Tag: holiday gift ideas

Sponsored Message: Flare Play gaming platform streams kid-friendly video games and educational content, right on your TV

This is a sponsored message from Flare Play Kids love video games, but understandably, parents can justify the gaming time better when kids are actually playing something educational. That’s where Flare Play comes in to make everyone happy. This new gaming platform gives kids a huge variety of age-appropriate video games, with lots of parental controls and no clutter of discs or cartridges. Be sure to enter the giveaway below for a chance win your own gaming console!  With more 150 educational games and interactive ebooks designed just for kids from LEGO, Disney, Pixar, Warner Brothers, even Hooked on Phonics, the compact Flare Play console easily plugs into your TV’s...

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The Ultimate Star Wars Guide: Dozens of geeky gifts, party ideas, DIY projects, recipes, and random Force-inspired insanity.

Okay, so the world is obsessed with Star Wars right now in light of the premier of The Force Awakens. And hey, we count ourselves among you all. Now we can’t exactly say we’ve covered Star Wars “since before it was cool” because 1.) no such thing and 2.) we were not blogging in 1978. But we have put together an awesome Star Wars guide, filled with so many fun finds from over the years — gifts, guides, party ideas, recipes (Chewbacca donuts!) and just random awesome stuff. It’s so fun seeing them all here in one place. Or, you can always...

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Printables for teachers that make thoughtful last-minute cards or gifts.

As we parents start counting down the days to the December break, some of us are also realizing that whoa! It’s time to figure out teacher gifts, stat. I still really love our post about the best teacher gift ideas according to actual teachers and if you haven’t checked it out, you really should. There was definitely some debate on Facebook about the results (some of you feel really passionate about cash gifts!) but whatever you give, the message that came through loud and clear to me from all the educators we spoke with, is that it really, truly is the thought that counts. So...

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The Originals: Brand New Noise handmade recording gadgets make everyone smile

My kids were in a museum gift shop with friends this summer and of everything in the store, all four spent the entire time fighting over (I mean, taking turns with) what’s best defined as a handmade voice  or music recording gadget from a cool little Brooklyn company called Brand New Noise. And while you might have seen something like their nifty sound boxes, nothing tops the original, which is why we’re happy to include them in our series on original makers, thinkers, and artists. These recording toys are like the best of tech toys meets the best of low-tech toys,...

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Easy DIY ornaments for kids: 9 terrific ideas for turning those plain ornaments into something special

I have had such a great time this week looking for ideas for DIY ornaments for the kids. After all, one of my favorite parts about decorating for the holidays is seeing the Christmas tree ornaments my kids have made over the years and hey, we’re always open to new ideas. So here are 9 really easy, fun ways to turn those plain round ornaments into holiday keepsakes for anyone in your family, their favorite teachers, or even a BFF. I really like that these DIY ornament ideas make great group projects too, if you’re looking for a classroom or playdate project for a bunch of creative...

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Unique gifts for creative kids that I haven’t seen before? Reader Q&A

Hi Cool Mom Picks! Can you put together some unique holiday gift ideas for creative kids that go beyond the same craft kits I see everywhere? Thanks so much!   Ooh, I love this question. We know that all kids have creativity in them, so Cool Mom Picks is always filled with the kinds of toys and gifts that really help kids harness that innate creativity and imagination. While there’s no shortage of gifts out there for kids who love crafts, art, making stuff, or good old-fashioned imaginary play, I’ve combed our recent holiday gift guides, toy guide series, birthday...

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Crayon Crunch: Personalized books get kids with special needs in the story too.

We’ve mentioned before that only 3% of children’s books feature characters of color, and there are even fewer that feature kids with special needs. This makes me really sad for the millions of kids out there who want to open up a book and see someone they can identify with in the story, who looks like then. If you’re a parent who’s struggled to find illustrated kids’ books that represent your children, I’ve got good news. Crayon Crunch is an indie company that makes custom, personalized children’s books with characters that your kids will absolutely connect with — because your child is the main character....

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The perfect little affordable best friend gifts. Or really, anyone gifts.

I’m on the lookout for some cute small gifts to give out to some of the people I love, or even for my girls to give to their own BFFs. And then I came across the collection of awesome eco-friendly, recycled brown kraft paper journals from Journaling Jane on Etsy and I was like, yup. That’s what I need. I love the artist’s mission to get people back to handwriting — as you can tell from journals with sayings like Write Your Thoughts Here and Not on Facebook — and she has hundreds of ways to do that. You can...

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Santa baby. Literally.

There’s really not much you can do to make a baby cuter at the holidays, because the tree, the lights, the adorable little red sweater and well, it’s a party full of screaming ovaries. But add in the Santafier pacifier, and you might people spontaneously combusting from cuteness. From the folks who made the hilarious Mustachifier, we introduce you to the Santafier, a binky with a white mustache for your little Santa baby. Or hey, Mrs. Claus baby, pre-laser hair removal. Heh.   If you’re feeling extra festive, grab the full Santafier set, which includes the little Santa beanie cap and socks to help you complete...

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Web coolness: Outrageous gingerbread houses, movies no parents have seen, and the year in review according to children.

Here are some of the links we’ve liked reading around the web this week. Hope you like them too.   Fantastic TV and movie inspired gingerbread houses including this amazing Game of Thrones gingerbread house. Mmm…Westeros. Possibly the most insane gingerbread house of them all — because it’s life size! Creative eggnog drink recipes. Yes, please. Cute Hanukkah craft to get you through the final nights. Awesome emoji gifts! Bad dad jokes for the holidays. Ha. 17 cool tech gifts under $25 Speaking of which, have you entered to win a free iPad Air + designer case from the Cool Mom Tech holiday gift guide? It’s...

