Tag: birthday gifts

Petsies: Custom plush toys that look just like your pet. Awww…

A few years ago my kids got a chance to try out the cool service Budsies, which turns kids’ drawings into stuffed animals. They were so excited when their creations arrived, and they still have them in their beds today. So, when we heard that Budsies was launching a new company called Petsies, which creates a stuffed animal for you based on a photo of your pet, we were intrigued. Sure, it’s a fun way to keep your pet around long after they’ve gone to “join the circus” or “moved to the farm” or went to doggy or bunny heaven, but we thought there were...

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The cast of Hamilton gets bigger and cuddlier

Of our entire 2016 holiday gift guide, by far one of the most popular gift ideas were the genius handmade Hamilton dolls by Christina of Etsy’s Bobeena Shop. What can we say, you all have good taste in artists — and game-changing Broadway musicals. Now she’s out with a few brand new characters to help round out the most adorable founding fathers (and mothers) around: John Laurens and Hercules Mulligan. Add them to favorites like the Schuyler sisters and Alexander Hamilton himself and you’ll have the most enviable pop culture doll collection on the planet right now. Related: The best Hamilton party theme ideas: Decor, invitations, treats, and...

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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 Girly Girl Doll Company: Redefining what it means to be girly.

My daughter isn’t what you’d typically call a “girly girl.” Her favorite clothes are athletic wear and she can hold her own (and then some) with the neighborhood boys in a game of flag football. But she still loves to dress up and has a collection of dolls that has taken over her room. She may not wear sparkles and bows, but she’s still a girl in every sense of the word. So I was really excited to find out about the Girly Girl Doll Company, which is redefining what it means to be “girly” in the best possible sense....

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Just Like Me: A book subscription box created for children of color who want to see themselves in the books they read, too.

I did the research, and in 2013, out of 3,200 children’s books published, only 93 featured African American characters. Sadly, that’s even more than I had expected. And the numbers aren’t much better for other races and ethnicities. Thankfully, campaigns like #WeNeedDiverseBooks and #1000blackgirlbooks have brought some awareness and change to the publishing industry, which I’m definitely cheering — I know that moms of all kinds would love to fill their kids’ bookshelves with more diverse stories about more diverse characters. But as the mother of two biracial girls, this is really personal for me. That’s why I’m thrilled to find the new Just Like Me! Book Box, a monthly...

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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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14 fun birthday traditions you can start with your child at any age

I’ve already let my secret out: I’m not one for elaborate birthday parties. In fact, we keep birthday parties simple and on a budget around our house. That said, I love to celebrate the birthday kid and make them feel really special on their big day. We do easy things — like decorating their chair at the table or looking through their baby book together — that, over the years, have become really special traditions. So I’ve been asking people to let me in on their favorite birthday traditions, so we could share some ideas with our readers too. New parents, you might want to...

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The most adorable cardboard playhouses for animal-loving kids.

If I had a dime for every time I walked into what was once a clean den or bedroom to discover it’s been colonized by tiny pillow forts and sheet palaces, well, then I could buy one of these awesome, animal-shaped HULKI playhouses instead. After a hugely successful Kickstarter campaign, they are now ready for preorder and I imagine a lot of kids — and parents — will be thrilled. Related: 15 of the coolest playhouses for kids, from DIY to major splurges  Dutch parents Jasper Janssen and Brigit Span created their whimsical playhouses as an alternative to large plastic ones that tend...

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The best friend blankie your child is sure to love.

I have a soft spot for twee animal products in general, but when I received Lewis, the snuggly, adorable travel blanket with the sweet raccoon face, I found myself in a blissful, childlike state, wanting to run outside and climb the nearest tree. The Nomad Travel Blankets from EllieFunDay go beyond adorable though, with a mission to encourage kids to venture outside more often. And Amelia the Bunny, Marco the Panda, and Lewis the Raccoon are all just waiting to be unfurled for an impromptu picnic, flown proudly as a cape, or tucked under a little head for some serious stargazing. Related: 10 really...

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Blankie Tails makes a big splash with new mermaid tails for dolls

If our most popular post of 2015, which introduced the brilliant and much coveted Blankie Tails, is any indication, there are now swarms of kids across America, flipping (ha) for their super-soft, well-made mermaid and shark tail blankets that are perfect for cozying up on the couch, or showing off at sleepovers. Lucky for all their kid fans, Blankie Tails just released the perfect complement to their people-sized tails: mermaid tails for dolls. Kind of ridiculous — and yet, ridiculously cute, right? After all, kids are outfitting their American Girl dolls in everything from equestrian wear to leg casts, so why not mermaid tails? I love that these...

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The most outrageous beds and bunk beds for kids. Just, whoa.

I have big dreams of redesigning my kids’ bedrooms with one-of-a-kind, fun furniture that will capture their personalities and make way for the most awesome sleepover destination ever. Which is why my jaw dropped when I saw the amazing VW camper bunk bed. Created by the UK’s Fun Furniture Collection, is there any kid (or child of a former hippie, ha) who wouldn’t want one? The entire line of beds and bunk beds for kids at Fun Furniture Collection lives up to the promise in the name. Fun styles in addition to the camper include a Land Rover Safari bed, a way cool 1964 Mini...

