Tag: family activities

New on Netflix for families in August: Top picks from cute kids’ cartoons to kitschy 80s classics to Sing! (Whoo!)

If your family is like mine, summer nights are more often Netflix and chill (like, actually chilling, not a euphemism) than theater and $7 snacks. So, I thought I’d look ahead to the next month and round up what’s new on Netflix for families in August so we can map out some fun viewing time, beat the late summer heat, and save a few bucks by popping our own popcorn. Of course the big release this month is Sing! (at very top), the Golden Globe-nominated kids’ movie that’s full of recent pop songs with impressive performances. I’m a fan, and my...

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Summer ice activities. They’re so hot right now.

During these dog days of summer, when there’s really no other word to describe the heat but “blergh,” we parents have to think way beyond the sprinklers and water balloons that we’ve been relying on to keep our kids cool (and occupied). It’s time to seriously up the ante with summer ice activities. And when we started looking around, we found some really creative, smart ideas. They’re science-y, pretty to look at, fun to play with, easy to clean up, and — importantly — chilly to the touch. Let’s do this. At top: Go Fish Water Play | Let...

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8 must-read summer reading books for tweens and teens who want to stay woke

Lately, as my kids are getting older and the world has gotten (ahem) a little crazier, my 10- and 12-year-old have been questioning what’s going on. I chat with them about my own observations and beliefs…and ask them about theirs. But one thing that helps us both understand where other people are coming from is to read stories written from their perspectives. So I’ve recently tracked down a handful of books that can help kids stay woke. I’ve collected these with tweens and teens in mind (although check them out first, because some of the books on this list...

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4 great websites and videos that teach kids how to tie knots. Road trip entertainment, check!

One of the items on my son’s bucket list this summer is to learn to tie a bowline, a half-hitch, and a square knot…with his eyes closed. They are requirements for his scouting program, but have easily become at-home entertainment for the whole family. They’re sneakily addictive! So, whether you’re trying to help your child finish up their Girl Scout or Boy Scout requirements, or you just want to pack a bag of paracord for an easy, unexpected, and really fun activity for your kids on a long road trip, here are 4 websites and YouTube videos that teach...

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All about that babe: 7 of the most outrageous kids’ amenities at hotels and resorts

Sometimes it’s the little things that make your vacation really special … and sometimes it’s the huge splurges you’ll remember forever. If that’s what you’re looking for on your next vacation, check out these five luxury resorts and hotels with some incredibly outrageous kids’ packages and amenities. Like, we’re-a-whole-lot-jealous amenities. Yes, they’re all over-the-top. But if you’re celebrating a special birthday, a huge accomplishment, or a massive tax refund (ha), these family-friendly resort packages could end up making for the family experience of a lifetime. Just be sure to check with the hotel or resort concierge before planning, to...

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8 of the coolest summer water activities for your backyard. (Pool? What pool?)

Summer comes in two settings: Hotter and Hottest. That’s why we love these amazing summer water activities for the backyard that we found on some of our favorite sites around the web. I mean I know that for kids, a nice, cool pool is often the most hoped-for remedy; but for parents, we know it’s not always the easiest. Or the most practical. Between pool membership costs, carpooling conflicts, and let’s be honest, total lack of interest in fighting with some teenager who you catch trying to steal your lounge chair, hitting the local pool may not be in the cards...

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5 creative ways to make a summer bucket list with your kids. Let the fun begin!

Summer break is here for my kids (yes, already!), which means I’m looking down the barrel of 13 long, lovely (and lively, knowing my crew) weeks at home. We have a lot of things we want to do — go for hikes, do every single craft in Project Kid (ha!), touch a frog (really!). But most days I look up and it’s already lunch time…and nap time for the toddler. Then, there goes all our plans. So, I’ve been researching some creative ways to make a summer bucket list with my kids. It’s going to help us narrow down our list to...

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The best family board games for summer travel…because good things come in small packages.

My family loves to play board games. I’m talking, big, involved, takes-three-hours-to-play board games. And what better time to play than when we’re on summer vacation? But, it can be tricky to travel with big boxes full of a zillion pieces. Luckily, we have found a few games we love that come in boxes small enough to easily toss in a backpack or tote bag. So, if you’re looking for some offline family fun that you can take with you, wherever you’re headed this summer, check out these 5 family board games for travel. In fact, these are the ones I’m packing for our trip...

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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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