Tag: cool websites

From unsolved science mysteries to Hamilton, 5 cool educational videos tweens and teens will love

If you’re like me, you’re currently scrambling to find ways to keep your kids occupied — and better, still learning — during summer when school’s out. That’s where our newest sponsor The Great Courses Plus comes in. They turn screen time into educational time, offering unlimited courses on topics from science and history, to music and art, and pretty much everything in between. Plus, the video courses can be streamed from any device, anywhere you are. Because you know, kids and devices. Whether you want to start yoga, learn a language, or brush up on your chess skills, there are so many...

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An updated comparison of our 13 favorite custom photo book services, for one of our all-time favorite gifts

Since one of our very favorite Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, and teacher gifts are custom photo books, we thought it was about time to take a fresh look at our favorite custom photo book companies. There are now so many out there, it can be hard to choose one service over another. That’s where we come in! We’ve researched and tried dozens of them, and we’ve narrowed down 13 of our absolute favorites, with a few details on what makes each one special. So, if you’ve got a few thousand photos sitting on your laptop like we do, it might be time to...

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Inspirational quote art for your home office: 14 amazing quotes to encourage amazing women

She believed she could so she did. My very favorite inspirational quote. The first time I saw it, not long after I had graduated college, it was printed on a funky wooden brooch by an artist at a craft fair. I pinned it to a jacket, and wore it for ages. From then on, it was like…it was mine. I claim it! (Even though I’ve been told it was penned by R.S. Grey, from her book, Scoring Wilder.) Now, I repeat it to myself like a mantra, whenever I need a little boost. Hey, maybe that’s your favorite too. Maybe there’s another. Maybe you just haven’t found the one...

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Is my child gifted? Helpful advice and online resources from an educational expert.

I still remember when my son’s then first-grade teacher asked if they could test him for the gifted program in our school district. I looked at her and asked, “Are you sure?” I just thought my sweet, curious boy asked a lot of questions. Like, a whooooole lot. But gifted? Even after he was identified as qualifying for our program, navigating next steps was extremely challenging. I had to understand my rights with the GIEP (Gifted Individualized Education Plan); find him educational support outside of school; and then figure out how it would impact his siblings and whether they should be tested too....

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How to get kids to eat better, even picky eaters. | Spawned Episode 68

If you have kids, then you know all the challenges that come with trying to feed them, especially those picky eaters. Well, on this week’s episode of Spawned with Kristen and Liz, we’ve got our amazing Cool Mom Eats editor and cookbook author Stacie Billis, who combines her years of food writing and a background in child development to offer smart, common-sense tips, tricks, and advice for parents. (Psst: It’s why you should be reading Cool Mom Eats and subscribing to the newsletter). Seriously, this is an episode you don’t want to miss, parents! You can listen right now, right...

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Web Coolness: Dads playing with dolls, Frog & Toad revelations, Adele and Beyonce, a big tech warning.

Here are some links we’ve liked reading around the web this week. Hope you like them too. Hot off the big intro of their new Wonder Woman action figure, kudos to the Dads who Play Barbie campaign…but wow. Who knew that it would be so groundbreaking to see dads playing with their daughters? On the latest episode of Spawned, Dr. Harvey Karp saves the day with answers to parents’ top questions about sleep! A mom arrested for homeschooling her kids? Doubleyou. Tee. Eff.  Should you stop charging your phone with public ports? Yikes! GoFundMe is launching 500 campaigns to send athletes to...

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Our favorite new words just added to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, from Seussian to humblebrag.

Yesterday, Merriam-Webster announced they had added more than 1000 new words to the dictionary, and wow, word nerds like me could lose ourselves in here for ages. Actually, I kind of did. According to the editors the terms come from everything from tech to science and medicine, pop culture, sports, slang, foreign languages, and more. But what’s as fascinating to me as the words themselves, is just how long it took some of them to make it into print. Humblebrag is like a baby down there! Take a look at a few of my favorites, then be sure to click over...

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How The National Park Service is letting families visit free!

I’m all about supporting our nation’s National Park Service in any way we can, especially because of the myriad ways they support us right back. So I’m thrilled to share the brilliant initiative to get even more kids to our National Parks and Monuments around the country: Every Kid in a Park. Created by President Obama to get more children excited about science, nature, and understanding the beauty and history of our nation, the program will grant your family totally free access (yes, free!) to all Federal lands and waters. Plus, you’ll get a massive discount on Amtrak tickets for kids if you’re training it there....

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Retail is for suckers! Save money shopping online with these expert tips and resources | Spawned Ep 60

After ten years of browsing retailers for a living, putting together shopping guides of all kinds (like Holiday Gift Guides, ahem) and getting to know the ins and outs of online shopping, we thought it would be helpful to devote an entire episode of Spawned to all of our favorite smart money-saving tips and tricks, apps and websites that we’ve discovered work best for us. You’ll hear lots of expert tips we’ve shared over the years with national newspapers, magazines, and on programs like The TODAY Show — plus brand new ones that you may never have considered. Listen right now (this very second!) through the link...

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10 free educational online resources for curious kids that every parent should know

We love how the Internet can help us when it comes to raising a generation of more curious kids. There are just so many remarkable free educational online tools and resources that help support a child’s natural curiosity, and even help push them a little (or a lot) when it comes to learning about all kinds of subjects and sparking their passion about the world around them. That’s exactly what our newest sponsor, the Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth (or CTY, as it’s been fondly known for more than 30 years), does for bright kids and their families. And if you don’t know about...

