiencing right in that very moment. That’s why I’m loving the beautiful new card game illustrated by Jaime Letourneau, A Penny For Your Thoughts, created to help kids talk about emotions. I spent some time this week playing this game with my most passionate — read: unpredictable — child at bedtime, and I saw an almost immediate positive impact in his (or her,...

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10 sweet first Easter gifts for the new baby in your life

If the new spring season also means a new baby in your family, don’t miss these 10 sweet first Easter gifts we’ve found at some of our favorite indie shops and makers this year. From keepsake ornaments to baby wraps so cute you won’t be able to resist Instagramming them, these are our favorite first Easter gifts for babies this year. As if you needed an excuse to spoil them any more, right? CMP is an rstyle affiliate Related: 15 cool bunny gifts to fill up your baby’s Easter basket Every kid needs their own Easter basket, and I love these handmade custom...

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15 of the coolest bunny gifts for all your kids’ Easter baskets

Are you ready for Easter yet? It’s coming soon. And we’re here for you! I’ve spent hours browsing my favorite indie shops for the coolest bunny gifts for Easter and I’ve found 15 of the most adorable ideas for kids’ Easter baskets. Pick one or two of these gift ideas for their baskets, add a couple pieces of candy or a delicious homemade Easter treat, and you’re done. So, hop to it! (Sorry, couldn’t resist.) CMP is an rstyle affiliate Related: Need more ideas? Here are 20 more awesome bunny gifts for kids I’m a big fan of the natural, creative play of Waldorf toys,...

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15 non-candy Easter basket gifts so sweet, kids will surely forget about sugary treats. Well, maybe.

Without question, kids expect the Easter Bunny to deliver marshmallows, jelly beans, Cadbury creme eggs, bunny gummies, and what seems like a gazillion other sugary treats. Which is why we love the idea of non-candy gifts so sweet our kids might actually forget about chocolate. At least, for a little while. Here are 15 of our favorite non-candy Easter basket gifts (many are under $10!) that your kids are sure to love just as much as those foil-wrapped chocolate eggs. CMP is an rstyle affiliate Related: Tons more non-candy Easter basket gift ideas! We just love that The Trendy Tot makes sassy-meets-sweet ribboned bunny necklaces like this one with...

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Relive your youth with the cool new Power Rangers toys and gear

With the much-anticipated release of the new Power Rangers movie tonight (!!), we’re not sure if kids are more excited — or those of us who grew up with them in the ’90s are. Which is why we’ve had the best time browsing the cool new Power Rangers toys and gear from our sponsor, Saban’s Power Rangers and doing a little virtual shopping of our own. Got a kid — or adult — on your gift list who’s obsessed? Here are a few of our picks for the coolest of the Power Rangers toys, tees, and gear that were just released. Power up,...

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3 cool non-LEGO building sets, just to keep things interesting around the playroom

My kids are all about their LEGOs, but I’ve also been keeping my eye on some cool non-LEGO building sets to keep things interesting around the playroom. These three allow kids to build things they can’t with their LEGOs, and I have to say, I’m very impressed. If you’re looking for a gift that’s a little more unexpected than another LEGO set (although, this will never disappoint), then try one of these. We think the kids in your life will give them two thumbs up too. CMP is an rstyle affiliate At top: Brackitz Driver set Related: Tegu’s massive 130-piece magnetic wooden blocks set are a...

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The Wipebook dry erase notebook: One random office supply gift your kids will absolutely love.

My kids are obsessed with their dry erase boards (it’s the little things, you know?). In fact, my daughter has figured out she can use the dry erase markers on her glossy coloring book covers and wipe those down too. Now, they’re playing games like teacher and student whenever they can, with their markers and books in hand. So when I spotted the reusable Wipebook dry erase notebook over at The Grommet, I instantly knew this would be a huge hit with my kids. Related: The coolest birthday gifts for 7 year olds This notebook has 20 reusable pages that can be written and drawn...

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LEGO and tape had a love child, and your kids are going to freak!

If LEGO and tape loved each other very very much (as we might say to the kids), this is what you’d get: Nimuno Loops. It’s a genius, colorful, flexible roll of LEGO tape that’s compatible with LEGO bricks and all the other building blocks. Whoa. That means virtually anything, from your walls to your kids’ dressers to the fridge can become a base for LEGO creations. I’m thinking bike handlebars, headbands, necklaces, the bathtub — even the sides of your kids’ sneakers soles. If you’re thinking what I’m thinking, let’s all go collectively hide our dogs. Related: The cool LEGO add-on...