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Toys for adults: 9 super cool options that you’ll have to hide from the kids

This year, we notice just how much we’ve been writing up cool gift ideas and toys for kids and mentioning, but we’d like one too. It’s like the fantastic innovations in toys plus our need as adults not to feel quite so adult is colliding, and we’re all for it! That’s why we’re so happy to welcome back one of our very favorite longtime sponsors, Micro Kickboard. Not only do they make the scooters our kids all own and adore, but you may not realize they make a bunch of fantastic scooter options just for adults. Stay off my...

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4 fun paper jewelry kits for kids that make great holiday gifts

Paper jewelry kits are a pretty awesome gift, giving your crafty kids something wonderful they can make and wear — even when you’re sure you want one more little bead, button, or plastic charm strewn about your house. I adore paper jewelry kits as much as my kids because they are fun and can turn out some pretty cool-looking pieces. Plus, they can go right in the recycling bin once my kids have moved on to something else, unlike the cheap jewelry that they covet by the counters of clothing stores. So for a great jewelry-making gift that uses paper as its medium of choice, I’ve got four fun...

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10 super cool cell phone cases for kids. (You might want them too. Just saying.)

Clearly we love finding adorable things of all kinds for kids, and cool cell phone cases is one of them. Before you think, wa-ait…kids and cell phones?  indeed it’s more common than ever. With prices dropping on early cell phone models, and parents buying themselves shiny new phones then passing down their old ones, plenty of kids are going to be getting cell phones this holiday — whether they’re using them for safety reasons, to connect with friends and classmates, or just as gaming devices when they’re home with a little down time. Of course when kids are out and about, we...

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14 cool skateboarding gifts for your favorite shredder.

We’ve got a few passionate skateboarders in our lives so we’ve been super excited to have the opportunity to spend some time searching around for cool skateboarding gifts then sharing our faves, thanks to our most awesome new sponsor, The Parking Block skateboard stand. We are stoked (see how we did that?) to welcome them, because, wow — we don’t know if this is a better gift for boarders, or for any parents who are constantly nagging them to get their skate gear off the floor! Plus, we’re always happy to support an amazing, entrepreneurial small California-based business that’s created something really smart and useful,...

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A perfect gift for hard-to-shop-for tween girls: DIY craft kits from The Make Arcade

Shopping for my tween niece can be hard. She’s not a little girl any more, but she’s not fully a teenager either. She wants cool stuff that’s still sweet and cute. So, I’m excited to have discovered The Make Arcade on Etsy (thanks to Liz). These adorable but still cool DIY kits are going to be perfect Christmas gifts for her. And she’s going to love making her own jewelry and lampshades and plush donuts. Because plush donuts are awesome. As any girl will tell you these days. Related: Super cool craft gifts for kids who should have their own...

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The dedicated holiday gift help series, Part 2 : Spawned episode 25

On this episode of Spawned with Kristen and Liz, we were determined to help you with those hard-to-shop-for adults on your list, so we’re giving out tips and dishing our our own favorite gifts from our 2015 Holiday Gift Guide. Plus, we have a good laugh about the weird things that get us parents excited, like a Roomba, our super popular mashed potatoes in a slow cooker post, and… well, you’ll just have to listen to see what gives us the thrills these days.   You can listen via SoundCloud right now (why wait?), or just subscribe to Spawned on...

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Web coolness: Action figures for girls, a must-hear rap for kids, and a most interesting nail trend.

Here are some of the things we’re liking around the web this week. Hope you like them too.   One of our favorite small toy brands, I Am Elemental, is now out with a complete set of their action figures for girls that champion powers like honesty, bravery and courage. Super cool. Love the beautifully curated Mommas Gone City online pop-up shop with gift boxes created by our friend Jessica Shyba. Tutorial: 7 ways to wrap a bottle of wine. We need this! And have you checked out the Cool Mom Eats holiday gift guide? Amazing stuff. Yum. 14 cool custom photo gifts, the...

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Sponsored message: GiftLit curated book-a-month subscriptions let you give the gift of reading this holiday

This is a sponsored message from GiftLit. You really can’t go wrong when you give books over the holidays, but a special way to make your gift keep on giving all year long is a personalized subscription to GiftLit. GiftLit offers more than 100 different collections in their book-a-month subscriptions — from board books that encourage a love of reading in toddlers, to teen and adult book collections on topics as specific as fantasy and magic, American History, or just the best new releases of the month. And now there’s a special offer for Cool Mom Picks readers, just in time for a perfect Hanukkah or Christmas gift. – Don’t...

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7 unique nativity sets for families with young kids. So basically, not glass.

Now that it’s officially December, I will soon unpack and set up my childhood nativity set, even if our holidays are largely secular nowadays. However after three kids who turned my nativity into a sort of dollhouse toy each year, it’s time for me to consider something new. Which is why I have been looking around the web for a beautiful and unique nativity set for families that won’t be easily destroyed, should the kids get a little handsy with the Wise Men. In other words, no $800 porcelain figurines painted with 14k gold leaf. So I came up with seven nativity sets I really...

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14 of the coolest art toys and gifts for kids of all ages: 2015 Holiday Toy Gift Guide

If there is one gift we always hope our kids get unwrap this holiday, it’s an art toy or craft kit, or something that encourages and help develops their artistic sides. For us, toys that build on children’s natural creativity are as important to feeding their brains as educational toys that teach proficiency in reading, math and science. If you’re looking for a terrific selection of art toys for kids, one of the first places we always look online is Fat Brain Toys, our amazing sponsor for this third and final post in our Holiday Toy Gift Guide series. Fat Brain Toys has so more than...

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