Your 2018 back-to-school shopping guide is here!

We’ve tracked down the very best backpacks, the best school supplies, the coolest gear, and the best discounts and deals, just for you. Because we love you.

12 motivational printables to send kids back to school with a smile

From bookmarks to lunchbox notes and more. So many wonderful ideas, lots of them free!

Back to school tech: A guide to the best educational apps for all ages

From math to science, reading and beyond, we’ve got our annual back to school tech guide to help give kids a little boost — and have some fun while they’re at it!

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The new Dave Eggers picture book that should be required reading for all kids.

The perfect picture book has come along at the perfect time…and we’re telling everyone we know.

So much coolness. Where to start…

Go Ahead and Cuff Me

I’m one of those mothers who always forgets to put a picture of myamazingly adorabledaughter in my wallet. Maybe it’s because I feel like she’s always with me (not so far off, really), or because all our pictures are still stored on our digital camera.

Folk for the Little Folks

If you’re curious about children’s music artists like Trout Fishing in America or Justin Roberts, but are too indecisive to actually purchase an entire CD, here’s an easy solution.

Empowering Teens, One Showtune at a Time

One of the coolest and most underrated nonprofits I know is City at Peace, which uses performing arts as a way of promoting positive development in urban teens. They bring together a diverse group of kids for a year, during which time they mine their lives for stories...

Fill it with Yen

kyoto purse
Lately I’ve been on the lookout for a cute little change purse that I can toss into my diaper bag when I head out to the playground.

Who Needs Paper?

My daughter has recently discovered the wonderful world of coloring. You name it- she isdrawing on it, and sadly, it’s rarely on actual paper. So instead of squashing her inner artiste, I’m thinking a Chalkboard Table from Sparkability might be just the way to go.

Cool Cats, No Hairballs

I don’t entirely understand all the ducks and lambs and barnyard animals on children’s stationery. I mean in my urban neck of the woods, where does a child even see any of those things, let alone grow to love them?

Buggin’ Out

Lots of kids go bonkers for bugs. But if you’re like me, you’d rather not be collecting those winged suckers in your house, thankyouverymuch. You can keep nature outside and still enable your child to explore the intricacies of living things, with the Butterfly Alphabet Poster.

They Take the Words Right Out of My Mouth

Sometimes I get tired of being the go-to gal for any kind of creative writing. Need a poem for your second cousin’s daughter’s fifth grade graduation? An apologetic letter to overbearing in-laws? A newsletter for the softball team?I’m the one who gets the call. So when I found Story People, I felt like I’d happened upon my own personal nirvana.

Now It’s Easy Bein’ Green

We here at Cool Mom Picks are all about being kind to the environment. But trying to live that way can be a challenge, particularly in you live in a not-so-green state like I do.

Reversible Can Be Cool, I Promise

I have to admit that I haven’t had much success with reversible stuff. I mean, sure, it’s great in theory. Butit always seems like one side is way better than the other, and that just sort of defeats the purpose, doesn’t it?

These Pants Were Made For Crawling

Trade my gorgeous hardwood floors for wall-to-wall? No chance. Fortunately I've been alerted to crawling pants. No, I'm not kidding. Crawling pants. Pants. Just for crawling. These inventive and thoughtfully constructed toddler trousers from mom Tammany Atkinson's...

Better Than Cucumbers

As if I don't have a hard enough time falling asleep already, I am constantly dealing with my night-owl neighbors whose bright kitchen light shines right into our bedroom window.Tying to avoid any neighborly conflicts, I'm thinking of scoring an eye pillow from...

Wood if I Could

Plastic, plastic everywhere. Argh, I’m going out of my head with all the neon plastic around our house! Er, what I mean is…anything for the kid.

Word to Your Mother

Feeling a little unhip these days? Having a hard time understanding "the kids" on MTV? Don't worry. We've all been there. Weknow how those Gymboree classes, playgroups, and never-ending Barney episodes can suck the cool right out of you. Sodon’t despair — there’s...

Boring Bandages, Be Gone

For eons, adhesive bandages came in that weird pseudo-skin tone color. Then someone got smart and decided they would make bandages with graphics on them. Yay!

Give Your Pringles to Someone Who Really Needs Them

Do you really need to be eating that can of barbeque pringles? Or that bag of red hot cheetos? I'm thinking that perhaps there's no time like the present (cough-bathingsuitseason-cough) to put the junk food away and send it to someone who could actually use it - like...

The Pod(cast) People

In many ways, technology has made raising children a whole lot easier. Just look at the Mr. Clean Magic Eraser! But one of the greatest inventions for moms and dads, in our opinion, is the podcast.

Stop and Frame the Flowers

I always think I’m taking the most beautiful, professional, ready-to-be-blown up to 22×30 photos–only to process the film and realize just how mistaken I was. Not Alicia Bock. A mother of two, ecclectic gardener, and award-winning photographer who "records the passage of time through fading flowers and weathered landscapes."

Not Any Card Will Do

Shadesofviolent_1They struggled for four plus years. Dealt with an annoying roommate, egotistical advisor, and really bad food. So, you can’t just give them any old graduation card.

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