Tag: educational

#62MillionGirls are not able to go to school. Here’s one easy thing you can do about it.

Today is the International Day of the Girl. And while we talk so much here about how important it is to empower and educate our girls every day, if they’re not even in school, both of those things are nearly impossible. So we thought one of the best things we could do today is share the #62MillionGirls campaign from the awesome folks at Girls Rising in partnership with Michelle Obama.  They’re using the power of social media — and some major celebs — to help get the word out about the 62 million girls in the world, half of whom are adolescent, who are denied the right...

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The Incredible Intergalatic Journey Home: A new personalized book that’s out of this world

When we first discovered the Lost My Name books, well, sold. They were about the most beautifully conceived, perfectly executed, personalized books for kids we had ever seen. We’ve since bought them as gifts and recommended them to tons of of our own friends. So of course we were thrilled to have the chance to team up with the smart folks at Lost My Name — who include three cool dads and one cool uncle — for the U.S. launch of their brand new title, The Intergalactic Journey Home, which takes the personalization to a remarkable new level. And yes, we’ve said that...

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Documentaries to watch with kids about other kids: 6 entertaining and thought-provoking films we love

Here’s an idea: The next time your kids ask (politely, of course) to watch their favorite movie — as in, the animated feature or superhero flick they’ve seen a million times — why not suggest a documentary instead? Now before you roll your eyes like my husband, who insists that “documentaries aren’t movies” I’m not talking about some monotonous British voice narrating educational nature scenes like when I was a kid. So far this year, I’ve been captivated by documentaries on everything from Kurt Cobain, to Scientology, to mountain climbing, that have hit theaters nationwide. And now, thank to streaming services like Amazon, Netflix,...

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This is kids’ music? 6 new family albums that may surprise even the pickiest adult listeners

I know there are parents who say they don’t like kids’ music and don’t understand why kids can’t just listen to whatever the adults are listening to, perhaps just quickly turning down the volume on their own playlists when the lyrics get a bit too mature. But, like Stefan Shepard of Zooglobble once said, and I paraphrase, if kids can — and should — have their own books, movies and television shows, why shouldn’t they have their own age-and-developmentally appropriate music that happens to be awesome too? If you haven’t learned from our own site by now, not all kids’ music...

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Smart tees for kids that will make teachers happy in more ways than one

We imagine that nothing makes a teacher happier than seeing their students light up about a subject, ready to learn more. Whether you’ve got a number lover, a big reader, a mini scientist, or an artist-in-residence — or maybe a mix of all of the above — you need to check out these adorable, brand new smart tees for kids from CMP favorite Brooklyn Makers. Not only do they feature messages we can get behind, but a significant portion of the sales will help disadvantaged school districts so that all kids get the chance to discover their favorite subjects. Related:  11 cool career t-shirts for...

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How to make your own photo-real gifts and gear: One cool trend you can totally DIY easily.

You may not have heard the term “photo-real,” before — I hadn’t — but you’ve most likely seen this trend all over boutiques, fashion spreads, and your kids’ own gear, since it’s been growing steadily for the past few years. From backpacks to leggings to cell phone cases, we’re seeing photographs of real objects replacing illustration and other patterns. It can look so cool, and our kids are kind of going crazy for photo-real gear. So we thought we’d share some tips for how you can hop on this trend too, and even DIY your own photo real gifts. It’s easy, we...

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My Big Art Show: the fun family card game that might turn your kids into art history whizzes.

Two of my kids have now outgrown some of my own favorite childhood board games like Candy Land and Chutes and Ladders — classic versions only, please. (And yes, I admit I do like Candy Land. Don’t ask why.) My kids are now into the kind of strategy board games that take 30 minutes to explain the rules and another 30 minutes to set up the board. They can be a lot of fun, but I don’t always have the time or inclination. So I like to have a few games on hand that we can all play quickly and easily. This week we’ve been binging on My Big Art Show by Susie Hodge....

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A terrific opportunity for teens to do some good this fall with the Baby Buggy Youth Service Corps

As the carefree days of summer wind down and the structure of the fall rounds the bend, its time to start thinking about curricular activities. While sports and school clubs are great, I like the idea of encouraging a teen to take on a hobby or activity that does something positive for others. There are tons of fantastic volunteer possibilities everywhere around the country, but if you’re in the NYC area, definitely check out one of our favorite charities, Baby Buggy. This terrific organization, which supports families in need by providing essential baby products and other support,  is inviting local youth ages 13-16 to get...

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Painting For Peace in Ferguson: A children’s book with a message of hope and community

This past Sunday, August 9, marked one year since the death of Michael Brown and the subsequent uprising in Ferguson, Missouri.  Despite the many months that have passed, trying to make sense of the heartbreak and horror of everything that’s happened in this country recently remains a challenge for so many us. Processing the racial injustice, the hate, the death and devastation is difficult, to say the least. And as parents trying to explain any of it to our children — so many of us don’t even have the words. This is where the children’s book Painting for Peace in Ferguson can...

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12 creative tips for getting your kids ready for kindergarten. Because, kindergarten! Also, pass the tissues.

We are having so much fun with our kids home for summer break, the occasional sibling squabble aside, but we’re already thinking about back-to-school. Especially on behalf of those of you in the south who start in what, like four minutes?  There’s so much to do to get ready any given school year, but those of us with kids going off to kindergarten for the first time (sniff, sniff), we are always looking for tips for getting kids kindergarten ready, to be sure that they — and we — have a successful first year at school. So we are really excited to...

