Tag: crafts for kids

How to throw an Emoji party: The ultimate roundup of seriously awesome snacks, invitations, activities + other ideas.

It’s unmistakable, emoji are everywhere! So of course my kids are begging for an emoji party. They are like the new My Little Pony. The new Cabbage Patch Kids. The new Pet Rocks. (Ha.) I am waiting for Time Magazine to give their 2015 Person of the Year cover to the little winking face with the tongue sticking out, and call it The Year of the Emoji. (It could happen.) With that in mind, and to help stave off the begging from my kids, I’ve scoured the web for tons of the coolest ideas for how to throw an emoji party that kids...

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Superhero Comic Kit: A BIG way for kids to write their very own BIG comics. Did we mention they’re big?

Our superhero-loving kids are going to leap over a tall building to get their hands on The Superhero Comic Kit, an activity book that gives them the chance to write and illustrate their very own comic books. No super skills required, only an active imagination, which we’re pretty sure is their super power anyway. And, wow, will their imagination have a place to play on the pages of this (very) oversized, uniquely hands-on book by British illustrator Jason Ford, also the author of The Super Book for Super Heroes which we love. In his latest release, Ford takes kids through all the...

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How to decorate plain sneakers: 9 DIY crazy cool sneaker makeovers for your white canvas kicks

Labor Day is around the corner, which means this is your last week to wear those white canvas sneakers until next Memorial Day if you’re a traditionalist. Personally, I’m not, so I’ll be sporting my white Converse low-tops until my toes crave the warmth of wooly socks and boots. But if you’re bored after a summer of kicking it in plain white sneakers, then by all means it’s time for a change. Related: 13 outrageously cool sneakers for kids not satisfied with the same old same old. Instead of a trip to your local shoe store, maybe popping over to the closest...

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Getting your kids to practice their handwriting: 16 fun tips, tricks and ideas

Call us the handwriting brigade. Seriously. From day one, even with the advent of technology and the slow decline of handwriting instruction (let alone cursive, gah!) in schools, we’ve always made it our mission to encourage kids not to lose the art of handwriting. And if it’s not asking too much, we’d like it to be as legible as possible, considering we all know at least one relative, co-worker, friend or yes, doctor,  whose handwriting is like some secret code requiring a decipher key. After a season of writing actual letters to our kids at sleepaway camp — and receiving them — it really...

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Break out the new crayons for this awesome coloring book from indie illustrator Laura Palmer

Who doesn’t need more coloring books in their lives? Well, okay, if you look in my kids’ craft drawer, maybe we don’t. But, we do need awesome ones. The cheap, thin, licensed ones can get tossed and we’ll replace them with cool, creative coloring books that the whole family can sit around the table and color while we eat our snacks after school. Because, don’t you have the best conversations while you’re sitting around the table coloring? Right now we’re loving this cool little tablet of doodles that your kids can tear off and color in. It’s created by the fun...

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12 awesome DIY back to school crafts your kids can actually do: Back to school shopping guide 2015.

We are not the parents who are going to put together a list of back to school crafts that require 6 kinds of sandpaper and a drawer full of spare x-rays to turn into DIY stencils. (Seriously. We’ve seen this.) Like most of you, we’re looking for the kinds of crafts we can actually do with our kids, that only require some basic supplies. Or okay, maybe a very few not-so-basic supplies if you count Modge Podge. We think all of these cool DIY projects and back to school craft ideas give you the opportunity to spend a fun hour or afternoon with your family, to help get kids of...

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Free printable kids stationery. Since you’re already spending enough on camp as it is.

I’m all for splurging a bit on special camp stationery as my kids head off later this week (sniff), especially since it seems to compel them to use it more. But after about 25 cards or so — wishful thinking, I know — the costs add up.  So I like the idea of supplementing with either an affordable stationery pad, or making my own with some free printable stationery for kids. I just spotted these cute templates at Kiki + Co, featuring fun mermaids and not-too-scary sharks; and if you click over to The 36th Avenue, you’ll find some of her more generic free printable stationery designs featuring pretty...

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9 fun, easy crafts using shells to remind the kids of your summer vacation

With temps in the high 90s and crazy humidity here, I’m really, really looking forward to the beach trip we have planned later this summer. So I’ve sought out lots of fun, easy DIY crafts using shells,which are an easy way for the kids to get creative and use up the collection they’ll be gathering in the morning down at the shore. And hopefully I can tackle my summer reading list while they’re at it. Related: 13 fun summery crafts for kids that can keep the boredom away. If you aren’t heading to the ocean, you’re not out of luck. You can still channel the...

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Free printables for happy campers.

With my girls heading off to sleepaway camp in a few weeks, getting everything together has been definitely consuming many brain cells. And with a few of our writers in the same boat, that explains why you’ve been seeing recent posts here for awesome care package treats, camp labels, and cool camp stationery. Now here’s one more — and it’s free! Our friends at Tiny Me have created this super cute new updated 2015 free printable, personalized camp journal that I totally love. Related: 6 cool sets of summer camp labels for kids There are two beautifully designed cover options, each...

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Enjoy safer sparklers with 6 fun Fourth of July crafts for kids

We expect to hear plenty of  ooh’s and ahh’s to accompany all the bright and sparkly things we’ll see on the Fourth of July, but I hope to eliminate any ow’s with these safera alternatives to sparklers that they can enjoy on Independence Day. Or heck, all summer long. I hope these 6 fun Fourth of July crafts for kids help create a safer holiday for all. Related: Free printable Fourth of July temporary tattoos   Pipe Cleaner Sparkler Craft for Fourth of July (tutorial, Kix Cereal) Metallic pipe cleaners make great faux sparklers, especially in red, white, and blue colors. Follow the easy Pipe Cleaner Sparklers tutorial at...

