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...Read More
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...Read More
If you’ve watched the news recently, you’ve probably heard a disconcerting story or two about air travel passengers — which can be all the more troubling when the story involves parents flying with young children who were subject to rules that no one knew, or worse, subject to rules made up on the spot. As a new mom, I poked around to get myself informed (and avoid becoming the subject of a viral YouTube clip, eek!), and found some really surprising rules about flying with children. I certainly didn’t know all of these, so I’m posting them here because you might not...Read More
Kids’ activewear is kind of a funny phrase, if you think about it, since kids are such constant blurs of motion — it’s like every piece of clothing turns into activewear, purposefully or not. Which is what makes the new GapKids and Marvel collection even more super — the adorably Avengered clothes are designed with kids’ movement in mind, which makes it all the easier to unleash their inner superhero. Related: The Gap’s Star Wars kids’ collection is everything we ever dreamed it could be. The “Fit to Be Super” GapKids and Marvel collection debuts on May 30 in stores and online with some seriously...Read More
Now that we’re in the thick of graduation season, it’s time to give our high school and college grads plenty of well-earned congratulations. That’s why we sought out the most fun and creative ways to give cash gifts to grads. Because, reality check: We’ve learned through trial and error that the most appreciated gift for this age group is definitely cash. Hey, no shame in that. It really is the perfect gift to help a recent grad get started in their new lives. For us, though, it feels a little impersonal to hand over an envelope stuffed with bills. So we’re here to help make that gift of graduation cash...Read More
One of the best ways our kids can learn empathy and celebrate diversity is to see the myriad of ways different people live their lives all around the world. Which is why I am loving the brand-new children’s book, This Is How We Do It, by Matt Lamothe. My kids get to see that their way of life isn’t the only way. And that’s a really important lesson. For us all. CMP is an rstyle affiliate Related: 9 lovely children’s books about the immigrant experience to help encourage more kindness and empathy. Related: The One Globe Kids app takes your children around the...Read More
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,...Read More
Hold on to your credit cards, mamas. Because we found some seriously cool kids’ leggings at The Trendy Tot Etsy shop. From magic 8 balls to emoji faces, these knee patches will add a ton of interest and personality to your kids’ wardrobe this spring. Let’s just say, we’re all in. CMP is an rstyle affiliate Related: Totally tubular 80’s clothes for rad babies, like, yours, you know? Related: 8 super cool swimsuits for picky tweens and teens that their mothers will approve of too. Sure, they’re priced a bit more than we’d ordinarily spend on a single pair of leggings....Read More
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...Read More
Summer camps have changed a lot since we were kids. No offense to good ol’ Camp Starfire and the many, many lanyards we made there, but the options for our kids are wildly creative, expertly thought-out, and — sometimes — curiously specific. Circus camp? Spy camp? Zombie survival camp? Check, check, and OMG check. With a list like this, your kids are sure to be happy campers — so much so, maybe they’ll forget to pretend to be homesick. But, before you pack your kids up and ship them off to, say, stunt double training (yes, really), be sure to vet each of these camps yourself....Read More
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...Read More
In the age of “alternative facts,” it’s no surprise that classic dystopian novels, which encourage readers to take a critical look at things, are dominating bestseller lists right now. While dystopian literature has always been popular with middle and high schoolers — probably because adolescence is a time when kids start focusing on their individuality and independence, questioning authority, and caring more about issues in the world — since January of this year, sales of the quintessential dystopian book 1984 has spiked, putting the 70-year-old George Orwell novel at the top of the Amazon bestseller list. Other classic novels warning of oppression, propaganda, and government control have had...Read More
Having “the talk” means something different to different families. Your mind may automatically go to the birds and the bees. But for thousands of Black families, it refers to essential conversations they’re having with their children — especially their sons — about encounters with the police. The tragic rise of unarmed Black men (and in some instances, unarmed Black children) tragically killed by police officers has inspired one mother to tackle this very tough subject through a children’s book. Her goal: to help families navigate “the talk.” And as a mother of two biracial children myself, I’m grateful. Momma, Did You Hear the News? by Sanya Whittaker Gragg is about a 10-year-old boy...Read More
Finding out whether your baby is a girl or a boy is one of life’s greatest surprises — and one of the longest waits, which can be problematic for those of us who need to know things now. (Um, not like we know anyone like that.) To make the most of the surprise, gender reveal parties have been upping the ante, getting bigger, messier, and more creative by the ultrasound. So we peeked around the web to share with you some of our very favorite ideas. (Ed Note: Yes, we know that technically they should be called “sex reveal parties.” Only the...Read More
She believed she could so she did. My very favorite inspirational quote. The first time I saw it, not long after I had graduated college, it was printed on a funky wooden brooch by an artist at a craft fair. I pinned it to a jacket, and wore it for ages. From then on, it was like…it was mine. I claim it! (Even though I’ve been told it was penned by R.S. Grey, from her book, Scoring Wilder.) Now, I repeat it to myself like a mantra, whenever I need a little boost. Hey, maybe that’s your favorite too. Maybe there’s another. Maybe you just haven’t found the one...Read More
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...Read More
Life saver! 8 super cool swimsuits for picky tweens and teens that their mothers will approve of too.
It’s swimsuit shopping season again, which is increasingly becoming a challenge for those of us with tween daughters. And, I get it: Mine doesn’t want to show up to the pool in the same swimsuit as our 5-year-old neighbor. And yet, I don’t want her dabbling in those skin-baring swimsuits and teeny bikinis that she’s seeing the “cool” older kids wearing. So we all did a whole lot of searching for those of you in the same boat, finding some truly cool swimsuits for tweens and teens that are stylish, modest, and let’s be honest…appropriate. CMP is an rstyle affiliate Related: The most adorably modern, modest, mix-and-match...Read More
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...Read More
We found the most adorably modern, modest, mix-and-match swimsuits for kids. So many problems solved!
