Category: Kids

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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15 Glitzy and glam 2017 New Year’s party printables, recipes + DIY decorations to help you kick 2016 out the door

While every year we put together our favorite New Year’s printables for those of you partying like it’s…well, the beginning of a new year, this New Year’s Eve feels a little different for a lot of us. Maybe you’re saying goodbye to a really tough 2016; maybe you’re throwing a glam, glitzy shindig as a brief respite before the reality of what may be a tough 2017 sets in. Or hey, maybe you’ve got a lot to celebrate in your own life. As I stare at my own personal fire hazard (A.K.A. the Christmas tree) and dread taking down the lights and ornaments...

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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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5 of the hottest Star Wars toys your kids totally want. Trust us.

With the perfectly timed December launch of Rogue One, of course Star Wars toys for kids are all the rage. Again. If you’re looking for an awesome gift for your little padawan — even if he or she isn’t quite so little — here are 5 of the hottest Star Wars toys right now that we wouldn’t mind getting in our own Tauntaun fur-lined stockings. But hurry, with all the urgency of a quadjumper pilot using hyperspeed! Because if you order all these Star Wars toys now, you can still get them in time for Christmas or Hanukkah delivery — most with...

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Diverse, interracial dollhouse families: Reader Q&A

After featuring Georgette’s post on 6 toymakers making diverse interracial dolls for kids, Facebook fan Melissa asked us if we know of any interracial dollhouse families. I love this question. So many of us want to bring more diversity into all our kids’ doll collections, whether you have children whose heritage is Asian, African or Latino and they want dolls that reflect themselves back to them; or you have Caucasian children, like my daughter, who has racial and ethnic diversity among her closest friends and family members, and loves surrounding herselves with dolls that reflect her world. That said, most dollhouse families you find...

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This gift for the classroom will keep on giving. Yes, more than a Starbucks card.

Very little in life is as terrifying as being handed a wad of cash by desperate parents asking you to find a group teacher gift that’s meaningful, memorable, and not a lifetime supply of Best Teacher Ever mugs. This year, you can forego the stack of Starbucks cards and present your kid’s classroom teacher with a gift that keeps on giving: a beautiful game that helps teach empathy and problem solving, all in one. Consider it the Venti Mocha Frappuccino of classroom gifts. Related: 6 DIY holiday gifts for teachers from the kids that will get an A+ The Empathy Toy was...

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17 of the best subscription gifts for kids: From babies to teens, we’ve found something for everyone.

It feels like the holidays are going to be here in a minute, and I’m not ready! If you’re like me and are still scrambling for a few great gifts that will make your kids think you’re pretty awesome, then you might want to look into one of the cool subscription gifts for kids we’ve been scouting out. Over the past couple of years, we’ve seen so many companies with such good ideas for subscription boxes that range from developmental toys for babies to science kits for our bigger kids. And we know from experience that our kids are thrilled to receive actual, real packages...

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Hello, Dolly! Here are 6 of the coolest and most diverse dolls for holiday gifts this season.

As a mom to two beautiful biracial girls, I know just how difficult it can be to find diverse dolls for them to play with. When my firstborn was a baby, it was downright impossible. Today, there are so many dolls for girls and boys that capture the beauty of different skin colors, hair textures, and facial features. You just need to know where to look to find your child the perfect companion who looks “just like them.” Here are my picks for the coolest, most diverse dolls for this gift-giving season. If one of these dolls isn’t on your child’s wish list yet, it...

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This year’s best new books for Christmas, to help your kids get even more excited for the big day.

My family has a tradition of reading Christmas books at bedtime every night during Advent. Some years, I wrap each holiday book in our collection, so they’ll be surprised which book we’re reading each night. Other years, we take turns choosing a favorite. But every year, I like to add new books to our collection. And this year is no exception. I was excited to find some new, beautifully illustrated traditional stories as well as some clever books that are quick, funny reads (perfect for those nights when we’ve been out to a holiday party way past bedtime). I’ll be adding a couple of...

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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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Rockets of Awesome: The clothing subscription box for kids that is, well, awesome.

I admit I am very skeptical of subscription boxes of clothing like Stitchfix (we published a terrific, brutally honest she said/she said post on it that’s worth a read) since I have very particular tastes and I tend to know what shapes I can wear and what I can’t. So, no surprise, my kids also have very particular tastes and I have had yet to try one of the new trends in boxes of clothing for kids — until Rockets of Awesome, which was founded by former Cricket’s Circle CEO and mom, Rachel Blumenthal. Mamas? I am a total convert. They sent me a credit...

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An exquisite gift for book-loving kids from award-winning authors | Sponsored message

This is a sponsored message from Candlewick Press Award-winning children’s book author and illustrator Oliver Jeffers and fine artist Sam Winston have teamed up to create a gorgeous children’s book that’s a tribute to the power of a great story — and just in time for holiday gifting. The 2016 New York Times #1 bestseller, A Child of Books, is an imaginative adventure through the world of storytelling. The two young main characters discover the magic found in books, as they explore forests of fairy tales, sneak past monsters in haunted castles, and climb mountains of make-believe — all presented to the reader with a genius visual...

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13 sparkly holiday dresses for girls: Bring on the dazzle!

