Tag: family activities

12 truly cool handmade Mother’s Day gifts from kids that become heart-melting keepsakes | Mother’s Day Gift Guide 2017

There’s nothing quite like a handmade Mother’s Day gift from the kids to melt a mom’s (or grandma’s or stepmom’s) heart. But take it from this mom of four kids, while all Mother’s Day gifts are perfect (really), I’ve tracked down a dozen very cool ideas that are truly special. Let’s just say, I’d love to wake up to any of these on Mother’s Day morning, and save them as keepsakes forever. Not that there’s anything wrong with a macaroni necklace, but we think these handmade Mother’s Day gifts step things up just a bit. At top: Hand-shaped clay ring dish | Mama Papa...

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21 ways your family can volunteer for your own community. Small scale, big impact!

If your news feed has been dragging you down lately, take heart. Volunteerism is a great way to put that energy to positive use, and spring is the perfect time for you and your family to discover ways to volunteer for your own local community, Leslie Knope style. To help, I’ve put together tons of easy do-gooding activities that are high on fun and family bonding, big on impact, but low on long-term commitment. Fortunately, you don’t have to repurpose your living room to shelter stray cats or hand-craft a community swing set to make a difference (although if you’re up for it,...

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How to get free admission during National Park Week

If this gorgeous spring weather has you itching to get outside with your family, we’ve got the perfect excuse to head out to one of our national parks this weekend: it’s free! This year, the National Park Service turns 100 years old, and to celebrate, during National Park Week (April 16-24), admission at all national parks will be free. As in, totally free. For everyone. Whoo!   Related: 22 National Parks and Sites you can visit without hiking boots. Maybe even without a plane ticket. Of course, we’ve been motivated do whatever we can to support to the awesome National Parks program lately, as...

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9 of the prettiest floral Easter egg decorating ideas. Lovely!

My kids are huge fans of the fun pop culture Easter eggs we’ve featured at Cool Mom Picks and the cool ice cream cone eggs over at Cool Mom Eats. Plus, these galaxy eggs are geeking them out too. But I have to say, I love pretty floral Easter eggs in springtime. So I went searching through the sites of some of my favorite bloggers and found 9 gorgeous tutorials for the prettiest floral Easter egg decorating ideas. If you want to really impress your brunch guests this year, in the prettiest way possible, try one of these. At top: DIY tissue paper eggs | Say Yes Related: Fun (and...

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A penny for your thoughts? This new card game helps kids process those hard emotions.

When I look back at some of my biggest parenting fails, most of them have occurred when I haven’t taken the time to consider my kids’ emotions or help them process their worry, anger, fear, or whatever else it is they are experiencing right in that very moment. That’s why I’m loving the beautiful new card game illustrated by Jaime Letourneau, A Penny For Your Thoughts, created to help kids talk about emotions. I spent some time this week playing this game with my most passionate — read: unpredictable — child at bedtime, and I saw an almost immediate positive impact in his (or her,...

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10 fun and easy Easter crafts using everyday, regular old household objects. Yay!

I am especially egg-cited about these egg-ceptionally (ha!) fun and easy Easter crafts made entirely with household objects. No schlepping to the store, no waiting in line, no expensive price tags…just good old-fashioned crafting with what we have laying around at home. Because when it comes to crafting, my kids and I share the same belief: The fewer trips to the craft supply store, the better. At top: Cork bunnies for Easter |instructions at Willowday   Related: Irresistible Easter bunny crafts you’ll like making as much as your kids do Cupcake Liner Bunnies These sweet Easter bunnies by I Heart Crafty Things prove that only good...

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7 yummy food-themed Easter egg decorating ideas

These fun food-themed Easter egg decorating ideas may not trick my kids into thinking they’re actually eating pineapple or a hamburger, but I still think they’re a cool way to switch up our normal egg-dyeing routine. If you want to try your hand at something a little unexpected this year, and if you love food as much as we do, check out these fabulous ideas below. Although we’ve rounded up amazing pop culture Easter eggs, a fun tie-dye tutorial, and even the coolest DIY galaxy Easter eggs, these food-themes ones might be my favorite yet. Because, food. (Psst… A lot of the...

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The free Hamilton Haggadah: History is happenin’ at the Passover seder table

How can this family of obsessive Hamilton fans slash-Passover revelers not be totally thrilled to discover a Hamilton Haggadah? Yep, you read that right. How does a Hebrew, poor man, son of a slave and a Bondsman, born to nothing in a  Rigged system of Imperial oppression Fished from the Nile River Grow up to be a prophet and a leader? This totally free PDF Hamilton Haggadah download comes courtesy of creative Philly-based Rabbinical students Emily Cohen and Jake Adler, who clearly have caught Hamilfever . (Which is not to be confused with any of the plagues.) Related: The coolest Hamilton gifts for the...

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30+ fantastic open-ended questions to ask your kids, so you don’t get a yes or no answer.

If you’re not getting much more than a “yeah,” “nope,” or “fine” when you ask about your kid’s day at school, it might be time for some new conversations starters. (Trust us, we’re right there with you.) So we set out to collect dozens of smart, easy, open-ended questions to ask your kids, so you don’t just get a yes or no answer. We’ve thrown these out around our own dinner tables, and have been surprised by how much these 30+ questions really got our kids talking. So, here’s to engaging dinner conversations…with the whole family. Top photo by Jon Flobrant via Unsplash   Open-ended questions about feelings We...

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The most amazing DIY unicorn eggs for Easter. Because, whoa.

