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
Tag: kids’ toys
Very little in life is as terrifying as being handed a wad of cash by desperate parents asking you to find a group teacher gift that’s meaningful, memorable, and not a lifetime supply of Best Teacher Ever mugs. This year, you can forego the stack of Starbucks cards and present your kid’s classroom teacher with a gift that keeps on giving: a beautiful game that helps teach empathy and problem solving, all in one. Consider it the Venti Mocha Frappuccino of classroom gifts. Related: 6 DIY holiday gifts for teachers from the kids that will get an A+ The Empathy Toy was...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
As a mom to two beautiful biracial girls, I know just how difficult it can be to find diverse dolls for them to play with. When my firstborn was a baby, it was downright impossible. Today, there are so many dolls for girls and boys that capture the beauty of different skin colors, hair textures, and facial features. You just need to know where to look to find your child the perfect companion who looks “just like them.” Here are my picks for the coolest, most diverse dolls for this gift-giving season. If one of these dolls isn’t on your child’s wish list yet, it...Read More
Let’s face it: Some nativity sets are just begging to be played with. Their tiny animal figurines and family of little dolls is simply irresistible to little hands. And as anyone who’s ever tried to convince a preschooler that these are not actually toys knows, not touching the pieces is an uphill (and, often, losing) battle. I can’t even count the number of shepherds and cows my sisters and I lost or shattered as kids. And let’s not even get into all the places we hid the baby Jesus (cough, hamster cage). So maybe this year, instead of breaking out (heh) your ceramic Jesus, Mary, and...Read More
With the massive popularity of Cards Against Humanity, it was only a matter of time before someone created a G-rated (ok, G-rated-ish) adaptation that pays homage to its irreverent mastery. Enter Not Parent Approved, a truly hilarious, very clever family card game that should be the breakout hit of the upcoming holiday season. Related: 8 of our favorite family games for 6 or more players Think of Not Parent Approved as a cross between the old Match Game (aw, we miss you Charles Nelson Reilly), Apples to Apples and CAH, in which all the players try to pick the most apt red card...Read More
My daughter isn’t what you’d typically call a “girly girl.” Her favorite clothes are athletic wear and she can hold her own (and then some) with the neighborhood boys in a game of flag football. But she still loves to dress up and has a collection of dolls that has taken over her room. She may not wear sparkles and bows, but she’s still a girl in every sense of the word. So I was really excited to find out about the Girly Girl Doll Company, which is redefining what it means to be “girly” in the best possible sense....Read More
The first-ever gift I gave my daughter was a beautiful handmade doll I found on Etsy, and ever since then I’ve had a thing for gifting my kids one-of-a-kind dolls. Of course, she has her fair share (and then some) of American Girl everything, but when I find a keepsake like the handmade, organic Frida Kahlo dolls made by Mexican artists Maroma + Arte, I feel compelled add to her growing collection. She certainly doesn’t need another doll, but I really want her to have this one. And a little lesson in art history and female empowerment to go along with it won’t...Read More
When you’ve got a little one, you probably know that means you have a whooooole lot of preschooler birthday party gifts to look for over the course of the year. One gift for each party for each kid in your child’s preschool class? Yeouch. That’s a whole lot of gifts. And it definitely adds up. While every family has a different birthday party gift budget, it can be tough finding ones that cost in the $15 range or less. So we did the work for you! We all put our heads together around here and came up with a great list of...Read More
It seems like one of the great organizational issues that all parents have in common is finding stuffed animals storage solutions for those dozens of critters that seem to accumulate out of nowhere. When I was a kid, it was Beanie Babies that started to flood my bedroom, their tiny plush bodies displacing books, clothing, and everything else in its way. Whether your kid is now amassing Beanie Boos or those stuffed animals that actually are, well, animal-sized, the predicament of stuffed animal storage solutions looms larger than ever. So as a first-time mom-to-be, I’m going to be prepared. Which is why I...Read More
We love the idea of our kids having their own playroom, but not all of us has an actual room to spare for play. Still, that doesn’t mean you need to sacrifice half your living room or give up your dining room table. There are so many ways to create an amazing playroom for your kids in a small space, whether you’re an apartment dweller just in a home with smaller rooms. We’re thrilled to be partnering with VTech to bring you this post, since their engaging early learning toys blend education, discovery, technology and creativity, making them perennial parent favorites. And now they’ve launched a new line of products, including a clever convertible Activity Desk...Read More
We all know the transition from balance bike to training wheels to full-on bicycle takes a while (and can get a little wobbly). Add the required coordination to ring that out-of-my-way-new-rider-here bell and your kid may be in danger of an all-out collapse on the pavement. Which is no fun for anyone involved. So I’m pretty stoked to discover the Mirrycle Incredibell Jellibell Bicycle Bell (try saying that five times fast), which requires a mere touch to deliver its bell sound. That’s something even the most novice cyclists can handle while still balancing on two wheels. Related: 7 of the absolute coolest ride-on toys...Read More
Web coolness: New Harry Potter books, ridiculous first day of school traditions, the birthday cake every kid needs and more.
