Tag: back to school

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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The cutest lunch box notes, whether your kids love Star Wars, Pokémon GO, or Dr. Seuss

Way back when my mom packed lunch for me, the brown paper bag always came adorned with a smiley face, a heart, or on days she was feeling really ambitious, a rough portrait of our dog, Maggie. And as a kid, it made such a difference, especially in the early days when the cafeteria felt like a wild new frontier. How lucky to be a kid today with all these ready-made funny, smart lunch box notes in cool designs and favorite characters. Plus, parents everywhere are rejoicing they don’t have to attempt a Pikachu sketch while trying to assemble a meal not based...

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5 tested tips for handling separation anxiety, from parents who have been there too

I know a little something about dealing with separation anxiety when it comes to young kids and school. Back when my kids were in preschool, this was my routine: drop them off at the classroom, peel around the corner and press my back against the wall, then wait — sometimes two minutes, sometimes ten minutes — until they stopped crying.  Sometimes I cried too. Separation anxiety is exhausting and heartbreaking and, yes, even sometimes a bit frustrating. If you’re in the middle of it right now, know you’re not alone. We’ve been there — some of us still are there — and...

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It’s a lunch bag! It’s a place mat! It’s the answer to every germaphobe parent’s prayers.

While there are all kinds of kids lunch bags and boxes that I find are really durable and effective, I’ve long been a fan of the lunch bags from Built NY — in no small part because the size and styling means I can borrow them from my kids. And now they’re out with and extremely smart, innovative lunch bag that I think parents will be happy about. Especially if you’re grossed out by the tables and surfaces your kids may be eating off of when you’re not around. Related: 34 of the coolest lunch boxes and bags | Back to School Guide...

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Skateboarding to school just got a lot easier. And cooler.

When we lived in a big city, my kids loved to watch teens skateboarding to school. There was this effortless coolness to gliding along, flipping the board, tossing it over a shoulder, and hopping on a bus. If you think your kids might be a great age for rolling up the sidewalk by your side but don’t want to carry those skateboards home yourself, here’s a great way to combine skateboards with school supplies. Bonus: No more back-to-school backpack shopping. Related: 15 simple, possibly unexpected ways parents can connect with their tween or teen Penny Skateboards is known for well-made...

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17 fun pencil cases for writers, book lovers and word nerds. Like us!

We love pencil cases! They’re where we put all our pencils! And pens, and earbuds, and erasers, and… pretty much anything that’ll fit. As our kids head back to school, we’re getting serious about corralling clutter, and if we can do it with flair, even better. So we’ve put together a ton of cool pencil cases especially geared toward lovers of books and writing. Or, as we like to call ourselves, word nerds. And we’re so pleased that this post is brought to you by our newest sponsor Pentel because, hello? What writer doesn’t adore premium quality pens that help you express your own writing style and creativity....

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What makes back-to-school gifts more special? We’re gonna go with llamas.

If you’ve done any back-to-school shopping lately, you may have noticed, like we have, that llamas are taking over the world. Quietly. And with deceptive cuteness because let me tell you, llamas mean business. The takeover may be inevitable at this point, so I’ve rounded up some of the most adorable llama-themed back-to-school items from around the web that I’ve found. Isn’t it nice when trends are stuff we can say we liked “before they were cool?” Yeah, foxes are kind of 2015. Don’t even get us started on owls. Related: Cool, colorful school supplies to make September more fun | Back to School Guide...

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These metallic shoes for kids are winning back-to-school

We’ve been binging on the Olympics at our house, and it has us seeing gold, silver, and bronze. (Go Team USA!) Now, our love for the medals is spilling over into our closets too, because a little metallic accent is always a good thing. And metallic shoes for kids are the new cool look, just in time for back-to-school shopping. We’ve been seeing gold and silver metallic sneakers and flats on everyone from high school boys to preschool girls. This is a look everyone seems to want to get in on, and we get it. We can’t resist it either. So, we’ve rounded up...

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What the hell is a backpack fairy? The back to school episode. | Spawned episode 47

This week on Spawned with Kristen + Liz we’re talking back to school! It’s awesome! And yet…it’s exhausting! Take a listen as we commiserate, laugh, offer helpful tips, and gawk at the most insane first day of school traditions that we found on Pinterest. (The backpack fairy? Seriously?) Listen here right now, and be sure to subscribe to Spawned through iTunes so you never miss an episode!     Some of the topics we talk about in episode 47 Cool back to school goodies in our 2016 back to school shopping guide. Free printables for back to school including the weekly calendar Liz discussed. Printable...

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8 outstanding books that teach empathy for kids with special needs

Three things in human life are important: the first is to be kind; the second is to be kind; and the third is to be kind. ―Henry James   You stocked up on school supplies, bought your kid a cool new lunch box and backpack, and purchased that first day of school outfit, but you may be missing one important item I like to have on my own kids’ back to school lists — books that teach empathy. Especially for those kids with special needs who may be new to a classroom, playgroup, or just the neighborhood this year. Besides feeling...

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Cool backpack and lunch box sets that are perfect for tweens or teens

You’ve probably heard of Lululemon, but did you know that they have a special line for girls? Yep, ivivva offers cool activewear for girls, including a new line of backpack and lunch box sets my girls are fighting over. To be honest, it’s not really a line, so much as two sets, but no matter how many there are, they’re definitely very cool. The backpack is very slim but still has lots of room for everything your middle or high schooler needs to carry without it feeling bulky. There’s even a hidden laptop pocket for kids who need to bring...

