The thermostat may not reflect it where I live just yet, but tomorrow is officially the first day of fall. And though I likely won’t touch a sweater until November, I’m still finding ways to make it feel like autumn with scented candles, apple picking, and leaf peeping. And, of course, crafting. Nothing evokes cozy autumnal feelings like sitting down with my nieces and a basket of freshly gathered pinecones, paints, and pipe cleaners, and letting our imaginations run wild. I like crafting with pinecones because they tend to be a little easier to handle than acorns, which require some dexterity to paint or glue,...Read More
My absolute favorite feature on my iPhone isn’t the smart to-do list that keeps my life sane or the ability to look up random facts on Google whenever I want — it is, of course, the camera. I take thousands of pictures each year, and as a result, I kind of believe myself to be a pretty decent photographer (thanks, Instagram filters). But the truth is, I have a lot to learn about getting the best angle or action shot. And the Real Life Family Photography book by professional photographer Amy Drucker has tons of these kinds of really smart family photography tips to help novices —...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
We love the idea of our kids having their own playroom, but not all of us has an actual room to spare for play. Still, that doesn’t mean you need to sacrifice half your living room or give up your dining room table. There are so many ways to create an amazing playroom for your kids in a small space, whether you’re an apartment dweller just in a home with smaller rooms. We’re thrilled to be partnering with VTech to bring you this post, since their engaging early learning toys blend education, discovery, technology and creativity, making them perennial parent favorites. And now they’ve launched a new line of products, including a clever convertible Activity Desk...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: New Harry Potter books, ridiculous first day of school traditions, the birthday cake every kid needs and more.
These are the links we’ve been reading around the web this week. We hope you like them too. Ooh, new Harry Potter books! The most absurd first day of school traditions, and more, on this week’s episode of Spawned. Terrific snack recipes for kids with food allergies It’s National Breastfeeding Awareness Month, and we’re laughing at these funny breastfeeding tweets we can all relate to. 7 tips to help nursing moms return to work, including resources that detail your legal rights. Great list of books that help kids be more kind to children with special needs. ZOMG — this baby was born...Read More
It’s the age-old parenting conundrum: what to do with all that artwork? Between school projects, art they bring home from summer camp, or just creative time they spend around my kitchen table, I end up with way more art than I can reasonably keep stored. So, I’ve been scouring the Internet, looking for some creative ways to display kids’ artwork for a time — and what to do with all of it when we’re done. Related: 34 of the coolest lunch boxes and bags | Back to School Guide 2016 1. Store it digitally and display as a photo book. I’ve gotten in...Read More
So I’m so happy to share that Julie Kerwin, founder of the female superhero action figure line, I Am Elemental, has put together some fun free printable female Olympians coloring pages. The set of 15 printables features incredible women athletes across all different sports, from all different countries, with inspirational quotes from the athletes themselves about hard work, confidence, and learning from mistakes. Good lessons, whether or not your kid can hold a handstand or swim the backstroke. Of course you’ll find Serena Williams and Simone Biles, but I think it’s cool to allow our kids — and maybe their parents — to discover athletes who...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
It’s no mystery that crafts for kids are great for when they’re feeling a little listless (or demanding to go to the pool yet again). But tons of prep work and shopping for supplies (Dremel tool. Um, no)? Not really worth the hour or two of entertainment they might provide. Thankfully, these DIY friendship bracelet tutorials require little more than colorful string and some focused attention (theirs, not yours). And hey, along the lines of the adult coloring trend, you might get a little respite and relaxation making them yourself. Ah, nostalgia. Related: 3 DIY dreamcatchers for happy crafting and sweet dreams....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
Now that we’re deep in the heart of summer, I find my kids like cooling down in the afternoons with some crafting time, and free printable coloring pages for kids often do the trick. Whether you’re passing time, celebrating a summer birthday, going screen-free on a road trip or just delighting in all those mornings your kids wake up with the sun at 5:15 AM and need something to do besides waking you — I put together some of the coolest free printable summer coloring pages I’ve seen around the web, for kids of all ages. Did I mention they’re free? Yup. All...Read More
Happy 4th of July everyone! Oh America, you look pretty great for 240. Here’s our advice for making the most out of the holiday: (Top image: popsicle stick American Flag craft via A Pumpkin and a Princess) 1. Be safe out there. 2. Fire up the grill. 3. Make the best BBQ sauce ever. 4. Eat all the foods. 5. Make one of these 30 red white and blue recipes. 6. Distract the kids with a fun fireworks app while you eat all the foods. Chocolate dipped red white and blue ice cream cones | Cool Mom Eats 7. Get the kids in cool American flag clothes that...Read More
Since I’ve had kids, the 4th of July has become one of my favorite holidays. I like to keep it really simple with 4th of July crafts, lots of great summer food and treats to eat, maybe letting the kids run around while the grownups hang out at the pool or in the backyard. And of course, watching the fireworks when it gets dark. Since a few, fun patriotic activities can make the day even a little more special, I’ve rounded up some of our favorite 4th of July crafts and activities that you and the kids can make ahead of time to share with guests. Or, set out supplies...Read More
Web Coolness: Disney’s first Latina princess, keeping kids reading over the summer, why a dad stunt is going viral
Here are some links we’ve been reading around the web this week. Hope you like them too. Cheers to NY for making history with tampons. (Seriously, this is fantastic.) More cheers for the three fashion brands committing to an Equal Pay Pledge in addition to plenty of other major companies. May they be the first of many. You’ve seen the viral hit featuring dads stacking Cheerios on babies? Now see moms stacking donuts on dads. Here’s how to get a free Amazon credit from early ebook purchases which is probably already waiting in your account. While you’re at it, go get those free Ticketmaster...Read More
I was one of those parents who insisted that I’d raise the kind of kids who would play fun, screen-free car games on our family road trips, or perhaps watching the world whiz by while asking intelligent questions about all the sites and sounds around them. Sound familiar? Yeah. Well after one particularly long road trip, I quickly learned that sometimes screens are really, really useful for making an endless drive feel… not so endless. But that doesn’t mean that I’ve totally surrendered to the lure of electronics. There are times when all the screens need to go off so we can discover other ways to...Read More
While we’ve been talking about Father’s Day gift ideas for a few weeks now, some of us (not naming names) still have some shopping to do. So we’ve collected plenty of our favorite ideas for you, from DIY gifts your kids can make at home to thoughtful gifts you can still get shipped or find in a local store, all to make sure Dad’s day is as special as can be. And we’re so happy to welcome back the fantastic Dove Men+Care who’s the perfect partner for this post! They’ve always done such a phenomenal job supporting dads in meaningful and sincere ways, so we love supporting them right back. In fact, this year, to...Read More
When we asked teachers what they thought made the best teacher gifts a couple of years ago, an overwhelming number of them said a personal note from their students was the one thing that really made their day. Yes, gift cards, classroom books, and handmade gifts are nice (and always appreciated!), but getting a handwritten note of thanks takes very little work and goes a very long way in showing appreciation to teachers after a long year. However, I think we can all agree that getting all kids to sit down a write a thoughtful note isn’t always so easy, so we’ve...Read More
Looking for some inspiration for your child’s next birthday party that goes beyond animated movies? You may not have to look any farther than one of the well-worn storybooks your child lovingly keeps by their bedside. In fact, we love the idea of a storybook themed birthday party so much! Not only do classic picture books provide tons of ideas and inspiration, but they have the added benefit creating themes that parents can be really excited to bring to life. (With all due respect to Dora and friends.) To help you get started thinking about some fantastic party ideas that will make your child’s celebration memorable, we’ve...Read More
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