Category: Kids

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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20+ backyard party ideas: Host the best summer party on your block.

Warmer weather means moving the inside activities outside, which is an all-around good thing — especially when it comes to those long summer day get-togethers. Parties are somehow just more fun when they’re in the backyard (and we admit, the easier-to-clean-up aspect is pretty appealing too). Since every outdoor event can only get better with a few awesome backyard party ideas, we searched around the web to find our very favorites. At top: Mini Water Blobs | Hello, Wonderful CMP is an rstyle affiliate Related: Budget-friendly tricks for hosting a fabulous outdoor party. Backyard party ideas for invitations One of the best things about...

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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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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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7 awesome page-turners your early readers really need to check out this summer

My kids are officially on summer break (I know, already!) so we’re hitting up the library ASAP to get started on our summer reading lists. My Kindergartner has made amazing strides this year with his reading, and these early reader books are all geared toward kids his age. So, if your kid is just giving up the picture books — or even still holding onto them tightly — but is more or less ready to move on to their first big kid chapter books, we’ve got 7 early reader summer reading books we think they’ll love. Because ours do. At top: Narwhal: Unicorn of...

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The coolest summer activity books for kids. Because, this summer, there will be no such thing as “I’m so booooored!”

As much as we’re looking forward to summer and all of the many kids’ activities that come with it, we have to say that it’s those long days of no activities that can be most stressful. That’s why we made this list of awesome summer activity books for kids — with these on hand, your kids will have approximately zero reasons to be bored. At top: Go Photo! by Alice Proujansky CMP is an rstyle affiliate Related: Made-for-summer crafts that will keep your kids creatively and happily occupied. Fill-Me-In by author/illustrator Moose Allain was on our list of best activity books for summer last year, and you can...

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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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5 cool one-piece bathing suits for girls with all the benefits of a two-piece

It’s finally getting to pool and beach season (yippee!), which means time to shop for bathing suits for kids. Like many parents, we like that one-piece bathing suits keep our littlest ones covered up…although we also appreciate that a two-piece swimsuit makes bathroom trips sooooo much easier. At any age. (Raising hands here as adults!) So you can easily see why we’re excited about our newest sponsor FASTEN swimwear, an idea so smart we fell in love with it and shared it with all of you, when we first discovered it last year. – Special offer for Cool Mom Picks readers:...

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Gwendolyn Brooks’s new children’s book offers a joyous lesson in empathy

Once in awhile, a children’s book comes along that’s equal parts timely and and classic, and that’s just how I’d describe the We are Shining, penned by the late poet laureate and Pulitzer Prize winner, Gwendolyn Brooks. It’s filled with exquisite but accessible words of hope, excitement and self-affirmation that even young children can understand and appreciate. And a message they could probably use these days, if they have a sense of some of the more troubling issues in the news lately. Related: What did Frederick Douglass really do? This book helps them (and a few adults) find out. What’s really special to me is how...

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