Tag: family activities

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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The best group card games to play with the whole family: Game night, bring it.

Now that Thanksgiving is in the rearview mirror, it’s really starting to feel like Christmas to me. And as much as I love the shopping and the hot cocoa and the decorations, my favorite part is the parties. Instead of sending the kids to the playroom to watch a movie while the adults hang out this year, I’ve found some really fun group card games that the whole family can enjoy together. From competitive strategy games for the geeks in all of us, to light party games that are more about having fun than winning, these are our favorites. Of course,...

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The papercraft book that makes Christmas crafting so, so easy.

Houses up and down our street are starting to turn on their holiday lights, and it’s beginning to look at lot like Christmas in our neighborhood. My craft-loving kids would like for us to DIY everything holiday around here — cotton-ball snowmen, reindeer food, glitter wreaths…you name it. So when I discovered Papermade’s new book Paper Holiday, I knew I’d hit the holiday craft jackpot. The book includes 20 Christmas ornaments you can make in about 10 minutes each — just punch-out, fold up, and hang on the tree. No scissors, glue, or tape required. It even includes paper hooks. The ornaments are definitely Christmas specific,...

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The last-minute Thanksgiving help: Everything you need including recipe help, drinks, decor, printables + crafts for the kids. No go forth and be thankful!

If you’re like me and Thanksgiving totally snuck up on you this year (seriously, today?), fear not! The CMP team has been hard at work for weeks now, sharing the most helpful resources and great advice to help you master the big day. From the most foolproof turkey roasting tutorials (and who to call when…uh, if they go wrong), pie recipes to live for, and the most fun printables to keep kids busy and entertained, we’ve got it all right here. And hey, if you’re desperate for just some Thanksgiving relative survival tips (for humans, not turkeys), we’ve got you covered with that in the...

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10 fun ideas for holiday traditions you can start with your family right now

One of our most favorite parts of the holidays (no, not presents, though we like those too) are the family traditions we celebrate year after year. There’s just something so special about looking forward to our annual holiday rituals, whether they started spontaneously one year and just kept going, or they’ve been passed down through the generations. If you’re like us, one of the best ever holiday traditions for families is to snuggle up and watch your favorite seasonal movies and television shows, which is something our newest sponsor Amazon Studios knows a whole lot about. Their two newest holiday specials, If You Give...

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Color your home grateful with these cool printable Thanksgiving posters from Caravan.

If you’ve been following us this season, you know we’ve already discovered some amazing printables for Thanksgiving. And while these activities should buy you at least some free time Thanksgiving morning to conquer your cooking, we thought a larger-scale printable could be helpful too. I was excited to discover these printable posters from Caravan, which encourage kids to creatively express their gratitude and decorate the walls — all without damaging the interiors of your home. I love the GIANT Thanksgiving Coloring Poster that offers a mind-boggling amount (seriously, whoa!) of Thanksgiving-themed detail for kids to fill in with a marker or crayon. And check...

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How to make a DIY Thankful Turkey with your kids in 4 (very) easy steps.

Our favorite crafts around here are simple ones that don’t require an MFA, and it’s a big bonus when we don’t even have to head to the craft store for supplies. And if these crafts help us have conversations about the world around us, allow our kids to get in touch with nature or our community, or teach them the importance of gratitude, then even better. This cute DIY thankful turkey craft is a very easy and fun craft that fits all these categories. I’ll be making these with my kids this year while we wait for our turkey to cook, because we really do have...

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Thanksgiving survival tips. For humans, not turkeys. | Spawned Episode 59

Thanksgiving can be a challenging time for lots of people, but this year, well, let’s just say stress levels are at an all-time high. So, on today’s episode of Spawned with Kristen and Liz, we’re sharing our Thanksgiving survival tips, from setting conversation boundaries to opting out of celebrations, and yes, some fun ideas, too. Well, beyond booze and carbs, that is. Come commiserate with us! Funny Thanksgiving wine labels via Barton Design Co. Listen to our Spawned podcast right now. This very minute! Right here! Then be sure to subscribe on iTunes so you never miss an episode.   Links...

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13 amazing, free Thanksgiving printables from a cute pie box to a fun I Spy game for kids.

I’ve always loved Thanksgiving and although I have been looking forward to it for weeks now, it feels like the events of the election may loom over the dinner table like 50-foot floats in the Macy’s Day Parade (except not as cute and friendly). It’s been an emotional November for many of us, but at the end of the day, Thanksgiving is all about gathering together, practicing gratitude, and remembering how important our friends and family are. So in the spirit of this special holiday, I’ve rounded up 13 free Thanksgiving printables — games, coloring pages, decor ideas, and more — to help us...

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Not Parent Approved: Like Cards Against Humanity…for kids.

With the massive popularity of Cards Against Humanity, it was only a matter of time before someone created a G-rated (ok, G-rated-ish) adaptation that pays homage to its irreverent mastery. Enter Not Parent Approved, a truly hilarious, very clever family card game that should be the breakout hit of the upcoming holiday season. Related: 8 of our favorite family games for 6 or more players Think of Not Parent Approved as a cross between the old Match Game (aw, we miss you Charles Nelson Reilly), Apples to Apples and CAH, in which all the players try to pick the most apt red card...

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8 fun and easy Thanksgiving crafts for preschool kids beyond tracing a hand to look like a turkey.

I truly love spending autumn weekends doing fall crafts with my nieces, and now that we’re done with pumpkins and ghosts, I’m looking into cool craft projects for Thanksgiving. I searched around and found some favorites — corn on the cob, the Mayflower, and of course, turkeys (so many turkeys!) — that are perfect for even the youngest preschool kids. Here are 8 of my favorites — all super fun and easy Thanksgiving crafts for kids. And all fridge-worthy.  Related: 6 adorable pinecone crafts that go way beyond wreaths. Hello, fall! Love that this Fork-Painted Turkey Craft at I Hear Arts n Crafts, doesn’t even require a...

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A lovely way for kids to send a letter of thanks to our troops on Veterans Day (or any other day).

Today, November 11, is Veterans Day. And while every day is a good day to honor our brave veterans and give thanks to soldiers and vets for their service, it’s always good to have a national holiday to inspire us. So many of us here come from military families, and as the stepdaughter of a veteran myself, I know just how much a message of thanks and gratitude can mean. My own girls call their Pop-Pop every year on Veterans Day to thank him and they write him letters of gratitude, like this one my youngest wrote last year, shown below. (You have to love...

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