If your family’s holiday schedule is anything like mine, and you have daughters, you know why I’m looking for sparkly holiday dresses for girls right now. I have a calendar full of holiday parties, recitals, school concerts, and a gazillion other special events coming up, all excuses for my daughter to get fancy. But with a budget that doesn’t allow for a whole wardrobe of holiday dresses, I’ve been searching for a fun, sparkly dress that she can wear more than once, from holiday parties to New Year’s Eve with lots of playdates and family visits in between. CMP is an rstyle affiliate Related: 2016 Holiday...

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Custom superhero action figures for kids with imagination

With Marvel and DC pretty much taking over entertainment for the past decade or so, plenty of kids are clamoring for superhero action figures for the holidays. But what I think is even cooler than Chris Evans in miniature (not that I’d complain if I had the full-size version, ahem) is a new company that lets you customize your own superhero action figure, right down to the sex, skin tone, name, and superpowers. Started by a husband-wife team, Hero Me Lab is a small company I discovered when they reached out to send me an action figure to check out and…wow. Color me super impressed. (Get...

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Bitsbox: The fantastic STEM gift idea that taught my 4 kids to code their own apps.

It’s no secret that parents love finding tech gifts for kids that we can justify as being both fun and educational, but the true test isn’t whether we think they’re cool — but rather, whether our own kids play with them. Over and over again. That’s why we we’re so thrilled to have partnered with our newest sponsor Bitsbox. (And you dedicated Spawned podcast listeners already know just how thrilled!) This clever subscription box gift masterfully and clearly teaches kids how to code their own apps that actually work on smartphones and tablets. Like my 9-year-old son’s Burping Obama app. (Not coming to an app store near you,...

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The best group card games to play with the whole family: Game night, bring it.

Now that Thanksgiving is in the rearview mirror, it’s really starting to feel like Christmas to me. And as much as I love the shopping and the hot cocoa and the decorations, my favorite part is the parties. Instead of sending the kids to the playroom to watch a movie while the adults hang out this year, I’ve found some really fun group card games that the whole family can enjoy together. From competitive strategy games for the geeks in all of us, to light party games that are more about having fun than winning, these are our favorites. Of course,...

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The papercraft book that makes Christmas crafting so, so easy.

Houses up and down our street are starting to turn on their holiday lights, and it’s beginning to look at lot like Christmas in our neighborhood. My craft-loving kids would like for us to DIY everything holiday around here — cotton-ball snowmen, reindeer food, glitter wreaths…you name it. So when I discovered Papermade’s new book Paper Holiday, I knew I’d hit the holiday craft jackpot. The book includes 20 Christmas ornaments you can make in about 10 minutes each — just punch-out, fold up, and hang on the tree. No scissors, glue, or tape required. It even includes paper hooks. The ornaments are definitely Christmas specific,...

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We wish you a merry Hothmas with this Star Wars holiday sweater.

A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, children everywhere trembled in fear…of having to wear holiday sweaters. The dark side of dorky clothes warred with the light side of cozy warmth, the air filling with shrieks of, “Moooom, do I have to?” Until this sweater — this amazing Holiday Wars Star Wars sweater — a scion of peace and goodwill in holiday photos. Related: Seriously cool gift ideas for tween boys before you just give up and get a gift card | Cool Mom Picks Holiday Gift Guide 2016 This sweater by Jem that we found at Nordstrom comes...

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This new book for girls has us shouting, WOW!

WOWsdom! The Girl’s Guide to the Positive and the Possible is a new interactive book I found recently on Kickstarter that has one very important mission: to help raise our female leaders of tomorrow. And they’ve set out to do just that by sharing the intimate and life-changing experiences of other women and girls so that those who may not have a mentor in their lives can still find ways to connect, learn, and grow into smart, empowered women. Truly wow-worthy, in my opinion. Related: Epic tees for epic teens and tweens, designed by epic teens and tweens. Epic. WOWsdom! is the work of Generation WOW, an organization...

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Bring on the bling with these 7 metallic and jewel-toned coats for kids.

I don’t know about the rest of the country, but down here in Nashville we went from about 80-degree days to 30-degree mornings overnight. And before I knew it, I was fumbling through our coat closets to pull out last year’s jackets for the kids to bundle up in on their way to school. And now, I’m scanning all of my favorite shops online to find some great deals on new winter coats for this year — since the 3/4 length arms on last year’s coats won’t quite cut it when the really cold weather hits. Since winter weather can be so dreary...

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Epic tees for epic teens and tweens, designed by epic teens and tweens. Epic.

One of the hardest things about buying clothes for my tween is that she wants to look grown-up, but the clothes made for teens are too often high on price and low on, uh, coverage. And the message isn’t always one I want to promote, like those “Math is hard” shirts that keep popping up like a negative self-esteem whack-a-mole game. Luckily, we’ve found a great company in California with clothes and accessories we think are perfect for our tweens and teens — because they’re designed and curated by actual tween and teen girls. Related: We’re fawning over these 9 adorable...

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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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Art With Edge coloring books for tweens and teens makes coloring in the lines cool again.

Move over grown ups, there’s a new coloring demographic in town. And, we’re not talking about kiddie books filled with hearts and teddy bears. Art With Edge — Crayola’s latest line of seven cool coloring books and two coloring kits — are filled with zombies, sugar skulls, graffiti, bold and fearless sayings, and quirky cartoons just begging to be filled in with color by the tweens and teens in your life. (They also have two superhero books, Justice League and Batman, which may be a great option for some kids, but to me, they didn’t seem to fit in with Crayola’s new and edgy line for our bigger kids.) My girls, ages 12...

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