You know that museum in town you’ve been meaning to take your kids to but you just haven’t gotten to it? Yep, I have one too. Well turns out you have a chance to do it free. Because on September 26 this year, tons of museums, zoos, aquariums and science centers across the country are participating in Museum Day Live! and opening their doors to visitors for free and we think that’s just awesome. If you visit the page on Smithsonian.org — which is a pretty amazing site to explore with your kids, by the way — to print out a ticket you can take to a participating...Read More
Tag: family activities
So, you want to go to a resort with the fam on vacation? Lucky you. I just did it and I can help! But first know, that as with most anything that involves tiny humans, tweens, teens — or any combination of them — you’ll need a clear plan. And the best way to start building one is to ask yourself an important question: What kind of vacation do you want to have? Are you going for easy or adventurous? Do you want it to be laid-back or structured? Basically, what’s going to leave everyone giddy and smiling? (Except for maybe any moody,...Read More
12 creative tips for getting your kids ready for kindergarten. Because, kindergarten! Also, pass the tissues.
We are having so much fun with our kids home for summer break, the occasional sibling squabble aside, but we’re already thinking about back-to-school. Especially on behalf of those of you in the south who start in what, like four minutes? There’s so much to do to get ready any given school year, but those of us with kids going off to kindergarten for the first time (sniff, sniff), we are always looking for tips for getting kids kindergarten ready, to be sure that they — and we — have a successful first year at school. So we are really excited to...Read More
If your aim is to get the kids to spend as much time in the pool as possible before summer ends, we’ve got you covered with 10 of the coolest, most creative pool games for toddlers to teens. Not only are these ideas a whole lot of fun, but they also help kids become more comfortable and confident in the water, something that’s so important to us, since we want those little tadpoles of ours to be safe when they’re playing in the pool. Especially when they are swimming with a bunch of their giggling, shouting, jumping friends. Related: Pool safety: 11 top tips for keeping kids safe this...Read More
Little Passports’ new gift subscription now lets younger kids get in on the world travel adventures too.
Even before she had made her first trip out of the country, my daughter loved the subscription her aunt bought her to Little Passports when she was in grade school. Each month, she’d receive a packet of information and little trinkets about a new country that she could tuck safely into her small blue suitcase. If you have younger kids, you may be happy to learn that even they can take a virtual trip around the world now, with Little Passports Early Explorers. It comes with specially designed materials and items for kids between the ages of 3-5, no real passport needed. Or expensive tickets to Egypt or France....Read More
This post is brought to you by Hulu. So by now, you all may know that we are pop culture junkies to varying degrees around here. We are also unabashedly nostalgic. Which is why our newest sponsor Hulu (yay, Hulu!) is pretty much making our days right now — or late nights, really — with their huge roster of classic TV shows available for streaming. We’re not even kidding, you’re going to be so down the throwback TV rabbit hole after you see how many wonderful blasts from your past are available on demand, right now, this very second. (Aw, Les Nessman. We...Read More
Hi Cool Mom Picks! Any suggestions for workbooks or activities to help prepare my child–and keep them out of my hair (ha)–for the summer between kindergarten and first grade? -Chaitali Ahhhh, summer! No school lunches to pack, no buses to catch, and yet, now you have a curious, energetic, and sometimes b-o-r-e-d child to entertain for weeks on end. We love that you want to keep your child busy and engaged with educational activities that will help them get ready for the next year of school. We’re all big believers in tucking in some fun learning activities in between beach...Read More
Music is such an important part of children’s lives from both an educational and entertainment standpoint. As a former music therapist and college professor I might be a little biased, but there are plenty of personal stories and scientific studies to back up the theories. What a lot of parents don’t know is that it a child’s music aptitude (think, music IQ) is still forming up through the age of 9. So while some kids are definitely “born with it,” even if your kids don’t seem to be, you can still absolutely raise their level of musical intelligence in those early,...Read More
Put a little spring in your step with some great new tunes for the kids that will get your toes tapping too. With new albums from some of our long-time favorites, as well as some artists that our kids will recognize from TV, there’s a great variety of new music, as evidenced in the four new releases we’ve featured here. Trees, the delightful new collaborative release by Molly Ledford of Lunch Money and versatile kindie musician Billy Kelly, is the musical equivalent of a ramble through the woods where every path leads somewhere fun. Starting with the title song, Trees,...Read More
Before slipping on my pair of 3-D glasses at a recent press screening of the new Home movie, I realized it had been a while since I’d seen an animated feature in a theater. I’m sure that will change drastically as my three-year-old son gets a bit older and can get through more than a 30-minute chunk of Cars from our sofa. So I had two questions in mind as Home‘s opening sequence began: Will I enjoy this PG-rated film as a grown up? And is this something my son would like? The short answer to both questions is yes, but with the caveat that...Read More
