Tag: crafts for kids

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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13 fun summery crafts for kids that can keep the boredom away.

Oh, summer. The kids wait and wait and wait for it, and then, how many minutes in are they complaining about how hot it is? Or how you won’t take them to the pool (for the second time that day)? Or that they’re simply bored? So I’ve tracked down a whole bunch of really cool summer crafts for kids from around the web that you can bookmark, and stash away for those very moments. Some take a little planning and a few supplies, while others are as simple as printables. Which means print out a whole bunch now for...

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Free summer printables that make you want to get crafty. Or eat ice cream.

I am so digging these adorable free summer printables that I just spotted at Oh Happy Day, courtesy of talented designer Amy Moss. I love the idea of printing a whole bunch on card stock and stockpiling gift tags for summer birthday parties — which will also save us a ton of money and hassle buying those teeny ones that are like $2.50 at the local toy store. But I bet you crafty mamas can think of all kinds of fun things to do with the two page PDF of ice cream cones, popsicles, and watermelons. Click over and you’ll...

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Play tape road rolls that let kids bring imaginative play on the road

With three vehicle-loving children, there was a time when I feared my living room would be overrun with sections of train tracks and makeshift “roads” built out of blocks. I wish I had known about InRoad Toys; clever  play tape road rolls which turns any flat surface into a road or train track without creating an obstacles should you need to walk from one side of the room to another. Plus, it’s just fantastic for summer travel. The self-adhesive paper tape road rolls makes it so easy for kids to roll out and stick to a hardwood floor, coffee table, flat-pile carpet, bookshelf —  really...

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Our favorite Tea Collection spring/summer clothing for kids: Exploring the colors and patterns of India without a passport

From Eat, Pray, Love to The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, we’ve been enamored with the colors and textures of India for a while now. And now Tea Collection (we just can’t quit you, Tea!)  has us obsessing once again with their spring/summer collection of brightly-colored, durable, intricately-patterned boys and girls clothing inspired by Jaipur, India. So we are so so happy to welcome them as  sponsor, especially since we can safely say that everyone on the Cool Mom Picks team has had our kids in head-to-toe Tea from their very early days.   – Don’t miss an outrageously amazing family travel giveaway...

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12 fantastically messy projects for kids that let you be That Fun Parent

They may be growing up oh-so-fast, but our elementary-school aged kids are more than happy to get as messy as their toddler selves used to, especially when it’s all in good fun. Our tip: Every so often, it’s okay to get messy. So throw on the play clothes, hold your breath, and get ready for them to get head-to-toe covered in paint, mud, or whatever ooey, gooey substance you have on hand. If all this talk about messy play makes you feel a little squeamish, then remember that the nice weather of spring and summer make the perfect time to take that mess outside....

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7 of the best DIY teacher gift ideas to make gift cards more personal

Back in December, when we asked teachers for the Best Teacher Gift Ideas, by far the most cherished gift mentioned was a handwritten note or card from their students. Just a few words to let them know that all their hard work made a difference to our kids; according to our Very Important Teachers, this small gesture goes a long way. But the other idea that received a lot of thumbs-up for its usefulness was a gift card to either a local establishment or national chain, where teachers could treat themselves or buy something for the classroom.  Turns out, what some think of...

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The Girl’s Guide to DIY Fashion: Sew (ahem) much fun

By the time I learned how to sew, I was already a mama of two and trying to fit what little sewing ability I had acquired into what little time I had to spare. Needless to say, my output wasn’t exactly abundant. If only I’d learned how to sew as a child I would have already been a whiz by the time my kids were born. And they might have ended up with more than just a pair of pyjama pants, or two. A brand new book, The Girl’s Guide to DIY Fashion, is about to make sewists (they don’t call themselves sewers...

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May Day: One holiday worth bringing back

Yes there are about a zillion so-called Hallmark holidays out there, but hearing stories from my own mom about May Day celebrations of her childhood make me yearn just a little for it. Dancing? Singing? Cake? Pretty ribbons? What’s not to love? So it seems Mari from Small for Big and Smallful is once again a woman after my own heart, offering these sweet printable May Day paper baskets in her lovely shop. It doesn’t have to be a big shopping experience in the least; fill it with flowers from the garden, candies around the house, or the printable paper...

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11 messy projects for preschoolers that let you be The Fun Parent

If you find yourself saying Don’t make a mess! to your curious, imaginative, and, yeah, messy preschooler more times than you care to count, we’re going to challenge you to say Let’s make a mess for a change. Wait til you see how good that feels. Oh sure, we couldn’t do this every day, but sometimes it’s fun to let loose and be the fun parent who doesn’t really care how dirty, sticky, painty, or glittery our kids get during no-holds-barred play. Especially as the weather gets warmer, and sending them to hose off outside is one viable option.     Remember, clean-up time...

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The ultimate roundup of last-minute Easter ideas: Crafts, printables, egg dyeing help, and lots and lots of treats.

If you’re looking out for some last minute Easter ideas, we are here for you! You’ve still got a couple of days to whip up some fun treats, set up the kids with cute crafts, print out some coloring pages, or just figure out whether the Easter eggs will be submerged in dye the classic way, or subjected to wads of yarn, sequins, or printable crowns and mustaches. Whatever your plans for Easter, we just hope you all have fun doing it together. And be sure not to miss our last-minute Easter idea guide, newly updated for 2017 with even...

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Web Coolness: Easter and Passover fun, parenting fails we can relate to, and Mad Men the Untold Story

Here are our favorite links from around the web this week. We hope you like them too.   Fun last minute Easter crafts and printables, and Easter coloring pages. 5 fantastic Passover dessert recipes. How to make Peeps Sushi. Make-ahead Easter brunch recipes. Liz shares social media privacy tips with Real Simple. A terrific list of children’s books for social good. Why Kristen put away her smartphone around her kids for a week. (It’s not judgy, promise!) Did we get you on April Fool’s Day? It’s okay, you can admit it. Funny parenting fails: You fill in the pictures. Buzzfeed...

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