If you’ve been following our Halloween coverage this year, you won’t be surprised that we’ve been seeking out cool Sharpie Halloween pumpkin decorating ideas. After all, we’re busy! So we’re all about cutting down on fuss, days of excessive pre-Halloween parental labor, and of course, the mess of pumpkin guts. Don’t get me wrong — I appreciate a creative jack-o-lantern as much as the next person; but I also recognize many parents have their hands full already this time of year. So I’ve gathered up 6 really fun and (mostly) mess-free ways to decorate pumpkins with black Sharpie, whatever your skill level. Just uh,...Read More
My daughter is 10 and already bemoaning her leg hair and asking why the boy who used to be her friend now teases her mercilessly. No wonder she gravitated toward a fabulous new book the moment it landed in our mailbox. Crafting with Feminism by noted geek and author Bonnie Burton (whom you might know from Felicia Day’s Vaginal Fantasy Book Club? No? Okay, anyway she’s awesome…) has put together 25 cool, easy, and fun crafts centered on taking pride in feminism. So far, my daughter is determined to make matching NOPE necklaces (for herself and me), Monster Week Maxipad Cases, and Food...Read More
16 seriously creative no-carve pumpkin decorating ideas for all of the fun, none of the pumpkin guts!
Welcome to the no-stress portion of our Halloween coverage, as we track down some of the coolest, most creative no-carve pumpkin decorating ideas that are perfect for kids. After all, for me, Halloween’s swarming bats, cackling witches, and stumbling zombies provide plenty of that fun, healthy spook factor without having to add in children wielding sharp objects at pumpkin carving parties. We’re big fans of low-stress pumpkin decorating parties that are safe and fun for the whole family — and if you are going to carve, there does happen to be some really good kid-friendly carving tools you can use. But if not?...Read More
Here are the links we’ve been reading around the web this week. Hope you like them too. The new LEGO DC superhero girls are here! (But more superheroes of color, please!) In more LEGO news, how much do we love this LEGO inspired bike helmet? Why parents humblebrag about our kids: What’s up with that? A Serial style podcast for middle schoolers. What a smart idea. Laughing at this “honest birth announcement.” This 8-year-old is our kind of girl! How to raise kinder kids, according to science. Great read. The cool dad award of the week definitely goes to this one! Can we...Read More
Not everyone has kids that want scary Halloween decorations around the house. Like mine, for example. Hosting a trick-or-treat party is one of my kids’ favorite traditions of the year, and they totally love Halloween, but they’d prefer we do more non-scary Halloween crafts to get them excited for the day. They’re too young to be into the whole fright-night thing, and so are their friends, so we keep things fun and light with pumpkins, silly monsters, funny skeletons, and the occasional friendly ghost. Adding some not-scary Halloween crafts for kids to your evening like these 15 we’ve found — as an...Read More
Got a kid who loves cars, planes, boats and art? They need the new book Project Kid: Crafts that Go.
Two years ago, when I learned about Parents magazine lifestyle editor Amanda Kingloff’s cool, modern crafts book Project Kid, I flipped. For joy. These were crafts my kids could easily make, and I’d actually want to keep. (Sorry, glitter macaroni necklace. You’re hitting the trash.) So when I found out her new book, Project Kid: Crafts that Go, is focused completely on crafts for kids who love planes, cars, trains, and boats, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it. Of course, it’s every bit as awesome as her first book. I love her ingenious hacks for household items — like turning an old cardboard box into...Read More
This year, with all five of my nieces dressing up as Star Wars characters, I couldn’t think of a more perfect Halloween craft than creating Star Wars Halloween pumpkins together. So I’ve searched the web for them — and all of you! — and rounded up some of the most fun, DIY Star Wars pumpkin projects for a front stoop that will impress the galaxy. We’ve got droids. We’ve got Stormtroopers. We’ve got Yoda. And if you’re still wondering, Where is Rey? Well, we’ve got her here too. Related: 13 fabulously easy no-carve pumpkin ideas for the kids. We recently spotted this little BB-8...Read More
With the cooler weather around the corner, we’ve got one terrific way to get ready for lots of indoor play: The fun new craft kits and art supplies from our most excellent sponsor, Handmade Charlotte Kids, now available at Michael’s stores nationwide, and online. We absolutely adore this collaboration between Creativity for Kids and Rachel Faucett, she of the uber popular DIY design blog Handmade Charlotte. Especially since we’ve featured her work on Cool Mom Picks for so many years — like, even going back to before she had a blog and was selling cool handmade items at craft fairs! So now we’re so thrilled for this terrific collection of fun, colorful, creativity-inspiring craft...Read More
It seems like one of the great organizational issues that all parents have in common is finding stuffed animals storage solutions for those dozens of critters that seem to accumulate out of nowhere. When I was a kid, it was Beanie Babies that started to flood my bedroom, their tiny plush bodies displacing books, clothing, and everything else in its way. Whether your kid is now amassing Beanie Boos or those stuffed animals that actually are, well, animal-sized, the predicament of stuffed animal storage solutions looms larger than ever. So as a first-time mom-to-be, I’m going to be prepared. Which is why I...Read More
Today we’re speaking with humorist, best-selling author and actual real-life teacher Robert Wilder about raising teens! We first discovered his hilarious Daddy Needs a Drink way back in the early CMP days, and we’ve been fans ever since. Break up your day with this fun discussion about his much-lauded first YA novel, Nickel, horror stories to make you laugh out loud, and tips to help you get through it all — whether you’re in the thick of it, been there/survived that, or it still feels a million years away. Listen right here, or check out Spawned with Kristen + Liz on iTunes. Now!...Read More