These are the links we’ve been reading around the web this week. We hope you like them too. Ooh, new Harry Potter books! The most absurd first day of school traditions, and more, on this week’s episode of Spawned. Terrific snack recipes for kids with food allergies It’s National Breastfeeding Awareness Month, and we’re laughing at these funny breastfeeding tweets we can all relate to. 7 tips to help nursing moms return to work, including resources that detail your legal rights. Great list of books that help kids be more kind to children with special needs. ZOMG — this baby was born...Read More
The coolest thing you’ll encounter in the water this summer may be my daughter, who has transformed herself from a normal 13-year-old into a full-fledged mermaid. And, whoa, if you have a child who would love to swim like one of these creature of the sea, you’ll want to check this out this awesome product my kids had the chance to try out. FinFun Mermaid Tails are real swimmable tails for kids, teens, and adults (though I’m leaving this trend to the kids) that actually let you swim through the water like Ariel — or Ponyo, depending on your family’s animation preferences. Related: Blankie Tails turn...Read More
Web coolness: The latest from LEGO, Pokemon GO does some good, the indie designer vs Goliath, and more
Here are some of the links we’ve liked reading around the web this week. We hope you like them too. Comic-Con is here, and so are some cool new LEGO Brick-Headz! Check out the Secret Superhero video from one of our fave kindie bands. Should you force kids to be tidy? If so, should you pay kids to do chores or will it make them less likely to help around the house? If you’re trying to conceive, this fertility device could double your chances. Wow, an amazing use of Pokemon Go that makes us think about it differently. Summer...Read More
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...Read More
If I had a dime for every time I walked into what was once a clean den or bedroom to discover it’s been colonized by tiny pillow forts and sheet palaces, well, then I could buy one of these awesome, animal-shaped HULKI playhouses instead. After a hugely successful Kickstarter campaign, they are now ready for preorder and I imagine a lot of kids — and parents — will be thrilled. Related: 15 of the coolest playhouses for kids, from DIY to major splurges Dutch parents Jasper Janssen and Brigit Span created their whimsical playhouses as an alternative to large plastic ones that tend...Read More
When I saw the FUNBOY pool floats my pool envy grew three sizes, because, a flamingo? Flaming lips? A rainbow unicorn? I need to have these in my life right now. And not just because they’re freaking cool. They actually give back in an amazing way too. These fancy floats, or “luxury floats” as they’re called (what?), turn out to be celeb favorites, if you tend to purchase your summer toys based on such things. Still, we can see why. They’re all perfect for Insta photo opps, from a golden swan to a giant flamingo, to a hashtag — which we suggest not...Read More
We’re already big fans of To The Market: Survivor-Made Goods, which produces the most gorgeous accessories, home goods, and toys. A couple of years ago, our editor Liz featured the store and its mission to support causes such as the fight against abuse, poverty, and genocide. And it’s all too easy to get lost in this online store filled with beautiful handcrafted jewelry, cashmere scarves, and hand-stitched sari throws, especially knowing every item is economically empowering these survivors and amazing artisans. Now, To The Market has partnered with MULXIPLY to create a new line I can’t stop cooing over: these adorable stuffed elephants, dogs, and giraffes, all hand-felted by female artisans...Read More
Though the Fourth of July may be the number one holiday of the summer, Shark Week comes in a close second. It’s pretty popular among our readership because our kids get a good excuse to watch an entire week’s worth of programming about our favorite toothy fish. And, for that reason, it’s become somewhat of an annual tradition to round up our favorite shark picks for kids. If your kids are big fans of sharks too, get ready to tune into the Discovery Channel starting this Sunday, and check out our top 10 shark picks we’ve hooked just for you. CMP is an rstyle affiliate You’ll...Read More
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