Tag: summer activities

The 2016 best board games of the year from Spiel des Jahres. Family game night just got a whole lot cooler!

During the summer I usually let my kids stay up late, but we ditch the screens and play board games together instead. So, each year I keep my eye on the Spiel des Jahres award-winning board games to find the best new board games that are guaranteed to be interesting for the whole family. Sorry, Chutes and Ladders. This German-based award that literally means “game of the year” is basically the Pulitzer prize of board games. They consider games from all over the world, and we’re never disappointed with their choices. So, we wanted to share the winners that were announced today, because it just so happens we have loved...

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Finally, a beach towel that leaves the sand at the beach. Whoo!

My idea of a perfect day? Relaxing at the beach with a fun read while the kids play in the waves and never argue. Not even once. Okay, maybe that’s not so realistic, but what might make me almost as happy is a beach towel that sand won’t stick to. So, as you might guess, I was very excited to discover this new sand-free beach towel and put it to the test. CMP is an rstyle affiliate Related: The very best beach umbrellas and tents for families, after a ton of research The construction of Sandusa sand-free beach towels (that’s pronounced “san-doosa,” by...

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A super simple tip to help your kids with their summer reading right now

It’s probably one of my kids’ least favorite things to talk about these days: Summer reading. Which is odd, because they really do love to read. They just don’t like someone else telling them what they have to read — and when to read it. Recently, though, a friend recommended this very easy tip: Invest in a summer reading journal to make the required reading a bit more exciting. I decided it was worth a try, and so, I picked up this Reading Journal for Kids (available from our affiliate Amazon, in different versions for kids’ ages and reading levels) to help my...

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The coolest free printable adult coloring pages on the web. Because we deserve a little Prismacolor action too!

The adult coloring trend is here to stay, and rightfully so, considering it can help you focus and give you some much-needed relaxation. And best of all, no special skills required, just some cool coloring material and art supplies. That’s exactly what you’ll find at our sponsor Staples, who’s the go-to for the popular Prismacolor art supplies that now happen to be on sale. So, snatch some up for yourself (sorry kid-proof lock not included), then check out these 14 cool, free printable adult coloring pages we found on the web that we hope will bring you some much-needed zen. Don’t miss a...

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3 DIY dreamcatchers for happy crafting and sweet dreams

As a child, I long believed that dreamcatchers capture your nightmares in their web to keep sleep sweet and worry-free. As an adult, they still have a nostalgic pull on me. Plus, they’re really gorgeous. I recently found some truly fantastic DIY dreamcatcher tutorials, and came to realize whether you’re looking for new kids bedroom decor or a way to entertain the kids on a rainy summer day, DIY dreamcatchers will work magic. (I also learned that dream catchers are a type of hair extension, which I don’t recommend kids try as a DIY project). Fun and easy, and with such a cool,...

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The very best beach umbrellas and tents for families, after a ton of research

You cannot even believe how much time I spent last summer tracking down the best beach umbrella. I finally went with my parents’ strongly recommended pick, which was a surprise one to me. (And you have no idea how strongly recommended it was, unless you a) know my parents or b) saw their 18 emails detailing just why it was the very best one and how they spend even more time researching products than I do and how I’d be crazy not to buy it.) Well, thanks to my parents and my own obsessive beach umbrella-searching skills, I’m here to share...

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18 fun, free printable summer coloring pages for kids. Good ones!

Now that we’re deep in the heart of summer, I find my kids like cooling down in the afternoons with some crafting time, and free printable coloring pages for kids often do the trick. Whether you’re passing time, celebrating a summer birthday, going screen-free on a road trip or just delighting in all those mornings your kids wake up with the sun at 5:15 AM and need something to do besides waking you — I put together some of the coolest free printable summer coloring pages I’ve seen around the web, for kids of all ages. Did I mention they’re free? Yup. All...

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The coolest bike helmets for kids. As in, ones they’ll actually want to wear.

Now that summer is here, our kids are looking for chances to bike, scoot, and skate to the park or pool with us. Yay for extra activity to wear them out, but we can’t help but think about their safety too. And we know it starts with a good helmet. The best helmet in the world won’t do any good, though, if your kid doesn’t want to wear it. To help you out, I’ve spent hours searching our favorite shops (so you don’t have to) to find the very coolest bike helmets for kids. As in, ones they’ll actually want to wear. Our kids...

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26 fun 4th of July ideas to make the day a fantastic one.

Happy 4th of July everyone! Oh America, you look pretty great for 240. Here’s our advice for making the most out of the holiday: (Top image: popsicle stick American Flag craft via A Pumpkin and a Princess) 1. Be safe out there. 2. Fire up the grill. 3. Make the best BBQ sauce ever. 4. Eat all the foods. 5. Make one of these 30 red white and blue recipes. 6. Distract the kids with a fun fireworks app while you eat all the foods. Chocolate dipped red white and blue ice cream cones | Cool Mom Eats 7. Get the kids in cool American flag clothes that...

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7 fantastic children’s books to pick up before they hit theaters this year.

My kids love to read. But they also love to go to the movies. Luckily, that makes our summer reading easy this year, since I’m going to encourage them to pick up some of the great children’s books that are being adapted into movies this summer and fall. From classics like The Little Prince and The BFG to new favorites like The Queen of Katwe, there are a handful of movies based on kids’ books coming out soon that I know they won’t want to miss. So my rule is, you’ve got to read the book first. Smart, right? Here, 7 terrific children’s books turned movies that we...

