Tag: reading

The best children’s books of 2015 : Editors’ Best of 2015

What a treat it is to put together our list of the best children’s books of 2015. Not that it’s easy; we’ve collectively read hundreds of great kids’ books this year — from cute, sweet board books, to excellent picture books for early readers, to heart wrenching YA chapter books — and it’s always a job to whittle it down to just a few favorites. Ultimately, we went with the picture books that we’re gladly picking up to read out loud to our younger kids for the hundredth time and the chapter books that are sparking great conversations with our tweens and teens....

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The Only Child by Guojing: A beautiful new wordless book your child will love, whether they have siblings or not

Every once in a while, a children’s picture book will capture me in a way that I just don’t expect it to. The Only Child by Guojing is one that has got me right now. This beautiful story, told only through illustrations, includes a little child and snow and a reindeer, which makes it a nice read for this time of year, but it’s so much more than that. This is a beautiful story about realizing you’re lost, making new friends, and finding your way back home again. Chinese illustrator Guojing grew up a very lonely only child in China, and this book is loosely based on an...

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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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Books about manners for kids: 6 excellent options, just in time for the holidays

We figured this was a pretty good time to start looking around at some great — and effective — books about manners for kids. I’m sure you feel me; my family calendar is already so booked over the next couple months, which means lots of opportunities for my kids to show off their best manners. Or, their worst manners when they get really tired. Which they will. So, books! That’s always a good way to help me better talk to my kids about any subjects without them feeling like I’m nagging them. These six books about manners for kids cover the do’s and don’ts of polite...

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14 of the best educational toys for kids of every age: 2015 Holiday Toy Gift Guide

If you could use a little help picking out toys for the kids on your list this holiday, we’re about to make things a lot easier for you with a mini holiday toy gift guide, starting with the best educational toys for kids. This is the first in a three-part series dedicated to great toy gifts for kids, brought to you by the amazing folks at Fat Brain Toys. If you’re a long time reader of our site, you know how thrilled we are about this, because we’ve been recommending the carefully curated collection of toys from this family-owned business for years...

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6 delightfully creepy books for kids for Halloween and long, long after. If you dare.

With Halloween coming up, I did some browsing at my local library and bookstore to find some creepy books for kids. But, I wanted books that weren’t necessarily tied to Halloween so that we could read, enjoy, and be spooked by them all year long. These six books range from funny and little spooky, to downright scary. So fair warning, you might not want to read some of them at bedtime; and not just for the kids. You can find all these titles at our affiliate amazon or at your local indie bookstore.  At the lighter end of the creepy book spectrum is Creepy Carrots! written by Aaron Reynolds...

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Helping kids practice the fine art of patience with Waiting, the new children’s book from Kevin Henkes

I don’t know about you, but my kids aren’t the most patient people I know. I’m not either, for that matter, but I’m trying. I promise. And I think my kids are too. Still, it’s hard for all of us to practice waiting in a world where almost everything is on-demand. That’s why I’ve been loving the new book Waiting by Kevin Henkes. The slow-paced, minimally written story is just beautiful. The characters in this story from one of my favorite children’s authors are all toys in a child’s bedroom, each waiting for something different. By the end of the book, everyone...

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Our favorite cool tech picks this week

Here are 5 of our favorite tech picks this week from Cool Mom Tech. Look what you might have missed!   1. The big Apple announcement news that you’ll actually care about. 2. 21 of the best math apps for kids of all ages. 3. We rounded-up up 7 of the best YouTube channels to help get kids excited about math. 4. We’re pretty sure this little robot is going to be the hottest tech toy this holiday season. 5. Don’t miss our picks for best reading apps for big kids!...

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Smart tees for kids that will make teachers happy in more ways than one

We imagine that nothing makes a teacher happier than seeing their students light up about a subject, ready to learn more. Whether you’ve got a number lover, a big reader, a mini scientist, or an artist-in-residence — or maybe a mix of all of the above — you need to check out these adorable, brand new smart tees for kids from CMP favorite Brooklyn Makers. Not only do they feature messages we can get behind, but a significant portion of the sales will help disadvantaged school districts so that all kids get the chance to discover their favorite subjects. Related:  11 cool career t-shirts for...

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Our favorite cool tech picks this week

Here are 5 of our favorite tech picks this week from Cool Mom Tech. Look what you might have missed!   1. We rounded-up 7 of the best YouTube channels to help get kids excited about math. 2. Teach your kids coding through a board game. Cool! 3. Next up in our Back to School tech guide: The best reading apps for young kids and early readers. 4. A helpful comparison of 6 different pairs of kids’ volume-limiting headphones all under $30. 5. We’re calling this app a game-changer in educational apps for kids. Yep, it’s just that good....

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13 great fantasy and adventure books for tweens. Get ready to buy the sequels!

My ten-year-old is the kind of kid who is still reading in bed long after his siblings have fallen asleep. But it can be hard to keep up with his pace, and continue finding age-appropriate fantasy and adventure books that tweens like him will be excited about. I mean, he really tears through them. If you’re in the same boat, I’ve put together some excellent fantasy and adventure books for tweens that we’ve loved at our house, and a few our local bookstore has recommended that we can’t wait to try. And hey, even if your child isn’t tearing through longer chapter...

