As a newly adoptive parent, I’ve received a lot of generous adoption gifts from friends and family that celebrate our daughter’s culture and heritage, and speak volumes about the fact that she came into our family in a way very different from our other three children. Of course, like any new parent, an adoptive parent would welcome home cooked meals, gift cards, boxes of diapers. But if you’re looking to give a more meaningful or sentimental gift, I’ve pulled together 10 of the best adoption gifts that I would love to have received myself. Each one of these is sure to get a very...Read More
We are big Hamilton Musical fans around here, with my son rapping Guns and Ships in his sleep and weaving lines into his school papers, so when I saw this Hamilton Musical LEGO set up for voting on the LEGO Ideas site, I just had to share it. Especially since he’s a huge LEGO lover too. Now, this set is not for purchase yet but rather, it’s a submission created by LEGO Ideas community member doniazade. The whole set has been reconstructed with LEGOs, including the staircase, even the turntable in the middle. And of course, all the cast of characters...Read More
If we ever needed one more reason to wish we could blink and have it be June, it’s so we could slip our girls in this ridiculously adorable shark romper from Rosie Pope. A shark romper! For babies! And girls! You can understand my excitement, right? Of course you can. Because it’s a shark romper. For girls. And okay, boys too. Hammerheads are equal opportunity outfitters, of...Read More
Kids with winter birthdays may not have the same options that their summer friends have — playgrounds, parks, picnics, pools, and other outside fun is, er, out. And that’s exactly why we love these creative winter birthday party themes, and all the smart, fun ideas bloggers and party planners have come up with. Filled with cool details and awesome-yet-totally-doable touches, each winter-centric celebration brings the outdoors inside — and proves that the coldest season can offer up the coolest parties around town. Top: Penguin Jell-o treats | Giggles Galore CMP is an rstyle affiliate Related: The Ultimate Birthday Party Gift Guide: Best gifts for kids of all ages!...Read More
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...Read More
Here are some links we’ve liked reading around the web this week. Hope you like them too. Lots of 2017 Oscar Party ideas including the requisite free printable ballot for the 2017 nominees from Studio DIY (above). 11 more fun Oscar party ideas, from printables to decor and snack ideas to the world’s coolest celeb paper dolls. Mmm…Oscar party food ideas. A list of all the Oscars presenters this year. Where to stream all the 2017 Oscar Best Picture Nominees since you know. We’re parents and we’ve seen nothing. Praise for the diversity of Oscar nominees this year from...Read More
I’m not so sure my kids could ever get bored of the LEGO sets that are currently blanketing the floor of our playroom, but just in case, I found three cool LEGO add-on sets that will make their builds even more exciting. These sets are for kids who are able to follow the directions of a basic LEGO build themselves. In other words, your 5-year-old who’s a major LEGO fangirl would probably love these too, but will need help putting them together. CMP is an rstyle affiliate Related: 16 essential skills kids learn from LEGO, and fantastic resources to help get them going...Read More
This fierce, courageous action figure does something pretty amazing: She helps kids fight the toughest battle of their lives. For each Courage Core Power action figure purchased, one is donated to a child affected by cancer who could use a little courage. That’s her real super power. But she can also run, stand, and sit on a My Little Pony without it getting awkward, thanks to 30 points of articulation. And we like her rad accessories — check out that flaming energy sword and her awesome courage shield — and the fact that she has the body of a fit, strong woman (no...Read More
If you’re excited about the new American Girl boy doll that was just announced, we’ve found a mom-run company at this year’s Toy Fair that’s already making boy dolls that are diverse, too. Created by two sisters who wanted their sons to have quality dolls that looked like them and were ready for adventure, Boy Story currently makes Mason and Billy, two fully articulated 18″ plush and vinyl boy action dolls that can be purchased together or separately, with lots of accessories, clothes, and adventure books (sound familiar?), coming soon. Related: Here are 6 of the coolest and most diverse dolls. Related: Naturally...Read More
My girls and I love graphic novels, especially when they feature strong female role models, which is why I’m so excited about the Femme Magnifique Kickstarter project, fundraising now. This hardcover anthology of comics will feature 30 strong, fierce, trailblazing women from the fields of politics, science and entertainment. Amazing women like Hillary Clinton, astronaut Sally Ride, and Kat Blaque a transgender African-American feminist vlogger, just to name a few. Related: 10 graphic novels loaded with girl power. Related: 9 fantastic girl power movies for kids Over 50 of the industry’s best writers and artists are involved in this project. We’re talking award-winning,...Read More
I adore almost all children’s books, and thank goodness for that since I am a mom of four kids. But there’s one genre — the ABC book — that makes my eyes glaze over. Hey, you can only read “A is for apple” so many times. Over the years, however, I’ve found some really cool and modern takes on the typical ABC books for kids that (gasp) even I sometimes choose when it’s my turn to pick a book to read to my kids. If your child is learning their letters — or even if they’re already reading chapter books — these ABC books will...Read More
Hear ye, hear ye! How does a parent of a Hamilton-obsessed kid score major points without spending your child’s college fund on Broadway tickets? By throwing a Hamilton-themed birthday party, that’s how. While I would love to give my daughter tickets to see the show (because it’s on my wish list too), throwing her a fantastic Hamilton party for kids is more within my budget. Plus? So cool! So I scoured the web for the best Hamilton party ideas including invitations, decor, food, favors, and activities. Besides a sing-along of the entire soundtrack. Which is a given. Top: Schuyler Sister cakes via Natalia Rostova CMP is an rstyle affiliate...Read More
