Tag: eco friendly

Earth Day pick: Green Toys to help keep our oceans clean

I often talk to the kids about why it’s so important to keep our neighborhood and parks clean by recycling or picking up trash we find on the sidewalk. And this Earth Day, I love that Cool Mom Picks favorite Green Toys is reminding us how important it is to take care of our oceans and waterways too. Green Toys’ Safe Seas Sets, created in conjunction with the non-profit organization Sustainable Surf, pairs a fun biplane toy or submarine toy with the paperback All the Way to the Ocean which will get kids thinking about how little actions–like tossing a gum wrapper...

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Earth Day pick: Your PlanetBox lunch box gets even cooler with the help of Jack Johnson

PlanetBox eco-friendly stainless steel lunch boxes are a favorite for my kids and me. Now, through an Earth Day partnership with kid-friendly folk musician Jack Johnson, they’re making school environmental education better too, and I love that so much. PlanetBox’s bento-like boxes are pricy, so let me start there and explain why I’ve found they’re totally worth the investment. They are free of lead, phthalates, BPAs, and any other new, bad chemicals we don’t know about yet–and they’re designed to last forever. Hopefully not “landfill forever” but forever as in, we’ve had ours for years and they still pop out...

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Tasty cocktail recipes from organic liquor are a perfect way to toast Earth Day.

They say that to take care of anyone else, you first need to take care of yourself. This year I’ll prepare to show our planet Earth Day love by first showing myself some love with one (maybe two?) of these eco-cocktails made with organic liquor. Hey, we’ve gone organic with everything else, why not with our spirits, too? If you do imbibe, these happen to be delicious as well as a little better for the planet. For you pregnant ladies or non-drinkers, just stick with some of our favorite mocktail recipes. Serve in locally made glassware, wash with limited water...

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Wooden learning toys in every color of the rainbow

If you asked my daughter what her favorite color is, her answer would be “rainbow.” I can’t agree more, and its bright and cheery vibe makes the sweet rainbow learning toys for toddlers so perfect for spring. This acorn sorting game is a perfect activity for the toddler set. Found among the wooden learning toys at Etsy’s Almost Crunchy, it is a wonderful application of the simple Waldorf teaching method of learning through play–the best way, if you ask me. The handmade set comes with 18 brightly colored acorns and 6 matching bowls to engage sorting, color matching and counting skills. It...

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Tegu’s new 130-piece magnetic block building set lets kids build to infinity and beyond.

We have played with Tegu and drank the KoolAid. From their mind-bending explorer sets to mobile toy kits, they simply rock the block. Our favorite eco-friendly block-makers have just rolled out a super tricked out magnetic block building set for the master builders out there, and we want it (for our kids) bad. This 130-piece classroom set is the ultimate for kids who want to get serious about their Tegu construction. We can only imagine what creations could come of out this totally souped-up box. If you are looking to kick up the playroom, add to your home school set-up, or...

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Handmade crocheted baby toys that could make you want another baby. (Or at least one to give them to.)

We are talking about getting a dog, which makes it official: No more babies for this household. And I’m pretty much okay with that fact until I see a store like YarnBall Stories. This absolutely adorable Etsy shop has safe and soft crocheted baby toys and decor that stop me in my tracks with the cuteness. And you know how much of a soft spot we have for cool crocheted toys and gifts like crocheted baby booties here at Cool Mom Picks. The YarnBall Stories crocheted baby mobiles come in themes like the solar system, colorful hearts, or just pretty pastels. I...

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6 of the coolest dollhouse kits that promote building, design, and imaginative play. We want to live in them.

Dollhouses have always been a common feature on the floors of Toy Fair, but Liz and I noticed more and more options this year with dollhouse kits that add building and design, and sometimes even circuitry, to the act of play. Future architects and designers of the world, we’ve found the toys for you.   Roominate Dollhouse Building Kits Combining building, engineering, and design, Roominate’s clever dollhouse building kits come together in so many different ways, kids can conceivably construct a totally different house every time they sit down to play. And I love the many ideas on their...

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Make your own drinking cups for kids with SipSnap lids

My kids do really well drinking out of actual cups, but sippies and cups with straws are a fixture for my little ones who still tend to spill a little. Or, on bad days, more than they actually get in their mouths. That’s why I’m really digging the clever new SipSnap lids by Double Double. This Kickstarter campaign (get in now!) is introducing SipSnap silicone lids stretch to fit over the top of any kind of cup, turning it into a kids’ drinking cup instantly. I’ve actually tried to do something similar by pairing random lids with cups I have around,...

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Kids’ dishes that are pretty enough for the grownup table.

Here’s one of my secrets for keeping the kids well-behaved at mealtime: Avoid kids’ dishes that look like they’re kids’ dishes. Don’t laugh. I’ve found that when  kids eat off of plates with cartoons on them, it seems to set the scene for them to act, well, like kids. When I treat my kids like they’re mature, responsible little people, they tend to act that way. Crazy, I know.  The makers of the Bambino dishware from Ekobo get that parents don’t necessarily want kids’ stuff to scream kids’ stuff. Their dishes are simple, modern, and gorgeous. I love each of the six...

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Gelato you clean with, thanks to Method body wash

If the only ice cream you’ve indulged in lately has come from the snow in your backyard, then you’re not alone. This winter has been relentless for so many of us, which makes the new gelato-inspired summer collection of  Method body wash and hand soap a welcome treat for our senses. Yes, body wash. We’re excited too. We love Method for their original flavor combos and fun collaborations with companies like Disney, and the new collection does not disappoint. Inspired by a bevy of frozen desserts you might spot in some fancy Tribeca boite, Method’s new scents include orange ginger sorbet, brambleberry gelato and vanilla creme....

