Tag: educational

Personalized preschool shoe labels that help tell right from left. So smart!

Mornings can be a bit rough in our house. For my three-year-old, getting the right shoe on the right foot (or left foot, as it were) can add even more chaos to a stressful situation so I’m thanking the foot gods for the new personalized preschool shoe labels from Emily Press, the same folks who brought us the adorable reusable, dishwasher-proof labels that I use on all of my kids’ food storage items. As for the shoe labels, they’re made to help take out the guesswork, while giving little ones a feeling of accomplishment. Look closely and you’ll see that when they’re put together, they’re like two...

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The cutest way ever to get more parents talking to their babies

Want your baby to be smarter? Maybe you’ve seen all the research that says to talk to her. A lot. Especially in those early months and years. And of course you know that – what is parenting these days if not an exercise in reading way too much research from too many experts? Even so, I know that talking to my own babies could get pretty monotonous, so for other parents — or caregivers — who might need a little inspiration from time to time, I think this new, hip line of conversation-starting bodysuits and blankets at TalkReadSing.org are so smart. TalkReadSing is a...

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Sweet Blackberry: Bringing African-American history alive with a little starpower

There are moments in stories I heard as a child — lots of them in fact — that have stayed with me my entire life. Charlotte’s spider babies, Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle’s wonderful cures, Peter Rabbit losing his jacket in what, at that time in my life, felt like a very scary chase. They stay with me because they are wonderful stories, well-written and -kudos to my parents- well read. These moments are just what I thought of when I first discovered Sweet Blackberry. A new non-profit organization, Sweet Blackberry is creating a similar story memory legacy for children with narrated...

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Alphabet Glue: A clever ezine with crafts to bring favorite books to life.

We’re in that long middle stretch of summer, moms. My kids have been out of school for a while now, and we don’t start back for weeks, and I’m getting desperate for things to do to keep my kids busy. We happen to be big book lovers at our house, so I can’t believe my luck in discovering the free Alphabet Glue‘s downloadable magazine, which is all about DIy projects, crafts and other activities that help us explore our favorite stories more. For $4 an issue (or $7 for the past two), which helps support Annie Riechmann, crafty New England mom behind the zine, you’ll find easy step-by-step...

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The Baby Tree: May we never ever talk about storks again.

I admit, the folk tales and stork mythology stories that seek to answer “where do babies come from?” don’t appeal to me a bit. I want my kids to understand the actual facts in age appropriate ways and the right book can be perfect for that very thing. Especially if you’re feeling awkward about it yourself. So was thrilled to find just what I have been looking for–and probably a lot of you too–in the absolutely charming, wonderful, relatable The Baby Tree by Sophie Blackall whose title belies the informative lesson about reproduction for young kids. A child  about to have a baby sibling sets out to...

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Science t-shirts that help kids tell the pedipalp from the chelicarae

My kids never just want to know what something is. They also need to know where it’s from, what it does, what it eats, and why it makes that weird noise. If your kids want all the answers too, check out these adorably informative science t-shirts for kids from Elemental Ts. Each image is a labeled anatomical diagram just like you find in science textbooks. (Wait, do kids still use actual textbooks anymore?)   Hand-printed in Brooklyn by two clearly cool Brooklyn moms, we love the bright colors and hand-illustrated images of animals and robots which are totally great for boys or girls. From frogs to...

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The Fed Up Movie: Everything you may or may not want to know about what you’re eating.

It’s pretty shocking to think that in 2010, there were nearly 58,000 cases of Type 2 diabetes diagnosed in adolescents–while in 1980 there were zero. Zero. In fact, it used to be called Adult Onset Diabetes, which isn’t even accurate anymore. It’s equally shocking that we’re now at a point where more people in the world will die of obesity than starvation. And that’s what the Fed Up Movie, which opens in theaters tonight, explores and explains if uncomfortably at times. If you have ever had trouble losing weight, if you have ever read a nutrition label, if you have...

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Web Coolness: Why we love Emma Stone, when college-readiness goes too far, and the ultimate Mother’s Day gift guide.

Here are our favorite links that we’ve been reading around the web this week. Hope you like them too.    The ultimate guide to 100 Mother’s Day gift ideas is here with our 2014 Mother’s Day guide! There’s still plenty of time to shop. Must watch: lip sync battle between Jimmy Fallon and Emma Stone. She’s our new hero. The school Kindergarten show that was cancelled in favor of “college readiness.” Whoa. The truth about whether Wi-Fi baby monitors can be hacked. A poem from an 8 year old (okay, our editor Liz’s daughter) that’s making us all go, “wow.” The hilarious...

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Learning dishes for kids and other educational tableware that sneak some brain food in with the vegetables

Mealtime is the one time my busy kids sit still for a little while, so I love that smart people are creating such interesting learning dishes for kids, educational placemats, and other housewares that let kids do more than doodle at the table. Or uh, play Candy Crush. Whether or not your kids will actually review math facts or practice cursive over the mashed potatoes, they’re likely to absorb some of the information presented in front of them, which I think is kind of neat. ALPHABET PLACEMATS For little ones, Brinware’s brightly colored, easy-to-clean silicone alphabet placemats (above) make for a...

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History wasn’t always fun and games. Except when it is.

I’ve come to understand that for tweens, creating a love of history is often about making it as salacious and entertaining as possible. The British creators of Horrible Histories have nailed that genre, with a successful series of illustrated Horrible Histories books. Think: the story of the English monarch who died after falling off the toilet (George II), all the gory details about the Roman colosseum, and the nastiness of the Greek gods. If your older kids can’t get enough of this kind of stuff, they’re now out with a brand new Horrible Histories puzzle series, each of which feels like...

