Lanyards are a summer camp mainstay — remember making them back in the day? But like so many things from our own childhoods, these knotted summer crafts have only gotten way cooler. Lanyards (also called scoubidous, scoobies, boondoggles, scooby doggles, gimps, and rexlaces, among other things, which makes for an interesting Googling experience) are made with strips of flexible, colorful plastic, resulting in neat designs. After poking around and trying some out — see the ones at the very top, I did those with zero experience; cool, right? — I settled on these tutorials for the coolest lanyard patterns...Read More
Tag: summer camp
Since old fashioned pen to paper is usually the required form of communication at camps, cool sleepaway camp postcards make it easy! They keep writing short and sweet, don’t require envelopes, and if you give your kid a set all stamped and ready to go, the odds are in your favor to receive some updates and maybe even a few I miss you‘s Even from kids who prefer to communicate in emojis. So grab one of these 5 cool sets we found and mail them to your camper in a care package, or send them off in that trunk...Read More
If your kids are headed to sleepaway camp — or already there — you’re probably already planning out a great summer care package, filled with items your kids will love, to help ease the anxiety, keep them busy during quiet hours, help them make friends, or just make them even happier campers than they already are. But with a lot of camps banning the sugary stuff or discouraging food altogether, I know it can be hard to think of care package ideas besides gummi worms and Oreos. So I’ve spoken to our resident sleepaway camp parents, and we’ve put together...Read More
Today on Spawned, guest host Stacie Billis joins Liz for a great chat that should put all you first-time sleepaway camp parents — or future sleepaway camp parents — at ease. Well, mostly. Tune in for tips like when to know your kid is ready for camp, how to decide if camp is right for you, a few sleepaway camp packing tips to help make things easier, what to do if your child has food allergies, care package ideas the whole bunk will love — and even tips for getting kids to write those letters they should be writing...Read More
This is a new take on the old idea of positively rewarding your kids. It’s 2017. It’s a new type of merit badge.Read More
If your kid is going to sleepaway camp this summer — especially if it’s for the first time — your family is probably dealing with a lot of organizational kerfuffles right about now. Not the least of which is packing. Even though your camp will send its own checklist of “what to bring” and “what not to,” you’re still going to have plenty of questions. So we rounded up some sleepaway camp packing tips to help make it all much easier. That way, there’s less time to worry, and more time for what really matters: Lots of pre-camp hugs....Read More
It’s hard to believe that when we started this site, I was thinking about binkies for my daughter, and now it’s like I blinked — and I’m thinking about bras. Gah! While I wholly admit that the affordable Target made-up-brand-name bras are pretty great, especially for the price, nothing even come close to the Yellowberry bras I bought on Kristen’s recommendation, in terms of quality, durability, and comfort. (Plus, those colors are so cute!) Related: 8 super cool swimsuits for picky tweens and teens that their mothers will approve of too. While developing tweens and teens don’t have the uh, bounce factor...Read More
Every year, I take a look at the Environmental Working Group’s report on the best safe sunscreens for kids and babies. This list measures popular brands against the EWG’s standards, including everything from worrisome ingredients to false marketing claims. Not every top-ranked tube of lotion is the same value for the dollar, though, so I’ve broken down all 19 of their best safe sunscreens for kids by price per ounce. Because I’ll bet there are other parents like me, who want safe products for their kids but don’t feel the need to spend more money than necessary. Top photo: © Kate Etue for Cool Mom Picks...Read More
Summer camps have changed a lot since we were kids. No offense to good ol’ Camp Starfire and the many, many lanyards we made there, but the options for our kids are wildly creative, expertly thought-out, and — sometimes — curiously specific. Circus camp? Spy camp? Zombie survival camp? Check, check, and OMG check. With a list like this, your kids are sure to be happy campers — so much so, maybe they’ll forget to pretend to be homesick. But, before you pack your kids up and ship them off to, say, stunt double training (yes, really), be sure to vet each of these camps yourself....Read More
If you’ve already watched all the Rio Olympics replays and you need a little entertainment, here’s our newest Spawned episode. On this episode on Spawned with Kristen and Liz, we tackle the topic of life with mess. How do you deal with your kids’ messy rooms? What do you keep clean and what do you let go? Do you have the yearly celebratory dusting schedule like Kristen and Liz? You can listen right now on Soundcloud or through the player below, and make sure to subscribe to Spawned on iTunes so you never miss an episode. We’ll be back every...Read More
