Tag: Tweens + Big Kids

Cool hard-side kids’ luggage: 9 options that might get them to carry their own bags

There are few better moments for traveling families than the day your child is ready to carry their own luggage through the airport! (Can I get a woot?!) I’ve put together some fantastic hard-side luggage for kids that makes for fantastic first-time luggage, whether they’re a tot or a young teen. I wanted options that were rugged enough for the beating kids can give all of their items, but something fun and cool enough that they’ll want to grab it before you can even ask them to yourself.  Now that’s a win! CMP is an rstyle and Amazon affiliate...

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8 must-read summer reading books for tweens and teens who want to stay woke

Lately, as my kids are getting older and the world has gotten (ahem) a little crazier, my 10- and 12-year-old have been questioning what’s going on. I chat with them about my own observations and beliefs…and ask them about theirs. But one thing that helps us both understand where other people are coming from is to read stories written from their perspectives. So I’ve recently tracked down a handful of books that can help kids stay woke. I’ve collected these with tweens and teens in mind (although check them out first, because some of the books on this list...

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5 sleepaway camp postcard sets that are cool enough for cynical kids.

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...

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The life-changing magic of tidying up, now as a manga graphic novel. For real.

I’d be willing to bet money that you’ve probably heard about Marie Kondo’s uber best-selling book The life-changing magic of tidying up, aka The Konmari Method. But now, the author has launched a new version of her book to make it even more appealing to read. That’s because it’s now a manga graphic novel. Considering I’ve got a manga-loving teen in my home who could use some major organizational help that’s not in the form of her mother nagging her (hi honey!), we actually pre-ordered The life-changing manga of tidying up and let’s just say it has not disappointed. She...

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Should your kids be watching 13 Reasons Why? 15 must-read articles to help you figure it out.

Okay, parents. Let’s talk 13 Reasons Why and whether your kids should be watching it. Because, no doubt, your kids are doing just that. And now that it’s been picked up for a second season on Netflix, the question about whether your kids should watch it won’t be going away anytime soon. Now personally, I haven’t watched the series yet myself because after checking with the Common Sense Media review (which has a suggested age of 16+) and talking with my own trusted parenting friends, I’ve decided my 11-year-old is too young. Also, we’re getting word about entire schools sending out warning letters to parents,...

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10 inspirational art prints for grads that will encourage them to work hard, be kind, and follow their dreams.

I’m a real sucker for a feel good, motivational quote, so I love the idea of giving an inspirational art print as a gift to a recent grad. They can hang it on a wall or prop it up on a desk, and it’ll be a daily reminder to go out there and go get ’em! These 10 inspirational art prints for grads are the ones I feel will most encourage hard work, kindness, and a belief in themselves to follow their dreams. Cue the Pomp and Circumstance… At top: Work Hard and be Nice to People Print by Stars and Type...

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The wackiest, coolest summer camps for kids. Can we go too?

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....

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5 important dystopian novels for tweens and teens to inspire critical thinking and positive action

In the age of “alternative facts,” it’s no surprise that classic dystopian novels, which encourage readers to take a critical look at things, are dominating bestseller lists right now. While dystopian literature has always been popular with middle and high schoolers — probably because adolescence is a time when kids start focusing on their individuality and independence, questioning authority, and caring more about issues in the world — since January of this year, sales of the quintessential dystopian book 1984 has spiked, putting the 70-year-old George Orwell novel at the top of the Amazon bestseller list. Other classic novels warning of oppression, propaganda, and government control have had...

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Coloring your child’s hair at home: Tips to make it hella easy.

I was so proud of myself, the first time my daughter wanted to color her hair at home and asked for a pink stripe in her hair. I did all the research (what’s easiest, safest, least messy ) and finally settled on dyeing it with…Kool-Aid. Good gravy, what a mistake! It burned, believe it or not, and just as bad, it hardly left behind any color. Then, I discovered one simple way to dye my kid’s hair at home, turning her into her version of a 21st century punk without the tears: Dye the ends of the hair only. Here’s why. Before you...

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Kids and social media: Smart tips and helpful advice from BTDT parents | Spawned episode 71

As the editors of Cool Mom Tech, we’re often asked by parents how to navigate the ever changing landscape of social media with their kids. So, we decided to spend this episode of our Spawned podcast answering questions and offering our thoughts and experiences with our own kids. If you’ve got kids on social media, or you’re considering it in the near future (or know someone who is), you’ll want to take a moment (or like 30 minutes) and listen to this important episode. You can do that right now, and then be sure to subscribe to our podcast on iTunes...

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Why America needs this comic book about menstruation…written for boys.

One thing Indonesian boys are doing that I wish more American boys were doing: They’re now learning all about girls’ periods, thanks to a comic book about menstruation created by UNICEF. I think it’s simply brilliant. Ever since Judy Blume gave girls the gift of Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret back in 1970, there have been so many books, resources and tools throughout my life to help educate about menstruation and the changing female body — right down to free downloadable period guides, and several shame-free period starter subscription kits that are growing in popularity. But when you think about it, if we don’t start including boys...