I’ve been looking for some fun ways to up our Easter egg decorating game this year. You know, beyond the very reliable Paas kit I usually grab in the checkout line at the grocery. Enter, unicorn eggs. The most amazing DIY unicorn eggs for Easter at Little Inspiration. How much would my kids freak out over these? Related: The most amazing unicorn rocker that makes the most amazing Easter gift ever Related: Adorable Easter treats to make with your kids My first thought when I spotted these perfectly decorated unicorn eggs: way beyond my entry-level craft ability. But then, after reading through Angie’s tutorial — she...

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11 inspiring children’s and YA books about historic women for our girls — and especially, our boys.

In honor of Women’s History Month, we’ve been sharing so many ways to help get our kids excited about historic female heroes both past and present. It made me think to take some time this past weekend to browse through my bookshelf and pull out some inspiring books about historic women for my kids. And that includes my sons too, because it’s so important to me that my boys grow up with the inherent understanding that women are an important part of history and will continue to change the world in so many ways. From Malala to the Queen of Katwe to the underrated women of...

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9 fun and easy rainbow crafts to brighten up your St. Patrick’s Day

We’re willing ourselves out of this snowstorm to focus on sunshine and pots of gold at the end of rainbows on St. Patrick’s Day. I searched through our favorite craft and blogger sites to find the most fun and easy rainbow crafts for kids, most of which you can probably make with the supplies already in your craft drawer. Which is a good thing, since a lot of you snowed-in parents aren’t making it to the craft store anytime soon. At top: rainbow magnets | The Craftables Related: 13 amazing rainbow recipes that cover you from breakfast to dessert. Yum! This rainbow weaving craft at...

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3 simple ways to find more one-on-one time with your kids, no babysitter required.

As a single mom of four kids, you can probably imagine how tough it is to give my kids individual time, at least without hiring a babysitter and spending even more money on dinner or a movie. Turns out, you don’t have to spend money — or even need a second adult in the house — to give your kids the one-on-one time they love and need, where they’re getting your absolute, undivided attention. In addition to Stacie’s terrific post on how she turned after-school snack time with her kids into meaningful together time, check out my own 3 simple ways I’ve learned to...

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A Cabo resort for active families: Kiss a camel, swim with angels, or just relax.

Maybe back in your college days, you knew Cabo as the spring break destination or now you think of it as the place fancy people run off to, when they’re hosting fantasy destination weddings. Let me assure you, there’s more to it, especially if you’re thinking of family travel. Cabo is an amazingly beautiful place with so much to do that your family will run out of energy before you run out of options. With my own kids now official tweens at 8 and 10, our vacations have become a chance to get out and experience adventures — in other words, no more holding a baby...

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We cannot wait to get our hands on this newly discovered fairy tale by Mark Twain.

Well, this isn’t something we get to share everyday: A new, never-before-published Mark Twain story will be released this fall. (Can you hear us cheering from here?) The Purloining of Prince Oleomargarine is a fairy tale that Twain left unfinished, but Philip Stead and Erin Stead, the brilliant Caldecott-winning duo behind A Sick Day for Amos McGee and Lenny and Lucy, have stepped in to finish the story and illustrate it beautifully. We couldn’t be more excited. Related: 9 lovely children’s books about the immigrant experience to help encourage more kindness and empathy Related: This new book for girls has us shouting, WOW! Twain...

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3 cool ways to display travel photos that inspire you to take another trip soon

My husband and I recently spent two life-changing weeks in Seoul, South Korea, which means I have a zillion gorgeous photographs to show off to family and friends. On that 16-hour flight home, I spent some time scanning Pinterest and geeked out over these cool, creative ways to display travel photos. I can’t wait to get started on these projects. Once the jet lag passes. Related: The coolest travel journals for kids to help them remember every awesome moment As long as you have a steady hand with scissors, this travel photos map at Cut Craft Create (also shown at top) shouldn’t be too hard....

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Meet the cool dogs of Cool Mom Picks and the stories of what they’ve done for our families.

Update: This post was originally created on behalf of a brand that regretfully no longer aligns with our core values, and that we have removed from the content here. But we love the stories that our writers have shared, here and we hope you enjoy them too.   If you’ve ever had a dog in your life, you know they can be like your other child. They’ve taught us love, they’ve taught us responsibility, they’ve taught us that we may never need to sweep up around the dining table again. (Ha.) Clearly having a special dog in the house brings a special kind...

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The best experience gifts for kids who want to do it all.

Research shows that the happiest families are those who spend their money on experiences instead of on things. I totally get it. Looking back at my childhood, I can remember only a handful of toys my parents gave me over the years — a Strawberry Shortcake lip gloss, still being a favorite. But every out-of-the-ordinary trip we took together is etched in my memory, whether it was a week at the beach or a night out to see the circus. So, this year, consider investing in an experience gift for your kids in addition to the books and toys they’ll be getting...

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3 artsy, whimsical craft kits for kids with big imaginations

For the little girls in my life, ages 6–9 has been a craftaholic phase. One that’s moving away from cardboard and pipe cleaners and more toward DIY craft kits for kids that result in beautiful finished products they can keep themselves or give to others — like to their favorite aunt on Christmas (hint). And since crafting can be a fun bonding time for us, I’ve been looking for artsy DIY kits for kids that don’t require too much painstaking detail work and that are totally self-contained, so we can eliminate any frenzied last-minute trips to the art supply store. Three cheers...

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This year’s best new books for Christmas, to help your kids get even more excited for the big day.

My family has a tradition of reading Christmas books at bedtime every night during Advent. Some years, I wrap each holiday book in our collection, so they’ll be surprised which book we’re reading each night. Other years, we take turns choosing a favorite. But every year, I like to add new books to our collection. And this year is no exception. I was excited to find some new, beautifully illustrated traditional stories as well as some clever books that are quick, funny reads (perfect for those nights when we’ve been out to a holiday party way past bedtime). I’ll be adding a couple of...

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