Tag: family activities

Color sugar skulls for Dia de los Muertos.

Dia de los Muertos may sound ominous, but this holiday recognized in Mexico and throughout Latin America is traditionally a sweet time for families to come together to pray for and to celebrate their loved ones who have died. Those who follow the tradition devoutly will build an altar and honor their deceased with popular symbols like sugar skulls and skeletons, marigolds, and the favorite foods of the loved one. My kids and I are planning join in this year by completing these gorgeous sugar skull coloring pages.   This instantly downloadable 21-page sugar skull coloring pages for Dia de los Muertos from Etsy shop...

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14 of the very best kids’ Halloween apps: Perfect distraction while you sneak into the candy stash

You know what’s hard to find? Awesome Halloween apps for kids. So we’ve spent a good deal of time on Cool Mom Tech tracking down some of the very best ones apps you and your little ones, whether they prefer silly or spooky fun. Click over today and you’ll find 6 fun Halloween apps for kids, mostly for little ones, all of them really beautiful. No vector-art monsters here, just the good stuff. You should also check out our post on 8 awesome Halloween apps for kids of all ages, including my favorite for older kids–Figaro Pho Fear Factory which is like Cut the...

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The Book of Life movie review: A treat that will last long past Halloween

We sat down in the theater to see The Book of Life movie, and as the lights dimmed, my nine-year-old daughter whispered, I have literally been waiting to see this since the day we saw the preview! And indeed she had. After that many months of anticipation, I didn’t know if it could live up to her expectations, but indeed, The Book of Life movie is entrancing, charming, whimsical and wonderful. The gist is that in a small Mexican town long ago, Manolo and Joachim, friends and rivals since childhood, fight for the love of the gorgeous Maria, voiced by...

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The best kids and family albums of 2014: The Fids and Kamily Award winners

The Fids and Kamily Poll has been announcing the best kids music  of  the year for kids and families since 2006, and we’re always so glad to be a part of it, along with other top bloggers,  journalists, publicists and kids’ music radio show hosts who all have a passion for seeing the best kids music succeed. And, today, the top albums of 2014 were announced. Whoo! This award is a great way to honor those musicians and singers who have helped blast the negative stereotypes about lame kids’ music and who make raising kids so much more joyful–and danceable–for us modern families who...

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A Halloween gingerbread house? Oh yeah.

I typically think of gingerbread houses as a Christmas tradition, but my family is usually so slammed with other activities then that we don’t get around to it. So this year I’m thinking, why not build a candy house for the holiday that’s all about candy? As in Halloween. And now making said Halloween gingerbread house  is super easy with the Haunted House Decorating Kit from our creative friends at Sweet Thrills Bakeshop.   We were so happy with their edible menorah kits last year that we’re sure this Haunted House kit will be delicious too. It includes everything you need, from black gingerbread pieces to make...

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The most impressive handmade Halloween masks on Etsy. Who gets the best candy now?

I tend to think that making my kids’ Halloween costumes is a great idea. I also tend to be wrong. Not only does it always take way much time than I have, but it can end up being every bit as expensive as buying something. My 9-year-old is feeling like maybe a full costume isn’t cool anymore, so this year I’m helping him plan a simple Halloween costume around a really exquisite mask like these gorgeous handmade Halloween masks I’ve been admiring on Etsy for the last few weeks. As for my daughter, she still wants an elaborate costume, but maybe she can...

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5 simple tips to get kids involved in ending poverty

Getting my kids involved with helping others has always been an extremely important part of parenting for me, and I’ve done my best to include them in my own charitable passions when I can. But after attending the recent Global Citizen Festival on behalf of our sponsor (and event partner) Citi, I’ve been thinking more deeply about global poverty, an epidemic affecting a staggering 1.2 billion people, and how I can get my own kids involved.     Admittedly, poverty is not an easy topic to broach with kids, but it’s an extremely important one. Start when they’re young and it’s not only...

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DIY brings all the birds to the yard

It hasn’t yet snowed here in Colorado, but it’s only a matter of time before the flurries fly and the birds are scrambling for food. Because I love to craft pretty things that are also useful, I’ve been looking for DIY bird feeders. I’m so excited about all of these ideas that I can hardly wait to get started. Don’t tell, but I might even make a few of them without my kids. These cookie cutter bird feeders (above) from eighteen25 use gelatin to make the birdseed stick together. Then kids can press it into cookie cutters to make fun...

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DIY Board Games for kids gives family game night a creative twist

Playing a board game with the kids can be fun, but it’s bound to feel a lot more special when your kids get to put their own finishing touches on the games themselves, like they can with DIY Board Games. And, don’t worry: The “DIY” doesn’t mean they get to make up their own rules as they go along. DIY Board Games are a set of semi-finished games that let kids flex their creative muscles by customizing their boards and game pieces with tons of stickers and markers. Kids who are handy with the safety scissors can even assemble the pieces...

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DIYers: Get inspired with these very cool handmade rubber stamps

Ever since a Cool Mom Picks editor forwarded me a link to the Creatiate Etsy shop devoted solely to cool handmade rubber stamps, I’ve been imagining the inky possibilities. These stamps are gorgeous–like I wish I could spend a week stamping an entire wall in my house to make the world’s prettiest wallpaper gorgeous. And while that might be going a bit overboard, embellishing stationery, kids’ party invitations and loot bags, and making just about any flat surface lovelier isn’t, right? There are so many designs–see what sparks your own imagination.     The shop owner can also customize a stamp for...

