Tag: educational

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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Free printable sewing cards for kids: Save them for a snowy day

If you’re in our neck of the woods, you are looking for lots of indoor activities to keep the kids occupied. While we recently rounded up 12 snow day activities for kids, here’s one more: Printable sewing cards for kids. And these are more than adorable–they happen to be free. Spotted at one of our very favorite craft sites, Handmade Charlotte, you pretty much just need good card stock, scissors, a needle and pin, and embroidery floss. All the instructions are on the site, but your kids will end up with pretty much the cutest sewing cards to play...

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Josephine: A children’s book as complex, vibrant, and endearing as Josephine Baker herself.

It’s clear that Josephine Baker is one of those few celebrity icons who transcends generations. My parents loved her, I loved her, and now my girls love her thanks to the new book, Josephine: The Dazzling Life of Josephine Baker. And despite it being a book for kids, if it weren’t for Christian Robinson’s wonderful illustrations, you might think it was an adult-targeted poetic ode to the legendary performer. Patricia Hruby Powell’s prose feels like jazz itself, dancing across the pages with a kind of defiant playfulness; the random line breaks, indentations, metaphors, erratic use of all-cap words are writers’ tools...

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10 of the most awesome alphabet posters for nurseries of any style

It’s no secret that we love alphabet posters around here, so we’ve rounded up some of our favorites from the past few years. Whether you like it when X stands for X-ray, X-wing, or Malcolm X, we’ve got an ABC poster you’ll love.   1. The Cutest French Alphabet Poster Pourquoi? Because it’s si mignon and that’s a fact. Also because it’s fun to see the bee under the letter A, for Abeille. 2. The Most New York Alphabet Order an entire set of Joanne Dugan’s funky alphabet decals (complete set shown at top) or just the letters you need to spell a certain...

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Ways to remember Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. with the kids

From books that celebrate his life’s story, to activities you can do with the kids on this Day of Service, we’ve rounded up some of the best ways to remember the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. today, or any day of the year.    Volunteer opportunities If your local newspaper or websites don’t list any special events, check out All For Good’s searchable database for Martin Luther King Day events in your area. In the Boston area, I was able to find events where people of all ages will make fleece scarves for homeless people, serve at...

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Star Wars alphabet and counting posters: Learn ABCs and 123s, you will.

We like learning with Star Wars, provided it’s not while doing a handstand in the swamps of Dagobah. Luckily, these gorgeous Star Wars alphabet posters teach the ABCs and there’s even a counting poster to teach numbers 1–10 without a single drop of Hutt sweat or sleen spit. It’s a fantastic way to merge your inner geek with your outer interior decorator. Pick from a variety of color schemes, or request a custom palette. We love the not-too-bright rainbow version, but the monochrome prints could definitely swoop from nursery to kid room to home theater with the ease of a...

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The best board books for babies of 2013: Editors’ Best of 2013

To start 2014, we’re excited to feature the best board books for babies of 2013 that we fell in love with. Because honestly, our babies fell in love with them too. And not just because the cardboard covers taste delicious. If there’s ever one New Year’s resolution we all want to keep, it’s “read more.” And we think that “read more to our kids” fits in there, too. When you’ve already got 16 copies of Goodnight Moon, we hope these picks help fill out your baby’s library beautifully. Alphablock ABC book Alphabet books have come a long way, baby. The...

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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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Great experience gifts for kids, because memories make for awesome presents.

When we’re asked for ideas for a great gift for the kid who has everything–or even those who don’t–the first thing that comes to mind for me are experience gifts . They don’t have to be expensive at all, or they can be super splurgey. An experience gift can be an activity you do with the kids, or something they do on their own. So broaden your mind if you’re still stumped for gifts–we’ve got some fun idea starters, along with some thoughts on how to package an experience gift so your kids have more to open under the...

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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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We predict your kid’s next favorite book will be an atlas. Really.

Lately my kids and I have been snuggling up on the couch in front of the fireplace and browsing through a stunning new coffee table book featuring exquisite hand-drawn maps of countries around the world. It’s delightfully wonderful. I really, really love it. Maps, by Polish artists Aleksandra Mizielińska and Daniel Mizieliński, is a lavish collection of 52 maps of countries from every continent around the globe. But you’re not just getting topography and political markers with this book. The pages are filled with winsome illustrations of cultural icons from that region. Germany’s map, for example, shows a girl...

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

Here are 5 of our most popular tech picks this week from Cool Mom Tech, just in case you missed them.   1. We can’t be the only ones ridiculously excited about Bill Nye’s return, right? 2. A calendar app that could actually help your marriage. 3. 5 of the best storytelling apps for kids. Let the creativity flow. 4. We’ve got the scoop on all the big news from Apple and whether parents should care. 5. The new SnapChat copycat app parents should know...

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Petit Collage puzzles that are in no way petit

It’s true: we’re Petit Collage fangirls. So it’s only natural we think these new floor puzzles are pretty grand. With lovely artwork and big ol’ pieces for petite hands, these new floor puzzles from Petit Collage are right up our alley. Each one is two feet wide, with 24 pieces about five inches square.  Each of the four designs comes packaged in a cute box with a rope handle and is geared for ages 3 and up. And you don’t have to worry if your bebe chews on the pieces–they’re printed on recycled paper in vegetable inks. Petit Collage,...

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

Here are 5 of our favorite tech picks from Cool Mom Tech this week just in case you missed them.   1. We cannot wait to get our hands on this new gadget. When you see it, you’ll understand why. 2. Looking for a unique school fundraising idea? We’ve got it! 3. Wondering whether you should upgrade to iOS7? You’ll definitely want to read this post first. 4. A cool, free app for kids that will help you talk about a tricky, but very important subject. 5. This pillow is cracking us up. And yes, if you’re wondering, it...

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