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5 fun travel toys for preschoolers who need to stay busy on long flights

I dreaded air travel when my girls were little. Between the two of them, I had a seat kicker, a non-napper, and an impatient whiner. Yeah, I was that parent. So I learned what works, and what doesn’t, to keep my little ones happy and occupied on long flights. Besides packing lots of snacks and lollipops, which helped with hunger pains and air pressure changes, I always brought along toys that were easy to use, not messy or awkward in small spaces, and ones with few parts to avoid missing pieces and ensuing tantrums.   Related: The handiest travel bag for parents? Found it. And...

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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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A Hamilton Musical LEGO set: Do not throw away your shot to vote for this!

We are big Hamilton Musical fans around here, with my son rapping Guns and Ships in his sleep and weaving lines into his school papers, so when I saw this Hamilton Musical LEGO set up for voting on the LEGO Ideas site, I just had to share it. Especially since he’s a huge LEGO lover too. Now, this set is not for purchase yet but rather, it’s a submission created by LEGO Ideas community member doniazade. The whole set has been reconstructed with LEGOs, including the staircase, even the turntable in the middle. And of course, all the cast of characters...

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Three cool LEGO add-on sets that make your builds even cooler

I’m not so sure my kids could ever get bored of the LEGO sets that are currently blanketing the floor of our playroom, but just in case, I found three cool LEGO add-on sets that will make their builds even more exciting. These sets are for kids who are able to follow the directions of a basic LEGO build themselves. In other words, your 5-year-old who’s a major LEGO fangirl would probably love these too, but will need help putting them together. CMP is an rstyle affiliate Related: 16 essential skills kids learn from LEGO, and fantastic resources to help get them going...

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The courageous action figure that helps kids with cancer. Now that’s super!

This fierce, courageous action figure does something pretty amazing: She helps kids fight the toughest battle of their lives. For each Courage Core Power action figure purchased, one is donated to a child affected by cancer who could use a little courage. That’s her real super power. But she can also run, stand, and sit on a My Little Pony without it getting awkward, thanks to 30 points of articulation. And we like her rad accessories — check out that flaming energy sword and her awesome courage shield — and the fact that she has the body of a fit, strong woman (no...

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Meet BoyStory, cool boy dolls that kids will love. Parents, too.

If you’re excited about the new American Girl boy doll that was just announced, we’ve found a mom-run company at this year’s Toy Fair that’s already making boy dolls that are diverse, too. Created by two sisters who wanted their sons to have quality dolls that looked like them and were ready for adventure, Boy Story currently makes Mason and Billy, two fully articulated 18″ plush and vinyl boy action dolls that can be purchased together or separately, with lots of accessories, clothes, and adventure books (sound familiar?), coming soon. Related: Here are 6 of the coolest and most diverse dolls.     Related: Naturally...

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Why the awesome new Wonder Woman doll from Mattel is worth waiting for.

The Wonder Woman movie isn’t out until June, but the new Wonder Woman doll from Mattel will give little girls plenty of fierce dreams until then. Ahead of this weekend’s New York Toy Fair (which we’ll be covering, of course!), Mattel unveiled several Wonder Woman figures to support the film (as one does these days) exclusively through Entertainment Weekly, and you have to check it out. Based on Gal Gadot’s arse-kicking depiction of her in the Patty Jenkins-directed Wonder Woman (whoo, more girl power!), you’ll find  Diana in training gear, a party dress disguise, and fantastic armor. There are also majestic horses,...

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It’s a boy! Finally, the first boy in the American Girl Doll line.

Finally, after begging for years, we’re pleased to learn there’s going to be a boy doll from American Girl Doll this Thursday! His name is Logan Everett, and he plays drums alongside his friend, Tenney Grant, a female singer-songwriter from Tennessee. It’s actually not clear just yet if he’s the “sidekick” or they’re trying to market them as an equal team, but we will see. Logan is part of the 2017 collection of new American Girl Dolls (can we even call it that anymore? Is it now just AG Dolls?) — which happen to include several more diverse figures, including Girl of...

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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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A brilliant new maker box that combines digital and real-world play for kids. And wow, the possibilities.

To my nieces, screen time is like water. Without it, I think they’d go all limp and cockeyed. So I love discovering apps for them that encourage both tech literacy and imaginative play. The two come together together beautifully thanks to the brand new Get Qurious Maker Box, which we think parents will be really happy to discover. Related: The coolest birthday gifts for 4 year olds | The Ultimate Birthday Gift Guide You may have heard about its super successful Kickstarter campaign last year, and now that the box is finally out, I think that Get Qurious is going to be a fantastic gift...