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A clever alphabet video for toddlers that you’ll like watching too.

When I first heard from dad and animator Brandon Ray about this  alphabet video for toddlers that he created for his own children, Bleu and Violet, I will be honest, I wasn’t expecting much.  But after watching, I am utterly charmed. The Paper Alphabet is a terrific way to teach toddlers their ABCs and honestly, to give older kid–and you– a chuckle too. It’s a little They Might Be Giants, a little Yo Gabba Gabba and a little animation festival short film entry, if you can imagine that. To be sure the word choices can be a bit edgy; C...

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What’s the story of the real St. Patrick’s Day? History Channel to the rescue.

If you’re one of those parents who can answer any question without saying let’s go check the internet! like I do, then more power to you. As for me, I was researching the story of the real St. Patrick’s Day to help explain it to my kids, and came across the wonderful History Channel website as a new must-bookmark resource. File under “parents’ life savers.” Not sure why I never thought of going there before, but History.com is packed with info that curious kids will adore. Especially because the pages and videos are a little more bite-size than the...

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Heart for Heart Dolls: Because African Girl Dolls, Mexican Girl Dolls and Laotian Girl Dolls are just as fun as the American ones.

While I have finally come around to accept my daughter’s affinity for American Girl Dolls, suddenly Saige and Marie-Grace have serious competition with Rahel, the Ethiopian doll from the Heart for Heart Girls dolls collection. I cannot say enough wonderful things about Heart for Heart Girls, which are each based on 10 real ten-year-old girls from Afghanistan, Belarus, Laos, India, Ethiopia, and beyond.  I really like that each one one gives your child a chance to learn more about her story and her area of the world, while a dollar from each purchase is donated to a nonprofit that...

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DIY building kit from Brooklyn, for your architect in training

Maybe you have a kid at home like mine, who is always asking about how buildings stand up, or “Mom, who made that bridge?”  This great Water Tower DIY building kit  that we found at our hometown favorite Brooklyn Makers is a creative way to take his curiosity about architecture hands-on. Brooklyn Makers curates a rad and high quality collection from local artisans and entrepreneurs, with a soft spot for super cool kids’ clothing, gear and toys. We discovered this little craft project at the perfect time, as my NYC child is currently fascinated by the structures that fill this concentrated area, including...

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Honoring Black History Month with inspiring quotes from Maya Angelou

The history of Black Americans is filled with stories of inspiration and strength, so in honor of Black History Month, I was so happy to find artwork inspired by one of my favorite poets, Maya Angelou. Each piece features quotes that have been turned into artwork and speak of that resilience, hope, and courage. I also love how universal they are in their messaging, and how her beautiful words speak to all kinds of people. Wise words for us all. Etsy’s Finding Sunshine Rae creates typographical prints on photo paper (at top) which feature a mix of lettering and colors to spell out...

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The Alexander Calder pop-up book that will make kids fall in love with art forever.

When a book gets your kids excited to read more, that’s about the most beautiful thing in the world. But when a book gets your kids excited to create too, it’s absolutely thrilling. And that’s just what happened when my girls discovered the gorgeously produced new Alexander Calder pop-up book,  Alexander Calder: Meet the Artist! by Patricia Geis. If your child hasn’t yet been introduced to the magic of Calder–I fell in love with his mobiles at the Whitney Museum when I was a little girl– this is the perfect book to set kids off on a lifelong love of...

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5 of our favorite tech picks this week

In case you missed them, here are 5 of our most popular Cool Mom Tech picks from this past week.   1. This handy device is like having a second brain. Couldn’t we all use one of those these days? 2. Our kids are obsessed with these awesome educational e-books. We bet yours will be too. 3. This one goes out to all our Android mamas. We iPhone users are jealous! 4. A must-have book for any geeky girl (or boy). 5. If you’ve got kids using social media, you should be sure to read...

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Little Red Writing book: A picture book that inspires kids to write, not just read

Our favorite picture books inspire our kids to come up with stories of their own, though I’m especially excited about the Little Red Writing book, which also teaches them the how to construct the story so that it’s entertaining and fun. Because while I have always loved my kids’ stories, they definitely get better when they aren’t one big run-on sentence. (Sorry kids.) Written by Joan Holub and illustrated by Melissa Sweet, the book packs several grammar lessons into a story borrowed heavily from Little Red Riding Hood, as you might have guessed. Little Red is a pencil who is assigned a writing...

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Happy National Puzzle Day! 8 irresistible puzzles for toddlers that make fabulous little gifts

Just in case you didn’t know, it’s National Puzzle Day. And we like puzzles! So I’ve put together 8 of the most creative jigsaws, blocks, stackers, wooden, handmade, felt and letter puzzles for toddlers that are perfect for kids just starting to get that pattern recognition and small motor skill thing down. And they all have the added benefit of looking great on a shelf. Just don’t lose those pieces!     This sweet and chunky 9-block animal puzzle encourages kids to build 6 different animals — and maybe create a few hybrids of their own. (Hape, $14.99)   Is this...

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Web Coolness – Fun fashion tips, surprising news about autism, and two of the coolest Celebrity moms

Here are some of the stories we’ve liked reading around the web this week. We hope you like them too.   A little fashion help: Our friends at Modern Kiddo share 8 fun ways to wear vintage pins. Lots of chatter about this lingerie campaign featuring unretouched models (though they all happen to be gorgeous). Great design blog to check out: Little Green Notebook. The coming Common Core meltdown: required reading for all parents of school-aged kids. Why autism rates may be dropping soon. Based on her Instagram selfie, we love how Gwen Stefani is owning that baby bump. Also the shoes....

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