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
For years, I’ve had tons of fun using plain pajama sets — like the ones you can find at Primary or Hanna Andersson — as the base for my kids’ Halloween costumes. With some head-to-toe monochromatic pajamas, all I’ve had to do is add some detail — a DIY that’s easy enough for me to pull off even with a busy schedule. I’ve cut strips of white duct tape to turn a basic black pajama set into a skeleton, and I’ve glued green triangles down the back of a red pair of pajamas to make a dragon. What I love most about kids’ Halloween costumes made with pajamas...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
Putting together these ideas for easy Halloween costumes for babies, all featuring clothes and accessories they can wear again, wasn’t just fun — it was very personal. I know I’m not the only parent who doesn’t look forward to spending a lot of time or money on a Halloween costume that will be worn once. (Looking at you, overpriced pea-in-a-pod costume that my first baby wore for a grand total of 45 minutes.) In fact, last year, I realized that every item in my then 8-year-old daughter’s dream costume (Gwen from Total Drama in case you’re wondering) was something she wore again. I may...Read More
I have no problems with princesses and more traditional Halloween costumes for my daughter, but I admit I do have a bit of a bias toward strong girl Halloween costumes. So when my daughter told me she wants to dress up as a Greek goddess this year, I definitely felt a twinge of pride. Not only because she loves the classics, but because she recognizes that women can be strong and powerful, something I am more than happy to help her celebrate this Halloween — or any other day of the year. And hey, maybe next year she’ll be a kitty cat. And that will...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
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
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