Tag: gardening

Web coolness – Movies recreated in LEGO, Halloween costumes to avoid, and the Brandy Melville debate

Here are our favorite links from around the web this week. Hope you like them too!   Stop-motion scenes from 60 movies all recreated in LEGOs. By a 15-year-old! Brilliant. A great reason to become a Cool Mom Tech subscriber today. As in…today. Right now. Stat. Mingos, Rapartment, and Extrasize: We never get tired of funny words that kids mispronounce. A popular brand of tween and teen clothes that only comes in small: Heated debate on our Facebook page. When does social media start to feel not-so-social? Tough discussion about racially sensitive Halloween costumes. Would this change how your kids dress...

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Plant Stamps: Seeded stickers that do more than ruin your car windows (says this mom)

Stickers can be the bane of a parent’s existence, especially when they’re plastered to the car windows or gumming up the vacuum cleaner. Ask me how I know. But a mom-and-pop company from Massachusetts caught our attention among the Martha Stewart American Made finalists for turning boring old stickers into a craft project for kids, a nifty wedding gift, a way to make the world a prettier place, and a great business employing people with disabilities. Sweet… basil! Plant Stamps are made in the USA and come in a variety of styles to suit any occasion from a wedding to a baby...

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I am Groot. Well, these cool, sprouting pencils are.

Thanks to Guardians of the Galaxy, a sentient tree who can only say three–fine, four–words is this summer’s coolest superhero. And when I think of how cool these plantable, sprouting pencils will look once they bloom in a pot of soil, all I can think about is baby Groot, dancing. Which means your kids can do their homework with Groot. Sprout pencils are made of sustainably-grown cedar with a special, water-activated seed capsule where the eraser should go. Once your pencil is too short to write with, just follow the included directions to plant it. Soon you’ll have a pot...

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9 garden toys and gifts for kids that will help get their hands dirty.

If you have yet to get your kids into gardening, you’re in for a treat – kids are naturals. Last year my husband built us a small garden box in the back yard, and my kids and I planted some seeds and watched them grow into tomatoes and squash and peppers, which became spaghetti and casseroles and fajitas. It was such a fun process for them to see how their dirty fingers and hard work produced something so wonderful.  Let alone teaching them that no, tomatoes don’t come “from the store.” To get your kids excited for gardening, try some of...

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Edible Schoolyard NYC gets busy in Harlem

I get so excited about school programs that are innovative and exciting for kids, and one of my favorites is the seed-to-table education offered by Alice Walter’s esteemed Edible Schoolyard program. In New York’s East Harlem neighborhood, where Edible Schoolyard NYC operates, less than 2% of grocery stores have fresh leafy greens available. It’s hard to condemn kids for not eating healthier when they don’t actually have those options available to them. So SYNYC is doing something about it  by creating schoolyard gardens, and this week they’ve launched an Edible Schoolyard NYC Crowdrise campaign to raise $50,000 to benefit several schools’ gardens. This could really change the...

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Get dirty this summer with 52 cool gardening project for kids

We’ve featured some really great micro-gardening tools here over the years, like the cool Foodie Garden Kits and the Click & Grow smart herb garden which help to create gardening projects for those of you with kids, but not a lot of space for traditional sowing and planting. However if you’re ready to take it outside, be sure to take a look at Gardening Lab for Kids by Renata Fossen Brown. This fun collection of DIY activities–or gardening “experiments,” as the author calls them–ranges from building rain barrels and gardening tool boxes to making a desert terrarium or growing a tropical porch container. My kids were immediately drawn...

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Pretty herb labels that help you tell your sorrel from your sage

It’s the time of year that I can go for a nice, beautiful little indoor herb garden on my urban windowsill. I love the idea of always having fresh basil for pesto, and fresh mint for lemonade or iced tea.  A Click and Grow Smart Herb Garden is a great way to start, but when you’re ready to replant into larger individual containers, it’s nice to make them pretty. These herb labels for flower pots can help. And aren’t they sweet on a simple, handpainted, two-tone flower pot? Even I can do that. It’s a neat idea if you have...

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Collecting treasures from the garden. Hopefully not the live ones though.

I have to say that one of my proud parent moments is realizing my girls aren’t afraid of bugs or worms or things they see in the garden. Of course I can’t take credit for it at all (thanks, grandparents!) but nonetheless, I love encouraging their affection for the treasures they find and collect as the rummage through the grass. The garden treasure box at Romp is one of the most lovely little gifts for curious explorers and collectors of any age. There are little boxes for storing flowers, leaves, acorns, feathers and more, each marked with charming illustrations...

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Web Coolness: Mother’s Day gifts, guerrilla gardening, and the coolest Star Wars walker

Here are some of our favorite links from around the web this week. We hope you like them too! We’re so proud of our brand-new Mother’s Day Gift Guide and think you’ll love it too! Don’t miss your chance to win some pretty awesome prizes. And stop by the Cool Mom Picks Shop for several Mother’s Day-themed collections. Love seeing people committing “random acts of gardening” in unlikely places. Such pretty spring flower gift tags from Mr. Printables. Be ready for any gift-giving occasion with a well-stocked gift closet. 20 Kinds of Mom Guilt, and why we should ignore them...

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Grow your own vegetables with these cool new garden kits

I’ve been fortunate to have lots of neighbors with green thumbs, who generously offer me the extra spoils of their backyard gardens. But this year, mostly due to the begging of my children, I’ve decided to give gardening a try myself, and these kits might be the perfect place to start. The new Foodie Garden Kits at Cool Mom Picks fave Poketo give you everything you need to start a little home garden, including coco fiber wafers, seeds, and the very important instructions, all packed in convenient rectangular tin planter. You can group hot peppers, tomatoes, or what I...

