Category: Entertainment + Media

An animated film celebrating Black dads, daughters, and a whole lot of hair love.

When I discovered a Kickstarter project for an animated children’s short film that will celebrate Black dads, their daughters, and the beauty of natural hair, my heart swelled with love. As a mom to two curly-haired biracial daughters, I personally know how important the impact of the Hair Love animated film will be on the Black community and I jumped to make a contribution to it. Writer and co-director Matthew A. Cherry was inspired after seeing the many viral videos of Black fathers doing their daughter’s hair (this link goes to my favorite) that so many of us have...

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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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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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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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Cool Wonder Woman gifts that boys and men will love too.

Wonder Woman — let alone an exclusive all-female screening of the Patty Jenkins-directed Wonder Woman movie — does not frighten the boys and men in my life, and for that I am grateful. I mean, what kid wouldn’t want to look up to a badass superhero who’s a natural born athlete, fighter, and can bench press 15,000 pounds? And that was before she earned the bracelets. Not to mention that iconic magic lasso which so many of us coveted as kids. Related: 13 amazing superhero gifts for girls who can (and will) do anything So while we’ve featured tons of cool Wonder...

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Should your kids be watching 13 Reasons Why? 15 must-read articles to help you figure it out.

Okay, parents. Let’s talk 13 Reasons Why and whether your kids should be watching it. Because, no doubt, your kids are doing just that. And now that it’s been picked up for a second season on Netflix, the question about whether your kids should watch it won’t be going away anytime soon. Now personally, I haven’t watched the series yet myself because after checking with the Common Sense Media review (which has a suggested age of 16+) and talking with my own trusted parenting friends, I’ve decided my 11-year-old is too young. Also, we’re getting word about entire schools sending out warning letters to parents,...

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Great news! NPR is releasing their first-ever podcast for kids!

NPR is the only thing I ever listen to in my car — unless my kids want to hear “It’s Raining Tacos.” On repeat. (Because of course not every episode of Spawned is entire kid-safe.) So I was absolutely stoked when I heard that next week, May 15, NPR is going to release a podcast for kids ages 5 to 12 that highlights the wonders of science, technology, discovery, and inventions. Stunningly, this is the first-ever children’s program in NPR’s 47-year history. I don’t know how that’s possible, but I have a feeling this podcast will be worth the wait. Related: 5 cool TV...

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The Princess Bride turns 30! Have fun storming the theaters.

Fencing. Fighting. Torture. Poison. True love. Hate. Revenge. Giants. Hunters. Bad men. Good men. Beautifulest ladies. Snakes. Spiders. Beasts of all natures and descriptions. Pain. Death. Brave men. Coward men. Strongest men. Chases. Escapes. Lies. Truths. Passion. Miracles. Really, what’s not to love about The Princess Bride? Nothing, is the answer. There’s nothing not to love. Back in my single days, I even had a Princess Bride Test in which any prospective suitor who “didn’t get the big deal about it” was automatically out. And now — and yes, I know I’m not the first to make this joke...

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A law to force parents to RSVP to kids’ parties: We’re in!

Who among us hasn’t sat around thinking, if I ran the world… Well, our newest partner, STARZ, asked me to do just that, and took me, oh, about a minute to decide what I would do if I assumed the throne. Don’t miss a fun giveaway below! Now of course I’d want to devote billions of dollars or pounds or yen or rupees toward ensuring my citizens were safe, healthy and prosperous. That should go without saying. But my very first act: Legislating timely RSVPs for children’s parties. (What? I’m a queen! I can totally make that a law. And if you’re a parent I know you support...

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The free Hamilton Haggadah: History is happenin’ at the Passover seder table

How can this family of obsessive Hamilton fans slash-Passover revelers not be totally thrilled to discover a Hamilton Haggadah? Yep, you read that right. How does a Hebrew, poor man, son of a slave and a Bondsman, born to nothing in a  Rigged system of Imperial oppression Fished from the Nile River Grow up to be a prophet and a leader? This totally free PDF Hamilton Haggadah download comes courtesy of creative Philly-based Rabbinical students Emily Cohen and Jake Adler, who clearly have caught Hamilfever . (Which is not to be confused with any of the plagues.) Related: The coolest Hamilton gifts for the...

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A parent’s review of Beauty and the Beast. Step back, haters!

This past weekend, I was one of the millions of people who piled into a very crowded movie theater (behind a birthday party full of restless, giggly 6-year old girls, no less) to see Beauty and the Beast. And boy, I am so glad I did. I honestly haven’t smiled so much through a movie in a really long time, which is why I’m surprised so many people are reacting so negatively to it. Related: 9 fantastic girl power movies for kids Without giving away too much, this live-active Beauty and the Beast mirrors the animated feature pretty closely,...