The idea of combining education and conservation with a family vacation is super appealing to parents, which is why ecotourism is such a fascinating concept for me — and maybe for you. If you’re not familiar with ecotourism, it’s aimed at providing travelers with environmental awareness by offering experiences that also support conservation. But in my own research, so many ecotourism vacation options involve heavy travel, often internationally, which can definitely be costly for families — especially for my family of five. That’s why I was so thrilled to learn about Jekyll Island, a small spot off the coast of Georgia,...Read More
Here are some of our favorite links from around the web this week. We hope you enjoy them too! Candy rainbow party platter! Yes, please. Everything you need to know about Pokemon Go before you let your kids play. How are they still making these shirts for little boys? C’mon now, Forever 21. A mom filmed her own c-section birth. Whoa. Win $1000 worth of cool eco-friendly baby gear! Get your kids in the kitchen with these 5 awesome cookbooks just for kids. Our friends at Tattly turned 5. Save 50% off your Tattly order with TATTLYTURNS5,...Read More
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....Read More
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...Read More
Nothing beats running around barefoot in the summer, until those soft little feet hit a rock or your kids refuse to go into the lake because of a few “icky” leaves on the bottom. So now is a great time to stock up on comfy and durable pairs of water shoes for your toddlers or bigger kids, who will be in and out of water all day. We’ve roundup up a handful of our favorite water shoes from companies we love and trust — the snappiest, sturdiest pairs of water shoes that are an essential part of summer fun. CMP is an...Read More
For many of us, summer means heading off to our go-to camp where our kids spend their days playing outdoors, going on nature hikes, swimming in ponds, and singing goofy camp songs with all their friends. But if your kids would prefer a less-traditional or even totally off-the-wall summer camp experience, we’ve found loads of the coolest, most outrageous summer camps — both day camp and overnight — that fit every child’s idea of fun. Whether or not you take the plunge, or just fantasize about what your kids could do one day, these are all pretty awesome. But before you pack...Read More
Every year, we have turned to the Environmental Working Group’s Annual Guide to Sunscreens to help us make more educated decisions about what are the safest sunscreens to slather on our kids (and ourselves) each summer. But we often find that when you break down the prices, whoa — it’s expensive to get safe sunscreens for kids! Especially considering how much we’re using. So this year we thought we’d take a good look at their short list of the EWG Best Kids’ Sunscreens, find the average prices online (generally from Amazon, Drugstore.com, or the brand’s own website if the product isn’t widely available at...Read More
We all have hearts in our eyes over Mabel’s Labels’ latest design: personalized Emoji name labels for our kids’ water bottles, backpacks, toys, and — of course — favorite texting device. With three designs to choose from, parents can pick the emoji that best represents their child. No, none of them are scowling — that’s just a phase. Honest. And, thankfully, the poop icon isn’t represented in this group. Related: Fun emoji gifts: For kids or kids at heart I love that each set comes with 45 bright and durable labels, so we can add them to (and re-add them to) tons of stuff that our kids have a habit...Read More
This week on SPAWNED, we talk about sending our oldest daughters off to sleepaway camp, the good, the bad, and the hilarious. And wow, we’ve gotten so many amazing emails from our listeners thanking us for giving you new-ish parents hope that it does get better — so we thought we’d share our own newborn stories and advice for surviving these years. Hope our walk down postpartum, leaky boobed, sleep-deprived memory lane can help you! And as always, we close the show with our cool picks of the week, which includes a funny discussion about adult popsicles. Hmmmmm. Take a listen right now to SPAWNED...Read More
I keep being told that donuts are the new macarons, which used to be the new cupcakes, so I shouldn’t be surprised that I’m seeing them everywhere. And my kids are clamoring for them. They are emblazoned on stationery, tote bags, t-shirts, even toys and cosmetics, making them perfect for birthday gifts, or to tuck into a camp care package for a donut-deprived child of yours. I will say that though my favorite donuts are more simple cinnamon sugar or glazed, the frosted variety with sprinkles definitely seems to be winning out in the kitschy donut gift category. Hey,...Read More
Gift Guides, Yay!
Follow us on Instagram!
Latest from Cool Mom Tech
Latest from Cool Mom Eats
- Next week’s meal plan: 5 easy recipes for the week ahead, from an upgraded Cheeseburger Mac to super quick Lo Mein.
- 8 allergy free supermarket snacks for safer back-to-school lunches | Back-to-School Lunch Guide 2017
- The magical make-ahead breakfast recipe that will make your life easier and healthier.