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Free Fourth of July temporary tattoos! Because you may not want those stars and stripes forever.

Before you go to the Fourth of July parade, fire up the grill, or lay out the blanket to watch the fireworks fall from the sky, I like the idea of getting inked up with some beautifully designed DIY Fourth of July tattoos. Just like fireworks, these tattoos are temporary, but sure look pretty while they’re around. Created by crafter, creator, and talented handwriting illustrator Alexis of Persia Lou, her Watercolor Fourth of July Tattoos are so nicely designed, I want to wear them just as much as the children do.   Related: 9 fun, easy, no-bake 4th of July party treats...

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Fight boredom with the huge, and hugely fun, coloring poster from Pirasta

I’ve been fighting boredom this summer with a bunch of magic markers and one really huge (like, seriously huge) and cleverly illustrated coloring poster for kids from a new company called Pirasta. And the beauty of these posters is that there’s room for everyone to get in on the action. The recycled-content paper is sturdy enough to let it take over the dining room table for a while, spread it out at a birthday party, or hang it on the wall. And at a whopping 63″ x 36″there is plenty of room for multiple people to color together. We’ve even rolled up...

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13 great ideas for last minute Father’s Day gifts | Father’s Day Gift Guide 2015

Well we’ve officially hit that time we start talking last minute Father’s Day gifts. Fear not, we have plenty of ideas for you! From ones you make yourself, to those you can still get shipped, to some you can actually get at an actual store near you. (Hey, stores! Remember those?) We’re so pleased to welcome back Dove Men+Care as our awesome sponsor for the last post in our Father’s Day Gift Guide series. We love supporting them, because they’ve consistently supported great dads in such meaningful authentic ways. Especially this time of year. In fact, they’re even giving away tens of...

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14 smart ways to get your young kids excited about reading this summer

As big-time book lovers here, we’ve learned that a love of reading is acquired and not something kids are necessarily born with, like the color of their eyes or their uncanny inability to sleep past 6 AM on a Saturday. So we love putting together tips for parents on ways to get kids excited about reading — and ideally, keep them reading — especially now that summer is here and we all get a little more lax about things like that. Plus, our bookshelves do tend to have some stiff competition with all that extra daylight after dinner. One of our top ideas,...

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Turn your kids into toymakers this summer

Wow, is our email box and social media feed getting packed with parents stressing out about what to do with kids during downtime this summer. Seeing as how we can’t let kids play in the park by themselves without 8 “concerned” neighbors calling 911 (grrr…but that’s another post for another time), we’ve been actively seeking out fun crafts, projects, and educational activities that keep them busy until you can get out with them. Or even just let them have a little fun time indoor on a rainy or zillion percent humidity day. Related: summer fun Now our friends at Cate +...

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Educational activities for children this summer? Reader Q & A

Hi Cool Mom Picks! Any suggestions for workbooks or activities to help prepare my child–and keep them out of my hair (ha)–for the summer between kindergarten and first grade? -Chaitali   Ahhhh, summer! No school lunches to pack, no buses to catch, and yet, now you have a curious, energetic, and sometimes b-o-r-e-d child to entertain for weeks on end. We love that you want to keep your child busy and engaged with educational activities that will help them get ready for the next year of school. We’re all big believers in tucking in some fun learning activities in between beach...

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A paper block city that’s ready to travel with your kids

If your kids like building blocks as much as mine, you’ll want to check out Paper Punk’s new Urban Fold paper blocks which allow kids 6 and up to build a sprawling metropolis without the bulk and weight of traditional blocks. This is such a great toy to toss in the car when you’re headed out for a few days at the beach, or to keep on hand for one of those hot summer days when just dragging out heavier wooden blocks is more work than anyone can imagine doing. Related: A creative activity book that could make your kid a future Duchamps or Dali Instead...

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DoodleLit by Jennifer Adams and Alison Oliver: Because, Mr. Darcy coloring pages.

Every once in a while I come across a kids’ book I love as much (or more) than my kids do. It’s even more rare with board books, but the brilliantly creative BabyLit board books by Jennifer Adams and Alison Oliver are definitely on that list. I have to admit, the English major in me swells just a little bit when I get to read my children playful interpretation of books like Pride and Prejudice or Moby Dick, only for babies.  So I was intrigued when I heard about their newest creation: the clever DoodleLit guided coloring book designed for BabyLit readers’ older siblings. It features nearly 300 pages of coloring...

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10 fantastic summer party themes for kids, and loads of inspiration to bring them to life.

Oh, the joys of the summer birthday party when the nice weather means celebrating with friends out-of-doors. And whether this means gathering everyone into your backyard, meeting at the local park, or even taking over a quiet piece of sandy beach, we’ve put together ten awesomely creative, but totally doable, summer party themes for our kids’ summer birthdays. Because doable? As in, without a $10,000 a day party planner? That kind of detail is important to us.   And we’re so happy to be working with the most perfect sponsor for a summer party theme feature: Carvel and ILoveIceCreamCakes.com. Because hello, ice cream cakes! Visit...

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Retro-cool printable gift boxes full of summer fun. And yummy treats.

We’ve been smitten by Claudine Hellmuth’s clever gift boxes that look like ovens and popsicles for a while now. So we just visited her Etsy shop again, and wow, she has so many fun printable gift boxes at her site now that I’m tempted to give away little treats all summer. What I love best about these is that she’s made it possible for a small treat to be really memorable. With dozens of kid birthday parties and teacher-appreciation gifts to give, that’s something I really appreciate. Of course, your kids could just print these and make them as a fun DIY project that they can use for imaginative...

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