Cool fidget spinners and fidget cubes are absolutely taking over the world these days. In fact we’ve compared notes here on team Cool Mom Picks and yep, kids across the country are collectively losing their ever-loving minds over these fidget spinners. Stores are sold out and kids are spinning obsessively. All. day. long. For some kids who have trouble staying still or need to redirect all that physical energy to help them stay focused, the original KCHKUI fidget cubes can be truly fantastic. A few of the moms here have seen some great results with our own kids, and some of...Read More
Tag: gifts for teens + tweens
I’ve had a thing for layering multiple bracelets for a while now, which has slowly replaced my former compulsion to wear massive cocktail rings all the time. I will say it’s a little easier to put on gloves in cold weather, ha. If you’ve been stuck in a jewelry rut, it’s such an easy, fun way to jazz up even jeans and a t-shirt or make a stuffy black dress a little more contemporary. When I’m running out the door, I just grab four or five bracelets, like the ones here and suddenly I feel “dressed.” Since people are always asking...Read More
My kids are obsessed with their dry erase boards (it’s the little things, you know?). In fact, my daughter has figured out she can use the dry erase markers on her glossy coloring book covers and wipe those down too. Now, they’re playing games like teacher and student whenever they can, with their markers and books in hand. So when I spotted the reusable Wipebook dry erase notebook over at The Grommet, I instantly knew this would be a huge hit with my kids. Related: The coolest birthday gifts for 7 year olds This notebook has 20 reusable pages that can be written and drawn...Read More
OMG! We found a magazine for tween girls so cool that the only thing my 10-year-old daughter could find to complain about was that some of the fonts were hard to read. High praise indeed, if you’re familiar with hormonal, too-cool-for-school preteen ways. Seriously, though. If you’ve got a tween girl, you’ve got to check out Bright Lite magazine. Related: 9 great TV shows for tweens that you might not have considered Bright Lite, which is run by two moms, is a magazine for tween girls written by tween girls, and curated by an editorial board of — you guessed...Read More
We can’t wait to read our way through this 100 essential novels scratch-off poster from Pop Chart Lab.
Looking for a good book to read this winter? This classic novels scratch-off poster chart at Pop Chart Lab has your next 100 book recommendations for you, with the most satisfying check-off list ever. This framed art poster has 100 classic novels — books like Pride and Prejudice, Fahrenheit 451, Gone with the Wind, and Animal Farm — with covers partially covered in scratch-off gold. As you make your way through the list, you scratch off each one to reveal the whole cover. Feeling satisfyingly smug yet? Related: 7 books to help you feel fabulous right now (because shame is so 2016) Now, this is Pop Chart...Read More
It’s safe to say that during Black History Month in particular, our children are learning all about our nation’s great civil rights leaders, like Martin Luther King, Jr. and Rosa Parks and Frederick Douglass. But, if you’ve seen (or, heck, even heard about) the film Hidden Figures, it’s been an awakening for a lot of parents and educators that there are so many more African-American pioneers who deserve the spotlight too. Even my mother-in-law, an 83-year-old Black woman, had never heard of Katherine Goble Johnson, Mary Jackson, or Dorothy Vaughan — the brilliant women who were instrumental in helping launch the first U.S. astronaut into orbit. Thankfully, that’s...Read More
Our friend Christine Koh, she of the wonderful gold personalized unicorn tee (featured as one of our favorite cool birthday gifts for tweens and tweens) is at it again. Her shop, which features beautifully designed advocacy tees each supporting an excellent cause, now has two new designs with 20% of the proceeds going to one of our favorite orgs, the ACLU Nationwide. Check out the shop for the fierce Rise Up tee and the gold stamped Equality tee, both of which I love so much…well, considering the cause, the designs themselves, and the opportunity to support an indie maker mom with my purchase,...Read More
Members of the Rebel Alliance, big and small, rejoice! We’ve found the perfect weapon to protect you from the damp forests of Endor, the withering sun of Tatooine, or, you know, some light drizzle on your commute to school. We are so excited about these Star Wars lightsaber umbrellas — an essential accessory, if you ask me, for any Star Wars fanatic needing some rad rebel gear to hold them over until The Last Jedi opens nationwide (just 324 more days, yay!). Related: 5 of the hottest Star Wars toys your kids totally want. Trust us. You’ll look like a real...Read More
Once again, we’re happy to have compiled the best lists of all the best children’s books of the year, curated by the top publishers, reviewers, organizations, and bloggers we respect. And boy, was it a fantastic year for children’s literature and storybooks. You’ll surely find lots of great new discoveries from the New York Times to the American Library Association, from NPR to well-curated blogs like Brainpickings and Brightly and…well, us! So start with our own list of the best children’s books of 2016, then check out some other perspectives. We bet a few of your kids’ favorites will be on here, and you’ll surely find some new ones you’ll be excited to add to...Read More
As the year comes to a close, we’re looking back at our picks for the best children’s books of 2016 — according to our editors, writers, and of course our children! What a perfect way to kick off our Editors Picks of the Year. As our readers know, we all adore books here at Cool Mom Picks and we’ve collectively read hundreds of great kids’ books this year, from the sweetest board books for babies, to excellent picture books for early readers, to compelling graphic novels — and it’s not an easy job to whittle it down to just a few favorites. Ultimately, we go with the books...Read More
The ultimate list of awesome last-minute holiday gift ideas. We’ve got you covered, procrastinators!
