Tag: books for kids

It’s World Cup time, and this new soccer book for kids is a winner.

Everyone’s eyes are on World Cup soccer for the next month, and The Soccer Fence by Phil Bildner, a thought-provoking and hope-filled soccer book for kids set in the waning days of South African Apartheid, is perfect for reading breaks between games. The book tells the story of Hector, a soccer-loving young Black child living in a Johannesburg township. When he travels to the wealthier “whites only” sections with his mother, he notices the stark difference between his neighborhood’s dirt-and-gravel makeshift soccer fields and the white kids’ lush green lawns. He also sadly notices how he is ignored and not invited to play by...

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Sponsored Post: Generation Grit retro-inspired action figures that come from history, not cartoons

This is a sponsored message from Generation Grit Mom of four, Laura Hale, was looking for action figures for her sons that would offer some of the wholesome, creative play accompanied by thoughtful storybooks that so many girls had already discovered with their own line of popular dolls. That’s why she set out to design Generation Grit, a new line of retro-inspired action figures, which has just launched a Kickstarter campaign. The series will kick off with Mac Mason, an adventurous fourteen-year-old boy from 1943 who loves ciphers, camping and baseball. An accompanying book describes his courageous adventures with his British cousin William back in...

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Get dirty this summer with 52 cool gardening project for kids

We’ve featured some really great micro-gardening tools here over the years, like the cool Foodie Garden Kits and the Click & Grow smart herb garden which help to create gardening projects for those of you with kids, but not a lot of space for traditional sowing and planting. However if you’re ready to take it outside, be sure to take a look at Gardening Lab for Kids by Renata Fossen Brown. This fun collection of DIY activities–or gardening “experiments,” as the author calls them–ranges from building rain barrels and gardening tool boxes to making a desert terrarium or growing a tropical porch container. My kids were immediately drawn...

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The Baby Tree: May we never ever talk about storks again.

I admit, the folk tales and stork mythology stories that seek to answer “where do babies come from?” don’t appeal to me a bit. I want my kids to understand the actual facts in age appropriate ways and the right book can be perfect for that very thing. Especially if you’re feeling awkward about it yourself. So was thrilled to find just what I have been looking for–and probably a lot of you too–in the absolutely charming, wonderful, relatable The Baby Tree by Sophie Blackall whose title belies the informative lesson about reproduction for young kids. A child  about to have a baby sibling sets out to...

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The new Project Kid craft book offers ideas beyond pasta necklaces. Hallelujah.

We are starting to get really excited about summer break around my house, but I know the inevitable chorus of We’re booorrred will start up before too long. Luckily, I am armed and ready with a copy of Project Kid, the new kid craft book by Amanda Kingloff, former lifestyle director at Parents magazine. If my crew stays focused, we can probably tackle all 100 crafts in this terrific, well-curated collection of fun DIY projects. I’m debating between starting with the photo tree made from twigs and Play-Doh lids, or the rock garden made with rocks, tissue paper, and Mod Podge. Because what...

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Cool Moms agree: #WeNeedDiverseBooks

#WeNeedDiverseBooks is currently the #1 trending topic on Twitter and is taking over tumblr with user photos of people from all walks of life holding up handmade signs about why we need more diversity in literature–especially for kids. It was created as a response to a national literary convention that put together a panel of “luminaries of children’s literature” and only included white male authors. The uproar demanded more diversity in books, in authors, and in the attention given to books by and about people of color, LGBTQ, and the otherly abled. Today through May 3 (and beyond!) it’s easy...

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PhotoPlay! The cool coloring book gets bigger and better.

When I first got my hands on the open-ended coloring book Fotoplay! back in 2012, I fell in love with the way photographer M. J. Bronstein used her snapshots as prompts, encouraging kids  to draw all over them to create their own personal masterpiece. Her new coloring book, PhotoPlay!: Doodle. Design. Draw. is just as cool, and with more than double the pages to keep kids engaged for a good long time on a road trip or a rainy day. Every page in PhotoPlay! features an interesting black-and-white photograph with a prompt or idea for how to finish the picture, like Jesse and...

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Dad’s Book of Awesome Science Experiments that moms think are awesome too

When cool dad and author Mike Adamick’s new Dad’s Book of Awesome Science Experiments (phew!) arrived at our door, my oldest daughter screamed with delight and I haven’t seen the book since. Whether you’re looking to get your kids more excited about science or are just looking for some weekend rainy-day activities, this is the book for you. And your screaming kids. Similar to Adamick’s first book Dad’s Book of Awesome Projects which helps bring more dads into the crafting fray with their kids, this sequel is chock full of fun activities for parents (of any sex) and kids, though this time...

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An awesome gift for mom from the kids: A book they draw themselves

My favorite Mother’s Day gifts from my children are the ones they make themselves. Not that I’d say no to jewelry, but if you’re looking for a terrific gift for mom from the kids, I think I’ve found the perfect, affordable, sentimental keepsake. The Amazing Mom DIY picture book is a fabulous gift idea from the kids. There’s a simple story told across each of the 14 pages, with plenty of blank space so that kids can bring it to life with their own drawings. Wonderful! While overall there are some really lovely thoughts in the book (“When my...

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Web Coolness: Reasons not to help with homework, invaluable parenting advice, and a Star Wars rocking horse. Oh yeah.

It’s Friday again, which means it’s time for our roundup of the best links that we found on the Internet this week. Hope you enjoy them as much as we do. Toys, nature, and illustrations collide in a really fun way with this clever Instagram feed by @Khiesti. [ht handmade charlotte] Why you should reveal your baby’s name: A hilarious letter from our editor Liz’s daughter. Perhaps parents shouldn’t help kids with their homework after all. Reminiscing over this list of 24 children’s books we should read again as adults. Tough love help for spring cleaning. (We need it too!)   Bunny food:...