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Wooden love blocks you have to love, any way you look at them.

It’s not hard to find signs of love all around us today, like these gorgeously designed wooden blocks that spell out love in 12 different languages. And when you take a closer look at how artful these blocks are, you’ll understand why I think they’d be equally at home as a piece of room decor as they would be a plaything for the kids. House Industries makes such incredible stuff we included several designs in our roundup of the best modern alphabet blocks for kids. Similarly, their Love Heart Blocks are so intricately designed, they are truly unique from every...

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A chic play mat that matches your living room more than it matches a neon explosion

There are many times I’ve considered permanently covering the floor in butcher paper to protect it from the ketchup and rice that always miss my kids’ mouths at mealtime. Same goes for those days my son paints on his easel. Although I’ve considered sacrificing a few old patchwork quilts sent to us as baby gifts, I another option is the chic, wipeable new Posh Play Mat.  Unlike most kids’ play mats that come in juvenile patterns, the Posh Play Mat is made with PVC-free faux leather (so no carcinogens) and embossed with a faux reptile pattern that’s very Fashion...

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8 extremely cool sets of modern alphabet blocks

I don’t know if there’s a more perfect gift for a baby than a great set of modern alphabet blocks. (Besides maybe a great alphabet poster.) They start as decor in the nursery, become a great toddler toy, and eventually you get to watch as your kid turns them into towers, cities, fortresses of all kinds. My grade-schoolers still play with a set they got as babies — I’d call that a great shower gift. Here, I’ve put together some of the coolest modern alphabet blocks. I especially love how each one is perfectly gender neutral. Modern indeed.  ...

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We’re head over heels for Willo Baby’s eco-friendly treasures for babies and mamas

You know we are always on the lookout for fabulous resources to support our goals of easy, beautiful, and natural living, but our latest one-stop shop find, Willo Baby, impressed us beyond expectations. We are totally kvelling over their collection of affordable, original, and thoughtful indulgences for baby and mama. Willo Baby’s wonderful new online shop of eco-friendly family items is curated by an L.A.-based husband-and-wife team who clearly know what they are doing — and most importantly, what they like. The finds at Willo Baby include sweet baby bibs and swaddles in stunning prints and fabrics, clever mobiles and wall...

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No trouble at all: getting your kids to love Dubble Trubble hair and bath products

We love yummy scented bath products here at CMP, especially ones that are kid-safe and eco-friendly. In my personal quest to go a little more organic in the new year, I’ve found a great new line of bath products from the UK that smell great, lather up nicely, and don’t cost a bloody fortune. Even better, I can even find them in my local Target, and if don’t want to leave my warm house, I can order them from the Target website too. Nice. Dubble Trubble comes to us via London hair stylist Daniel Galvin Jr, and I like them...

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12 awesome toys you can actually make from cardboard boxes. (Because we all know the best part of the gift is often what it comes in.)

With all the empty cardboard boxes that may still be around your house post-holiday, don’t throw them out! Take a lesson from my kids, who have never seen an empty box they didn’t turn into a playhouse, a race car, or a doll cradle. Since we all know the boxes are often more fun for kids than the stuff inside, here are a whole bunch of toys you can make from cardboard boxes — and I promise, they’re actually doable, unlike some of the ridiculous things I’ve seen on Pinterest. (No offense crafters, but I don’t have six days...

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Aden and Anais Bamboo Daydream Blankets are all grown up

At the moment I am sitting on the couch in front of a roasty fire. There’s snow outside, Sarah McLaughlin is on in the background (guilty pleasure, don’t judge), and I’m draped in my new Aden + Anais Bamboo Daydream Blanket. You guys, this is the life. Aden + Anais swaddlers have been one of Cool Mom Picks’ top choices for essential baby gear since we first helped break the news about their launch in 2006. So when I heard about the Bamboo Daydream Blanket, a larger version of their luxury dream blankets, I couldn’t wait to get my hands...

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Outstanding ideas for that last-minute charitable contribution for the year

Before the ball drops and the bubbly pops, don’t forget those last-minute charitable contributions that help your year-end tax bill and a worthy cause. Here, one of our favorite annual traditions: a list of our own staff’s favorite charities that could use your support now and every day of the coming year. Or hey, maybe they’ll just inspire you to discover a great new one or remember an important organization of your own. Kristen: Team Rubicon Every year, Team Rubicon gets my vote as a worthy cause. Not only do they assist the needs of individuals affected by tragedy...

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A cool modern take on the holiday wreath that’ll never wilt or shed

I had a lovely Christmas wreath once. But then the cat got to it. You can only clean up so much pine barf before your door goes naked. And that’s why I love this fabulous and unexpected take on the traditional door-hanging: it’s natural, but not too natural. Our pals at Cardboard Safari have taken their laser-cut recycled cardboard creations to the land of the holidays and emerged with a variety of holiday wreaths and tabletop Christmas trees. Each one comes in white or natural brown cardboard and can be easily assembled at home. The white ones can be...

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Meet (and possibly chew on) Reba the Wooden Reindeer

You know Dasher and Dancer and Prancer and Vixen. But do you know Reba? You should. She’s a great gift for the little person in your life who likes handmade wooden toys on wheels. Reba the Wooden Reindeer comes to you from Imagination Kids, a mom-and-pop Etsy shop that pays careful attention to child-safe materials, and sustainably harvested wood. She’s about 5.5 by 8 inches and painted in non-toxic paint, just in case she ends up on the business end of a gnawing baby. The only caveat? You need to order by December 9 (that’s tomorrow!) to ensure delivery by...

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