Tag: tips and tricks

Creative ideas to help little kids with school anxiety: 7 small items that can make a big difference.

Preschoolers or kindergarten students often feel really nervous about their first day of school. Or their first month of school. Even older kids may feel anxious about a new teacher, new friends, or just getting back into a more rigorous schedule after a long and lazy summer. While family discussions should help ease their worries, I also love the idea of giving kids a little gift that can help ease anxieties about going back to school, like these seven items I put together here. But hey, whatever works for your kid — that’s the very best idea of all....

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This bag is not a toy. Or…wait. It is.

I’m always open to finding new ways for my family to make eco-conscious choices with our daily habits. But, truthfully, if they’re too complicated we don’t follow through. That said, an easy switch I’ve made recently is to keep a couple of Dert reusable shopping bags in my handbag, thanks to press samples I got to try out. And I love them! Whenever I check out at a store, I decline their shopping bag and use my reusable bags instead. Hey, look at me saving the planet a little bit. Bonus: the totes become adorable stuffed animals when stuffed in their...

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10 smart tricks for using personalized labels to keep you more organized

One of the biggest tasks on our back-to-school to-do lists: Get organized. If only that list didn’t come with 6 parts, each with about 10 subsections (sigh). One of the things we’re trying to get better at is labeling all those clothes, shoes, books, and shiny new back-to-school supplies our kids go off to school with, because we certainly want all those goodies to come back home with our kids too! So we’re happy to be bringing you some of our best labeling tips and tricks on behalf of our sponsor Stuck On You, which makes the personalized name labels...

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Here’s what happened when I took a solo road trip with my 4 kids. Spoiler: It was awesome!

As my kids get older and my status as single mom changing with the blending of my family with my fiancé and his pug (Hi Audrey!), I decided I wanted to start a new yearly tradition: a solo road trip, just me and my kids. Alone. Gulp. This year, I had my geography-loving 10-year old son pick three places within reasonable driving distance from our home in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, and then the rest of us would vote. And so, after his fabulous PowerPoint presentation (his idea, not mine) to help ensure his sisters were making informed choices with their...

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Easy solar eclipse party ideas for a once-in-a-lifetime bash. Literally.

We are totally geeking out over the solar eclipse that’s crossing the United States on August 21. In fact, we think it’s the perfect excuse to throw a solar eclipse party! So, if your kids aren’t in school yet, check out these easy solar eclipse party ideas. From snacks and activities to the important gear you need to watch the eclipse safely, this is everything you need to throw a once-in-a-lifetime party. Literally. Related: How to know how much of the solar eclipse you’ll see, based on where you live And no, there’s no Bonnie Tyler playlist requirement; though that’s...

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Don’t toss it yet! 7 brilliant hacks that give second life to your baby gear.

I’ve racked up quite a bit of baby gear as a mom of four. From diaper bags to bottles to wipe warmers, I could fully stock my own Babies R Us resale outlet! But now that my kids are beyond the baby years, it’s time to purge. Because no parent needs leftover diapers after the kids are potty-trained. Or do we? So I looked around and found these 7 smart hacks for repurposing old baby gear before you go all KonMari method on your kids’ nursery. You might be surprised which items are worth keeping around. At top: Rainbow water...

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5 pool rules for kids that everyone should commit to memory.

Sometimes, I think kids have a button in their heads –like in the movie Inside Out — and it gets pressed whenever they see water. When activated, it’s like this button overrides all rational thought with POOOOOOOL! the second they see one. That’s why it’s important to etch some essential pool rules for kids into their brains from moment they’re old enough to step into the shallow end without you — so they’ll remember and adhere to important safety rules, no matter how immersed in splashy fun they might be. While we’ve put together 11 pool safety tips in the past, we’re condensing here...

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We can’t believe the reason a kids’ softball umpire asked a deaf 10-year-old player to remove her hearing devices.

Parents of kids with special needs are used to having to fight for their kids’ rights. It’s part of the parenting territory. But when my friend told me what happened to her deaf child at her softball tournament this week, I was shocked. (Please note an editorial update below) Lexi, her daughter, is 100% deaf. She has bilateral cochlear implants, which give her the ability to hear. Coupled with the implants,  a lot of hard work has given Lexi the ability to speak normally. In fact, when she wears her hair so that you can’t see her devices, you’d...

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Eliminating food dyes from your kids snacks? Start with these 3.

When it comes to treats and candy for our kids, we’ve always take a pretty common sense “everything in moderation” approach around here. Hey, we love candy! What’s a trip to the movie theater, a birthday party, or a special occasion lunchbox treat without some sweet stuff? We’re also fans of the 80/20 rule that a lot of families practice — eat well 80% of the time, and you can enjoy treats without guilt the other 20%. But even when it comes to candy, we still want to make the best choices we can for our families. And ourselves....

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4 great websites and videos that teach kids how to tie knots. Road trip entertainment, check!

