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....Read More
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...Read More
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...Read More
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...Read More
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,...Read More
So, there’s this really interesting website called The Book of Life. And I’m trying to figure out how to describe it, but I keep coming up empty. Is it an encyclopedic resource? An online self-help book? A place to turn for philosophical discourse? It’s kind of all of that and more and it’s unlike any website I’ve ever seen. Brought to you by London’s The School of Life, they’re calling it a book, which it mostly is and a little bit isn’t, because that’s how we’re to use it; by navigating chapters written by multiple contributing authors. The chapters focus on what...Read More
Here are some of the things we’ve liked reading around the web this week. We hope you like them too. Dying over this Foodnited States series. [via bored panda] Travel plans? The statistical geniuses at fivethirtyeight launch a tool to predict flight delays. Analysis of the Apple Watch and New Macbook just for parents. A new way to bring your baby to work. Dad blogging in 1925. Great life tips. Explaining blogging to five-year-olds. Ha. Scary: Must-read letter from top teachers if you live in New York State. Or have a kid in public schools. Hey parents: Stop calling 911 on other...Read More
Here are 5 of our favorite tech picks this week from Cool Mom Tech, in case you missed them. Well, now you won’t! 1. Who said LEGOs were just for kids? 2. Gorgeous photo books in a couple of clicks. So smart. 3. Clever tips for freeing up storage space on your gadgets. 4. Calling all busy parents (isn’t that all parents?): Learn a new skill or just get some creativity back in your life with this awesome website. 5. We can’t believe everything this smart mattress cover does. Whoa. The future is here....Read More
Imagine if you didn’t have electricity at home and your kids had to go out and sit under a street lamp on a deserted street, alone each night, in order to finish their homework. That’s exactly what a lot of kids face in other parts of the world, though when we think of “energy poverty,” we don’t always think about such relatable examples of its effect. That’s why, as we turn our clocks forward for Daylight Savings Time this weekend, I love the idea of using it as an opportunity to talk to our kids about why having access to energy matters. And that’s what the...Read More
I want to answer my kids’ questions and help them with their homework, but I can’t always drop everything to help them find the answer rightthisverysecondplease–nor do I want my younger ones doing a Google search on their own. Instead, I’m thrilled to have discovered the new DK Find Out! online encyclopedia for kids which offers a solid introduction to a variety of topics in an easy-to-understand format. Oh, and without pop-up ads, questionable links, or shoddy research and questionable “facts” that sends readers down the wrong path. Written primarily for kids ages 7-11, DK Find Out is a free resource covering science, math, English, history, geography, the human body,...Read More
This is a sponsored message from GiftedandTalented.com For parents with advanced learners, it can be tough to know how to meet their academic needs and keep them challenged. Whether you’re looking to give yours an educational boost or want to provide them with the chance to explore their already established interests, GiftedandTalented.com has you covered, with K-12 online courses that give students a highly personalized learning experience–all right in your own home. -Don’t miss an exclusive discount below- Based on ongoing research at Stanford University, GiftedandTalented.com offers everything you’ll need to help your kids reach their maximum educational potential without the boredom, thanks to...Read More
Web Coolness: Birdman interpreted by children, mom style secrets, and possibly the next big children’s author.
Here are the links we’ve liked reading around the web this week. Hope you like them too. Ready to laugh until you cry? Watch Michael Keaton and Jimmy Fallon reading children’s Birdman scripts. 10 Academy members reveal their Oscars votes. Get out your scorecard! Kristen shares some mom style tips and secrets that you don’t even have to be a mom to put to use. Liz has some brief thoughts on the 50 Shades of Grey movie. How to celebrate Chinese New Year without stereotypes. The next big children’s author: Pharrell? A ban on selfie sticks: Whatever will the world do? If you have school-age...Read More
Today we say hail to all the chiefs who have led the United States of America. The ones we voted for, the ones we didn’t vote for, and even the ones we can’t really remember. And to help our kids learn more about the men who have led our country–and actually had nothing to do with sales on mattresses whatsoever–we’ve rounded up some entertaining and short videos to watch with them. I’m sure I’ll learn a thing or two as well. One of my family’s favorite educational apps is the Disney Presidents app for iPad which makes learning about the...Read More
Black History Month is the perfect time for us to widen our scope on the lives of Black people in this country and their ongoing contributions to its advancement. In school, our kids typically learn about the impact that people like Martin Luther King, Jr., Rosa Parks, Harriet Tubman, and George Washington Carver had and continue to have on our lives. But there are so many more people — unsung heroes, revolutionaries, artists, writers, activists, and everyday citizens — who have done remarkable things that deserve the spotlight as well. To honor them and their work, here are 10 excellent...Read More
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...Read More
Today we celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday and his innumerable contributions to this nation’s history and advancement and books for kids about MLK can be a great way to help little ones understand the importance of the day. Although it’s a holiday in most states and therefore, understandably, a day to relax, I do like that many Americans instead treat it as a “day on” and seek out ways to volunteer in their communities and participate in one of the Day of Service events scheduled across the country. It’s an excellent opportunity to usher in the concept of service to...Read More
There aren’t many wooden toys for toddlers that I can imagine an older kid would love too, but these super nerdy ABC blocks from Uncommon Goods are a major exception. They’re made from locally sourced wood and printed with non-toxic inks, featuring letters, illustrations, and scientific vocabulary words. They’re safe for toddlers to gnaw on, sturdy enough for preschool architects, and offer such cool reading material that middle schoolers might use them as a study reference for science class. Or hey, maybe your kindergartner will wow her teacher with talk of buckyballs and the water cycle. It’s never too...Read More
With a STEM-loving daughter (and STEAM as it’s now being called by some, because yay Arts too!), you can bet I’m always on the hunt for cool STEM gifts for girls. And, while we’ve come a long way in the last few years, I still find that great ones can be tough to find. Just take a look at the racks at clothing stores and toy shops. Eep. I know I’m not the only one who sees awesome science or computer tees filed under “boys” and thinks, hey-0 my daughter would love that! So on behalf of our sponsor GoldieBlox, who launched three...Read More
In case you missed them, here are 5 of our most popular tech picks from Cool Mom Tech this past week. Enjoy! 1. Make your own custom emojis that look like you. Nope, we’re not kidding. 2. We rounded-up 7 awesome ways to get girls excited about STEM. 3. Wondering if you should get your kids a tablet for Christmas? Here’s our review of the newest one on the market. 4. Our new favorite math app for kids. Download it to your iPad stat. 5. Cool holiday gift alert: Digitize your handwritten notes with this amazing gadget....Read More
Your little girl might be too young to wield a power saw, but she can learn to appreciate the craft of woodworking at any age with, of all things, tiny architectural jewelry. I’m impressed by the Joinery Series earrings from Pico Design, which is designed to introduce girls to the concept of wood joinery. Four pairs of sterling silver studs featuring miter, dado, rabbet, and tongue and groove joints, all from Andrea Panico, an industrial-turned-jewelry designer and mother of a six-year-old daughter. She’s on a mission to teach young girls about technical concepts in architecture and design and this is such a cool way...Read More
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