This time of year, we love looking back to see the top posts that resonated with our readers and social media fans. This year, our top 10 includes a fascinating mix of gift recommendations, craft ideas, Covid-era tips and advice, and an increasing number of posts for parents of tweens and teens. As some of our kids get older, yours do too! (Sniff.)

We all work extremely hard on all the articles we share here, whatever the topic, and our entire team is just so grateful that so many of you find them valuable.

At top: Vaccinated/Not a Hugger shirt from Afrodits
Maybe: A Story About the Endless Potential in All of Us by Kobi Yamada


The top 10 posts of 2021 on Cool Mom Picks

Also be sure to check out the top 10 posts on Cool Mom Tech and the top 10 posts on Cool Mom Eats this year. Maybe some of them were your own favorites too.

This post contains affiliate links, and some purchases may generate a small commission to help support our continued work at no additional expense to you, so thank you!


Screen free activities: How to make your own science journal for kids | Cool Mom Picks | © Kristen Chase

10 50 screen-free activities for kids to do this summer, indoors and out.

We updated this post in 2021 with even more helpful ideas because, well… after all the months of Zoom, we’ve all been desperate for some unplugged time. And yes, the kids too.

Above: Kristen’s daughter Margot with her own homemade science journal she made, complete with free printable science stickers that Cool Mom Tech offered a few years back.¬†

9 10 cool vaccination t-shirts to let people know (even if you’re walking around outside, safely, without a mask)¬†

Not surprised that so many parents were so thrilled to be vaccinated, they wanted to shout it to the world. (Our readers’ most purchased shirt, seen up top.) ¬†Here’s to keeping as many of us as possible out of hospitals — in 2022, too.

8 The best children’s books of 2020: All the award winners to read with your kids in 2021

Each year, Kate takes so much time to thoughtfully compile all the best children’s and YA books from all the best best-of lists, so that you have a handy list to refer to all year long when the kids need a new book to read. We’re thrilled that so many of you kept referring back to it throughout the year! (And psst…keep an eye out for our 2022 post in just a few weeks.)

Best books of the year: Some of the National Book Award Finalists in Young People's LiteratureAbove: some of the¬†National Book Award Finalists in Young People’s Literature

7 16 cool Easter gifts for teens to make their second (ugh) Covid Easter a little more special

We of course pride ourselves on our carefully curated gift guides, and this Easter guide from Christina is no exception. PS that aromatherapy dough made it into a few of our kids’ Christmas stockings, too.

6 12 inspirational graduation books for kids, beyond Oh! The Places You’ll Go

Kate updated this classic post of ours, adding even more titles for 2021 because books always make the best graduation gifts. (We also love our post about 7 outstanding high school or college graduate gift books from guest poster Jeannine Harvey, which is such a lovely post to bookmark as your kids outgrow the picture books.)

5 The best baby gifts of 2021: The Ultimate Guide to Shower New Parents With Love

Liz spends so much time each year tracking down the best baby gifts in all price ranges, and this year’s guide really struck a cord as we tried a new format — our top 10 gifts in categories including the best practical baby gifts, the best handmade baby gifts, the best feminist baby gifts, the best baby gifts for dads — and even the best baby gifts under $10. Because YES, you can find a wonderfully thoughtful gift without spending a lot if you know where to look. And we definitely know where to look!


personalized baby swaddle: One of our favorite baby gifts of the year

The personalized big announcement baby swaddle set, from our guide to the best personalized baby gifts of the year.


4. We tried the first LED string lights with mosquito repellent built right in

During a year that we’re all still spending time outside as much as possible, no wonder Kate’s detailed review inspired so much curiosity — and purchases! Hope it keeps you all bite-free for years to come.

3 5 clever and “safer” ways to blow out birthday candles during Covid-19

Christina’s smart post was inspired by a Twitter thread about the things we may not return to, post-Covid. Top among them it seems, is blowing out candles on cakes. We love how she wrote this post with honesty, a realistic perspective, and a whole lot of humor.

2. 7 cool tie-dye pattern tutorials to help you DIY your own trendy tee

We attribute Kate’s viral post on tie-dye patterns to Pinterest, where it totally blew up. Also, to the number of parents out there who really appreciate an eco-friendly craft that doubles as a party activity, take-home gift, and upcycling solution for old t-shirts.


America's Test Kitchen kids' cooking subscription box | Best gift ideas for 7 year olds | cool mom picks ultimate birthday gift guide
The Young Chefs Food Subscription Box introduced by America’s Test Kitchen in 2021,
from our guide to
The Best Gifts for 7 Year Olds


1. Our Ultimate Birthday Gift Guide: The Best Gifts for Kids By Age

So happy to know that hundreds of thousands of parents over the years have gotten so many ideas from our annual gift guide for kids, which we update each year to share our newest favorites.

Top this year: best gifts for 7 year olds, best gifts for 8 year olds, best gifts for tweens 9-12, and at the very top of the list: the best first birthday gifts of the year. Because no matter how old your kids get, there will always be new little ones in your life to celebrate. And hey, more celebrating sounds good to us in 2022.


Thank you for all your support this year, cool moms, dads, grandparents, and lovers of kids. We couldn’t do it without you!