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13 awesome, affordable gifts for kids who love horses

While I wouldn’t say I’m a huge fan of horse racing, I do usually pour myself a mint julep and watch the Kentucky Derby (without the hat) each year. My kids and I are fascinated by the sheer beauty of the stunning horses — an interest that, for me, began when my Mom gave me a classic Breyer horse — Black Beauty, of course — when I was 7 years old. From that point on, I was hooked on horses. So, moms and dads, whether your child heads to the stables every day after school or just dreams about it while they...

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May the Fourth be with you as you fly one of these cool Star Wars kites!

You don’t need to live in a galaxy far, far away to grab one of these cool inner-space worthy Star Wars kites from Think Geek on May the Fourth or any other day. And you won’t even need the force to get one of these babies into the air — just a decent breeze and an open field. Made of nylon sail material, they’ll be durable to withstand just about anything except for enemy fire and power lines, so keep them free from both. Related: More than 40 cool Star Wars The Force Awakens birthday party ideas! Word at the cantina...

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What are words for?

One of the coolest gift ideas I’ve ever seen for bibliophiles — besides another book, of course — is Litographs’ literary tees that beautifully transpose the text of your favorite novel and print it, in its entirety, across a cotton tee (trust us, it looks even prettier than it sounds). And now, through a very successful Kickstarter, Litographs is coming out with the ability to customize your text with (almost) anything you choose on one of their comfy tees or an infinity scarf. Litographs can reprint any text in the public domain, including song lyrics, famous speeches, plays, historical works, and even the list of endangered words for...

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Give an orphan the gift of a birthday, through the charity With My Own Two Hands

We’re entering birthday party season in my house, and as my kids’ party requests are growing more and more over-the-top (rein it in, kiddos), I’m feeling emotional about an amazing charity we discovered just this week, which provides birthday gifts for orphans who otherwise wouldn’t get the opportunity to celebrate their big day. Such a brilliant idea; we’re really excited to get behind it! With My Own Two Hands is a small non-profit founded by yoga instructor Lindsey Pluimer. They are doing some very cool work in Africa — from teaching yoga to kids as a way to heal to giving girls an education. But...

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Make your dreariest mornings a whole lot brighter with these 5 mugs. (Coffee helps too.)

We could all use a little nudge to get moving some mornings, especially after a horrible night sleep with a teething infant or a sick child. And what’s way more helpful than a friend chanting “it takes a village,” or your partner reminding you “it’s just a phase,” are these get-up-and-go coffee mugs we found on Etsy. With these motivational mugs, you can get the affirmation you need that everything is going to be all right — and, really, it will be all right — and go seize the day, even on just 2 hours of sleep. (Coffee helps too.) Related: 9 beautifully...

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Creative toys for an 8 year old — no beeps, boops or batteries

My daughter loves her screen time, that’s for sure, but lately I have been keenly aware of the other creative toys that she, as an 8 year old, really gravitates to, without any prompting from me. Or really, the toys that I realize I’m always telling her to put away, 16 times in a row before she listens. So maybe I’ll stop asking her to clean them up. I’m sure I’m not the only parent who secretly — or not-so-secretly — loves that quiet time when I’m reading or working, and the kids are next to me playing quietly, without...

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The ultimate awesome gift: Your own custom box of Crayola crayons.

I still remember how special it would feel to get a brand new box of 64 Crayola crayons just for myself — and that was before Crayola My Way, a super cool new way to create a box of totally custom Crayola crayons. Not only can you personalize the outside of the box with photos and a short message or name, but you can also choose which colors go inside. Does your child only color with Cornflower blue? Always run out of the metallics first? Love everything purple? No problem. Best birthday gift ever! Related: Ultimate Birthday Party Gift Guide It’s super simple to personalize...

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Naturally Perfect Dolls: A standout at this year’s Toy Fair

There’s something special about getting a doll that looks “just like you.” It’s one of the many reasons Cool Mom Picks loves companies like Corolle who make baby dolls of color as well as boy dolls for our sons to love. Of course it’s partly why American Girl Dolls became so beloved. And it’s the reason I was stoked to stumble upon Naturally Perfect Dolls at this year’s Toy Fair this week. The idea for the Naturally Perfect Dolls line, created by parents Angelica and Jason Sweeting, was inspired by their young African-American daughter asking for yellow hair and white skin — for herself — so she...

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The 22 best kids’ toys of the year (and other playful gifts) : Editors’ Best of 2015

When you think back to the best toys of the year (and other playful gifts for kids) you probably think about tech, tablets, and things that require cords and batteries. And yet there’s so much more, from wonderful board games, to handmade dolls, to decidedly unplugged toy that inspire tons of creative play and imagination. While we’ve got all the cool tech toys covered for you over at Cool Mom Tech, here are 22 of our favorite new toys of 2015 that captured our — and our children’s — attention. Most are from small brands that really value all the attention they get, but...

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