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 +...Read More
If you have a kid (or kid at heart) who’s wild for LEGO, you have to check out EverBlock. As in, right now. Because if you’ve ever thought about what it would be like to be a Minifig in one of those cool creations, this is pretty much your chance. EveryBlock offers a series of modular, giant bricks that you can turn into all kinds of cool furniture. Think coffee table bases, room dividers, kids’ desks, you name it. The site is packed with ideas, some more sophisticated than you might think. Essentially you’ve got a full sized...Read More
Next up in our 2015 Father’s Day gift guide, are some of the coolest gifts for grandpas. Or grandfathers. Or papas, pop-pops…you know, that awesome patriarch in your family. We’ve got a fun range for you from thoughtful gifts from the grandkids, to spendier gifts that make a big statement, should he need a little extra love this year. And of course, don’t forget the card. Whatever the gift, they’re nearly always the best part. And hey, don’t miss our fabulous (seriously, like all-caps worthy FABULOUS) $800 Father’s Day gift guide giveaway below. Entering is easy and we think, totally...Read More
Web Coolness: Dogs cubed, summer reading ideas for kids, and National Donut Day tips. (As in, eat some.)
Happy June! Here are some of our favorite links we’ve been reading around the web this week. Hope you like them too. The newest trend in Japan: Dogs with cube haircuts Congrats to the newest Young People’s Poet Laureate, Jacqueline Woodson, author of Brown Girl Dreaming. 8 more summer read ideas from The Little Rebel Children’s Book Awards. Fascinating idea from Design Mom: A family reading weekend. Really cool printable birthday party crowns. Laughing at this take on all those summer forms for kids. If you haven’t read Dads 4 Change, here’s a good place to start. A...Read More
20 fantastic ideas for DIY Father’s Day gifts, cards, and printables from the kids: Father’s Day Gift Guide 2015
For those of us with young kids, we know that one of the best parts about Father’s Day is letting the kids participate in making DIY Father’s Day gifts for their dads and grandpas. And because we don’t expect them to be hand-stitching an eyeglass case, forging their own iron tools in 112 easy steps, or drawing his name in perfect calligraphy (can you tell we’ve looked through Pinterest?), we’ve put together tons of ideas for realistic DIY gifts for Father’s Day from the kids. Related: Don’t miss our updated 2017 guide to fantastic DIY Father’s Day gifts kids can make...Read More
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...Read More
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...Read More
I always feel so grateful to those amazingly talented illustrators and graphic designers who create free printables that we get to share with you. We’ve found so many cool ones over the years. But the one I’m really excited to have discovered are the custom illustrated portraits of your child from designer Susie Ostrowski of The Little Umbrella, because they’re totally 100% free. Seriously. She happens to be the designer of some of my favorite free printable Valentines cards so I shouldn’t be surprised at her lovely, customizable selection of both boy portraits and girl portraits. There’s an impressive diversity in the looks of the kids...Read More
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...Read More
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....Read More
6 Tooth fairy gifts for kids getting ready to lose teeth faster than that little winged collector can keep up.
You know that time your kid turns 6 (or 5 or 7) and suddenly they start losing a whole slew of teeth in what feels like five minutes? That’s what’s going on in my house right now, as my daughter yanks out tooth after tooth. Seriously, this kid is proactive in the tooth removal department. So it’s only logical that I’ve been having some fun looking online for cool tooth fairy gifts for kids losing teeth. Not that she’ll get one for every tooth; I think the tooth fairy’s bounty for incisors and bicuspids cover that. But I love the delightful...Read More
We may have started talking about great Mother’s Day gifts since, oh, March or so, but that doesn’t mean we are totally ready for Sunday either. Hey, we’re moms. We know how busy things can get. Since this special day will be here before you know it, we’ve got plenty of wonderful last-minute Mother’s Day gifts that won’t feel last-minute to the person on the receiving end, whether it’s a special mom, grandma, stepmother, or mother-in law. You can also check out our 2016 Mother’s Day gift guide for dozens of ideas, whether you’re heading out to the stores or looking for a fun...Read More
When it comes to showing moms our unending appreciation for all the hard work they’ve put in for us over the years—especially now that we get it a little better ourselves—we always want to make Mother’s Day incredibly special. And yet, sometimes…we get a little busy. Which isn’t the same as forgetting, of course! So we’ve tracked down some really wonderful free Mother’s Day printables just for you. Because the right card can make that perfect Mother’s Day present look special, a fun banner can make a home-cooked brunch more festive, and pretty printable gift wrap can amp up the homemade gift from the kids. The...Read More
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...Read More
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...Read More
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...Read More
Here are some of the links we’ve liked reading around the web this week. We hope you like them too. Strong is the New Pretty: Amazing photography by Kate T Parker. Why messy houses might be better than perfect ones. An alternative to social media oversharenting. (That’s a word now, evidently.) Jamie Oliver’s petition to include food education in schools. The revolution against high-stakes testing. Gluten removed from famous works of art, ha Solidarity with Alyssa Milano whose breastmilk was confiscated at Heathrow. Congrats to our friends at Fatherly on the launch of their new parenting site for dads. If...Read More
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...Read More
I am imagining that the McCormick’s website must get more traffic this time of year than any other, considering that it’s pretty much homebase for anyone wanting to know just how to dye Easter eggs with food coloring, and just which exact combo of those teeny little drops will yield the perfect hues. While we’ve shared some cool natural ways to dye your Easter eggs, I also understand that when it comes to kids, sometimes a pale kinda-yellow-brown isn’t going to cut it when what they really want is bright neon orange. And that a kid like mine who loves turquoise (this year) will probably...Read More
Many of us are going to turn the calendar over to April and realize, with a start, that Easter is a blink away on April 5. Or today, it’s a week away. So use this last week to decorate eggs, make Eastery treats, and finish shopping for those baskets. And if you need to keep your little bunnies’ hands busy too, we’ve pulled together 17sweet bunny crafts for Easter that your kids and you can make, eat, or play with while you jump around getting everything done. Related: 15 easy Easter crafts for kids and fun printables. No glitter required! Easter Bunny...Read More
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