One of the items on my son’s bucket list this summer is to learn to tie a bowline, a half-hitch, and a square knot…with his eyes closed. They are requirements for his scouting program, but have easily become at-home entertainment for the whole family. They’re sneakily addictive! So, whether you’re trying to help your child finish up their Girl Scout or Boy Scout requirements, or you just want to pack a bag of paracord for an easy, unexpected, and really fun activity for your kids on a long road trip, here are 4 websites and YouTube videos that teach...

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Tips for getting a better night’s sleep: 8 tips you may not have tried.

What no one tells you about becoming a parent is the total and complete lack of sleep you’ll suffer. Sure, we all know it’s rough when they’re new babies. But, spoiler alert: It lasts way beyond the infant years. We know moms who can’t fall asleep because they’re worrying about their massive to-do lists, moms who can’t stay asleep because their hormones are totally whack post-baby, and moms who get woken up all hours of the night by their kids. And hey, dads aren’t immune from this either. While we can’t come by your house and force your child...

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Great fireworks photo tips to help make those shots Instagram-worthy

If you’re heading out to catch some fireworks on July 4, or any time this summer, check out Cool Mom Tech where we’ve got 10 photo tips for shooting fireworks, to keep you from coming home with a bunch of blurry blips in your camera roll. Whether you’re shooting with a DSLR, a point-and-shoot, or your trusty iPhone, find some smart pro advice as well as links to plenty of helpful fireworks photography posts on our favorite photo and tech blogs. And hey, if you shoot and share something amazing in the sky, tag us on Instagram @coolmompicks! That is,...

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Here’s why you may now need a passport to fly domestically, and how it impacts family travel.

If you’re a parent in Kentucky, Maine, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania (sorry, Kristen!), South Carolina or Washington State, a simple family trip to visit the grandparents is about to get trickier. And a lot more expensive. All thanks to the REAL ID Act of 2005, which goes into effect this year. And it may impact even more states and US territories than that. If you’re not familiar with the REAL ID Act, just a little background: it’s a fairly controversial measure passed after 9/11, designed to establish federal standards for the issue of state IDs for entrance to federal facilities, and...

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A BTDT mom’s guide to surviving sleepaway camp (you, not the kids!) | Spawned episode 79

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...

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Should you really avoid SPF over 50? We’ve got facts, and we’ve got answers.

Growing up as a fair-skinned, redheaded kid, I’m no stranger to the intricacies of SPF labels. Or sunburns. Like lots of us, I always believed that the higher the SPF, the better the sun protection I’d get, but that’s not necessarily the case. In fact, the EWG warns against sunscreens with very high SPF over 50, and that goes for kids and adults. In fact, they say flat out to avoid SPF over 50. But, why? Related: 2017 EWG best safe sunscreens for kids and babies: Which is the most affordable? First off, what is SPF? SPF, or Sun...

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8 important tips to help families store medicines safely from the kids | Sponsored Message

This is a sponsored message from the Consumer Healthcare Products Association Educational Foundation While medicines help families feel better and stay well, it’s important to keep those bottles safe from curious kids. Wherever you may be. Every year, about 60,000 young kids are brought to emergency rooms because they got into medicines that had been left within their reach. With June being National Safety Month, and travel at its highest, Up and Away and Out of Sight is offering these 8 tips to help parents safely store medicines whether you’re on the go, or in your own home.  ...

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6 simple tips for making a baby book when you’re a busy new parent. You can do it!

One of the biggest mom guilt woes (or badges if you’re a proud Type B Mom) is the lack of a completed baby book. We hear it from so many readers over the years, and I get it! Even the best-laid plans can go south once there’s a real, live baby with needs — and an inability to sleep for more than 3 seconds at a time, in my case. Let alone when you have a second child. So we’re happy to welcome back our sponsor Artifact Uprising, which is just out with their new heirloom-quality Story of You baby book and...

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2017 EWG best safe sunscreens for kids and babies: Which is the most affordable?

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...

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After Manchester: Essential safety tips to discuss with your kids about crowds and separation

The second I saw those big pink balloons in early images flooding media from the Manchester Arena last night, without knowing a single other thing about the story, I thought, Oh my God…whatever happened, there are children there. It was a rough night for me, as I’m sure it was for all of you, and for parents around the world. It’s hard enough for us to process our own feelings as parents and as caring human beings when we hear about a terrorist attack, especially one that’s impacted so many children and families — let alone knowing we’re also going...

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You don’t know these 10 favorite household hacks of ours? Prepare for life to change!

As a busy parent, I rely heavily on household hacks. In fact, I would say just about everything I do around the house involves some sort of easy hack or trick or clever time-saver. But some tricks work better than others, and some you wouldn’t believe it until you see it (or try it), which is why I searched around the web and set out to put together this list of some our very favorite easy household hacks that every parent should know. From organizing all those keys to de-stinking shoes, you’ll find you can pull them off with things you probably already have at home,...

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