There is never a bad time to throw a pirate themed party and look for cool pirate party ideas. Of course there’s always Halloween — and then today’s Talk Like a Pirate Day. (One of our favorites!) But it’s a cool birthday party theme all on its own, and it doesn’t even have to be all Pirates of the Carribbean themed either. So thanks to printable decor and activities, crafty DIY shortcuts, movies on demand, and clever but easy cupcake decorating ideas, it’s possible to pull together a cool pirate themed party (or pARRRty) for your kids and all their best mateys in just...Read More
Yes, we know — announcing a pregnancy used to mean making a phone call to your parents, or maybe having a dinner if you wanted to go big. But now, so many couples are looking for creative ways to announce a pregnancy and, I get it. Especially as someone who’s now expecting for the first time. (Whoo!) I know how hard it was keeping the big secret under wraps for those long, long first 12 weeks — partly due to my own excitement, and partly due to the fact that I’ve never been known to turn down wine at a dinner party. (Dead giveaway.)...Read More
If you stand by the old “no white after Labor Day” fashion imperative, we want to point you to this fantastic post with 9 cool DIY sneaker makeover ideas to help you — or your kids — turn those plain white shoes into something that looks great all fall long. From galaxy prints to ombre fades, even glitter sneakers in every color, click over for 9 super hip DIY sneaker styles that people pay good money for at indie boutiques and craft fairs — only you can do them yourself. Related:The coolest fun, easy fall nature crafts for preschoolers...Read More
Web coolness: Getting excited for the Rio Olympics, The Game of Thrones election, the best happy birthday tweet ever, and more
Here are some of the links we’ve been reading around the web this week. We hope you like them too. We’re so excited for the Olympics to kick off tonight! To get you in the mood, watch this genius US Olympic Swim Team Carpool Karaoke Video. For the kids, check out these easy Rio Olympics themed crafts, recipes and printables. And if you need them to stop doing “pole vaulting” over the couch, check out these activities for your own backyard Olympics with the kids. Love The Game of Thrones election website! (You can imagine who’s winning.) Our 2016 Back to School Guide...Read More
I have to admit, it’s been a little difficult to get as excited about the summer Olympics as usual with all the trouble surrounding it this year, even though the Olympics are one of my very favorite sporting events to watch with the kids — I mean, when else do we get to sit back and dive into water polo or competitive trampoline on TV? So, to get us feeling more in the Olympic spirit, I’ve been looking for some fun and easy Olympics crafts, printables, and snacks. I’ll be picking a few of these to make while we watch the opening ceremonies tomorrow. It’ll keep my...Read More
We love a good birthday party around here. In fact, we’ve loved sharing our ideas for Minecraft, Star Wars, Minion, Finding Dory, and even storybook birthday parties for your kids. But some of the ideas we’ve seen on Pinterest (or our friends’ Facebook feeds) have us thinking a kid’s birthday party these days can easily cost $500, if not more. Oof! So, I set out to see whether it’s doable to throw a fun, memorable birthday party for our kids without the hefty price tag. Birthdays on a budget — like, 1/10th of the price. Turns out, it’s possible! For less than $50, we’ve thrown some...Read More
With all the buzz about the brand new Harry Potter and the Cursed Book and JK Rowling’s recent birthday this past weekend, our kids are starting to catch Harry Potter fever all over again. And whether or not they’re ready to imagine him as a full-grown Ministry of Magic employee and dad (gulp!), get them doing more than zoning out to the first eight movies, with the brand new The Unofficial Guide to Crafting the World of Harry Potter. Jamie Harrington has put together 30 clever crafts for kids of all ages into a beautifully produced book, that help reinforce a belief in the...Read More
If you’re feeling a bit #clambitious about that bucket of shells you and your kids collected on your beach vacation, we’ve got good news for you. Here, we’ve rounded up some of our favorite art projects for those summer seashells, good for kids of all ages, ranging from quick and easy breezy to more difficult all-day crafting. No clamshell bras, promise. Related: 9 fun, easy crafts using shells to remind the kids of your summer vacation At top: seashell garden | alisaburke 1. DIY Seashell Seahorse This one looks more complicated than it is, really—and the end result will look great in...Read More
As a child, I long believed that dreamcatchers capture your nightmares in their web to keep sleep sweet and worry-free. As an adult, they still have a nostalgic pull on me. Plus, they’re really gorgeous. I recently found some truly fantastic DIY dreamcatcher tutorials, and came to realize whether you’re looking for new kids bedroom decor or a way to entertain the kids on a rainy summer day, DIY dreamcatchers will work magic. (I also learned that dream catchers are a type of hair extension, which I don’t recommend kids try as a DIY project). Fun and easy, and with such a cool,...Read More
When I was a kid, one of the most exciting things about going back to school was getting to pick out a new Lisa Frank notebook. What would it be this year? A unicorn with wings and a flowing, rainbow mane? A dolphin family swimming in an exotic cove while a neon pink sun sets above them? It was a highlight. So the fact that a new line of Lisa Frank adult coloring books is just out, as the illustrator herself announced on her Instagram feed recently, gives me all kinds of happy feels. Related: 21 of the coolest coloring books for adults We...Read More
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