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7 fun handwriting practice printables for kids, from pre-k to teen. It’s not just worksheets!

We’ve always made it our mission to encourage kids to keep the art of handwriting alive, and to help parents looking to do the same. So we’ve put together some really terrific handwriting practice printables for kids of all ages. Yes, even teens. (We can tear them away from those keyboards sometimes, you know.) Essentially, it’s all about finding ways to get kids to write, whether it’s basic worksheets for preschoolers, or opportunities to write stories, comics, even create a typeface of their own. And we’re so happy to bring you this post on behalf of our partner BIC, who’s been our fantastic...

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5 cool no-tie sneakers for boys. Because, anything to make the mornings easier.

I am definitely a fan of no-tie sneakers. I mean, even though my 9-year old son knows how to lace up his sneakers perfectly fine, he much prefers being able to slip his shoes on in the morning right before he runs out the door. And I’m all for anything to make our mornings go a lot smoother, especially with four kids to get ready and out the door. Since my boy prefers athletic shoes over traditional slip-on sneakers (like my personal favorite, Vans), I’m glad that these days, they’ve got lots of cool no-tie sneakers for boys that are perfect for...

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The coolest back to school printables: Lunch notes, planners, labels and more | Back to School Guide 2016

Back to school time isn’t just about shopping! (Not that there’s anything wrong with shopping, of course.) One of our favorite annual traditions is sharing our favorite back to school printables that help make the school year easier, more organized, and just more fun. This year, we’re sharing 22 favorites, most of them free! And we’re so pleased that this year’s Back to School Guide is made possible by our terrific partner BIC, who’s celebrating handwriting through their Fight for Your Write campaign. (And you all know how much we value handwriting, parents.) Visit the site, sign the pledge to encourage handwriting at home like we do, and they’ll...

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7 tricks to help kids pack their own school lunches. As in, them, not you!

We’re all for making those crazy school mornings as un-crazy as possible, which is why we’re big fans of having our kids pack their own lunches the night before. Yes, even our little ones! It can be done, promise. Not only does having kids pack their own lunches give you one less thing to do yourself (whoo!), but it’s a smart way to ensure they’ll actually eat what’s in their lunch box. And if they don’t, well, there’s no blaming you for that too-ripe banana or the strawberry yogurt they devoured yesterday, but claim they don’t like today.   We’re thrilled to get to bring you our top...

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Cool, colorful school supplies to make September a little more fun | Back to School Guide 2016

So once you’ve gotten the hand sanitizer, the tissue boxes, and everything else on that classroom shopping list, it’s time to have a little fun with some colorful school supplies! We always recommend getting a little goodie or two for the kids that gets them more excited about going back to school, whether it’s a cute backpack charm, a personalized notebook, a pencil case with their favorite character, or even a set of #2 pencils that are just that much cooler than your standard issue yellow pencils. With that, we had the best time putting together a rainbow of cool school...

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34 of the coolest lunch boxes and bags | Back to School Guide 2016

While we admit we don’t always love packing lunches every morning, we do love picking out cool new lunch boxes for our kids each year in time for back to school. And so, our Cool Mom Picks 2016 Back to School Guide continues with tons of our favorite finds this year! From colorful and happy lunch boxes, to adorable animals, kids’ favorite characters, hip designs for tweens and teens, and everything in between, hopefully there’s the perfect one for your kid. (We sure know our kids are having trouble picking a favorite.) And we’re so pleased that our guide is brought to you by our...

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Support the National Parks Foundation with these cool Camelbak water bottles

A new water bottle is one of our back to school staples, and we’ve always been big Camelbak fans in my house. So how cool that they’ve teamed up with the National Parks for this new collection of water bottles that actually give back when you buy them. Related: The Bottlerocket water bottle from PlanetBox. Is it worth the price?  Each of these BPA-free water bottles feature a National Park, including big names like Yellowstone and Yosemite, and perhaps not as well-known parks like Arches and Olympic (at least, not as known to me). There are also a couple of...

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23 cool backpacks for teens and big kids | Cool Mom Picks Back to School Guide 2016

We’re continuing our 2016 Back to School Guide with our picks for cool backpacks for teens and bigger kids this year. This is the age kids get pretty picky about what they’re wearing every day, because it really is a reflection of them. So we’ve searched the web for all kinds of cool backpacks in every price range that help reflect your teen, tween, or grade-schooler’s style. Whether they’re into emojis, Star Wars, video games, ironic retro cartoon characters, superheroes, fashion-forward metallics, or rugged rucksacks, we’ve got your backs. (Ha. Couldn’t resist.) We’re so pleased that our 2016 guide is sponsored by BIC, who’s celebrating handwriting through their Fight for...

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Shop Art Theft: A site to support indie artists, not the retailers ripping them off.

After following the awful account of indie artist Tuesday Bassen and her legal struggles with Zara, which we shared a couple weeks back,  we reaffirm our ongoing, ten-year commitment to supporting small makers and original artists — especially when they’re being ripped off by big retailers. (Sorry are we supposed to say allegedly ripped off? How about allegedly ripped off hashtag-eyeroll?) Now there’s a website from one of the artists involved in the case that makes it even easier to get the real goods. The new Shop Art Theft documents side-by-side photos of the merch sold at big retailers, alongside the original work of artists like Tuesday,...

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