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The one scene in Hidden Figures that every parent should be talking about | Thinking: Parent

Hi, nice to meet you. I’m one of the many parents who tries desperately to squeeze in a few last-minute Oscar nominated movie screenings just before the actual ceremony each year so I have at least a moderate shot at the family Oscar pool. You too? At the very top of my list was Hidden Figures, which I waited to see until my own girls could join me. Yay for February break! And while there are so many moments that will stay with me for a long time, there’s one scene in particular that doesn’t seem to get a lot of analysis, but to me, perfectly embodied why the story of...

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Sesame Street honors Black History Month with some of their favorite show clips. Ours, too.

If you’ve been looking for a good way to celebrate diversity with your very youngest kids during Black History Month (and well, every single month), a great place to start is Sesame Street. Because, of course! Our favorite kids’ show has been celebrating diversity from episode number one, and this month their YouTube channel is highlighting a great selection of clips in honor of Black History Month that your kids will love. From from old school clips with Maya Angelou to Hamilton’s Daveed Diggs, these are just some of the clips from the Sesame Street YouTube playlist celebrating Black History Month, with some of our...

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Where to see all the 2016 Oscar best-picture nominees (especially for parents who have only seen Moana).

Do you know how many of the 2016 Oscars best picture nominees I’ve seen this year? Zero. Not a single one. Because, kids. But, I have one last chance to see them all before the big awards ceremony. And at a discount too. See, sometimes it pays to procrastinate. Top: Hidden Figures | 20th Century Fox Related: 12 easy Oscars party ideas to make watching the awards even more fun This month, AMC theaters Best Pictures Showcase will show every best-picture nominee over the course of two days — four movies on February 18 and five on the 25th — for way less...

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10 romantic movies streaming on Netflix for Valentine’s Day. Chill comes later.

Looking for the best romantic movies streaming on Netflix? We’ve got you covered! If you’re spending Valentine’s Day at home thanks to kids, colds, or cantankerous weather, and you’ve got a sweetheart who does the RomCom/RomDram thing, heads up for plenty of choices. Especially number 10, and I mean it. (Anybody want a peanut?) Related: Dozens of last minute Valentine’s Day gifts. It’s not too late! Amelie Instead of popcorn, try some creme brûlée, and savor the delightful feeling of cracking it with a spoon while watching this enchanting French romance. It’s sophisticated, fun, and quirky and worth a rewatch if it’s been a...

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The 2017 Grammy nominees for Best Children’s Album are all winners (to us).

Tonight, as we cheer on the nominees for the 59th Grammy Awards whose music plays in our car when our kids aren’t in it, we’ll also be rooting for the nominees whose music often is — and with good reason. This year’s Grammy nominees for Best Children’s Album are nothing short of awesome. We don’t envy the voting members of the Recording Academy — how can you pick just one of these? — but the good news for us is that we don’t have to. Here’s a look at who’s up for a Grammy this year in the children’s music category. They’re all winners to us. CMP is...

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The scoop on Amazon’s new Studio Ghibli series, Ronja the Robber’s daughter.

If you’re totally into Totoro and your kids howl for Howl’s Moving Castle, you fans of Studio Ghibli are going to want to know about Amazon’s newest series for families, Ronja, the Robber’s Daughter. It’s based on the book by author Astrid Lindgren of Pippi Longstocking fame.It’s directed by Goro Miyazaki, as in the son of Hayao. Oh,  and Gillian Anderson narrates it. That’s basically the world’s best recipe for a magical journey, right? Related: 9 great TV shows for tweens that you might not have considered My kids and I caught a sneak preview of this exclusive English adaptation of the Japanese series, and I...

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Meet the cool dogs of Cool Mom Picks and the stories of what they’ve done for our families.

Update: This post was originally created on behalf of a brand that regretfully no longer aligns with our core values, and that we have removed from the content here. But we love the stories that our writers have shared, here and we hope you enjoy them too.   If you’ve ever had a dog in your life, you know they can be like your other child. They’ve taught us love, they’ve taught us responsibility, they’ve taught us that we may never need to sweep up around the dining table again. (Ha.) Clearly having a special dog in the house brings a special kind...

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7 books to help you feel fabulous right now (because shame is so 2016)

Yep, I’m one of those suckers who dives head-first into the self-help section every January. Not only because I actually have a few days of leisure to read as long as I wish, but also because the cold, dreary weather makes me want to hit my reset button and make a little sunshine of my own. Here are some of my favorite self-help books that focus on laughs, positive steps, good health, loving yourself, and focusing on the things you can actually control. No impossible goals, fasting, six-hour workouts, tough love, or house-wide decluttering. Promise. CMP is an rstyle affiliate...

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8 family music albums that you’re going to want to add to your playlist in 2017

Here at Cool Mom Picks, we love finding the best kids music and sharing it with you. And I’m excited to share these 8 albums that I think you and your family will love right now. Of course, we’re always big fans of our friend Lisa Loeb and TMBG’s Danny Weinkauf, both of whom branched out to make really good music that the whole family can groove to. But in this list, we included some new additions to the genre, like Amy Lee, the lead rocker of Evanescence. All 8 of these family music albums are fresh, fun, and are likely to make their way onto your playlist in...

