Tag: educational DVDs

21 interesting, educational indoor activities to keep kids happy when you’re stuck indoors

If you have young ones, we recently shared 23 fun, educational activities for preschoolers and young kids. But as your kids get older, it can even more challenging to find cool, educational indoor activities when they’re clamoring to play with the XBox. So we’ve put together 21 fantastic ideas early grade schoolers, to help grow their minds and muscles, whether you’re snowed in, watching a cold rainfall outside, or live in Southern California and just need to get out of the balmy 73-degree weather for an hour or two. (Oh, the problems.) These are the ideas that we put to use...

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7 of our favorite family board games for family game night

-Featured Partner- At Cool Mom Picks, we all love family game night, even since before it was a thing called Family Game Night. (It’s a thing now! It’s true!) And with the holiday season officially upon us, we’re seeing lots of family time in our futures. And lots of people big and small looking for something to do that bring them together. Sometimes we get so caught up in the newest/latest/greatest toys hat we forget that the classic games are essentials for your family room or game closet. We love getting them as holiday gifts and introducing our kids...

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How do you explain Thanksgiving to kids? 3 great videos to help

I know I’m not the only parent who wonders how do you explain Thanksgiving to kids, beyond, “well, we eat turkey and stuffing and Uncle Fred always drinks too much of his special juice.” (That’s hyperbolic by the way; I don’t have an Uncle Fred. That you know of.) So here are two of my favorite resources that have really helped me explain the historical significance of Thanksgiving in a fun, engaging way, even if I still need to fill in a few blanks.   First of all, Schoolhouse Rock is still a go-to educational source for me, all...

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Baby’s First Hanukkah Gift Ideas. Just the good ones.

Yes, there’s always that “Baby’s First Hanukkah” bib that you’ll use for 8 nights, max. But we dug to help find gift ideas for your baby’s first Hanukkah that are just a wee bit cooler than some of the others. Hebrew letter blocks  ($34, Uncommon Goods) Uncle Goose makes some of our favorite blocks, including a great foreign language selection. The Hebrew ones are perfect for baby — and could give her a leg up on identifying the Gimel on the dreidel quickly.     Little Pim English/Hebrew DVD Set ($59.99, or $34.99 for Digital Download, Little Pim) The very...

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5 tech picks you won’t want to miss this week

Here are 5 of our favorite tech picks from this week just in case you missed them.   1. If you use an iPad in the kitchen, you need to see this awesome gadget! 2. Kick summer brain drain and get ready for back to school with these 6 educational videos and channels for kids on YouTube. Trust us, they’re great. 3. A new app that actually rewards you for shopping and sharing your opinion. 4. This one’s for you Muppets fans. Isn’t that everyone? 5. The coolest smart phone stand we’ve seen. And at a price you just...

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5 tech picks you won’t want to miss this week

Apps, maps, sweet deals and free downloads–they’re among our favorite tech picks from the last week, just in case you missed them. 1. The ultimate app for busy, not-so-organized parents! Isn’t that all of us? 2. Here’s a version of Apple Maps that’s actually helpful. (You geeks will appreciate the joke.) 3. Like we needed another reason to shop at Target. Sweet deal, too! 4. Swipe away that to-do list with an app that’s cheap, simple, and fun. 5. These free educational video downloads for every letter of the alphabet will keep your kids rocking from A to...

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Math is hard? No way.

No sooner did Team Umizoomi launch on Nick Jr. last year that my preschooler fell in love. Madly and deeply. Let’s say she occasionally insists on being called Geo, her favorite color has gone from purple to blue, and best of all, she’s excited about math. That’s the kind of TV influence I can get behind. With one DVD out and another launching in time for your kid to get back-to-preschool, it’s a good way to help get your kid excited about “mighty math powers” too. While I don’t think every Noggin show lives up to the “preschool on...

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Teaching kids to read just gets more and more fun.

When my kids were younger, I used to leave the Closed Captioning up on the television so they could get familiar with the words coming out of the mouths of their favorite cartoon characters. Taking this idea one step further and more effectively, in my opinion, are the Readeez series of DVD’s and downloads that we’ve featured both here and on Cool Mom Tech. Now, there’s a new one out that’s totally worth a look for parents whose kids are just learning to read. {keep reading for a great giveaway and a special discount on anything in the Readeez...

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Feelings, nothing more than feelings

I consider myself fairly tuned in to my kids’ emotional health but I must confess, I don’t really know what to say to an angry six-year-old in the heat of the moment other than Stop hitting that! Which is why I’m glad some other moms have come to the rescue and developed an intelligent, age-appropriate and truly fun DVD that helps kids understand the why’s behind what they feel. Plus it gives them tools for dealing with their feelings, and makes them realize that they aren’t alone. All in one beautifully produced package. {keep reading for a great give...

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Celebrate Black History Month in good company

Having just observed Dr. Martin Luther King Jr Day last month, my kids are familiar with this major figure in black history. But I want them to know that history goes well beyond one man (or woman), and the fact that February is also Black History Month gives me a good excuse.  To give me a hand, I’ve been turning to the Scholastic Storybook Treasures DVD series, always a great resource for finding age-appropriate and smart stories for my kids. Here are a whole bunch that are perfect for starting conversations around Black History Month. Duke Ellington and More...

