Category: Kids

What did Frederick Douglass do? This wonderful book helps kids find out.

This week, I am under the impression, for some reason, that lots of folks are searching for information on Frederick Douglass: Who was Frederick Douglass? What did he do that was so important? How did he earn a place in the new Smithsonian African-American history museum? If you’re a parent or educator, this is a good opportunity to rush to your local library, Amazon, or your local bookstore. Then check out the brand new biography picture book, Frederick Douglass: The Lion Who Wrote History, by the late Walter Dean Myers. Related: 10 outstanding Black History Month books for kids of all...

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A Greyhound, a Groundhog: A fun tongue-twisting book to read with your kids on Groundhog Day

My kids love checking in with the news to see if Punxsutawney Phil sees his shadow every year on Groundhog Day (SPOILER ALERT: there will be six more weeks of winter this year), and so the new book A Greyhound, a Groundhog by Emily Jenkins and illustrated by Chris Appelhans is one we just had to check out. It’s fun for Groundhog Day, but any other day of the year too, because even though it features a groundhog, it’s most definitely not about Groundhog Day. CMP is an rstyle affiliate Related: The best lists of the best children’s books of 2016, all in...

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15 amazing Langston Hughes quotes to help start important discussions with your kids

Today marks not only the beginning of Black History Month, but the birthday of the beloved, brilliant, prescient poet Langston Hughes, who would have been 114 today. As with all essential writers throughout history, his words live on long past his death in 1967. In fact, so many Langston Hughes quotes, thoughts and lines from his poetry are as relevant today as they ever were. One of the things I like to do with my kids from time to time, is read them a quote then discuss it. It’s actually amazing how kids even as young as four or five can have some basic...

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9 lovely children’s books about the immigrant experience to help encourage more kindness and empathy.

I’m a child of an immigrant. And so I jumped at the chance to put together a list of some of my favorite children’s books about the immigrant experience. I know first-hand just how difficult it is for someone to get to America for a better life and work toward citizenship, let alone having to leave their homeland, family members, and the only life they’ve known behind, sometimes forever. With immigration a big topic in our country right now, our children are hearing about these issues too. They have so many questions, whether they’re watching the news with you, discussing it in...

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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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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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How The National Park Service is letting families visit free!

I’m all about supporting our nation’s National Park Service in any way we can, especially because of the myriad ways they support us right back. So I’m thrilled to share the brilliant initiative to get even more kids to our National Parks and Monuments around the country: Every Kid in a Park. Created by President Obama to get more children excited about science, nature, and understanding the beauty and history of our nation, the program will grant your family totally free access (yes, free!) to all Federal lands and waters. Plus, you’ll get a massive discount on Amtrak tickets for kids if you’re training it there....

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Congrats to the 2017 Caldecott, Newbery, and Coretta Scott King medal winners. They are truly award-worthy!

Today, there’s excitement about the Oscar nominations, but yesterday was the Academy Awards for book lovers. The ALA made its big announcement of the books worthy of the annual Caldecott, Newbery, and Coretta Scott King medal winners, as well as many other notable awards, for children’s lit and young adult books. We are really excited to see that some of our very own recommendations have been honored. They truly deserve it. Related: 18 best children’s books of 2016 | Editors’ Best of 2016 CMP is an rstyle and Amazon affiliate Awarded the 2017 John Newbery Medal The prize given for the most outstanding contribution to...

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Protect yourself from the elements with this rad Star Wars lightsaber umbrella.

Members of the Rebel Alliance, big and small, rejoice! We’ve found the perfect weapon to protect you from the damp forests of Endor, the withering sun of Tatooine, or, you know, some light drizzle on your commute to school. We are so excited about these Star Wars lightsaber umbrellas — an essential accessory, if you ask me, for any Star Wars fanatic needing some rad rebel gear to hold them over until The Last Jedi opens nationwide (just 324 more days, yay!). Related: 5 of the hottest Star Wars toys your kids totally want. Trust us. You’ll look like a real...

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A trio of fantastic STEM-inspired picture books that celebrate curious children.

Often, some of the very best children’s books are the ones inspired by a writer’s own child (like Mo Willems’ Knuffle Bunny). These books tend to be favorites among kids and parents alike because they come from a place of authenticity. Which is why I think families will love Andrea Beaty’s trio of STEM-inspired picture books, which was created from the author’s personal experience with her young son who would build things, anything, from random things. The series isn’t new; in fact, the first book published a decade ago. But she continues to add to the series every few years, which is a big...

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The heroes of these fantastic fairy tales? Real women. (Really.)

When it comes to imaginative stories and tales, my kids have always been somewhat confused by what’s real and what’s make-believe. This is especially true of anything Star Wars (“Did his hand really come off?”), Harry Potter (“Do house elves really exist?”), and fairy tales (“Can someone really have hair that long?”). But now, they’ll get the Yes-es they’ve been looking for. And it will surely blow their minds. Related: Girl power! Empowering books for girls In Queen Girls stories, the heroes don’t wait for a magical kiss from a handsome prince, or a swift flick of the wand from a fairy godmother who can quick-fix their...

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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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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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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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An excellent list of MLK books, videos and resources to help kids understand the reason for the holiday.