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7 of the cutest kids and pets videos to keep your whole family laughing

If you’ve got kids and pets, you know how hilarious the combination can be. That’s why there is no shortage of cute kids and pets YouTube videos that…oh, we may watch on a loop from time to time, even when our kids aren’t around. C’mon, the dog singing like a toddler! So cute!   But as much as we love our human babies and our fur babies (yes, we went there), we’re not big fans of the messes they make on their own, let alone when they’re together.  That’s why we’re thrilled to have rounded up these videos on behalf of...

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Wishing you a happy Hamilton Hanukkah! From Cool Mom Picks and the Maccabeats

Those of us Hanukkah revelers have always had slimmer pickings when it comes to great modern music. But now Adam Sandler and Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings have some great new company thanks to the Maccabeats, who are just out with Hasmonean: A Hamilton Hanukkah. If you have been loving Hamildolph as much as we all have, I think you’ll also dig this version of Lin Manuel Miranda’s opus, which happens to be a good history lesson too. Especially for those of you not quite as familiar with the backstory behind the Festival of Lights. Related: 8 of the most amazing printable Hanukkah coloring pages, one for each crazy night Oh and the...

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An amazing one-day sale on movies that supports an amazing cause too.

Right in time for last-minute holiday gifts and stocking stuffers, I’ve discovered the Entertainment AIDS Alliance, which is offering popular DVDs and Blu-Ray discs at 30–90% off retail, all to provide services through 155 of the best organizations helping those afflicted with HIV and AIDS. The one catch: You’ve got to order right now! Related: 35 fab gifts that give back to 35 fab charities — from Broadway Cares to St. Jude’s to Every Mother Counts We’re talking really good film options, from the entire Downton Abbey series to new releases like Secret Life of Pets, Zootopia, X-Men Apocalypse, the 2016 Jungle Book, Batman v...

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Fantastic Beasts movie review: The magic is back, but is it okay for young kids?

We Harry Potter fans have waited very patiently. As in, it’s been five years (yes, really) since Deathly Hallows Part 2 came out. But friends, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is just out in theaters, living up to the magic we expect from J.K. Rowling’s universe in every way with blow-your-mind imaginative worlds, multiple layers of meaning that will spark interesting conversations with your kids, outstanding performances, and some impressive action scenes that will truly thrill. I still remember that breathtaking feeling I got when I first saw the grand hall at Hogwarts and the shops on Diagon Alley, and it’s the same feeling with the reveal of...

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A family album tribute to David Bowie that gets everyone up and dancing

If the impromptu dance party my girls and I broke into at the dinner table last weekend is any indication, Spare The Rock Record’s soon to be released album Let All The Children Boogie: A Tribute To David Bowie is going to be a huge hit with families. Whether you’ve been a long time David Bowie fan or you re-discovered his greatness when the world lost the amazing talent last January, Bowie’s music and message speaks to children and adults alike. Even the youngest of tots can’t keep from grooving to great music, something we talked about with Lisa Loeb in a recent Spawned podcast....

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Beyond Schoolhouse Rock: A fun new music video about Washington D.C. from the Not-Its

Looking for a fun way to get kids learning about the election — without all the awfulness of what’s appearing on the news lately? One of our favorite kindie bands, The Not-Its, are out this week with Are You Listening, a very entertaining new video for kids about Washington D.C. and all that goes on there. The way They Might Be Giants has been so great at taking on educational subjects without sounding like they’ve set textbooks to music, the The Not-Its are doing the same in their introduction to our nation’s capital. Related: The best Schoolhouse Rock videos on YouTube The rockin’ tune is quite catchy, and my...

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9 great TV shows for tweens that you might not have considered

Ah, the tween years. That in-between stage when your kid is so not your baby anymore, but not yet your teenager. They start to think the sweet, educational shows they used to love are “for babies,” but you’re not ready to let them watch shows with teens who are often depicted as bratty or rude to their parents (cough), or are deep in the world of dating. Boy, do I miss the Sesame Street years… The good news is there really are cool TV shows for tweens that you might not know about. Since we already covered these favorite family-friendly TV shows for kids, I polled our editors and came up...

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The (totally evil) family tabletop game for wicked word nerds and master strategists.

If your family is divided by the word nerds who love Scrabble and the strategists who love Monopoly, then we’ve found the family tabletop game for you. It’s called Word Domination, it’s on Kickstarter now, and it’s already winning gaming awards. Bonus: You get to be a super villain, minus the hidden volcano lair. Related: The 2016 board games of the year For $30, you can be the first family on the block to collect (and steal!) priceless artifacts and use fiendish weapons from your super-mega-evil arsenal in your plot for world — and word — domination. To play, you...

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