Every year, I convince myself that this is the year I won’t be scrambling to find great last-minute holiday gifts; that this is the year I “shop all year” for great stuff for my friends and family and stash it away. But..nope. How is it Christmas week already? Oof. Fret not, fellow procrastinators! You don’t necessarily have to shell out for express-expedited-Santa’s-reindeer-special-overnight-shipping. I mean you can, but instead we’ve got some brilliant last-minute holiday gift ideas and tips so you can get those presents under the tree or by the menorah in record time. (And don’t forget, lucky Hanukkah revelers, if you’re...Read More
It’s that time of year when your kids will be getting lots (and lots) of gifts, which means it’s also that time when we as parents try to teach our kids a little something about gratitude, and a great way to do that is by having them write out thank you cards. Real cards. With a pen. When my daughters were younger, it was easy to get them to sit down and write notes of thanks to family and friends. Now that they are 9 and almost 13, not so much. But getting tweens and teens to send out actual thank you notes (because, no,...Read More
With the perfectly timed December launch of Rogue One, of course Star Wars toys for kids are all the rage. Again. If you’re looking for an awesome gift for your little padawan — even if he or she isn’t quite so little — here are 5 of the hottest Star Wars toys right now that we wouldn’t mind getting in our own Tauntaun fur-lined stockings. But hurry, with all the urgency of a quadjumper pilot using hyperspeed! Because if you order all these Star Wars toys now, you can still get them in time for Christmas or Hanukkah delivery — most with...Read More
These memories brought to you on behalf of JCPenney We spend so much time around here thinking about the best gifts to give to those we love, that sometimes we forget about ourselves and our own gifts! (Is that a mom thing?) So we asked a few of our writers and editors to spend a little time thinking about the most memorable holiday gifts they’ve received over the years, those gifts big and small that brought them joy, and to share them here. Oof, what memories. From Allison’s unexpected surprise from Santa, to Jane’s beginning of a Christmas tradition, to Kristen’s gift that meant so much...Read More
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...Read More
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...Read More
If you’ve got a stylish woman in your life, I’ve got some really fantastic ideas for you for beauty stocking stuffers. My checklist: They have to be practical, useful, affordable (well, relatively) and yet still totally fun to receive. Maybe things she would love but would never get for herself? In other words, sorry store-brand dental floss. You may be practical, but you’re not making the list. So here are 16 of my own favorite beauty stocking stuffers that include practical tools and special little beauty indulgences, most of which are fixtures in my own handbag and medicine cabinet. They’re guaranteed to...Read More
17 of the best subscription gifts for kids: From babies to teens, we’ve found something for everyone.
It feels like the holidays are going to be here in a minute, and I’m not ready! If you’re like me and are still scrambling for a few great gifts that will make your kids think you’re pretty awesome, then you might want to look into one of the cool subscription gifts for kids we’ve been scouting out. Over the past couple of years, we’ve seen so many companies with such good ideas for subscription boxes that range from developmental toys for babies to science kits for our bigger kids. And we know from experience that our kids are thrilled to receive actual, real packages...Read More
Whether you’re finishing up your holiday shopping or just getting started (hey, no judgment here!) we always love finding cool gifts that are easy to get a hold of and won’t break the budget. Even better when they’re all at the same shop, so you can just zip around one store, or click around a single website and check off everyone on your list. This holiday season, we’re so happy to welcome back our sponsor JCPenney, especially because they’ve got everyone in your family covered with tons of fantastic brands and big sales on so many fabulous gifts, from chic fashion finds to toys for the kids to...Read More
I admit I am very skeptical of subscription boxes of clothing like Stitchfix (we published a terrific, brutally honest she said/she said post on it that’s worth a read) since I have very particular tastes and I tend to know what shapes I can wear and what I can’t. So, no surprise, my kids also have very particular tastes and I have had yet to try one of the new trends in boxes of clothing for kids — until Rockets of Awesome, which was founded by former Cricket’s Circle CEO and mom, Rachel Blumenthal. Mamas? I am a total convert. They sent me a credit...Read More
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