Tag: kids’ toys

26 of the best car games and activities to keep kids happy without screens.

I was one of those parents who insisted that I’d raise the kind of kids who would play fun, screen-free car games on our family road trips, or perhaps watching the world whiz by while asking intelligent questions about all the sites and sounds around them. Sound familiar? Yeah. Well after one particularly long road trip, I quickly learned that sometimes screens are really, really useful for making an endless drive feel… not so endless. But that doesn’t mean that I’ve totally surrendered to the lure of electronics. There are times when all the screens need to go off so we can discover other ways to...

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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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7 smart sleepaway camp essentials that help stave off homesickness.

If your little camper is heading off to sleepaway camp this summer, possibly for the first time (sniff), you’ll likely receive from the camp a long list of all the essentials to pack — extra socks, bug repellent, water bottles, headlamps. But, on top of all those must-haves (and they really are), we think that a few special items that connect them to home can help make the transition from bed to bunk a little easier. We spoke to our experienced sleepaway camp parents around here, and put together 7 of our favorite ideas for sleepaway camp essentials that help stave off homesickness and ensure the transition...

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These cool nature kits from Rose & Rex let kids choose their own summer adventure.

We’ve found the cutest new children’s toy, and it includes fairy dust. Or a treasure map. What more could any child want, really? The new, cool nature kits from Rose & Rex are what little kids’ dreams are made of, packed neatly into a cute wooden box. Carefully curated boxes that are sure to inspire kids to create and play, and take their big imaginations outdoors this summer. These nature kits come in two varieties, a Fairyhouse Kit and a Treasure Hunter’s Kit, so there is something for everyone, depending on whether your child is more inclined to whimsy or adventure (not that...

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Braille Bricks: the coolest new toy for kids with visual impairments

If you know us at all, you know we geek out when we find cool toys or kids’ gear that promote inclusivity. So when we discovered Braille Bricks, the LEGO-inspired building blocks that help visually impaired kids can learn to spell through play, we thought they were absolutely brilliant. And now they’re trying to bring these toys to all kids, everywhere, and we want to help. It’s so easy and doesn’t cost a dime. But first, you’ve got to watch the video of these kids getting their first sets of Braille Bricks. Grab the tissues. It’s heart-meltingly sweet. It’s so, so smart too. These moveable blocks gives kids so...

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Web coolness: Super cool new kids’ toys, female heroes we love, and breastfeeding at a wedding. (Wait, that’s still news?)

Here are some links we’ve liked reading around the web this week. Hope you like them too.   Kartell launches a line of ride-on toys for kids that we’re coveting, hard. Also check out the super cool rocking horse, Nendo “smile stools,” and a Phillipe Stark designed swing on Design Milk. Speaking of which, 14 of the coolest baby gifts we wish we had as new moms. The Teletubbies are back this month. Is that good? You tell us. Best prom story ever. Sniff. 8 great ideas for non-toxic cleaning with a simple ingredient you already own, guaranteed. We love these...

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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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The Misty Copeland Barbie is back and ready for orders. Yes!

The internet’s been all atwitter about the re-release of the Misty Copeland Barbie doll. Can we blame the buzz? It’s Misty Copeland — brilliant prima ballerina, African-American trailblazer, and all-around girl crush. Apparently we’re not the only ones who feel so strongly about a doll representing her. As part of Mattel’s Barbie “Sheroes” collection, made for adult collectors (but coveted by kids too), she sold out within an hour of its original release. So the fact that Target and Amazon are getting more in stock in a few days is fantastic news, especially since the Misty Copeland Barbie dolls I’ve been trolling...

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Your kids will fall in love with these mini dolls on a big mission

You may remember Cuddle and Kind’s beautiful hand-knit dolls, which we featured last fall. We gushed over how cute the line is, and even more impressive, their amazing mission to feed hungry kids with ten meals donated to major hunger-fighting charities with the purchase of every doll. And, wow, did our readers ever respond: This remarkable company has already donated over 200,000 meals to kids in need in just over half a year. Now, Cuddle and Kind’s Little Collection — a new line of the same sweet dolls, but mini versions of their originals — is matching the mission. For every Cuddle and Kind doll purchased, whether it’s their original 20″ or their new 13″ doll,...

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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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Melanites: The brilliant new doll line celebrating brown boyhood

I am so happy to discover Melanites, a new line of dolls created in a “celebration of brown boyhood,” thanks to the wonderful mind of Boston entrepreneur and minority youth mentor, Jennifer Pierre. While we’re always on the lookout for cool dolls for boys, as well as multicultural dolls that represent the varied ethnic and racial identities of our kids who want to play with them, this is one toy line that aims to accomplish both. Related: Target removes boy and girl toy aisles, Internet implodes. Jennifer’s goal is to take on the normalization of hypermasculinity, and help more boys of color to feel valued and empowered in society through a...

