As someone with a mom who’s an incredible quilter, I’ve always valued the intricacies of thecraft of quilting. And then I discovered Kim Smith of Leland Ave Studios, a former attorney turned mom-of-three, who definitely takes it to the next level. Her Lincoln quilt is absolutely mind-blowingly exquisite. Especially after reading about how it came about. She was inspired to create a quilt that was more art than craft and found inspiration in Indonesian artist Wedha Abdul Rashid’s pop art portraits and the WPAP style of brightly-colored vector art. After discovering the iconic Abraham Lincoln portrait as interpreted by artist Ihsan Ekaputra,...Read More
We’ve shared so many children’s books over the years that bring history’s most wonderful real-life heroes to life for kids. From specific heroes like Frederick Douglas (whom a few adults need to read more about too, ahem) and Josephine Baker; to pioneers of space and sports and science; our favorite artists, activists and revolutionaries; and of course dozens of rebel women. (Hey! We have some pretty awesome children’s book recommendations over the years!) But one thing I haven’t seen is a children’s book about the father of children’s books, John Newbery. Until now. From the very first page, kids just know that Michelle Markel’s Balderdash!: John...Read More
When she decided she wanted to fly, she didn’t let anything hold her back.Read More
If you’re like me, you’re currently scrambling to find ways to keep your kids occupied — and better, still learning — during summer when school’s out. That’s where our newest sponsor The Great Courses Plus comes in. They turn screen time into educational time, offering unlimited courses on topics from science and history, to music and art, and pretty much everything in between. Plus, the video courses can be streamed from any device, anywhere you are. Because you know, kids and devices. Whether you want to start yoga, learn a language, or brush up on your chess skills, there are so many...Read More
It’s no surprise that She Persisted is now the title of an upcoming book about history-making American women. What’s more interesting though, is that it’s a book written for children, by none other than Chelsea Clinton. The phrase has certainly blown up over the past month, becoming a deeply personal mantra for women. It began back in February when the statement was first uttered — not as a compliment, but as as a scolding of Senator Elizabeth Warren after she was silenced in an attempt to read a letter from Coretta Scott King on the Senate floor during a hearing. Since then, I’ve seen those words on more than...Read More
One of the great ways to get our kids excited to learn about anything at all is through crafts and coloring pages. So for National Women’s History Month this year, we searched the web to find some of the very best printable coloring pages featuring groundbreaking American women. We tried to stick with really good renderings of the women; so these are more lifelike than cartoon-y. Also, wow. It was hard to stop at just 16. A follow-up may be in order! Some of these famous women coloring pages are free, and a few cost a little bit to support the...Read More
Web Coolness: Women’s History Month art, the Fearless Girl statue that lit up the internet, and more
here are a few things we’ve been reading around the web this week. Hope you like them too. For Women’s History Month, love all the amazing artwork honoring women heroes in film, art, science, and history from Etsy artist The Film Artist. However you participated in International Women’s Day, here are 11 fantastic ideas that you can put to use every day, any day to help raise up other women. The invisible work of women feeding their families. The Fearless Girl statue that lit up the internet this week. Brittany Packnett writes a beautiful Twitter thread about personal integrity...Read More
Like the rest of the country, I’ve been a little Hamilton-obsessed lately. So when I found these hip, historical t-shirts for kids at Wee Rascals that have that same hip, historical bent as the musical that’s on everyone’s mind these days, I knew I had to share. And with President’s Day coming up next week, I have the perfect excuse to order these for my own kids. Related: A patriotic T-shirt that reminds us of what makes America wonderful. Related: The ultimate girls in STEM book of kick-butt Women in Science This indie shop was started by two moms who wanted to...Read More
This week, I am under the impression, for some reason, that lots of folks are searching for information on Frederick Douglass: Who was Frederick Douglass? What did he do that was so important? How did he earn a place in the new Smithsonian African-American history museum? If you’re a parent or educator, this is a good opportunity to rush to your local library, Amazon, or your local bookstore. Then check out the brand new biography picture book, Frederick Douglass: The Lion Who Wrote History, by the late Walter Dean Myers. Related: 10 outstanding Black History Month books for kids of all...Read More
Today marks not only the beginning of Black History Month, but the birthday of the beloved, brilliant, prescient poet Langston Hughes, who would have been 114 today. As with all essential writers throughout history, his words live on long past his death in 1967. In fact, so many Langston Hughes quotes, thoughts and lines from his poetry are as relevant today as they ever were. One of the things I like to do with my kids from time to time, is read them a quote then discuss it. It’s actually amazing how kids even as young as four or five can have some basic...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
Those of us Hanukkah revelers have always had slimmer pickings when it comes to great modern music. But now Adam Sandler and Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings have some great new company thanks to the Maccabeats, who are just out with Hasmonean: A Hamilton Hanukkah. If you have been loving Hamildolph as much as we all have, I think you’ll also dig this version of Lin Manuel Miranda’s opus, which happens to be a good history lesson too. Especially for those of you not quite as familiar with the backstory behind the Festival of Lights. Related: 8 of the most amazing printable Hanukkah coloring pages, one for each crazy night Oh and the...Read More
Web coolness: Halloween help galore, a defense of working moms, and women over 96 making us ugly cry. In a good way.
