If you could do a post on cool favor ideas, that’d be great! My daughter’s third birthday is coming up this fall, and I like to get children’s party favors for 3 year olds that won’t be thrown away when the guests get home! -CMP reader Monique, via email Monique, I feel the same way exactly. The hardest part of birthday party prep for me has always been buying the party favors, because I tend to think the party itself should be the big treat. Especially if I’ve already dropped some money renting out the gymnastics studio or hiring a balloon artist, not...Read More
Tag: reader Q & A
The 5 best double strollers from our favorite baby gear pros. (And a sneak peek at the newest ones coming out!)
File under problems I never thought I’d have: Agonizing over double strollers. With a 17-month-old in tow and a brand new baby, I’ve been feeling the pressure to pick the perfect ride. If I was still in New York where my primary means of transportation were my own two feet and unpredictable winter weather was inevitable, I just might be plunking down serious cash for a Bugaboo Donkey. But now that I drive just about everywhere in sunny California, my priorities have changed. How easy is the stroller to fold? How heavy and wide is it? Will it fit in my trunk? Is side-by-side...Read More
There are so many train tables out there! Can you help let me know what’s the best choices? Storage is an important factor for me. Looking more like a low coffee table than a cartoon-colored train table, I love Pottery Barn Kids’ Caroline Activity Table for one really smart design feature: The table actually “grows up” with your kids. With two sets of legs, you can just replace the shorter ones when your toddler gets taller and turn the train table into a crafting table that is high enough to fit kid-sized chairs underneath. For storage, the two wooden bins...Read More
Hi Cool Mom Picks! I’m looking for some cute gender neutral crib bedding ideas for my surprise baby who will be here soon. I like modern design and bold patterns but I’m open to other ideas. Can you help? Thanks, Julie First of all, congrats Julie! And yes we can definitely help in the gender neutral crib bedding department. Here are just a few ideas I love right now–modern, playful, and 100% pastel-free in a variety of color ranges that work for any kid at all. Hope one is just right for you and your style. 1.YELLOW CRIB...Read More
What are the best gifts for an 8-year-old boy? I’m looking for a big gift, in the $50-$100 range. —CMP reader, via Twitter Oh, you mean the kind of gift that makes a child pause while unwrapping, shout out with glee, and rush over to give you a big hug? Well, small gifts can do that too, but on the splurgier side, here are some of our favorites according to our own sons — and by the way, according to our daughters, all these cool kids’ gifts would be great for girls, too. Just note we stayed away...Read More
Do you have a recommendation for a good “Books I’ve Read” journal or notebook for kids? -Suzanne, via Facebook Book logs or journals are a great way to give kids tangible pride in all the reading they’ve done, as well as a place to look back to remember some of their favorite titles. Keep reading for some of my favorite options for helping kids keep track of the books they’ve read. –Christina I love The Bookworm Journal for younger kids because it offers a nice, simple format to record the books they’ve read. Kids are also encouraged to tear...Read More
I am planning a garden-themed 4th birthday party for my daughter in a few weeks. I need some creative inspiration! So far, we’re going to have the kids each plant something in a pot to take home .. And that’s all. I need ideas for other things – decor, food, goody bags – that will play up the theme, but not in a cheesy/over the top/super expensive way. Help? -Cheers & thanks, Jen H. Wow what a fun theme for a kid’s birthday, especially in the summer. Here are some ideas for your daughter’s party. Hope they help! ...Read More
Q: I need some new ideas for cool comfy mom shoes so I’m not in my gym sneakers every day this summer but still can run around all day. Help! -Erin L There are so many great options for busy moms these days. Your instinct is right: keep your gym sneakers in the gym and try one of these 15 cool options instead. Espadrilles This old classic feels so right now. The rubber sole is a must in their homeland of Spain where cobblestones abound. At J Crew you’ll find the affordable Soludos Espadrilles flats in red and white...Read More
Help! We are trying to come up with an end of year DIY teacher gift from the whole classroom for our kindergarten teacher. Something every kid can participate in but won’t require too much work from the parents. I know Cool Mom Picks will have great ideas. Thank you so much! -Margaret B We totally understand. As easy as it is to just donate some money towards a gift card, there are some teachers who are so special to us that we really want to do something that truly comes from the heart of each and every kid. For those...Read More
My 8 year old niece is about to celebrate her First Communion, and I don’t have any good gift ideas. Can you help? Thanks, Sarah I don’t remember much about my First Communion oh-so-many-years-ago, but I think my relatives gave me cards with a few dollars inside. While you can go that route, here are some very special gifts that will have her remembering your thoughtfulness for a long time, which may be more than we can say for a $20 bill in a card. -Christina Commemorate the day with Pearlie Girl’s pretty silver bookmark (above) personalized with her name...Read More
