Category: Kids

A book to remind you why books make the best kids’ gifts. | Sponsored message

This is a sponsored message from Candlewick Press The much-anticipated finale of Caldecott Honoree Aaron Becker’s wordless adventure trilogy is here, and kids and parents everywhere are rejoicing. Check out Return, the epic #1 New York Times bestseller and follow-up to the award-winning Journey and Quest. Suspenseful, moving, and stunningly beautiful, Becker’s lonely young heroine once more escapes to a fantastic world of kings, emperors, castles, exotic creatures, and enchanting landscapes — all of which unlock the power of imagination to have your kids reenacting their own fantasy adventures. While Return is thrilling all on its own, if you don’t yet own Becker’s trilogy, all three makes for the perfect holiday...

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Dragon Gloves: The edgy new trend we’re loving for Halloween.

From the new kids’ movie Pete’s Dragon to Game of Thrones, dragons are getting a good rep these days. Our kids are even talking about being dragons or dragon trainers for Halloween, so when we saw that these dark, edgy dragon gloves at The Scale Maiden were trending on Etsy, we knew we had to share them. Because chances are, someone in your house is obsessed with dragons too. Related: Putting the BOO in Halloween boots for kids. Of course, it’s not just dragons we love supporting, but small businesses too, so I was really excited to find these in an Etsy shop. Each pair is hand-knit in...

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We want candy! Candy temporary tattoos, that is.

Oh my yum — we were so happy to find this new line of candy temporary tattoos. Colorful, cute, lightly scented, and utterly free of calories and cavities. The Arm Candy pack from our pals at Tattly are sure to be a favorite with your little candy gobblers. Designed by Julia Rothman and scented by Agilex Fragrances, each packet of safe, non-toxic temporary tattoos includes two each of three armbands and a candy ring. They smell like a mixture of vanilla frosting, cotton candy, and of course, just in time for Halloween, candy corn. Related: CHARM IT and Tattly team up, and our girls go...

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9 great TV shows for tweens that you might not have considered

Ah, the tween years. That in-between stage when your kid is so not your baby anymore, but not yet your teenager. They start to think the sweet, educational shows they used to love are “for babies,” but you’re not ready to let them watch shows with teens who are often depicted as bratty or rude to their parents (cough), or are deep in the world of dating. Boy, do I miss the Sesame Street years… The good news is there really are cool TV shows for tweens that you might not know about. Since we already covered these favorite family-friendly TV shows for kids, I polled our editors and came up...

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Dan Yaccarino’s Happyland board books help our kids understand worry, gratitude and sharing. You know, the easy stuff.

If you’ve ever had this tune stuck in your head, “We’ve got the whole wide world in our yard to explore…”, you can thank Dan Yaccarino. He designed Pablo, Uniqua and the rest of the Backyardigans crew, and he’s also the creator of the adorable show Oswald. Best of all, he’s been a huge help to our kids in developing their imaginations and learning how to work well with others. With his new Happyland board books series, he’s aiming to teach children about social-emotional aspects of growing up — and, in our opinion, he nails it. We can only hope there are more books to...

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Got a kid who loves cars, planes, boats and art? They need the new book Project Kid: Crafts that Go.

Two years ago, when I learned about Parents magazine lifestyle editor Amanda Kingloff’s cool, modern crafts book Project Kid, I flipped. For joy. These were crafts my kids could easily make, and I’d actually want to keep. (Sorry, glitter macaroni necklace. You’re hitting the trash.) So when I found out her new book, Project Kid: Crafts that Go, is focused completely on crafts for kids who love planes, cars, trains, and boats, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it. Of course, it’s every bit as awesome as her first book. I love her ingenious hacks for household items — like turning an old cardboard box into...

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Midnight Creatures: A pop-up book that’s way more than a pop-up book

We’re all big fans of artful, creative pop-up books around here, but when I checked out a copy of Midnight Creatures: A Pop-up Shadow Search, it didn’t cross my mind just how extraordinarily creative it would be — and how much it would captivate even my 9-year-old. Illustrator and cut-paper artist Helen Friel’s book is truly a marvel; a series of spreads that introduce nocturnal animals who inhabit the ocean, the woods, caves and beyond. At first, each of the three black, die-cut pop ups on each spread looks somewhat abstract. But on closer glance, you see they’re filled with the hidden shapes of creatures identified on...