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Check out what Laurie Berkner is serving up on Kids’ Place Live this weekend

If your kids can’t get enough of Laurie Berkner’s music, they’re going to eat up the news that she’s coming to Sirius XM’s Kids’ Place Live this weekend–and throughout the year–to promote healthy eating. Oh, and play lots of tunes, too. Her new hour-long program Laurie Berkner’s Garden: Eat, Play, Grow will air multiple times from Friday night through Sunday and stars both Laurie herself and Kids’ Place Live’s awesomely fun Mindy Thomas. This weekend’s show will also feature Catherine McCord, whose cookbook Weelicious has saved more than a few dinners in our home. With four different shows planned to...

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10 cool DIY leaf crafts for kids that they can actually do. (No offense, Pinterest.)

As the chill starts to hit the air and the sweaters come out from the back of the closet around here, that means it’s almost time for DIY leaf crafts for kids. Or hey, maybe you’ve already started? (Hey, Minnesota!) While there’s no shortage of stunning DIY craft ideas around the web using leaves, the results would make you all laugh hysterically should they fall into my not-too-crafty hands. Me? I’m a little more like, So? What can we do with a Sharpie, kids? With that in mind, I tracked down 10 inspiring but easy ideas that are made for actual doing, not just...

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Baby Loves Disco turns 10! Which kind of makes it Tween Loves Disco, huh?

I’ve been a huge fan (and friend) of Baby Loves Disco ever since I shook my groove thing at my first dance party with them back in 2006. Well, they’re turning ten this year (10!), and they’ve got a slew of cool dance parties all around the country to celebrate. They’ll be touring the U.S. all fall (starting with Baltimore tomorrow!) with fun events where you and your kids can cut a rug, get down, or do whatever it is that you love to do on the actual dance floor of a hip club–cool music included, although there’s no shortage of other...

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Game closet refresher: Doodle Quest challenges grown ups, too

It’s not always easy for us to find a game for kids that is doable, yet challenging, and that the entire family can play. What can we say, we have high standards. However cool-game maker Blue Orange’s new Doodle Quest is giving my family a run for our money, just in time for us to refresh the game closet as the weather starts to cool. And parents: Don’t get too cocky. You may find that this is one game you don’t have to pretend to lose. Doodle Quest is easy to start playing, something this impatient mama appreciates since nothing grinds my game-playing mojo to...

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Labor Day recipe ideas: Make your holiday barbecue extra tasty and delicious

If you’re like us and celebrating the unofficial end of summer and the start of school (whoo!) with some food and fun today, we rounded up a bunch of our favorite recipes that you can still whip up in time for your party or barbecue. Here’s to one last day of summer awesome before the craziness of back to school officially begins. Happy Labor Day, cool moms! DRINKS It’s the end of summer, so not just any margarita will do. Try one of these sophisticated margarita recipes and toast the end of August. Beat the heat with these delicious boozy slushie recipes. You...

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Adorably personalized library tote bags give kids one more reason not to lose those books.

As this crazy summer winds down I’m really looking forward to returning to our town’s library for after school hangs and rainy weekends. We’re there often, but no matter how hard we try to keep track of those borrowed books they tend to get lost in the household shuffle, so I exceptionally love the idea of this personalized library tote bag from our friends at Sarah + Abraham. This adorable customizable tote featuring the popular olligraphic designs we love will get your kids a little more excited when it’s time to make a library run. Kids can make this bag truly their own, choosing among four colors...

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The cutest way ever to get more parents talking to their babies

Want your baby to be smarter? Maybe you’ve seen all the research that says to talk to her. A lot. Especially in those early months and years. And of course you know that – what is parenting these days if not an exercise in reading way too much research from too many experts? Even so, I know that talking to my own babies could get pretty monotonous, so for other parents — or caregivers — who might need a little inspiration from time to time, I think this new, hip line of conversation-starting bodysuits and blankets at TalkReadSing.org are so smart. TalkReadSing is a...

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Great Sand Dunes National Park: The National Park family vacation idea you might not have considered.

With all the United States National Parks for us to explore and enjoy with our families, there are probably certain ones that pop to mind first: Yosemite, Yellowstone, Acadia, Sequoia, the Grand Canyon. But if you haven’t heard of Great Sand Dunes National Park in Colorado, we opted to go there for our own family vacation this summer and I can’t recommend it enough. And yes, I’m biased as a Colorado resident, but I couldn’t wait to tell you about it. If you think that strolling on soft, warm sand and hiking a ten thousand foot mountain pass can’t be done in the same...

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5 edible finger paint recipes for artists who find their work delicious

My nephew isn’t quite a year old yet, but his artistic parents sense that he is ready to express himself through finger paints–probably because of the messes he makes when left alone with a bowl of cereal. And while real paint isn’t a great idea for a child who wants to taste test everything, there are lots of fun and colorful finger paint recipes for edible finger paints that are just as much fun for sampling as they are for painting. At top, our own Stacie at One Hungry Mama shows how easy it is to use thick plain Greek yogurt to make...

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11 gourmet popsicle recipes that are easy enough to make with your kids on hot summer afternoons. Commence licking.

We’ve hit that sweltering time of summer when it feels like we’re about to melt here in the south, so I’m pulling out my popsicle molds and making the desserts my kids beg for on really hot days. Even though the flavors of these gourmet popsicle recipes are worthy of my local high-end popsicle stand, all of these recipes are easy enough to make with my kids. In fact, the hardest part will be just waiting for them to freeze. Unless of course you have a Zoku. With just the right amount of sweetness but still deliciously tart, the Grapefruit and Strawberry Greyhound cocktail popsicle (at top) by Bakers...

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