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Doll carriers that prove babywearing isn’t just for grownups

When both of my big kids became older siblings for the first time, they wanted to take over most of my mothering duties for me. Feeding the baby, changing diapers, and of course, babywearing. I eventually passed an unused baby sling down to my daughter, and she carried her dolls around the house — and to the grocery, the café, church, Target — with pride, just like I carried her baby brother. While we’ve seen baby doll carriers for kids on Etsy for a while now, we love that our favorite companies are making carriers for kids that match the ones we’re...

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7 of the absolute coolest new ride-on toys for kids. Let’s get cruisin’!

With a hint of spring in the air, it’s time to take stock of the cool ride-on toys out there so that our kids can stop hibernating with their handhelds and enjoy the great outdoors instead by pedaling, gliding and zooming around our sidewalks and driveways. And if your kids shot up a few inches this winter, you may have a good excuse to consider some new wheels. Here are some of the latest and greatest new ride-on toys that have zoomed into our view that we are certain will make our most adventurous young riders very, very happy. Related: Best gifts...

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Fisher-Price hires Jonathan Adler, and wait until you see what’s coming for babies and toddlers

This post has been updated with corrections. Fisher-Price is of course the brand behind many of our favorite childhood toys like that now iconic telephone and the little gumball machine looking push-toy. So their big announcement this week that Jonathan Adler — yes, that Jonathan Adler — has signed on as their new creative director in charge of baby and children’s items is huge news for those of us fans of his modern, clever design work. And those of us fans of modern, clever children’s gifts and gear that won’t break the bank. It’s not a totally shocking move for him considering he’s got...

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Disney LEGO minifigures are released, but look who’s missing.

Now that they’ve been revealed, I’m looking at the new Disney LEGO minifigures with great interest. I mean, I doubt there’s a kid on this planet who doesn’t imagine an array of 18 Disney characters transformed into LEGO minifigures and know right away that there will be at least one they absolutely have to have, please Mom, I’ll do anything, pleeeeeease….!  Related: 19 cool Rey Star Wars toys and gifts, from LEGO to tees to wall art It’s a fairly diverse selection, with characters ranging from classic Mickey and Minnie, to Pixar faves, and even less blockbuster-ish characters like Stitch, all available in May in those $3.99 surprise packs. But looking...

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A toy that’s as magnetic as the man himself; Happy Birthday Mister Rogers!

To commemorate what would have been Mister Rogers’ 88th birthday today, we’re going to get him all dressed up for the special occasion. How about a purple cardigan and a pair of roller skates? Or maybe a fireman’s hat, sunglasses, and a bowtie? With the Hello Neighbor! Mister Rogers magnetic dress up set, you can dress up one of your childhood favorites in a whole host of getups — iconic smile included. Related: Would you be mine? Could you be mine? Mister Rogers sticky notes The magnetic wardrobe and props, which include King Friday XIII, Lady Elaine Fairchild, and X the Owl, come...

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Creative kids can now design their own dream dollhouse and take it everywhere they go

We’re big fans of toys that inspire creativity in our kids. And if they’re small enough to fit in a backpack, even better. The Dollhouse Book by Rock and Pebble is perfection. This house-shaped cardboard-cover book is a 30-page blank canvas, literally, for your child to custom-create their own dream house. They can design at home or on-the-go. No more impatient waits for food to arrive at the table or for a sister’s dance class to be over. And once they’ve designed every room of the most amazing home ever, they can set it up to play — anywhere. Which they totally cannot do with that...

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Beating boredom with cool wooden toys inspiring art, design, engineering and imagination.

Walking the toy aisles of most big discount stores can make any parent feel dizzy, to use a polite word. Where are all the cool wooden toys? Where are the toys that inspire imagination? Why does it seem like every toy made for kids these days is some beeping, flashing, plastic monstrosity that isn’t built to hold a kid’s interest through the year? Well, not all…but lots of them. So I’m always reassured when I find smaller toymakers doing really special things. Like my latest discovery, the innovative company Once Kids, which makes cool wooden toys that help our children get in touch with their inner artist, designer, or engineer. And...

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Naturally Perfect Dolls: A standout at this year’s Toy Fair

There’s something special about getting a doll that looks “just like you.” It’s one of the many reasons Cool Mom Picks loves companies like Corolle who make baby dolls of color as well as boy dolls for our sons to love. Of course it’s partly why American Girl Dolls became so beloved. And it’s the reason I was stoked to stumble upon Naturally Perfect Dolls at this year’s Toy Fair this week. The idea for the Naturally Perfect Dolls line, created by parents Angelica and Jason Sweeting, was inspired by their young African-American daughter asking for yellow hair and white skin — for herself — so she...

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