Over the years, we’ve put together so many fantastic ways to help honor the important, impactful work of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., especially to help families be able to discuss how we might all carry on his legacy. We hope you’ll check out these books, videos, websites, craft ideas and activities, with the hope that more of our kids are inspired do their own part to create a world filled with peace, equality and justice for all.   4 Fantastic Books for Kids about Martin Luther King to Help Educate While You Celebrate Here’s his entire I Have a Dream...

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10 outstanding children’s books about activism in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

As we approach MLK Day, we’re thinking it’s the perfect time to get our kids learning about activism and about how one man, through his peaceful and steadfast fight for equal rights for all, made lasting changes and a huge impact on generations. Inspired by his words — “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere” — and motivated by his actions, we’ve put together a list of 10 children’s books about activism that we think will inspire our kids, in turn. From stories our littlest readers will enjoy to non-fiction books that motivate our older kids to take action about those things they believe in, we...

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Unicorns, lions, and Yoda? Adorable animal winter hats for babies

If you’re a parent of a new baby, you’ll soon find that many experienced moms and grandmothers on the street will stop and tell you: You have to put a hat on your baby during cold winter weather! Some will even suggest you dress your babies this way in spring and fall, and on cooler summer nights too. And this season, I am loving the animal-themed winter hats for babies that’ll make them look stylish and keep them warm all winter. Or, anytime, really. From unicorns horns to long bunny ears, here are some adorable animal winter hats for babies you won’t want to...

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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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The game-changing winter fleece pullover for kids. Who knew there was such a thing?

Trying to get your toddler to quit squirming long enough for you to wriggle on a pair of mittens is basically a parenting rite of passage. One much easier said than done. Which is why I’m so impressed with the lightweight kids’ fleece pullover with mittens attached I tried out from the new-ish parent-run business EtS Apparel. Because these waterproof mittens zip on at the wrists, getting them on is as easy as putting on a shirt. Okay, so it’s still somewhat of a challenge. But I’ll take an innovation that makes it even a little easier for me. Related: 6 fantastic pairs of kids’ winter boots on sale right now. Hurry! I’ve actually...

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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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Little Big Girl by Claire Keane: The perfect gift for a new big sister.

When you’ve been the littlest in your family your whole entire life, but things are about to get real because a new sibling comes along, you need the book Little Big Girl by Claire Keane. This sweet story about a little girl growing up and getting bigger and bigger (sniff) has captured the imagination and attention of my three kids, as they’re planning to welcome a new little sister very soon. If you’re looking for a sweet gift to help your child transition to having a new younger sibling, this is it. Related: The ultimate new-baby sibling gift In Little Big Girl, Matisse (the real name of author Claire...

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6 fantastic pairs of kids’ winter boots on sale right now. Hurry!

The good thing about living down South is that I can wait until the last minute to buy snow boots for my kids, when they’re all on sale! And when you’re buying four sets of winter snow gear, those savings help a lot. That said, all of these kids’ winter boots on sale are ones we’d buy even if they were full priced, because we’ve tested these brands and they’ve lasted us not just through one or two brutal winters, but long enough to pass down through a few kids. So even at full price, that’s a pretty great value. But...

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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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Fight evil (and frostbite) with these cool superhero snowsuits.

Snowsuits have come a long way since Randy’s slug imitation in A Christmas Story. Today’s kid demands warmth and comfort — and the ability to move. And, in some cases, superhuman powers to help them take on the task of protecting their snow fortresses. Or, getting up after a fall. This season, the officially licensed Marvel and DC offerings from Funwear.com include jackets and pants to transform your super kid into their favorite superhero. The collection includes the best of the best — you know, Superman, Incredible Hulk, Thor. And while some of the jackets are great for waiting at...

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The best lists of the best children’s books of 2016, all in one place

Once again, we’re happy to have compiled the best lists of all the best children’s books of the year, curated by the top publishers, reviewers, organizations, and bloggers we respect. And boy, was it a fantastic year for children’s literature and storybooks. You’ll surely find lots of great new discoveries from the New York Times to the American Library Association, from NPR to well-curated blogs like Brainpickings and Brightly and…well, us! So start with our own list of the best children’s books of 2016, then check out some other perspectives. We bet a few of your kids’ favorites will be on here, and you’ll surely find some new ones you’ll be excited to add to...

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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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The best kids music of 2016 | Editors Picks of the Year

It wouldn’t be our Editors Picks of the Year if we didn’t give a shoutout to our favorite kids music of the year. And if you’re thinking, huh? Cool kids’ music? then clearly you haven’t spent a lot of time here! For years now, there have been amazing kindie artists  — lots of whom you might have known as adult artists first, like Lisa Loeb or TMBG’s Danny Weinkauf — putting out family friendly music that even parents can get down to. And for that, we are grateful. So if you’re in need of some kids music that doesn’t make you...

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18 best children’s books of 2016 | Editors’ Best of 2016

As the year comes to a close, we’re looking back at our picks for the best children’s books of 2016 — according to our editors, writers, and of course our children! What a perfect way to kick off our Editors Picks of the Year. As our readers know, we all adore books here at Cool Mom Picks and we’ve collectively read hundreds of great kids’ books this year, from the sweetest board books for babies, to excellent picture books for early readers, to compelling graphic novels  — and it’s not an easy job to whittle it down to just a few favorites. Ultimately, we go with the books...

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