Category: Toys + Playthings

Grab this Golden Snitch fidget spinner now! No Nimbus 2000 required.

Attention muggles: we’ve just discovered the fidget spinner of your Harry Potter-loving kids’ dreams.They will love taking pretend-play to the next level with this totally on-trend Golden Snitch fidget spinner. Even if a real game of quidditch is still just out of reach. (Maybe.) Related: The danger of fidget spinners: Miniature death traps! Or…not. I’d say it’s just about the perfect reward for a kid finishing their first Harry Potter novel for summer reading; or a cool desk accessory for more (hi!) grown-up HP fans. It’s a limited edition fidget spinner, though, so order ASAP if you want your kid...

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Hamiltones crayons: We don’t know how to say no to this!

My daughter has been completely obsessed with Hamilton because she is a normal 2017 kid. And as an artist, she’s just as obsessed with these Hamiltones Hamilton crayons by Thespian Swag. Enough that she’s been forwarding me pictures of them for days. Now that I’ve finally clicked through…well, I get it! The dozen colors are so clever, including Alexander Hamil-tan and Burr’ple along with a green Your Daddy’s Got Money. But I admit I’m giving my own standing O to whomever came up with Maroon Where it Happens. Related: The best Hamilton party ideas: Decor, invitations, treats, and more. I’m hoping there...

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The Star Wars: A Force Awakens Monopoly set was missing Rey. Then one little girl changed that.

When Hasbro’s new Star Wars: A Force Awakens Monopoly set came out in late 2015, fans discovered something was missing. Well, someone was missing: Rey. And one 8-year-old wasn’t okay with that. (And honestly, neither were we.) So Annie Rose Goldman wrote Hasbro a letter, which her mom tweeted to the company, explaining how critical it was to include Rey in the all-male token set. Without her, THERE IS NO FORCE AWAKENS! It awakens in her” she wrote, echoing so many of our own feelings. She ended her plea with: Girls matter! Boy or girl, who cares? We are all...

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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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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 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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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 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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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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The best family board games for summer travel…because good things come in small packages.

My family loves to play board games. I’m talking, big, involved, takes-three-hours-to-play board games. And what better time to play than when we’re on summer vacation? But, it can be tricky to travel with big boxes full of a zillion pieces. Luckily, we have found a few games we love that come in boxes small enough to easily toss in a backpack or tote bag. So, if you’re looking for some offline family fun that you can take with you, wherever you’re headed this summer, check out these 5 family board games for travel. In fact, these are the ones I’m packing for our trip...

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4-in-1 playfort: The only one you’ll ever need.

It’s a camper. It’s a theater. It’s a food truck. It’s a playhouse. No, it’s… All of those things! Seriously. Buy one fort, get four. It is truly the only playfort your kids will ever need. Which is why we are so obsessed with the amazingly cool, brand new 4-in-1 playfort from Bell Station Kids on Etsy. CMP is an rstyle affiliate Related: The most adorable cardboard playhouses for animal-loving kids. Founders Amanda and Matt Whited were inspired by their own kids and constructed the idea for the playhouse with their insanely creative interior design and woodworking skills. Not only is the...

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A printable fidget spinner game gives new life to this year’s breakout toy

If your kids remain obsessed with their fidget spinners, like mine are, here’s a new way to put them to use that won’t drive you crazy: play with them together. And not at the dinner table, either. Thanks to artist mom Amanda Farnum and her clever kids, they’ve created a printable fidget spinner game available in her Etsy shop for download. Essentially up to 5 players try to move across a grid by using your fidget spinner to complete tricks, like challenging another player to a spin-off, or spinning it on one finger while raising it over your head. Just be sure that...

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No way: Custom plush animals that look just like your actual pet.

A few years ago my kids tried out the cool service Budsies, which turns kids’ drawings into stuffed animals. They were so excited when their creations arrived, and they still have them in their beds today. So, when we heard that Budsies was launching a new company called Petsies, which creates a stuffed animal for you based on a photo of your pet, we were intrigued. Yes, it’s an interesting way for some people keep a memory of a pet around after they’ve gone to “join the circus” or “moved to the farm” or went to doggy or bunny heaven. Maybe you think that’s creepy, maybe you think...

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The cast of Hamilton gets bigger and cuddlier

Of our entire 2016 holiday gift guide, by far one of the most popular gift ideas were the genius handmade Hamilton dolls by Christina of Etsy’s Bobeena Shop. What can we say, you all have good taste in artists — and game-changing Broadway musicals. Now she’s out with a few brand new characters to help round out the most adorable founding fathers (and mothers) around: John Laurens and Hercules Mulligan. Add them to favorites like the Schuyler sisters and Alexander Hamilton himself and you’ll have the most enviable pop culture doll collection on the planet right now. Related: The best Hamilton party theme ideas: Decor, invitations, treats, and...

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The danger of fidget spinners: Miniature death traps! Or…not.

THE DANGER OF FIDGET SPINNERS is appearing all over our newsfeeds and splashing across subject lines flooding our inboxes. Hm, why are we not shocked? It was inevitable that the number of articles about the fidget spinner craze (hey, our kids are fans too), would be followed by an equal number of fidget spinner backlash articles. It started with all the reasons the toys could be distracting in classrooms (wait, a toy can be distracting?) and now we’ve moved onto full-on imminent danger. In case you’re starting to panic about the danger of fidget spinners,  I’ve put together what I think are some common sense suggestions as to how...

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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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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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