Every year, my family looks for cool ways to decorate Easter eggs that doesn’t require crafting skills far beyond what I have myself — which is not much. That said, my kids adore the tradition and love experimenting with new ways to play around with decorating eggs. As for me, I like them to look pretty when we’re done. (I’ve never been one for all those stickers that come in the egg-dyeing kits.) So I’ve tracked down 17 really great tutorials that are all about color and pattern, but that the kids can still have fun with on Easter Sunday without getting too...Read More
Imagine if you didn’t have electricity at home and your kids had to go out and sit under a street lamp on a deserted street, alone each night, in order to finish their homework. That’s exactly what a lot of kids face in other parts of the world, though when we think of “energy poverty,” we don’t always think about such relatable examples of its effect. That’s why, as we turn our clocks forward for Daylight Savings Time this weekend, I love the idea of using it as an opportunity to talk to our kids about why having access to energy matters. And that’s what the...Read More
For a little Chinese New Year celebration this evening, I’ll be tracking down some delicious take-out dumplings at my local Chinese food joint (in lieu of my Chinese mom’s amazing cooking, sniffle), and printing out a few copies of this free Year of the Goat printable coloring page that I know my kids will love. What a cool, modern design to bring the Chinese Zodiac to life–which trust me, is pretty hard to find, if you’ve ever searched for free Chinese New Year printables. All you need is your printer, some crayons, and you’ve got a fun, simple way to share a cultural experience with your kids....Read More
If like me, you fell in love with the art of animation all over again after losing yourself in the artistry of releases like The Book of Life, The Boxtrolls, and the totally-robbed-by-the-award-show-establishment LEGO Movie, then listen up: The NY International Children’s Film Festival is coming! (Yes, I am a total animation geek. Let’s talk Bill Plympton sometime.) – Don’t miss an exclusive discount for our readers below – Looking at the terrific lineup, I was immediately excited about the North American premiere of When Marnie Was There (above). This is the latest offering from Studio Ghibli, directed by Hiromasa Yonebayashi who brought us the wonderful The...Read More
Sometimes I see the same crafts in crafting books for kids over and over again, but the ideas in the new e-book Happy Handmade, are fresh and fun, with diverse perspectives from 17 creative contributors. We’re talking respected craft and DIY bloggers like Mari Richards at Small for Big, Eva Monleón at Misako Mimoko, and Ana at Babble Dabble Do. From scented orange-peel candles to a braided belt to sock puppets and doll houses made from shoe boxes, there’s something for every crafty kid here. And fear not crafting newbies; these are mostly simple, 101-level craft projects you can make with materials you likely already have at home, like toilet...Read More
If you have young ones, we recently shared 23 fun, educational activities for preschoolers and young kids. But as your kids get older, it can even more challenging to find cool, educational indoor activities when they’re clamoring to play with the XBox. So we’ve put together 21 fantastic ideas early grade schoolers, to help grow their minds and muscles, whether you’re snowed in, watching a cold rainfall outside, or live in Southern California and just need to get out of the balmy 73-degree weather for an hour or two. (Oh, the problems.) These are the ideas that we put to use...Read More
The Rainbow Loom band bracelets (and necklaces, charms, rings, headbands, oh my) we’ve shared here are just as popular as ever, as kids find new ways to put them to use. Now, the trend is to ditch the looms entirely and learn how to make loom bands with your fingers. Our kids have been doing it, and they’re making the coolest crafts during playdates, on long car rides, or while watching TV. I still have bands scattered all over my house, and our loom band tutorial roundup (and our advanced loom band tutorials) continue to be some of the most popular posts on our site. But if...Read More
23 ideas for fun, educational indoor activities for preschoolers and young kids. Because we need all the ideas we can get!
After the initial “yay, snow!” cheers comes the realization that you now have to come up with educational activities for your preschoolers or kindergarteners, to help keep them busy–and ideally, learning–all day long. And while I totally understand letting PBS air a few more shows than you might normally allow, I also think an unexpected day stuck indoors is a great way to try out new activities that give their brains a workout and help reinforce important skills. It’s the kind of stuff you may not have time to do together on a regular old day. That’s why I’m so pleased...Read More
Today we celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday and his innumerable contributions to this nation’s history and advancement and books for kids about MLK can be a great way to help little ones understand the importance of the day. Although it’s a holiday in most states and therefore, understandably, a day to relax, I do like that many Americans instead treat it as a “day on” and seek out ways to volunteer in their communities and participate in one of the Day of Service events scheduled across the country. It’s an excellent opportunity to usher in the concept of service to...Read More
Shopping for baby gifts might just be among our favorite kind of shopping to do, and we’ve featured no shortage of amazing baby gift ideas on our site this year. (If we do say so ourselves). After much consideration, deliberation, and debate, we’ve narrowed it down to the very coolest, all of which we would have loved to receive ourselves when our little ones were born. Here, our picks for 12 of the best new baby gifts of 2014. That will be just as cool to give to some lucky parents in 2015. This is post is part of of our annual series of Editors...Read More