I’m all about supporting our nation’s National Park Service in any way we can, especially because of the myriad ways they support us right back. So I’m thrilled to share the brilliant initiative to get even more kids to our National Parks and Monuments around the country: Every Kid in a Park. Created by President Obama to get more children excited about science, nature, and understanding the beauty and history of our nation, the program will grant your family totally free access (yes, free!) to all Federal lands and waters. Plus, you’ll get a massive discount on Amtrak tickets for kids if you’re training it there....Read More
I tried reward charts, treats, and downright begging when it came to potty training, and my daughter was having none of it. So when I heard about Pee-kaboo potty training stickers, created by a stay-at-home mother of two who lives in my own town (go New Jersey moms!) I was like, whoa. Could this be the help that desperate potty training parents have been looking for? Related: 9 terrific baby gift ideas to help baby (and mom) get more sleep The cool thing about these reusable stickers is that you can only see the cute designs — after they’re peed on. Kind of like the plus...Read More
Web Coolness: The most beautiful photos of Obama and children, inspiring advice from Betty White and more.
Here’s what we’ve been reading around the web this week. Hope you like them too. President Obama still has a lot of letters from kids to answer. A look at some of the President’s sweetest photos with kids. Top photo via White House on Flickr. (And yeah, we’re kind of weepy looking at them all. Let’s hear it for cool dads.) The most beautiful letter from Barbara and Jenna Hager Bush to Sasha and Malia Obama. (Let’s hear it for girls supporting girls!) Octavia Spencer wins Amazing Person of the Week. How you can help send more girls to see Hidden...Read More
While yes, 8 zillion other outrageous things have happened since Sunday night’s Meryl Streep speech that brought down the Golden Globes (and a certain volatile twitter account), we still think it bears discussing. So today on the latest Spawned podcast episode, we’re chatting candidly about what she said, why we think her speech is worth defending (if you hadn’t guessed from the spisode title), and why we think it’s important that more people engage in politics and the issues they care about — not fewer — whatever their careers or backgrounds or hometowns. It’s a passionate, fun discussion and we think you’ll...Read More
Web Coolness: The son we want ours to be like, books you need to read this year, and inspiration for the new year
Here are some links to what we’ve been reading around the web this week. Hope you like them too. 17 inspirational quotes to help you rock 2017, via Mom Spark. Laughing so hard at this satirical trailer for 2016: The Movie. Books that inspire young readers to be activists. We want to raise all our sons to be like this one. Sniff. The 100 trendiest baby names of all time. The reason behind #1 is pretty fascinating. The big parenting trend of 2016 is one we can relate to for sure. 7 female trailblazers of 2017. 16 women of color...Read More
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
8 of the coolest high-tech baby gifts that new parents will actually use | Baby registry essentials guide
There’s a ton of high-tech baby gear out there these days — but not all of it is stuff we’d actually use or recommend. I mean, just because you can invent a training potty with an iPad stand that doesn’t mean you should. So we put our heads together and took a good look at some of the very best high-tech baby gifts you can find, narrowing it down to 8 we think are definitely worth a spot on your own baby registry. Speaking of which, we’re thrilled to present this next post in our monthly Baby Registry Essentials Guide on behalf...Read More
Web coolness: Gifts for activists, outrageous Christmas tree decorations, Cookie Monster covers PPAP and more.
Here are some links we’ve been reading around the web this week. We hope you like them too. (CMP is an fstyle affiliate) The perfect gift for your socially conscious activist friends with a sense of humor: Handmade protesting elf wooden figurines. We’re in love! Been to our 2016 Holiday Gift Guide yet? What are you waiting for! We’ve just added even more discount codes. One of our favorite categories: Empowering gifts for girls who will rule the world one day. The hot tech holiday gift for kids that you’ll want to steal from them. Cool Mom Eats holiday guide...Read More
Beyond thank you and please: 7 manners all kids should learn for holiday entertaining (and that we’re not all teaching)
Please and thank you — important stuff, right? I’ve always believe that courteous kids grow into nice adults and we all need more nice in the world these day. But that’s not where etiquette begins and ends. So with the holidays here, and lots of entertaining and mingling coming up on our calendars, we’ve started talking in our home about some of the manners that we want our kids to know, so they can be fantastic guests and hosts. I’m sharing them here with the hope that maybe our ideas will help some of you too. Top: Please and Thank You poster at TanyaGDesign on Etsy I know...Read More
Web coolness: Fall crafts, Thanksgiving survival, must-read book award winners, and a big viral grandma oops.