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How a rag doll is helping to spread random acts of kindness around the world.

This past holiday season, my 9-year-old asked for a boy doll. “But not a boy baby doll,” she said, “because they’re exactly the same as the girl baby dolls when you take the clothes off. They are just girl dolls! Only in blue clothes! Though sometimes they don’t have eyelashes. And anyway, I have so many girl dolls and it’s just not fair that there aren’t boys too.” Can you tell she’s my kid? We did find a rag-style boy doll for her who she absolutely adores; but I admit I wish we had found The Doll Kind a month ago,...

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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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10 cool snow tubes to make your kid the raddest sledder on the slopes

It’s time to protect that cookie sheet and get your kid a cool snow tube this winter! What I love about snow tubes for kids is that they’re not heavy to lug around (although, maybe a bit bulky) and they don’t crack after one run like the cheap plastic sleds I bought for my kids last year at the grocery store. Plus, they deflate and fold up small to store in a box once it’s time for winter to bid adieu. So I looked around and found some cool snow tubes for kids that will really stand out on the hill. Grab...

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New helmet designs so cute your kid might actually want to wear theirs.

We’ve been longtime fans of Nutcase bike helmets, since they offer some of the cutest designs and trustworthy safety features for our kids. So I’m very excited about the brand new launch of their newest designs for their Little Nutty line. My favorite? The Tin Robot design (shown above), which reminds me of the friendly droids from Star Wars. But I also like the Bluebirds & Bees, which encircles your child’s head in a wreath of flowers, birds, and adorableness. Oh, and the Ahoy! helmet with a pirate map on one side? Sold. Related: Turn signal gloves, inflatable helmets, and other cool bike...

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Good luck charms to help get you through 2017

As we bid adieu to 2016 — or, more appropriately, don’t let the door hit you on the way out, 2016 — I’ve been thinking about friends who’ve had it particularly hard this year. If you know anyone who’s had a rough go of it too, then you might like this idea we’ve had to send notes of well wishes and a little good luck charm for a better 2017. I first got inspired to do this when I spotted these wooden good luck charms at Areaware. These little desk toys are what I’m going to add when I want to send just a bit...

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5 of the hottest Star Wars toys your kids totally want. Trust us.

With the perfectly timed December launch of Rogue One, of course Star Wars toys for kids are all the rage. Again. If you’re looking for an awesome gift for your little padawan — even if he or she isn’t quite so little — here are 5 of the hottest Star Wars toys right now that we wouldn’t mind getting in our own Tauntaun fur-lined stockings. But hurry, with all the urgency of a quadjumper pilot using hyperspeed! Because if you order all these Star Wars toys now, you can still get them in time for Christmas or Hanukkah delivery — most with...

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Diverse, interracial dollhouse families: Reader Q&A

After featuring Georgette’s post on 6 toymakers making diverse interracial dolls for kids, Facebook fan Melissa asked us if we know of any interracial dollhouse families. I love this question. So many of us want to bring more diversity into all our kids’ doll collections, whether you have children whose heritage is Asian, African or Latino and they want dolls that reflect themselves back to them; or you have Caucasian children, like my daughter, who has racial and ethnic diversity among her closest friends and family members, and loves surrounding herselves with dolls that reflect her world. That said, most dollhouse families you find...

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This gift for the classroom will keep on giving. Yes, more than a Starbucks card.

Very little in life is as terrifying as being handed a wad of cash by desperate parents asking you to find a group teacher gift that’s meaningful, memorable, and not a lifetime supply of Best Teacher Ever mugs. This year, you can forego the stack of Starbucks cards and present your kid’s classroom teacher with a gift that keeps on giving: a beautiful game that helps teach empathy and problem solving, all in one. Consider it the Venti Mocha Frappuccino of classroom gifts. Related: 6 DIY holiday gifts for teachers from the kids that will get an A+ The Empathy Toy was...

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17 of the best subscription gifts for kids: From babies to teens, we’ve found something for everyone.

It feels like the holidays are going to be here in a minute, and I’m not ready! If you’re like me and are still scrambling for a few great gifts that will make your kids think you’re pretty awesome, then you might want to look into one of the cool subscription gifts for kids we’ve been scouting out. Over the past couple of years, we’ve seen so many companies with such good ideas for subscription boxes that range from developmental toys for babies to science kits for our bigger kids. And we know from experience that our kids are thrilled to receive actual, real packages...

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