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Little Passports’ new gift subscription now lets younger kids get in on the world travel adventures too.

Even before she had made her first trip out of the country, my daughter loved the subscription her aunt bought her to Little Passports when she was in grade school. Each month, she’d receive a packet of information and little trinkets about a new country that she could tuck safely into her small blue suitcase. If you have younger kids, you may be happy to learn that even they can take a virtual trip around the world now, with Little Passports Early Explorers. It comes with specially designed materials and items for kids between the ages of 3-5, no real passport needed. Or expensive tickets to Egypt or France....

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Letting kids make beautiful music with Compose Yourself. Now this is cool.

It may take special talent and years of study to compose music for a symphony, but we’ve discovered a fun shortcut with Think Fun’s new Compose Yourself, a creative, musical card game which lets kids 6 and up — and even adult neophytes like me — create beautiful music in minutes. You don’t even have to be able to read a note of music. Which is why I like it too. Related: How to foster a love of music in your little kids The system was created by Philip Sheppard, an accomplished composer and musician who has recorded with David Bowie, served as music director...

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Educational activities for children this summer? Reader Q & A

Hi Cool Mom Picks! Any suggestions for workbooks or activities to help prepare my child–and keep them out of my hair (ha)–for the summer between kindergarten and first grade? -Chaitali   Ahhhh, summer! No school lunches to pack, no buses to catch, and yet, now you have a curious, energetic, and sometimes b-o-r-e-d child to entertain for weeks on end. We love that you want to keep your child busy and engaged with educational activities that will help them get ready for the next year of school. We’re all big believers in tucking in some fun learning activities in between beach...

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When Lyla Got Lost (and Found): A really helpful safety book for kids

I know that teaching my kids about personal safety is so important, but there seems to be a fine line between preparing kids for emergencies and scaring them about Things That Could Happen. Like all parents, I definitely don’t want to tell them more than they need to hear. But lately we’ve been getting our talks just right with the help of reading When Lyla Got Lost (and Found), the latest in The Mother Company’s new series of safety books for kids. Thanks to authors Abbie Schiller and Samantha Kurtzman-Counter, my kids are learning some great safety strategies that will work for them in the real world,...

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From Apricity to Zephyr: Posters that teach vocabulary, one SAT word at a time

I admit I was pretty proud of my fourth-grader when she helped me finish the New York Time’s Monday crossword, but then she was employing words like llama and Naples. Then I saw British designer Mark Watson’s graphic dictionary poster series that he created for his own nine-year old and I thought, whoa. Maybe we could be working towards the Saturday puzzle after all? Related: 13 Words to add to your child’s bookshelf thanks to Lemony Snicket According to Slate, the graphic artist behind Modern Giant first created a minimalist depiction of the word contrarian after, well, his daughter was acting like one one. The...

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A toy to help kids with autism (and without) understand more about their moods

Whether you call it Autism Awareness or Autism Acceptance like one of my good friends, April is a great month to learn more about autism and how to make our world more supportive to those families living with it. That’s one reason we’ve long supported Creative Kidstuff’s partnership with St. David’s Center for Child & Family Development to identify some of the best playthings for kids with autism. And it is on their special month-long Autism Awareness Celebration Sale page that I discovered a toy that could help kids on and off the autistic spectrum learn and understand more about their moods....

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Cool summer camps for kids that go way beyond swimming and archery

With spring break in the rearview mirror, our kids are already looking forward to heading off to camp. So we thought it would be fun to explore the coolest summer camps out there. We were blown away by what we found — from camps with long histories and cool new programs, to camps with activities that we had no idea you could even do at camp! It’s sure come a long way since we were kids and your choices were pretty much limited to art, music, or sports. Now we just wish we were young again, so we could...

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Web Coolness: Star Wars Lego movie posters, #IncludetheGirls, and our Mother’s Day gift guide!

Here are some of our favorite links from around the web this week. We hope you enjoy them too.   We’re so excited to launch our 10th (!) annual Mother’s Day gift guide. This video with Sean Hayes (of Will and Grace fame) is our new favorite thing on the Internet. (via Isabel Kallman) A frustrated mom looking for the fabric with the two female Big Hero Six characters sparks a movement to encourage toymakers and manufacturers to #IncludetheGirls. Such an important read: Why an award winning principal feels she must retire early. Lots of great reasons to shop indie this Mother’s...

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My Amazing Body: the best info for curious-about-their-bodies preschoolers

My five-year-old son told me he thinks girls are the coolest because, among other things, they get to lay babies. As in, lay eggs). Yep. While I feel like I may have nailed the pro-woman mindset with him, I might not have done so well in the biology department. So we’ll brush up on our basics by reading through the new Little Explorer’s My Amazing Body book book by Ruth Martin and illustrated by Allen Sanders. I guess curiosity about their bodies never really goes away, but I know my preschooler and early elementary kids are really trying to figure out how it...

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7 must-have poetry books for young readers, in honor of National Poetry Month

April is National Poetry Month, so we’re having some fun adding poetry to our bedtime reading routine. Of course, any reading out loud to my kids is good for growing brains, but kids seem to have a special love for poetry–even before they understand the words we’re saying. If you’re ready to build your library beyond The Cat in the Hat, I recommend these must-have poetry books for young readers. Related: 2014’s best books for kids: All the lists, all in one place   Where the Sidewalk Ends, by Shel Silverstein You knew we had to go here first, right? All of Shel Silverstein’s books for kids are amazing,...

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