Each spring, one of our readers’ favorite posts is our recommendations for cute, modest swimsuits for girls that are stylish but not…you know…a little old for them. We’ll have our latest version coming soon! But in the meanwhile, I’m so excited to share this brand new swimsuit line for kids that launched today. From our friends at mom-run Primary, whose wonderfully wearable, affordable basics for kids and babies pretty much fill my girls’ closet these days, there’s now an awesome line of swimwear for girls and boys that will make a picky swimsuit-searching parent dance with glee. You’ll find a colorful, kid-appropriate collection...Read More
If you’ve got a kid who’s into mysteries, detectives, and solving puzzles, you’re in for a real treat. We pulled together the most awesome list of Escape Room party ideas — from cool invitations and mind-boggling activities to rewarding treats. As you probably already know, actual Escape Rooms are popping up all over the country as popular party venues for older kids and adults. But if you’re not wanting to be locked in a room to crack codes and solve logic puzzles in order to be crowned victorious at the end of it all, you can easily find ways to pull off an Escape Room party right...Read More
The spring cleaning bug has hit, and I’m getting ready to tackle my kids’ closets. It’s a big job. And today of all days, being that it’s Earth Day, I’m inspired to think greener when it comes to my kids’ clothes. While I’m not a fan of harsh chemicals used in the manufacturing process right up against my kids’ sensitive skin all day (especially the younger ones), I know that replacing entire closets with only organic children’s clothing is insanely expensive. So we’re not going to do that. But if you do want to indulge in a few special items,...Read More
You will not be seeing me in a romper… this summer. I mean, I have learned never to say never (see also my snark about skinny jeans in the early CMP days, ha), but until I’m size supermodel (hahahaha hahaaha haaaaa!!) I will happily leave the rompers as the purview of my daughters. Turns out there are so many cute girls’ rompers for spring and summer right now that are just so playful and fun and everything warm-weather clothes should be when you’re playground-age. So I hope my 5 picks for spring and summer help you find something cool, in all senses of the word....Read More
While I want to be a little cynical about the brand new GAP collection of Star Wars 40th anniversary clothes and accessories for kids and adults, that just launched today I have to admit here…it’s awesome. Like, design snob seal of approval awesome. Related:5 of the hottest Star Wars toys your kids totally want. Trust us. The Star Wars Princess Leia “force to be reckoned with” tee (clever, right?) at top is my number one top pick for the young female jedis-in-training among us. And I say young because darn, it only comes in girls sizes or I’d totally be all over that...Read More
The brand new children’s book, Atlas of Miniature Adventures is the most charming, wonderful, travel-meets-trivia book. Author Emily Hawkins and illustrator Lucy Letherland sure know how get even the most cynical, “can’t we just stay on the couch and play video games?” couch potato excited to explore the world. (If only via Google.) The colorful, engaging pages take us across all 7 continents, with descriptions of fabulous adventures and natural treasures — but the catch is, they’re all in miniature. Irresistible! You’ll find short descriptions of diverse destinations, both natural and manmade, including the exquisite 1930 fairy castle dollhouse in Chicago’s Museum of...Read More
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...Read More
We’re all about women in STEM here at CMP, so I was stoked to discover Launch Ladies, a new children’s board book celebrating the inspiring women who’ve pioneered in the field of space exploration but may not be household names like their male counterparts. Yet. But, as we learned in Hidden Figures, they totally should be. Related: Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls: The best bedtime book you’ll ever read. The Launch Ladies project on Kickstarter aims to give these engineers, computer scientists and astronauts the recognition they deserve for their contributions in the field of space. Which happens to include launching rockets and masterminding the...Read More
This is a sponsored message from Candlewick Press If your kids adore the charm and fun of the beloved Maisy series of books, they’ll be thrilled with the brand new Hooray for Birds!, an irresistible new children’s book just out from author and illustrator Lucy Cousins. She’s turned her attention from mice to wonderfully colorful birds that practically fly right off the page, all accompanied by simple prose sure to keep your 2- to 5-year-olds rapt. Budding kindergarten bookworms can even read it themselves, discovering cardinals, roosters, even flamingos in a perfect celebration of spring. It’s no surprise that Lucy Cousins’ books are such hits...Read More
If this gorgeous spring weather has you itching to get outside with your family, we’ve got the perfect excuse to head out to one of our national parks this weekend: it’s free! This year, the National Park Service turns 100 years old, and to celebrate, during National Park Week (April 16-24), admission at all national parks will be free. As in, totally free. For everyone. Whoo! Related: 22 National Parks and Sites you can visit without hiking boots. Maybe even without a plane ticket. Of course, we’ve been motivated do whatever we can to support to the awesome National Parks program lately, as...Read More
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...Read More
They’re sparkly, mysterious, and gorgeous… is it any wonder then that kids (and, um, the rest of us too) find unicorns so entrancing? It’s why I searched the web to find the most magical unicorn birthday party ideas out there, which was so much fun because you can get as fantastical and creative as you want. Really, the sky’s the limit for glittery, rainbow-color food, favors, and party decor. When it comes to unicorn birthday parties, you can dream big, and get really imaginative. Unicorns are mythological creatures after all. Or are they? CMP is an rstyle affiliate At top: Unicorn party...Read More
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