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A magazine for tween girls, by tween girls, about tween girls. Finally!

OMG! We found a magazine for tween girls so cool that the only thing my 10-year-old daughter could find to complain about was that some of the fonts were hard to read. High praise indeed, if you’re familiar with hormonal, too-cool-for-school preteen ways. Seriously, though. If you’ve got a tween girl, you’ve got to check out Bright Lite magazine. Related: 9 great TV shows for tweens that you might not have considered Bright Lite, which is run by two moms, is a magazine for tween girls written by tween girls, and curated by an editorial board of — you guessed...

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17 fun rainy day indoor activities to keep kids happy and parents sane

It’s been a pretty mild winter for everyone this year, but the season isn’t over yet folks. In the words of the late, great Prince, “Sometimes it snows in April.” Plus, March comes in like a lion, and all that, so it will still be a bit longer before we’re in full on outdoor play mode. Whether it’s the cold, snow, or rain that has your kids stuck inside over the next couple of months, we’ve got your back with tons of fun rainy day indoor activities that can get you and the kids through the long hours. And still smiling at...

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A trés cool graphic novel anthology of inspirational women. Let’s hear it for the girls!

My girls and I love graphic novels, especially when they feature strong female role models, which is why I’m so excited about the Femme Magnifique Kickstarter project, fundraising now. This hardcover anthology of comics will feature 30 strong, fierce, trailblazing women from the fields of politics, science and entertainment. Amazing women like Hillary Clinton, astronaut Sally Ride, and Kat Blaque a transgender African-American feminist vlogger, just to name a few. Related: 10 graphic novels loaded with girl power.  Related: 9 fantastic girl power movies for kids Over 50 of the industry’s best writers and artists are involved in this project. We’re talking award-winning,...

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An easy way to help more kids learn from real news, not fake news.

We’re big fans of supporting quality journalism, especially in this age of where fake news is running rampant. Because, facts matter. (Not that this is a big stake in the ground, mamas. I mean, is any normal person really like, “Whoo! Fake news! We need more of it!” Let’s hope not.) So when I learned about The New York Times Sponsor a Subscription Program, I was so excited to share this with other parents and educators who feel the same way. Related: 10 free educational online resources for curious kids that every parent should know. A donation of just $2–4 provides a free subscription...

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19 of the coolest, non-candy Valentine’s Day gifts for kids | Valentine’s Day Gift Guide 2017

It’s February, which means a lot of us are spreading a little extra love in the family with Valentine’s Day gifts for kids. We’ve tracked down some favorites that are sweet — but also candy-free. So in this year’s Valentine’s Day Gift Guide, we’re serving up 19 of coolest Valentine’s gifts for kids of all ages, and we hope there’s something here just right for your littlest sweetheart. Be prepared to accept lots of hugs and kisses in return — even from your tweens. Well, maybe.   Related: Don’t forget about your partner — 16 creative, inexpensive Valentine’s Day gifts for him CMP is an...

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9 lovely children’s books about the immigrant experience to help encourage more kindness and empathy.

I’m a child of an immigrant. And so I jumped at the chance to put together a list of some of my favorite children’s books about the immigrant experience. I know first-hand just how difficult it is for someone to get to America for a better life and work toward citizenship, let alone having to leave their homeland, family members, and the only life they’ve known behind, sometimes forever. With immigration a big topic in our country right now, our children are hearing about these issues too. They have so many questions, whether they’re watching the news with you, discussing it in...

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3 inspiring ways your kids can design, create and invent using Tinkercad.

Last week, we introduced you to 3 cool kid inventors who we actually got to meet and chat with on behalf of our sponsor Autodesk. Well, since then, my tween Quinlan, who actually interviewed the inventors on Facebook Live (so fun!), has been learning how to use Tinkercad. She’s been playing around with this free web tool, creating 3D designs the same way those remarkable kids created their own inventions. I’ve been so amazed seeing how my daughter can just take an idea from her own imagination, design it, and use a 3D printer to print and hold it in her hand. And did I mention it’s fun? Take...

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The first reusable tampon applicator: Would you? Could you?

Our Facebook fans pretty much went nuts discussing (okay, debating) our thorough, honest review of THINX Period Underwear this past year, and now the woman-run period innovation company is back with the upcoming launch RETA, the first reusable tampon applicator. Yep. Reusable. Tampon applicator. And hey, why not? Related: The Dot Girl First Period Kit: a lifesaver for moms of tween girls Whether it grosses you out or seems like one more smart step toward ending menstruation squeamishness while helping you save money and be kinder to the earth, it is a pretty fascinating concept. Especially considering the medical grade silicone will likely be way more comfy than...

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10 outstanding children’s books about activism in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

As we approach MLK Day, we’re thinking it’s the perfect time to get our kids learning about activism and about how one man, through his peaceful and steadfast fight for equal rights for all, made lasting changes and a huge impact on generations. Inspired by his words — “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere” — and motivated by his actions, we’ve put together a list of 10 children’s books about activism that we think will inspire our kids, in turn. From stories our littlest readers will enjoy to non-fiction books that motivate our older kids to take action about those things they believe in, we...

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