Whether you’ve seen every film nominated for an Academy Award this year or you’re still trying to figure out what this La La Land is that everyone’s so gaga about, having friends over for an Oscars party is always a winning idea. An excuse to obsess over all the glitz, glamour, and gossip — with champagne? Count us in! And with all the food, decorations, and party games taken care of, you can contemplate the things that truly matter: Will Kate McKinnon present in character (and if so, who)? Exactly how many actors will be sporting bushy beards (and why is that so trendy right now)? Will Viola Davis’ two-decade film...Read More
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...Read More
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...Read More
The Wonder Woman movie isn’t out until June, but the new Wonder Woman doll from Mattel will give little girls plenty of fierce dreams until then. Ahead of this weekend’s New York Toy Fair (which we’ll be covering, of course!), Mattel unveiled several Wonder Woman figures to support the film (as one does these days) exclusively through Entertainment Weekly, and you have to check it out. Based on Gal Gadot’s arse-kicking depiction of her in the Patty Jenkins-directed Wonder Woman (whoo, more girl power!), you’ll find Diana in training gear, a party dress disguise, and fantastic armor. There are also majestic horses,...Read More
Like the rest of the country, I’ve been a little Hamilton-obsessed lately. So when I found these hip, historical t-shirts for kids at Wee Rascals that have that same hip, historical bent as the musical that’s on everyone’s mind these days, I knew I had to share. And with President’s Day coming up next week, I have the perfect excuse to order these for my own kids. Related: A patriotic T-shirt that reminds us of what makes America wonderful. Related: The ultimate girls in STEM book of kick-butt Women in Science This indie shop was started by two moms who wanted to...Read More
Finally, after begging for years, we’re pleased to learn there’s going to be a boy doll from American Girl Doll this Thursday! His name is Logan Everett, and he plays drums alongside his friend, Tenney Grant, a female singer-songwriter from Tennessee. It’s actually not clear just yet if he’s the “sidekick” or they’re trying to market them as an equal team, but we will see. Logan is part of the 2017 collection of new American Girl Dolls (can we even call it that anymore? Is it now just AG Dolls?) — which happen to include several more diverse figures, including Girl of...Read More
Whatever your Valentine’s Day looks like tonight (Netflix and pass out seems pretty great to a lot of us TBH), we hope it’s a good one! So Happy Valentine’s Day to those of you in love, in like, or just crushing on a special someone. And an extra congrats to those of you who managed to get those 28 little classroom Valentine’s cards out on time for the kids. Will they ever appreciate our sacrifices? Eh, we do it for love. – Liz, Kristen + the Cool Mom Team And if you plan on doing something a little more before...Read More
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...Read More
Just this week, the launch of Livelihood has brought together four of my favorite things: Fashion, indie women-run businesses, products made in the US, and purchases that do good for people in need. Founded by Delaware social worker and former Veep offspring Ashley Biden (you might have recognized the name) with support from friend and actress Aubrey Plaza, this new line of comfy, stylish hoodies for men, women, and kids does so much. They were designed to help create US jobs — all the products are designed and manufactured right here — all while providing funding to underserved communities via donations. They limit their beneficiaries to two zip codes...Read More
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...Read More
Ideas for an awesome LEGO Batman Movie party theme, with inspiration from the Hollywood premiere party
Thanks to our awesome partner Warner Bros. Pictures, I had the opportunity to jet out to LA this past weekend (wow, did I need that) for the launch party and red carpet — okay, black and yellow carpet — premiere of The LEGO Batman Movie. If you’ve got a kid who’s obsessed — and trust me, after your kids see it, they will be — I gathered some fantastic ideas for throwing a creative, memorable LEGO Batman themed party. And by gathered, I mean I have shamelessly stolen them from the studio’s brilliant party planners. But you know, I adapted them....Read More
Well, this isn’t something we get to share everyday: A new, never-before-published Mark Twain story will be released this fall. (Can you hear us cheering from here?) The Purloining of Prince Oleomargarine is a fairy tale that Twain left unfinished, but Philip Stead and Erin Stead, the brilliant Caldecott-winning duo behind A Sick Day for Amos McGee and Lenny and Lucy, have stepped in to finish the story and illustrate it beautifully. We couldn’t be more excited. Related: 9 lovely children’s books about the immigrant experience to help encourage more kindness and empathy Related: This new book for girls has us shouting, WOW! Twain...Read More
It’s safe to say that during Black History Month in particular, our children are learning all about our nation’s great civil rights leaders, like Martin Luther King, Jr. and Rosa Parks and Frederick Douglass. But, if you’ve seen (or, heck, even heard about) the film Hidden Figures, it’s been an awakening for a lot of parents and educators that there are so many more African-American pioneers who deserve the spotlight too. Even my mother-in-law, an 83-year-old Black woman, had never heard of Katherine Goble Johnson, Mary Jackson, or Dorothy Vaughan — the brilliant women who were instrumental in helping launch the first U.S. astronaut into orbit. Thankfully, that’s...Read More
Whether you’re watching the Super Bowl this weekend for the game, for the commercials, or just for an excuse to get together with friends, Cool Mom Eats and Cool Mom Picks have got you covered with lots of great ideas for last minute, easy Super Bowl recipes. We’ve even got you covered for mocktail recipes. Because designated drivers? You’re all of our MVPs on game day. Above: From DIY Nacho bar ideas via What’s Gaby Cooking. So much great help there! 200+ last minute Super Bowl recipes, drinks, and party-planning help! 5 Instant Pot recipes that make Super Bowl food easy. 5...Read More
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...Read More
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...Read More
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...Read More
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...Read More
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