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A unique party favor for a forest of one’s own – The terrarium kit

The start of the school year means once again, the hunt for creative party favors and teacher gifts begins. Well we’ve brought you cookies in a jar, dreidels in a jar, and pickles in a jar. Now we’ve got a forest in a jar– made by your very own kid. The Terrarium Kit from the Acme Party Box company is a sweet way to bring the outside in. The kid includes everything you need to make one sweet little terrarium– except the soil and plants, although they include a guide with helpful suggestions so you don’t end up with...

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Birthday party ideas for a 4 year old with a garden theme? Reader Q&A

I am planning a garden-themed 4th birthday party for my daughter in a few weeks. I need some creative inspiration! So far, we’re going to have the kids each plant something in a pot to take home .. And that’s all. I need ideas for other things – decor, food, goody bags – that will play up the theme, but not in a cheesy/over the top/super expensive way. Help? -Cheers & thanks, Jen H. Wow what a fun theme for a kid’s birthday, especially in the summer. Here are some ideas for your daughter’s party. Hope they help!  ...

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How does your garden grow? With SeedBallz

If there are three things I was sure would never happen in my life, it would be: 1) writing the word “SeedBallz”; 2) knowing what to do with something called SeedBallz; 3) having kids who would fall in love with something called SeedBallz. The lesson? Never say never. All three not only happened–they happened simultaneously. And it was a blast. SeedBallz are a mix of clay, compost, and seeds, all rolled into little marbles, and they happen to be hand-rolled by developmentally disabled workers, who find fun and therapy in the task. The ball shape makes SeedBallz easy to plant (perfect...

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Gardening. You know, for kids.

I’m not the best gardener — my entire vegetable haul, from June to September probably equals little more than one large salad — but gardening really is good for the soul. And, there are always gardening chores that even the smallest kiddos can do, even if it’s just pulling weeds or digging a hole. Smear on some sunscreen, pull on some gloves, and dig in! The super cute, super durable children’s gardening gloves from Ethel Gloves might just be the thing to lure your little ones into the fresh air in early spring. Made with breathable stretch fabric plus a...

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Growing edibles just got easy. Like black-thumb-proof easy.

Grow-it-yourself is the new do-it-yourself. Unfortunately, I tend have the touch of death for plants. But you know what? I didn’t let looking awful in denim overalls stop me from wearing them throughout the 90’s, so I haven’t let being plant kryptonite stop me from growing my own juicy tomatoes and fresh herbs.  I’ve got a black-thumb-proof plan for growing edibles this season so that I can cook with homegrown herbs and produce. And, you know, hang with the GIY cool kids–also known as the hungry boy and his hungry brother. Determined to grow, too? Here’s what to do...

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Getting kids excited about gardening

I envy those people (you know who you are!) who pick fresh tomatoes from their garden before making a bruschetta with ingredients all grown in their backyard. Believe me, I have tried to be one of these people. But, I was born without a green thumb. This has led me to unbelievably friendly relationships with my local farmers and Farmer’s Markets. But this fabulously cool idea allows me to have my cake–or really, kale salad–and eat it too, all while getting the kids involved. In the Koop packages varieties of seeds in an egg carton, all equally intriguing and...

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Cut and run

Of all the gifts my sigOth has given to me over all the years, there’s one that I think might be my very favorite: garden shears. Yes, garden shears. And I don’t even have a garden. We are rarely without cut flowers in the house, and it kind of makes me crazy to try and saw off the stems with a chef’s knife. It made him more crazy that I was using his good knives in the first place. Thus – the Celia Birtwell garden pruners (or secateur if you’re fancy) that make me happy every time I take...

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Magic mushrooms

I am an earnest, but distracted gardener. I have a garden box in my yard, one withholding lemon tree, and an egg carton (maybe) sprouting herbs on my windowsill. I’ve also grown a fungus or two, but it’s always been accidental and I never tried to eat them. That’s about to change. Back to the Roots is a sustainable, urban mushroom farm started by a group of friends in college, and their Easy-to-Grow Mushroom Garden couldn’t be easier. You can grow your own gourmet oyster mushrooms in as little as 10 days, right in the box. Just set it on a windowsill, mist...

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A plant a day keeps… um… me entertained and educated?

I don’t subscribe to many things online because I hate spam– but I do make exceptions. For Cool Mom Picks newsletters, for example. And now, for the free Plant of the Day email by Your Garden Show. See, I have a black thumb and a very green brain. But I love the fun plant facts from former Better Homes and Gardens Garden Editor Mark Kane that now arrive in my inbox, and I’d imagine a lot of parents, educators and general horticulture fans will love it too. I signed up for Plant of the Day myself, just to make...

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Planting the seeds of greatness (and also tomatoes)

Right now, I’m looking at the wilted, brown leaves of my dying container garden and ruing the white-hot Atlanta sun. I’m pretty sure we spent $30 on supplies that produced four very small tomatoes and one hideous cucumber. But the joy on my kid’s face as we sprouted, planted, and nurtured our little garden on the back porch? Priceless. [don’t miss learning about a cool giveaway after the jump] Knowing what it can mean to our children to take an active part in gardening ups my appreciation of the Seed Savers Exchange, which is the largest non-governmental seed bank...

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