Here are some things we’ve been reading around the web this week. We hope you like them too. The turkey countdown has started! Here are 8 fun and easy Thanksgiving crafts for kids beyond tracing a hand to look like a turkey. Get the kids outside with these 6 adorable pinecone crafts, like the DIY ombre pinecones from Whimzeecal shown above. Love! A little help for surviving Thanksgiving for those of you dreading it this year. Thoughtful list of articles and posts about taking action and taking care of your feelings if you’re struggling post-election. SO many Thanksgiving recipes and...Read More
We love how the Internet can help us when it comes to raising a generation of more curious kids. There are just so many remarkable free educational online tools and resources that help support a child’s natural curiosity, and even help push them a little (or a lot) when it comes to learning about all kinds of subjects and sparking their passion about the world around them. That’s exactly what our newest sponsor, the Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth (or CTY, as it’s been fondly known for more than 30 years), does for bright kids and their families. And if you don’t know about...Read More
We’re big fans of pulling kids into the kitchen early and often. But that also means setting kitchen safety rules for kids — and for you. Not just because it keeps them safe (though that’s obviously the most important thing), but because it’s the essential foundation of learning vital cooking skills that they can use for a lifetime. And hey, it also lets them help us out around the kitchen too. The way we see it, there’s no reason why kids as young as 5 years old can’t help make their own school lunch or even help cook breakfast on busy weekday mornings....Read More
Web coolness: A healing Leonard Cohen playlist, the cutest Harry Potter baby, and a fun way to countdown to Gilmore Girls
Here are some links we’ve been reading around the web this week. Hope you like them too You can’t not smile at this Harry Potter baby photo shoot. (via Kayla Layla Photography; also see her work on her Instagram feed!) Random acts of kindness as a Starbucks customer buys coffee for military personnel. A good mantra for today and every day. Thoughts on mending fences effectively after the election. How to talk to kids if they’re feeling scared about world events. Our picks for must-read graphic novels featuring cool, creative, strong heroines. The excellent We Need Diverse Books is hosting a fundraiser and Gayle Forman...Read More
Kristen and I have never run this as a partisan or a political site, but that’s not to say that our values aren’t pretty clearly reflected on these pages. Our long-time readers know we are, and have always been, about inclusivity. Positivity. Diversity. Honoring our differences and seeking out what unites us. Providing support for all kinds of loving families, and seeking out more opportunities for all kinds of kids. None of that changed today. We’re still here. You’re still here, the hundreds of thousands of you who share these ideals. We started this site ten years ago in part to lift up those who need lifting up, whether...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
What we thought was a helpful post about the new uber-for-kids services popping up around the country turned into the Mommy Wars on Facebook. And so, on this week’s episode of Spawned with Kristen and Liz, we discuss the not-so-nice comment in question, along with other things not to say to working moms based on an article Liz wrote for Redbook Magazine a few years ago. Plus, we share our tips for what to say (or do) to help working parents, and of course, our Cool Picks of the Week. Mug above via Avonnie Studio on Etsy You can...Read More
In honor of SIDS Awareness Month, we’re sharing five of our go-to, reliable resources on safe sleep for babies. After all, sleep is easily the topic that consumes our minds as new parents more than any other — Are they getting enough sleep? Do I really need a schedule? Is my crib okay? Is my mattress okay? Are bumpers actually unsafe? Can they sleep with me? What happens if the baby rolls over onto her stomach? We get it. It’s stressful! So we really hope these resources help new parents get the info and the reassurances we all need, so we can hopefully rest just...Read More
Here are the links we’ve been reading around the web this week. Hope you like them too. The new LEGO DC superhero girls are here! (But more superheroes of color, please!) In more LEGO news, how much do we love this LEGO inspired bike helmet? Why parents humblebrag about our kids: What’s up with that? A Serial style podcast for middle schoolers. What a smart idea. Laughing at this “honest birth announcement.” This 8-year-old is our kind of girl! How to raise kinder kids, according to science. Great read. The cool dad award of the week definitely goes to this one! Can we...Read More
If you’ve spent any time on social media, you’ve probably seen parent humblebrags, you know, like the mom wishing her child would eat junk food because “ugh, kale chips are so expensive!” So on today’s episode of Spawned with Kristen and Liz, we try to figure out why parents humblebrag, and why it bothers us so much. Plus, is it ever okay to brag about your kids on social media, and if so, what’s the right way to do it so you don’t make people nuts. Listen now to our extra lively discussion, along with our cool picks of the week (of...Read More
7 tips to help kids walk to school safely. Because October 5 shouldn’t be the only Walk to School Day!
Back in my school day, my mom let me walk alone to school, my friends’ homes, and the pizzeria by the time I was 10 years old. (Uphill, both ways, and barefoot, no less.) Fast forward to me as a parent and I admit my own kids — now ages 12 and 9 — have never walked anywhere on their own. One reason is that their school is much too far from home. The other reason is what’s a common cultural fear these days of letting our kids out into the world by themselves. Even though research shows that kids are actually safer today than ever. With the 20th...Read More