Tag: gifts for teens + tweens

5 creative ways to make personalized candy favors and gifts the coolest ever. Look what we made!

My kids believe they are the World’s Greatest Fans of Dylan’s Candy Bar. Which is hilarious, considering that every single one of the zillions of kids who visit their shops each year also believe that they are the World’s Greatest Fans of Dylan’s Candy Bar. So when they joined on as our newest sponsor (yay!), and asked us to take a look at their new selection of personalized candy favors and gifts at the Dylan’s Candy Bar online Design Shoppe (double yay!), you have no idea how quickly I raised my hand. (Sorry, CMP comrades — early bird gets the chocolate.)   -Special Offer:...

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17 fun pencil cases for writers, book lovers and word nerds. Like us!

We love pencil cases! They’re where we put all our pencils! And pens, and earbuds, and erasers, and… pretty much anything that’ll fit. As our kids head back to school, we’re getting serious about corralling clutter, and if we can do it with flair, even better. So we’ve put together a ton of cool pencil cases especially geared toward lovers of books and writing. Or, as we like to call ourselves, word nerds. And we’re so pleased that this post is brought to you by our newest sponsor Pentel because, hello? What writer doesn’t adore premium quality pens that help you express your own writing style and creativity....

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What makes back-to-school gifts more special? We’re gonna go with llamas.

If you’ve done any back-to-school shopping lately, you may have noticed, like we have, that llamas are taking over the world. Quietly. And with deceptive cuteness because let me tell you, llamas mean business. The takeover may be inevitable at this point, so I’ve rounded up some of the most adorable llama-themed back-to-school items from around the web that I’ve found. Isn’t it nice when trends are stuff we can say we liked “before they were cool?” Yeah, foxes are kind of 2015. Don’t even get us started on owls. Related: Cool, colorful school supplies to make September more fun | Back to School Guide...

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Cleary Bikes: Like having a mountain, road, and BMX bike, all in one

With four kids who can ride their bikes to school on pavement and sidewalks, but also love to do a little off-roading as well, it’s been a little challenging trying to figure out what kind of bike to get them. Until I discovered Cleary Bikes, which are the perfect mix of mountain, road, and BMX. When the Cleary bike box arrived at our house to test out, I was pleased to discover that they come 99% assembled, which meant it didn’t take long until my kids were riding it around our neighborhood. And then fighting over who got to ride it around...

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Cool, colorful school supplies to make September a little more fun | Back to School Guide 2016

So once you’ve gotten the hand sanitizer, the tissue boxes, and everything else on that classroom shopping list, it’s time to have a little fun with some colorful school supplies! We always recommend getting a little goodie or two for the kids that gets them more excited about going back to school, whether it’s a cute backpack charm, a personalized notebook, a pencil case with their favorite character, or even a set of #2 pencils that are just that much cooler than your standard issue yellow pencils. With that, we had the best time putting together a rainbow of cool school...

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Real Kids Sunglasses: Blending style with UVA/UVB protection

I’m like a lot of parents, in that I know my kids should be wearing sun protection for their eyes, but I’m not inclined to drop a lot on kids’ sunglasses. Then I started thinking, if I’m spending $15–20 on safe kids’ sunscreen that gives you maybe a week’s worth of protection before you need a new one, why wouldn’t I spend around that much on good, polarized kids’ sunglasses? So now I’ve got a new mindset. Related: 6 pairs of perfect sunglasses for kids We’ve recommended some terrific kids’ sunglasses over the years, including Baby Banz and Babiators. And now I’m happy to add Real Kids Shades...

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A quick, natural skincare routine for tweens and teens from an expert

When it comes to tween and teen skin, and figuring out the skincare routine that will work best for them, I like to take the less is more approach — at least until action is really needed. When I was younger, I had great skin until I started trying out all sorts of different products on them. Then I went back to using natural skincare solutions, and thankfully it calmed my skin down again. So if you’ve got a tween or teen with normal skin and no serious skin problems — which might require a visit to a dermatologist or your...

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Could you use a little box of joy these days?

Our friend Marisa Cummings, the accomplished illustrator and force behind  Creative Thursday, has launched an adorable box of happiness and inspiration, as she calls it. Or, more succinctly, a Box of Joy. They’ve been so popular that there are only a limited number left, but if you have a friend, sister, niece, or tween or teen daughter who needs a little pick-me-up, this could do the trick. The box comes in two sizes, complete with a surprise selection of adorable items Marisa has created, from her original canvas wall art, to mugs, notebooks, and even fabric. Think for a moment; I imagine there’s...

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Shop Art Theft: A site to support indie artists, not the retailers ripping them off.

After following the awful account of indie artist Tuesday Bassen and her legal struggles with Zara, which we shared a couple weeks back,  we reaffirm our ongoing, ten-year commitment to supporting small makers and original artists — especially when they’re being ripped off by big retailers. (Sorry are we supposed to say allegedly ripped off? How about allegedly ripped off hashtag-eyeroll?) Now there’s a website from one of the artists involved in the case that makes it even easier to get the real goods. The new Shop Art Theft documents side-by-side photos of the merch sold at big retailers, alongside the original work of artists like Tuesday,...

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The Disney LEGO castle that has us all wishing upon a star.

We all know that there are some pretty amazing possibilities when it comes to LEGOs, from the skills they develop to the fantastical forms they can take. But the new LEGO Disney Castle is honestly pretty jaw-dropping. Disney fans, this is no glorified plastic silhouette of the castle. It’s incredibly detailed, with over 4,000 pieces (yep, you read that right) for your kid’s construction pleasure, along with a few of their favorite characters. But before you get lost in a Fantasia-like stupor looking at these pictures, know that the asking price is definitely a little steep ($349.99) for a...