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Give the gift of reading all in one cool gift box, from the new Brightly Gifts | Sponsored Message

This is a sponsored message from Brightly Gifts Whether you’re shopping for a special gift for your own child, grandchild, niece, nephew or best friend’s cool kid, books are at the top of so many wish lists. Which is why you’ll want to check out Brightly Gifts, a brand new shop filled with thoughtfully curated, high quality gift boxes of books to suit babies and early readers. Special offer for Cool Mom Picks readers: Save 20% off your order + get free ground shipping at Brightly Gifts with code CMPGIFTS2016. From the creators of Brightly, a popular site trusted by thousands...

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National Voter Registration Day: Helpful resources to get you to the polls this November

The election is just over a month away, and what better time to check your voter registration status than on National Voter Registration Day? If you can’t make any of their hundreds of events across the country today, you can easily hop online to get the voter registration help you need. Here, a few online resources that can do it all for you in a matter of minutes. If you simply search the word “vote” on Google.com, you will get a nifty pop-up box that will give you voter registration deadlines, info on how to go about registering, and tips to walk...

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5 creative ways to make personalized candy favors and gifts the coolest ever. Look what we made!

My kids believe they are the World’s Greatest Fans of Dylan’s Candy Bar. Which is hilarious, considering that every single one of the zillions of kids who visit their shops each year also believe that they are the World’s Greatest Fans of Dylan’s Candy Bar. So when they joined on as our newest sponsor (yay!), and asked us to take a look at their new selection of personalized candy favors and gifts at the Dylan’s Candy Bar online Design Shoppe (double yay!), you have no idea how quickly I raised my hand. (Sorry, CMP comrades — early bird gets the chocolate.)   -Special Offer:...

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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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5 free summer reading challenges for kids. Prizes included!

Even though I’ve got a couple of avid readers in my house, I’m always looking for ways to continue to encourage them to pick up a book. Thankfully, there are no shortage of summer reading challenges that offer kids a little incentive for their participation. Whether you’re trying to give your reluctant reader a little motivation summer, or just want something to reward your voracious book lover, here are 5 free summer reading challenges for kids that you’ll want to check out, all of which offer participants prizes. Related: 3 simple tips from LeVar Burton to get your kids...

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The 2016 National Spelling Bee winners. And tips for getting your kids excited about spelling.

The 2016 National Scripps Spelling Bee finals ended last night and just wow. For the third year running, two amazing kids tied as winners: 13 year old Jairam Pathwar of Upstate NY, and Austin Texas’ Nihar Janga who is only 11. Wow. To clinch the number-one slot from among 285 contestants, Jairam and Nihar persevered through words like juamave, Biniou and zindiq, finally closing the deal with winning words gesellschaft (Nihar) and Feldenkrais (Jairam). All I can think of is that Rosenkrantz and Feldenkrais are Dead, but I know that’s not right. (Turns out it’s a method of education, like Waldorf or Montessori — two words I actually can...

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How to shop your favorite Cool Mom Picks picks, right from Instagram. It’s easy!

If you see cool stuff on Instagram that you need to buy (or, if you’re like us, really, really want to buy), now you can, Thanks to LikeToKnow.It. This cool service lets you shop lots of the great stuff you discover right from our Cool Mom Picks Instagram feed with just a couple of clicks — and (bonus!)  you help support our site when you do. Signing up is easy! Simply head over to LikeToKnow.It and register — it’s free. Then, when you see a photo in our Instagram feed with a LikeToKnow.It link and #Liketkit hashtag, simply like the photo, and in just...

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Budget family travel tips: 5 smart do’s and don’ts to save you a ton on your next family vacation

A few months ago, I decided I wanted to celebrate my 40th birthday with a big trip, but whoa, family vacations are certainly not cheap! Especially when you’re traveling with kids — or in my case, four of them. Even though I’d been saving for a while, I was determined to keep my spending down as much as I could. After scoring a great deal on plane tickets (hooray for off-season vacations), I did some research to figure out how I could stick within my vacation budget while still having a great time. And, it worked! So I’ve put together 5 simple do’s...

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Put a poem in your pocket: A fun way to celebrate National Poetry Month

By this point in the school year, my kids know not to expect the sorts of lunchbox love notes they got from me daily in September. But there are a few days on the calendar that inspire me to scribble something special to surprise them: Valentine’s Day (of course), St. Patrick’s Day (a must in our Irish-American household), and Poem in Your Pocket Day. Poem in Your Pocket Day (today!) is my favorite part of National Poetry Month each April. The idea is that everyone should carry a poem in their pocket to read in quiet moments or share with friends. Because, who...

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Happy birthday Jane Goodall! 5 fun, easy ways to introduce her to your kids

Is there one kid in the world who isn’t fascinated by animals? (Answer: no.) So today, Jane Goodall’s birthday, is a perfect opportunity to cozy around your tablet or computer together and dig into her life just a bit. Especially if you think her legacy is limited to her work with Chimpanzees. Here are five places to start.   1.  Read a quick bio of her on the wonderful The Reconstructionists site, an homage to amazing women through history. Their Jane Goodall page includes a fantastic illustration and Goodall quote from Lisa Congdon, that would happen to make a nifty screensaver for...

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