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We found them! 15 seriously awesome preschool birthday party gifts under $15

When you’ve got a little one, you probably know that means you have a whooooole lot of preschooler birthday party gifts to look for over the course of the year. One gift for each party for each kid in your child’s preschool class? Yeouch. That’s a whole lot of gifts. And it definitely adds up. While every family has a different birthday party gift budget, it can be tough finding ones that cost in the $15 range or less. So we did the work for you! We all put our heads together around here and came up with a great list of...

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Secret Code: A customizable children’s book to help you raise tech-savvy, confident girls.

As a first time mom-to-be, I am already thinking about creating a household where my child can be whatever they want to be. A doctor, lawyer, sandwich artistan, or even a Silicon Valley techno mastermind. And given that my husband’s an IT professional who builds his own computers for fun (what the heck is a Hackintosh, anyway?), our kid is likely to inherit an aptitude for computer sciences. We can only hope, anyway. If we have a girl (maybe, especially if we have a girl), I want to make sure she has plenty of STEM role models that can help her get excited...

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Putting the BOO in Halloween boots for kids.

Some kids are just not down with full-body Halloween costumes. If you’ve ever tried to wrestle a screaming baby into that adorable plush monkey onesie and ended up covered in bodily fluids, you know just what I mean. Luckily, these adorable Halloween boots for kids help put a little BOO into your day without masks, sticky zippers, or strangers leaning terrifyingly close to ask, “Who’s a cute little doggy?” Bonus: They’re well made and will look fantastic all season long. The Little Creatures line from Emu includes shoes, boots, and booties made of premium suede and Australian Merino wool, which means they...

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Pico Kid jewelry line for girls and boys inspires mini makers

Cool jewelry for both girls and boys that inspires the makers of tomorrow? Found it. Pico Kid, a line of jewelry for girls and boys (or the young at heart), is the latest collection by Pico Design. We’ve featured Andrea Panico’s architectural inspired jewelry collection before when we included it as a Cool Mom Picks Pick of The Year for being one of the Coolest jewelry & accessory brands in 2015. Pico’s latest launch solidifies its spot as a cool brand. Full disclosure: Andrea is my friend and neighbor (Shout out to Montclair!), but it was my love for her jewelry that started our friendship and the rest is history. Andrea was inspired to create...

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3 cool no-lace gadgets that make school mornings easier

My youngest child is still learning to tie his shoes. He can get it right about 50% of the time — just enough to be absolutely confident he can do it himself with no help from me thankyouverymuch. As you can imagine, this makes it hard to get out the door on time on school mornings. And his older brother’s teacher isn’t accepting his “my brother can’t tie his shoes” excuse for his tardiness. So, I caved and bought some of those no-tie shoelaces I’ve been seeing advertised all over Facebook — and, honestly, I love them. I’m thrilled to have found...

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How to plan an awesome long weekend with the kids in Asheville, NC

My favorite fall break destination with the kids is unquestionably Asheville, North Carolina. Even though it isn’t a kid-centric destination per se (no Mickey Mouse for miles), there’s still so many fun, family-friendly activities we can enjoy in the city and surrounding area. Plus, getting a chance to see the leaves change in the Appalachian Mountain region? Stunning. Asheville is kind of like a smaller, quainter little sister to Portland, Oregon. You’ll see hikers coming off the Appalachian Trail, art galleries on every corner, and even a few drum circles. I just love its slower pace and refreshing outlook, plus the cool, crisp mountain air is such a welcome...

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Turn signal gloves, inflatable helmets and other cool bike safety gear for the whole family

This summer my family hit a new milestone on our bikes: my youngest learned to ride without training wheels, and my oldest is now big enough to be trusted to ride his bike a couple blocks to his friend’s house on his own. (Although I still sit next to the phone until that “got there” text comes through. Exhale.) But now that my kids are growing more independent on their bikes, I’m thinking of some gear — beyond the mandatory helmet — that can help them stay safe on the roads during the day and night. From innovative lighting...

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Roy Lichtenstein meets Dick and Jane

I’m always a sucker for books for toddlers and early readers that make use of modern art. We’ve covered Where’s Warhol (a Where’s Waldo parody) most recently, Henri Matisse and Alexander Calder pop-up books, and now there’s a cool new one — Roy’s House, by Susan Goldman Rubin with art by Roy Lichtenstein. Rubin’s simple, playful text welcomes readers, then takes us on a tour through Lichtenstein’s iconic pop art, which combine to make up quite the house when viewed all together. His infamous paintings of interiors introduce us to a great big couch for entertaining many friends, a kitchen for snacking, and the studio where “Roy paints pictures.”...