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Lisa Frank adult coloring books! Because who can’t use more rainbows?

When I was a kid, one of the most exciting things about going back to school was getting to pick out a new Lisa Frank notebook. What would it be this year? A unicorn with wings and a flowing, rainbow mane? A dolphin family swimming in an exotic cove while a neon pink sun sets above them? It was a highlight. So the fact that a new line of Lisa Frank adult coloring books is just out, as the illustrator herself announced on her Instagram feed recently, gives me all kinds of happy feels. Related: 21 of the coolest coloring books for adults We...

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The clever Bring Your Own Book game is our new favorite for family game night.

Now that my kids are old enough to play “real” games — you know, the ones where I don’t have to let them win — I love finding new clever and fun options for when we all gather around the table to play. So I was really excited to learn about Bring Your Own Book, a truly unique activity for our family game night. Created first by Matthew Moore and Luke Nalker, who launched it successfully via Kickstarter, it has been newly released by Gamewright, one of our favorite game companies, for people ages 12+. Since each game only lasts about 20 minutes, it’s perfect for families who might...

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Beyond Oh The Places You’ll Go: 8 inspirational books for graduation gifts that become keepsakes

While there are so many graduation gift ideas that we could give to our accomplished kids, friends and relatives, we especially love the idea of giving a special, inspirational book for graduation gifts. Especially when it delivers messages of empowerment, adventure, and pursuing one’s dreams. Whether you’re feeling wildly sentimental about your babies embarking on the Kindergarten journey or your grown-too-sooners headed off to college, believe us when we say, we know the feeling all too well. So we’ve put together 8 really lovely options that we hope will remain on their bookshelves for life. And yes, we do think those 18-year-olds who are heading...

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A patriotic T-shirt that reminds us of what makes America wonderful.

Though I’ve heard a lot of people joke that they’ll be shipping themselves over the Canadian border if this year’s presidential election doesn’t go the way they hope, I know that for the vast majority of us, there’s no place like home. Especially the home we’ve created for our kids; you know, the one that promotes the best qualities our country was built upon like freedom, acceptance, and diversity. So if you too want your kids and others to remember why we think America is already great, thankyouverymuch, here’s a wonderfully patriotic T-shirt from Seattle’s Free to be Kids. Their ethically...

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Keepsake jewelry under $75 that makes a meaningful gift for your favorite grad.

‘Tis the season for graduations, whether you’ve got a new college graduate in the family, a niece or nephew graduating from high school, or like me, a sixth grader moving up to middle school. Sniff. While so many of us are looking for just the right special, personalized gift, I am always happy to share ideas that don’t have to cost an arm and a leg. (Because, hey college will do that for you. Heh.) I was really happy to find some thoughtful, affordable graduation gift ideas for anyone on your list — grade school through college — when I browsed through the selection from our newest sponsor, HeidiJHale...

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Blankie Tails makes a big splash with new mermaid tails for dolls

If our most popular post of 2015, which introduced the brilliant and much coveted Blankie Tails, is any indication, there are now swarms of kids across America, flipping (ha) for their super-soft, well-made mermaid and shark tail blankets that are perfect for cozying up on the couch, or showing off at sleepovers. Lucky for all their kid fans, Blankie Tails just released the perfect complement to their people-sized tails: mermaid tails for dolls. Kind of ridiculous — and yet, ridiculously cute, right? After all, kids are outfitting their American Girl dolls in everything from equestrian wear to leg casts, so why not mermaid tails? I love that these...

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7 of the coolest craft kits for kids

As much as my older kids love their electronics, good old-fashioned crafts still hold some appeal for them, especially if the finished product is something really worth making. And with summer vacation fast-approaching, I really want to find smart, interactive projects for them that don’t require a battery life. So, I’ve rounded up 7 of the coolest craft kits for kids ages 10 and older that are sure to impress. Related: 3 brand new nature-themed activity books will keep kids busy…without screens. CMP is an rstyle affiliate If your kids already get basic origami, they’re probably love this adorable Origami Playhouse by illustrator, author, and teacher of...

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May the Fourth be with you as you fly one of these cool Star Wars kites!

You don’t need to live in a galaxy far, far away to grab one of these cool inner-space worthy Star Wars kites from Think Geek on May the Fourth or any other day. And you won’t even need the force to get one of these babies into the air — just a decent breeze and an open field. Made of nylon sail material, they’ll be durable to withstand just about anything except for enemy fire and power lines, so keep them free from both. Related: More than 40 cool Star Wars The Force Awakens birthday party ideas! Word at the cantina...

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7 Pantone inspired rose quartz handbags to help you swing into spring.

By now, the fashion fans among us surely know about the Pantone colors of the year, a dreamy serenity blue and a pretty rose quartz. While the colors were announced during the winter, I know I’m not generally big on pastels until the weather warms up. Which means that now, I’m excited to check out some new rose quartz handbags in particular. New accessories can be a fast, affordable way to get your wardrobe on trend without swapping out every item you own. Or…a fast, not affordable way to get your wardrobe on trend. Totally depends on your budget. (Or the budget of a generous...

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Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls: The best bedtime book you’ll ever read.

I’m on bedtime duty when I visit my nieces, which means snuggling up and diving into really good stories — tales of women beating the odds and achieving great things. Well, sorta. When we’re done poo-pooing at the lions with Madeline, I often find myself scouring the girls’ bookshelves for something a bit more real-to-life to share with them. Which is why I’m so excited about the Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls Kickstarter project, fundraising now. (Update: You can now order the book at RebelGirls.co) Related: My First Book of Girl Power. Lasso of Truth not included.  This book will feature 100 stories of diverse, inspiring...

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