Any suggestions where I can find stylish outfits online for my 3 year and 1 year old boys to wear to an outdoor summer wedding? – question via Twitter Your sharp-dressed toddlers will look amazing in one of Appaman’s Fine Tailoring suits or separates. I love their cool modern cut that help prevent little guys from looking “swallowed up” in an oversized suit. For your young kids, I think this seersucker shorts and jacket suit is too adorable. With tons of fabrics to choose from, the funky handmade boys’ neckties from The Belle and the Beau (also shown at...Read More
My daughter makes her First Communion in May, and I am in search of the perfect dress: Unique, inexpensive and not heavy (we live in Florida!). I also don’t want to spend a fortune on a dress that she will realistically only wear once. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. -Heather We think your daughter will find something she loves—and you love too—among these affordable options from some of our favorite clothing companies for kids. –Christina Mini Boden’s Broiderie Dress (at top) is age-appropriate and simple, but not plain. Love that it is versatile enough to be worn with bright...Read More
My apartment has been taken over by art supplies! I want to hold on to many of the supplies and keep them in an organized manner…if this this possible with a 3 year and 5 year old. –Holly Hi Holly, With three of my own little artists, I can empathize! It’s easy for a small space to be quickly overrun byall those supplies–not to mention the results of your kids’ artistic labor. Here are some of my favorite ideas for storing art supplies and projects. Ikea’s Expedit bookcase (at top) is my hands-down favorite for art-supply storage, holding...Read More
Do dresses with dinosaurs on them exist? – CMP reader @homawoodrum As popular as dinosaurs are with boys, dino dresses seem like an endangered species. Fortunately, they’re not quite extinct! We’ve tracked down some cute togs that will fill your dino-loving daughter with veloci-rapture. I love the deliciously rich magenta and olive jersey dinosaur dress for girls at TeenyBunny on Etsy (above), featuring an appliqued Apatosaurus. It looks soft and comfy, with no buttons or zippers, and is available in sizes from 12M to 6. We’re avowed Jusami fans, and we love that they make a DinoGirl Dress which...Read More
I totally am stumped on what to give our favorite sitter in addition to some cash. Any last minute ideas? She’s really wonderful and we want her to know how much we value her but I don’t want to spend a lot because we’re already giving her money too. Thanks! -Alyssa While cash (generally a week to two week’s pay for a full time nanny or sitter) will be a most-appreciated gift, we like the idea of pairing it with a little something personal for those important caregivers in our children’s lives. If your child is old enough to...Read More
My twin 9-month-old daughters were just diagnosed with asthma (and) I’m having a really hard time finding hypoallergenic stuffed animals. Do you have any ideas or tips? Thanks! -Heidi As a fellow asthmatic, I totally understand the need to keep the amount of dust down, and so I’d love to help you find some safe toys your kids will love. Elks and Angels Cuddle Bear is 12″ of soft sheepskin. I love that the material is naturally resistant to bacteria, dirt and odor and is so fluffy, it doesn’t need stuffing to be huggable–something that cuts way down on...Read More
My toddler LOVES anything train! Do you all have any ideas for cool train tables that my toddler would love? I wish I had done this research for my son before we got his ugly train table many years ago. Though he loves it, it’s a major eyesore every time I walk into his room. Here are some cooler-looking train tables I think you, and your toddler, could love. Under-the-bed Train Table Sled I like that this Train Table Sled by Choo Choo Track & Toy Company doesn’t take up much space and can slide under the bed when not...Read More
I was wondering if you could recommend a classic dollhouse for my two daughters’ Christmas gift? Would love any suggestions you have. Thank you!! -Amy Ooh, dollhouses! One of our favorite things to look for, now that there are so many to choose from. If you’re into modern, Plan Toys makes several lovely eco-friendly dollhouses. Our editor Liz’s girls adore their modern Plan Toys Chalet Dollhouse (above). It is made up of two units that can be repositioned so that your two girls can play simultaneously without getting in each other’s way, and the furniture sets are fairly sturdy...Read More
My daughter is turning 3 next month and is starting to outgrow her naps! I am trying to enforce quiet time on the days she won’t nap, and someone gave me the idea of letting her listen to audio books as her quiet time activity. I was hoping you had some ideas or could point me in the right direction of somewhere to start. Many thanks in advance for your help! -Rebecca I agree that audio books are a great way to get her to hold still for a little bit and relax, and we’ve pulled together a...Read More
It’s time for first birthdays! I have two parties coming up; one boy and one girl. Then my own baby girl will celebrate her first this fall. So what are some gift recommendations for this new stage of development? -Elaine Yay for first birthdays! Time for walking, talking, eating and basically getting into everything with even more vigor than a ten-month old. Here are some of my favorite gift ideas for that very special milestone. –Christina Books are my #1 favorite gift for kids of any age, though I think they look especially adorable stacked up in P’Kolino’s Book...Read More
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