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Tons of easy pirate party ideas, because every day should be Talk Like a Pirate Day.

There is never a bad time to throw a pirate themed party and look for cool pirate party ideas. Of course there’s always Halloween — and then today’s Talk Like a Pirate Day. (One of our favorites!) But it’s a cool birthday party theme all on its own, and it doesn’t even have to be all Pirates of the Carribbean themed either.  So thanks to printable decor and activities, crafty DIY shortcuts,  movies on demand, and clever but easy cupcake decorating ideas,  it’s possible to pull together a cool pirate themed party (or pARRRty) for your kids and all their best mateys in just...

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A clever backpack vest for kids, so you can ditch the role of family sherpa

If you’ve been reading Cool Mom Picks for long while now, you know how much we love to support small indie shops that make amazing gifts for kids or families — like the beautiful handmade jewelry at Julian & Co or geeky wooden teething toys from 3Princesses Etsy shop. Well, this week we discovered a tiny clothing company that makes clever backpack vests my youngest kids are going to love, because they have storage pockets built right into the vest. So now, when they want to bring along their stuffed animal, favorite car, and snacks, I can stash it all in their vest. And then I...

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5 fun and easy last-minute birthday party ideas your kids will love. (Not that we think you forgot or anything.)

I’ve never actually forgotten to send the invites out to one of my kids’ birthdays, but I’ve definitely waited until the very last minute to plan their parties. The thing is: if your child’s birthday happens to land during one of the crazy-busy times of the year (ahem, back-to-school) then their big day can sneak up on you. Before you know it, you have a party to plan in less than a week. And it needs to be as awesome as your kid is. Well, I can assure you from experience, you don’t need to transform your home into a magical fairy land or...

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16 terrifically creepy YA novels for kids (and adults!) who dig dark themes. Boo!

As we turn the corner into All Things Pumpkin Spice, let us not forget that being up all night with a scary book can be truly delicious. These YA reads for teens (and adults!) who dig dark themes range from silly vampires to magical devils to absolute terror — and they all happen to be written by women. Several of them carry my personal Seal of Scareproval, and the rest were recommended by other YA authors and editors I trust, being a fantasy author myself, so you know we know our stuff. Hope one of these 16 novels is just...

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We’re fawning over these 9 adorable woodland creature bags for tweens.

Guiding a tween through fashion choices can get pretty squirrely. They want to seem grown up, but they also adore cuteness. It’s a bear of a problem for even the most chipper of moms. That’s why we’ve rounded up a staggering selection of adorable woodland creature bags for tweens that we found on Etsy — all of which straddle the line between Little Kid and No, You Can’t Wear Lipstick Yet. A little bird told me your kid’ll love them. Heh. At top: Deer Clutch | GableMade Related: Cool backpack and lunchbox sets that are perfect for tweens and teens....

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9 black-and-white fall dresses for girls, from twirly to sporty to oh so mod

This summer’s hot black-and-white trend (remember the cool swimsuits we found from Nununu and Marimekko?) is still going strong this fall. So we pulled together our favorite black-and-white fall dresses for girls — from twirly styles to sporty pieces they can wear on the playground, to modern styles for parties or school plays. Is it too much to buy them all? CMP is an rstyle affiliate   I love to find dresses that give my daughter a sense of style but still let her act like the kid she is on the playground, and this terry A-line dress by Cat & Jack at Target is perfect...

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Handcrafted fairy doors that invite magical visitors from Hobbits to House Elves. No lost teeth necessary.

When I discovered the incredibly adorable, beautifully handcrafted fairy doors from Sugar Bush Fairies on Etsy, I instantly fell in love. Because I’m all about bringing a little magic and enchantment into my kids’ lives — but I’ll be honest, I’m kind of a failure when it comes to Pinteresty crafts. After filling up a bag with glitter and scrawling the words “Fairy Dust” across the front, I’m kind of at a loss. This is where these enchanting wooden fairy doors come in. They’re all handcrafted and handpainted by a husband and wife team, then adorned with bronze or silver knobs and accents. You’ll find Hobbit...