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The Day the Crayons Came Home: The must-have sequel to one of our favorite hilarious kids’ books

The Day the Crayons Quit, written by Drew Daywalt and illustrated by the amazing Oliver Jeffers, has been sitting on my kids’ bedside table — and getting read every night at bedtime — since the day it came home from the bookstore. It’s quickly become a classic that teaches kids to challenge the “rules” when it comes to creativity. No coloring inside the lines here. Daywalt encourages kids to think outside the (crayon) box in a really fun way. So when the sequel — The Day the Crayons Came Home — showed up in my mailbox, my kids immediately grabbed it to...

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Fantastic tween books made into movies: 8 adventure-packed stories to help get older kids reading more.

We have no shortage of movie nights in the summer, but I would love to get my kids to crack open their books more often when school isn’t in session. And I think I’ve found a way to encourage them to read more while still keeping movie night on the calendar: I’m going to offer them great action and adventure filled tween books that were made into movies, with the caveat that we can only watch the movie afterwards. Whether you chose to read the titles aloud to your kids as a family story, or if your reader would rather finish the...

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Our favorite cool tech picks of the week week

Here are 5 of our favorite tech picks this week from Cool Mom Tech. It’s all about kids this week, and here’s what you might have missed!   1. Check out our review of the new online LEGO Minifigures game! Our LEGO loving kids are going nuts for it. 2. 6 fantastic, educational YouTube channels just for big kids. Way to optimize screen time. 3. Hooray for this new Dr. Seuss app for early readers. 4. We tried out the new VTech Kidizoom action cam for kids. Make sure you read our review before you buy it. 5. How do you pick...

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How to talk to your kids about prejudice with the help of 12 of our favorite books

It’s been a big few weeks for America, hasn’t it? From the heartbreak of the Charleston shootings to the landmark #LoveWins Supreme Court decision to the Girl Scouts donor dust-up, people everywhere are talking about prejudice. While I’ve seen such a beautiful swell of love, support and compassion for all kinds of people all over my social media this past month, I’ve also talked to lots of moms who are wondering how to talk to kids about prejudice and racism. Because even as my kids help me pick out wedding presents for all our friends, prejudice most definitely still exists whether it’s because of the color...

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The Princess and the Pony: A perfect princess book for a new generation

When you think of a princess book, and what the lead character wants, what springs to mind? Classically, the story would be about meeting her true love or escaping her horrible life to live in a luxe castle. Then we moved onto more modern princess books including my favorite, The Well at the End of the World, in which the princess demonstrates that beauty isn’t everything, and kindness, loyalty, and good math skills matter more. Well now there’s comic artist Kate Beaton’s brand new The Princess and the Pony, just out today, which brings a fantastic new twist to the genre....

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A beautiful bedtime book that captures the joy of childhood

It’s hard not to be completely smitten with the work of Brooklyn artist Ida Pearle as we have for ages. Her cut-paper illustrations beautifully capture the whimsy and joy of childhood. We loved her alphabet book A Child’s Day: An Alphabet of Play, and now she’s out with a new book called The Moon is Going to Addy’s House, a magical and unique look at bedtime. My kids are hooked. In this book, Addy has been at a playdate in the city and she’s headed home for bed. The family drives through the city, over the Brooklyn bridge, and toward their house in the country. The whole time, Addy...

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Tons of beautifully designed, free printable bookmarks to get kids just a little more excited about cracking a book.

We’re always looking for ways to keep kids reading, especially once the school year ends and those 20 or 30 or 45 minutes a day aren’t exactly “required” any more. (Well, depending on your house rules.)  Plus, that lure of all that extra daylight after dinner can be pretty tempting. So hey, why not use it get a little more reading time in before bedtime? Related: 14 smart ways to get your young kids excited about reading this summer One of the most simple things I’ve done to get my kids excited about books is giving them their own bookmarks. No...

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14 smart ways to get your young kids excited about reading this summer

As big-time book lovers here, we’ve learned that a love of reading is acquired and not something kids are necessarily born with, like the color of their eyes or their uncanny inability to sleep past 6 AM on a Saturday. So we love putting together tips for parents on ways to get kids excited about reading — and ideally, keep them reading — especially now that summer is here and we all get a little more lax about things like that. Plus, our bookshelves do tend to have some stiff competition with all that extra daylight after dinner. One of our top ideas,...

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A clever, very simple reward system to keep kids reading this summer.

We just finished putting together a ton of great educational activities for kids to keep them sharp over the summer, and now of course I find one more I’d love to add to the list. This free printable paper chain reading log from Eighteen25 is so brilliant! It combines so many of the things my kids love most: reading, crafts, hanging random stuff on their walls, and reward systems. Related: The year’s best children’s books: all the lists, all in one place The idea is really simple: Print out these cute reading log strips, fill them out, and tape them...

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