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The Pigeon Needs a Bath: Yay for the newest book from Mo Willems!

I am an unapologetic Mo Willems groupie, in part because I don’t think the author/illustrator has ever had a miss. Now, the .500 streak continues with his newest in the popular Pigeon Series, The Pigeon Needs a Bath. All just in time for our favorite wry, difficult, endearingly persistent urban bird’s tenth anniversary. He’s up to his same shenanigans, devising  tons of reasons why a bath would be a very bad idea, as you can imagine. (I took one last month! All these flies buzzing around me are purely coincidental!) Some of them may even sound familiar to parents. Which...

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History wasn’t always fun and games. Except when it is.

I’ve come to understand that for tweens, creating a love of history is often about making it as salacious and entertaining as possible. The British creators of Horrible Histories have nailed that genre, with a successful series of illustrated Horrible Histories books. Think: the story of the English monarch who died after falling off the toilet (George II), all the gory details about the Roman colosseum, and the nastiness of the Greek gods. If your older kids can’t get enough of this kind of stuff, they’re now out with a brand new Horrible Histories puzzle series, each of which feels like...

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Goodnight Songs: A wonderful collection of new poems by Margaret Wise Brown

Goodnight Moon and The Runaway Bunny were among the regular read-aloud books in my home for a very long time. So I am thrilled for her old and new fans alike that Goodnight Songs, a treasure trove of poems from the late Margaret Wise Brown, has been discovered and published in a gorgeous new children’s book complete with illustrations from so many of our favorite artists.   Goodnight Songs is a special book in so many ways. For those of us who have always loved the gentle rhythm and repetition of Margaret Wise Brown’s writing, it brings to light a dozen...

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Ann and Nan are Anagrams – The perfect book for your future word nerds.

If your kids love wordplay as much as mine do, then Ann and Nan are Anagrams: A Mixed-Up Word Dilemma is going to be their new favorite book. With more than 101 anagrams hidden throughout the narrative and wonderful illustrations, it’s part kids’ storybook, part brain-teaser, part Where’s Waldo for the future word nerds and grammar geeks of the world. I say that in the most loving way possible, by the way. The story centers around Robert (Or Bert) in a world gone seriously crazy. A poster in a street scene may be advertising Mister Timers or Charming Marching school. The movies playing...

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The Odd One Out: A welcome twist on the classic find-it book

Thanks to a recommendation from our friends at Zoobean, I recently discovered a new book my kids are obsessing over. The Odd One Out: A Spotting Book by Britta Teckentrup puts a modern twist on the classic kids find-it book. You know, those books where they’re supposed to look for something tiny in a big, busy page of cartoons? We’re big fans of artists who don’t dumb down their art (or their vocabulary, for that matter) for kids, which is why what could be an otherwise annoying read is actually a lovely experience for parents as well as children....

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The ultimate guide to snow day activities, part two: 20 more indoor ideas to keep you sane

As the east coast gets hit with yet another snow storm, and parents everywhere slowly lose their minds looking for snow day activities, you can start with our ideas for 12 fun things to do during a snow day from games to crafts to an impromptu dance party. For even more inspiration,  here are 20 ideas for activities that can get you through a long day indoors. Of course, this is the time you start hoping you have enough colored ink in that printer. Related: 20 awesome kitchen products to do with kids when you’re stuck indoors 1. Make a toy...

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Your bookshelf needs this ninja. Unless the ninja’s already there…

Ninjas are very stealthy and there could very well already be one on your child’s bookshelf, hiding between The House on Pooh Corner and Goodnight, Moon. As for the the ninja in the board book Hello Ninja, don’t worry. He’s helpful and well-mannered and only chops watermelons. When I first opened up Hello Ninja, the author’s name kept ringing a bell. That’s because ND Wilson also wrote the 100 Cupboards series for middle graders, which I loved. That same optimism and sweetness can be found in Hello Ninja, which brings the universal appeal of ninjas to the level of board...

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The Alexander Calder pop-up book that will make kids fall in love with art forever.

When a book gets your kids excited to read more, that’s about the most beautiful thing in the world. But when a book gets your kids excited to create too, it’s absolutely thrilling. And that’s just what happened when my girls discovered the gorgeously produced new Alexander Calder pop-up book,  Alexander Calder: Meet the Artist! by Patricia Geis. If your child hasn’t yet been introduced to the magic of Calder–I fell in love with his mobiles at the Whitney Museum when I was a little girl– this is the perfect book to set kids off on a lifelong love of...

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5 of our favorite tech picks this week

In case you missed them, here are 5 of our most popular Cool Mom Tech picks from this past week.   1. This handy device is like having a second brain. Couldn’t we all use one of those these days? 2. Our kids are obsessed with these awesome educational e-books. We bet yours will be too. 3. This one goes out to all our Android mamas. We iPhone users are jealous! 4. A must-have book for any geeky girl (or boy). 5. If you’ve got kids using social media, you should be sure to read...

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Happy Year of the Horse: How to celebrate Chinese New Year at home

Growing up as an Asian American kid, the Chinese New Year was a pretty big deal with my family. I admit that I’ve let that tradition go a bit as I’ve gotten older, but it’s so fun for kids to discover how to celebrate Chinese New Year at home, whether you’re of Asian heritage or not. Here is a ton of inspiration for ringing in the Year of the Horse with your own kids. GIFTS If someone you know is welcoming a Year of the Horse baby this year, Tree by Kerri Lee’s Chinese Zodiac Birth Year Boxes (pictured above) have...

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