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Let’s talk puberty: 3 books for girls that help you have the talk

I love having a daughter. Her bright, energetic, and (yes) sometimes emotional personality is such a treat to have in our home. We’ve had a very open relationship so far, which I am very grateful for, and now she’s creeping up on the age where we’re going to start talking about how her body is changing. Let’s face it, she’ll be a (gulp) teenager soon. Even though I know she’s comfortable asking me pretty much anything, there’s only so much my words can communicate to her. She’s going to need pictures, and for that I’m turning to some of...

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Sponsored Message: Celebrating a brand new Rosemary Wells book with a $250 giveaway

This is a sponsored message from MacMillan In honor of the launch of Hand in Hand, the beautiful new book from popular kids’ author Rosemary Wells of Max and Ruby fame, you could win a special $250 literary prize pack, plus everyone who enters wins a special magnet with art from this new book. Perfect gift for a baby shower, new baby, or first birthday, Hand in Hand celebrates the sweet joys of being your child’s first teacher, and all the moments you share, whether walking together, playing, dreaming, and of course, reading together. And oh the reading you’ll be able to do with...

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Pablo and His Chair by Delphine Perret: A story about being the best version of you

I have a soft spot for quirky children’s books with captivating illustrations, which is why I keep picking up the brand new Pablo and His Chair by the French artist and author Delphine Perret to read to my kids. The story is simple — a fidgety boy receives a chair for his birthday (“so he’ll sit down for once”). Just what a kid wants, right? But the way this imaginative little boy makes the most of his gift — and his talents — is what makes this book so memorable. Related: Home by Carson Ellis beautifully celebrates the way we all live Related: They...

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9 fantastic beginner chapter book series to help create avid readers

My youngest child started Kindergarten this week — sniff — and he’s learning to read so quickly. I’m thrilled to find out he loves books, and I’ve been scouring our bookshelves and grilling our librarian for some great beginner chapter book series. Of course, there are the classic favorites like Junie B. Jones, Magic Treehouse, Ruby and the Booker Boys, and Katie Kazoo, Switcheroo. But I was excited to find a few new options too, and all of these series have just added new volumes to their collection over the last few months. So, whether you’re trying to find age-appropriate books for your young...

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The hottest new designer for kids is… your kid. Eat your heart out, Stella McCartney!

Whether your little artist is more of a Versace or a Van Gogh, they can become the hottest new designer… and wear a creation of their very own. Picture This is an awesome new mom-run business that will print your kid’s drawing directly onto a dress, whether for themselves, or in miniature for a favorite doll. Just download and print the dress template, let your child go crazy decorating it, email them a pic, and order a dress made from your very own kid’s artwork. Right now they offer a simple A-line t-shirt dress in sizes 2 to 18 that should look good on pretty much any...

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Sponsored Message: EasyKicks new kids shoe subscription service makes life easier for parents

This is a sponsored message from EasyKicks Shoe shopping with kids can be pretty challenging, then when you do find just the right pair, it’s like the shoes are outgrown or destroyed before their time. That’s where EasyKicks comes in, to make buying shoes for kids a whole lot easier. This new kids’ subscription service delivers stylish, high-quality sneakers right to your door for $30 a month. No need to leave your house, no dragging anyone to the shoe store. Just sneakers from a carefully-curated selection of brands, that magically arrive on your doorstep, ready for tearing up the playground. Your kids...

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6 driving distractions people without kids will never understand

Whether you’re hitting the road for Labor Day weekend, or you’re back in the saddle as your kids’ own personal Uber driver, we parents know that driving with kids in the car comes with its own special challenges. Let’s just say it can be… tough.* So I had so much fun putting together this video depicting 6 driving distractions that people without kids will never understand on behalf of our sponsor  ZEISS Better Vision. They make the DriveSafe eyeglass lenses that actually help you see more clearly — especially when you’re driving — so you can be sure to focus on all the other distractions. Like those...

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The (totally evil) family tabletop game for wicked word nerds and master strategists.

If your family is divided by the word nerds who love Scrabble and the strategists who love Monopoly, then we’ve found the family tabletop game for you. It’s called Word Domination, it’s on Kickstarter now, and it’s already winning gaming awards. Bonus: You get to be a super villain, minus the hidden volcano lair. Related: The 2016 board games of the year For $30, you can be the first family on the block to collect (and steal!) priceless artifacts and use fiendish weapons from your super-mega-evil arsenal in your plot for world — and word — domination. To play, you...

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