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Prima Princessa presents the Nutcracker on PBS

One of my all time favorite holiday shows is the Nutcracker Ballet, but I didn’t imagined I would get tickets to see it with my toddler for quite a long time–like, ten years, at least. Performances are expensive in New York! Which is one of the reasons that Cool Mom Picks has been fans of the mom-created Prima Princessa series of dance videos, and especially Prima Princessa Presents The Nutcracker. Well good news: Now it’s free. Prima Princessa Ballerina will be airing on PBS this December so set your DVRs and get ready to be charmed. It tells the...

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Mo Willems gets animated

The list of children’s books I’ve loved to read to my kids is l-o-n-g though I’ve always had a particular fondness for the books of author and illustrator Mo Willems. Unless you live under a rock, or a pile of newborn diapers, you are probably familiar with such stories as Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! and Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Tale. These are the kinds of fun and playful storybooks you should, and probably will, read out loud over and over (and over) again.  Do I think such engaging children’s books really need to be put to video to...

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You’ve come a long way, Juno Baby!

Here at CMP, we love the thrill of bringing you something new and exciting– from gummi bear chandeliers to faux fur blackboards and the practical, super-cool stuff in between. And we really, really love it when one of our picks starts out small, then makes it to the big time. Today’s example is Juno Baby. Way back in 2006 — right before my oldest kid’s due date, in fact — Kristen reported on the watchability, elegant sophistication, and just all-around coolness of Juno Baby, a series of DVDs created by husband and wife team Belinda Takahashi and Adam Adelman...

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Classic children’s books that help you listen with your eyes

Love it or hate it ( and we know the book is a bit polarizing with our readers!), there’s a reason Goodnight Moon has been around since the late 1940’s and is still a favorite today; there is something calming and beautiful about the repetitive, rhythmic prose that kids totally connect with. In a genius move, Scholastic Storybook Treasures has put out this classic on video, along with several others, but with a twist; they not only show the words on the screen, along with the original classic artwork, but there is an ASL presenter in front of the...

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Time to make my yoga pants proud

I’m pretty sure I’m not the only mom who has seen a marked decline in the amount of exercise I get since having children. Relaxing moments seem to have taken a steady dive, too. But suddenly, thanks to a wonderful new family exercise DVD called TOT YOGA, there’s a distinct possibility that both will be back in my life to stay. This charming mom-made DVD is an instructive video aimed at toddlers ages 10 months to 3 years and their weary parents (that’s me!), and its goal is different from any other kid yoga DVD I’ve encountered. First (and...

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This DVD knows how to hail to the chief

President’s Day has typically marked nothing more than a vacation day to my kids. But this year, I feel pretty good that they have actually learned something about their government after watching the smart but entertaining So, You Want to be President?. . .and More Stories to Celebrate American History DVD. Featuring four children’s books that have been narrated and animated for the DVD, So, You Want to be President? starts with the title story narrated by the cool voice of Stockard Channing. (Not actually a first lady, but played one on TV.) I loved learning a little more about...

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Music for kids with two mommies, two daddies, or even one of each.

When I first discovered the show last year, I didn’t think I could be any more impressed with Dottie’s Magic Pockets as cool kid entertainment. But they’ve gone and done it again with their newly-released CD, The Super Secret Seashell Cave, which is chock-full of kid-friendly tunes won’t make you want to stab a fork through your eardrum. Once again, the songs are served with a heaping helping of “families come in all shapes and sizes” but it never veers into over-earnestness or sap. It’s hard to find anything but amusement in lyrics like “Who’s in your family, a...

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March On, Dr. King

I want my kids to know that Martin Luther King Day represents more than a three-day weekend. But instead of watching more grown-up documentaries that can be a bit scary for little eyes, I’m thrilled to have a copy of Scholastic’s new DVD, March On! The Day My Brother Martin Changed the World. . .And More Stories About African American History. (Update: And now, you can purchase the 20-minute video for just $1.99 through iTunes and play through your device.) March On!. . .features four award-winning children’s books on DVD, each narrated with music and sound effects over illustrations from the...

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Editors Best of 2009: The coolest books, music, and DVDs for kids

If there’s one thing our kids’ rooms have in common, it’s very packed bookshelves. Here are some of our favorite books, music and DVDs to help educate, inspire, and just keep kids cool. Kristen: Thanks to The Double Daring Book for Girls, I know how to build a raft. And so does my 5-year-old. An absolute must-have addition to any kid’s library. Liz: I love the original Poetry Speaks to Children book/DVD combo and now I love Hip Hop Speaks to Children. It may give you a whole new appreciation of what can be a very moving art form. Kristen:...

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Prima Princessa Presents The Nutcracker, now with the all-important pause button

I find The Nutcracker a bit hard to explain to fidgety kids, so before I fork over $50 a seat to take them to see it in person, I’m going to let them watch Prima Princessa Presents The Nutcracker to their heart’s content. What makes this DVD’s production different from what you’d see in person is the fact that the gorgeous San Francisco Ballet performance is edited way down for shorter attention spans; and there’s narration from a (not entirely cheesy) cartoon fairy who helps kids understand why Clara is so happy to receive a nutcracker, or why there is...

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