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11 truly wonderful 4th of July crafts and activities for kids (and hey, maybe you too)

Since I’ve had kids, the 4th of July has become one of my favorite holidays. I like to keep it really simple with 4th of July crafts, lots of great summer food and treats to eat, maybe letting the kids run around while the grownups hang out at the pool or in the backyard. And of course, watching the fireworks when it gets dark. Since a few, fun patriotic activities can make the day even a little more special, I’ve rounded up some of our favorite 4th of July crafts and activities that you and the kids can make ahead of time to share with guests. Or, set out supplies...

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Web coolness: 4th of July fun, the funniest podcasts, the celebrity comeback we’re ready for

Here are some of the links we’ve been reading around the web this week. Hope you like them too.   How adorable are these chocolate dipped ice cream cones for the 4th of July! More easy red white and blue recipes for an Independence Day celebration. 6 fun 4th of July crafts for kids that are safer than sparklers. What you should know before you see Finding Dory. What you hope you don’t see before you see Finding Dory. Amazing campfire recipes that actually make us want to go camping. Thanks for HuffPost for including Spawned among 15 funny podcasts for parents...

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Controversy over little girls and bikinis, the new summer camp debate | Spawned episodes 44 + 45

If you’ve already binge-watched the entirety of OITNB and you’re looking for a little entertainment, we’ve got you covered with two episodes of Spawned! And yes, that’s kind of a pun. On the recent episode of Spawned with Kristen + Liz, we’re discussing our post about little girls and “modest” two-piece bathing suits, and the rather…passionate debate that ensued on our Facebook page from our fans. We imagine you’ll have a whole lot of thoughts about this one! (top image: Balla abstract tankini top and bottoms at Tea Collection; Pom-pom trim bikini by Maaji) Listen right here by clicking play below below. Or listen on iTunes through this link....

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Common mistakes parents make when applying sunscreen on kids and how to fix them.

With four outdoor-loving kids and lots of pool and beach time on our calendar this summer, you can bet I am always stocking up on sunscreen. I’m pretty careful about when and how I slather it on, too, which is why I was surprised to see that I was making a few very common mistakes when it comes to applying sunscreen to kids. Ack. If you’re going to be applying sunscreen to kids — and hopefully yourself — this summer, you’ll want to check these common mistakes parents make and what to do about them. No need to feel guilty; just...

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Temporary safety tattoos: A life saver for parents of kids who like to wander.

We all know that theme parks, playgrounds, and big outdoor events can be pretty overwhelming places to bring younger children, especially if you have several to keep track of. And big distractions like fireworks, cotton candy, and costumed characters certainly don’t make it any easier to keep anyone from wandering off. Which is why we think these new Emergency Contact Temporary Tattoos we found from MadelinesBox on Etsy are genius. In the off-chance your child does stray from your side, whoever finds your little one will know exactly who to call, even if they’re too young to have it memorized. Our editor Liz shared the...

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Web Coolness: Disney’s first Latina princess, keeping kids reading over the summer, why a dad stunt is going viral

Here are some links we’ve been reading around the web this week. Hope you like them too.   Cheers to NY for making history with tampons. (Seriously, this is fantastic.) More cheers for the three fashion brands committing to an Equal Pay Pledge in addition to plenty of other major companies. May they be the first of many. You’ve seen the viral hit featuring dads stacking Cheerios on babies? Now see moms stacking donuts on dads. Here’s how to get a free Amazon credit from early ebook purchases which is probably already waiting in your account. While you’re at it, go get those free Ticketmaster...

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5 free summer reading challenges for kids. Prizes included!

Even though I’ve got a couple of avid readers in my house, I’m always looking for ways to continue to encourage them to pick up a book. Thankfully, there are no shortage of summer reading challenges that offer kids a little incentive for their participation. Whether you’re trying to give your reluctant reader a little motivation summer, or just want something to reward your voracious book lover, here are 5 free summer reading challenges for kids that you’ll want to check out, all of which offer participants prizes. Related: 3 simple tips from LeVar Burton to get your kids...

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Renegade Made helps kids create random acts of kindness through crafting.

Over the years, we’ve featured loads of great craft kits for kids that flex our children’s creative muscles as they try their hand at making cool new works of art. But I’ve never seen anything quite like the brand new craft kits for kids by Renegade Made that aim to turn crafting into a larger social movement for good. The idea is that these clever craft kits for kids are designed to deliver random acts of kindness around town, through one of four kits, and kids as young as 8 (though likely younger with an adult’s help) can find one that keeps them busily entertained, all while...

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Waterproof diaper bags that just happen to make the perfect pool totes

Even if you’re not in the market for a new diaper bag, you might want to give the waterproof diaper bags from TWELVElittle a second look. My kids haven’t been in diapers in years, but I’ve been using their new waterproof diaper bag daily because it makes a perfect pool tote, too. There’s plenty of room for sunscreen, snacks, and towels for three kids. And if you do have little ones, it’ll work well for hauling diapers and swim vests, too. Or, you can hook swim vests to the shoulder straps — wet or dry — without worrying about ruining a pretty bag....

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The cutest baby sun hats to protect your baby’s skin this summer.

When it’s brutally hot outside like it is now in some areas — hello, summer! — we start thinking seriously about protecting our littlest ones’ skin from damaging UV rays. And, sunscreen can only do so much. It’s important we find other ways to protect our baby’s skin, and shading them with sun hats is one good way to go. From modern prints to sweet florals, we found the cutest baby sun hats that offer great protection for your littlest kids at the pool or park this summer. CMP is an rstyle affiliate    Related: Swim diapers that help stave off sunburn too?...

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