Here are some links we’ve liked reading around the web this week. Hope you like them too. IWaited96Years.com: Must-see portraits and stories of women voters, all born before the 19th Amendment passed in 1920. Check out the I Waited 96 Years Facebook page for even more. Sniff. 7 fun election activities and printables that are great for kids. Self-care tips to get you through the election.Help is here! Online trolls lead to the cancellation of one of the few woman-written Marvel comics. (Get it together, Twitter. And Marvel.) The sweetest story about one little girl’s kindness to a stranger. What is sex like after...Read More
Web coolness: The Maya Angelou doc, an entire city of women, the ultimate in cosmetic geekery + more
Here are some links we’ve liked reading around the web this week. And….it’s been a tough week. So nothing heavy. Just optimism and fun. We hope you like them too. Tonight, the premier of the Maya Angelou documentary, Still I Rise. Here’s where to find tickets. 15 terrific strong girl costume ideas for Halloween. (Add Maya Angelou to the mix, while you’re at it.) Absolutely love this story: A barber who charges less when kids read aloud to him. Bravo, Alex Fuller! Whoa — our kids never had a science fair project like what this 12-year-old girl created. Why...Read More
Web Coolness: The making of the newest American Girl doll, hilarious pregnancy costume, and last chance to enter our huge sweepstakes
Here are some links we’ve been reading around the web this week. Hope you like them too. The making of Melody Ellison, the newest American Girl doll. Amazing read. Can’t wait to take our kids to the brand new National Museum of African American History & Culture! Until then, check out the website which is pretty great too. What happens when you try to live life as the perfect traditional mom for a week? Bless these moms for trying! Would you intervene if you saw this happening to a kid in public? A new study suggests racial bias is pervasive...Read More
A fun interview with Anne Holton, wife of Tim Kaine, about parenting, politics + funny tweets | Spawned ep 50
This week on Spawned with Kristen + Liz, it’s our golden anniversary, and we’re extraordinarily thrilled to be joined by an incredibly special guest, Anne Holton, wife of Senator Tim Kaine, the Democratic candidate for Vice President. But wow, Anne is a powerhouse working mom in her own right, having raised three “independent, strong-willed children” (in her words) while working as a legal aid attorney, a Judge in Richmond Juvenile Court, and until very recently, the Virginia Secretary of Education. We honestly didn’t expect to laugh so much, and we think you’ll love Anne like we did, in this incredibly enjoyable, relatable discussion. We talk...Read More
Why I’m emotional about 19th Amendment Day this year, and links to help kids understand the importance.
I am finding myself a little choked up today, on the anniversary of the 19th amendment, in a way I can’t recall ever feeling before. Maybe it’s because this is the first August 18 in which we have a female presidential nominee from a major party. Maybe it’s because this is the first presidential campaign year in which my daughters are old enough to be interested and following along, and I can start to see their own paths as educated and engaged voters of the future. Or maybe it’s just because I’m hitting the age myself where I have enough life behind me to be...Read More
Each Friday we offer up web coolness, a collection of our favorite links, videos and articles we’re liking around the web that week. But this week, in light of the horrific murders of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile that are weighing so heavily on our hearts right now, we wanted to share some links specifically around the subject of these tragedies. You’ll find an array of diverse voices and points-of-view that have resonated with us, personally, in various ways. You may not relate to all of them. That’s okay. We think it’s important to hear lots of perspectives. If you are hurting so much you can’t...Read More
Web coolness: A big week for girls, Father’s Day gift help, the cutest teacher gift, and what you might not know about Muhammad Ali’s views on family.
Here are some of the links we’ve been reading around the web this week. We hope you like them too. This week, parents let their daughters stay up late to witness history. One of our favorite mom bloggers explains why she brought her young daughter with her to vote in California. Female political trailblazers your kids should know, from Jeanette Rankin to Shirley Chisholm to Sandra Day O’Connor. So many beautiful tributes to Muhammad Ali this week, but we love these reflections from his daughter Hana, about his wonderful views on family. Plus her Instagram feed, including the photo above, is just lovely. Another day,...Read More
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