11 fun things to learn to do that will make you the coolest parent, grandparent, aunt or uncle ever

From balloon animals to origami to learning the alphabet in sign language, pick one to master this summer! Your kids will love you for it. 

Presenting our Low-Commitment Virtual Book Club selection #6: How to Break Up With Your Phone

Want to have a healthier relationship with your phone? So do we. And we’re going to talk about how.

Children in crisis at the border: What you should know, and how you can help.

Our readers have always had the most generous spirits and the biggest hearts. Let’s put them together and make change. Let’s be on the right side of history.

Trending right now. As in this second.

Summer camp care package ideas the kids actually want. (Besides candy.)

They’re cool, they’re creative, they’re often shareable, and if you’re missing your kiddo, these ideas should help. Both of you. 

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So much coolness. Where to start…

You’ve Got Doxie Kid!

I thought I’d seen a stuffed everything — bears,phoenixes, horny toads…you name it, they’ve got it. You know, just in case you have a little one obsessed with flamingos. But dachsunds?

Wait, So Not All Poems Rhyme?

Once in a while, I sit down to review something for CMP and have trouble with it. Not for lack of words, but because my daughter has somehow gotten her hands on the item and refuses to give it back.

You Spin Me Right ‘Round, Baby

Since joining the cult of motherhood in 2004, myregular trek to some loud, late night dance club where I slugged down glow-in-the-dark cocktails has been replaced with a different kind of play. One that's decidedly strobe light free. But oh how I long for a little...

Wear it, Hang it, Anyway You Like It

At the ripe old age of thirty, I’ve come to realize there’s something to spending cash on quality items–particularly bags. After going through way too many crappy sacs these past two years, I have a new mantra: It’s not expensive if younever have to replace it.

I Saw the Sign

We tend to see certain ironic baby tees over and over, with the same cheeky quips (cranky baby! chick magnet!) repackaged with different graphics. So I had to stop and give pause when I came across the 100% organic cotton shirts created by mom Liz Murphy of Speak Clothing.

Ch-Ch-Ch-Chia

One prerogative we all have as parents – forcing our kids to wear hats against their will. Without some way to secure it below the neck, I just don’t know a single kid that won’t toss the thing to the ground at the first opportunity.

For Moms, By Moms. But Not the Crazy Ones.

New moms will agree that new mom advice is easy to come by. For example, there’s your mother-in-law and her stories about brandy in the baby bottle, or your childless cousin who’s quick to tell you about the evils of television watching. What’s hard to come by, however, is good advice.

Hanging Around the Fridge, As Always

I’ve always found something really homey about employing the fridge as a magnetic board for family photos and postcards. But with the ridiculous assortment of magnets we end up accumulating it ends up looking less like a gallery and more like a bulletin board in the college dorm.

A new twist on the coming home outfit

Plane rides with little ones can be a challenge, particularly for those of us who actually feel a modicum of sympathy for the childless traveler who gets stuck next to us. If you weren’t able to procure an entire row to yourself on the Jet Blue flight home from grandma’s this holiday, try diffusing the situation with a little humor.

Preparing for the Flood

My little girl loves jumping in puddles after a good rain. She’ll get a huge grin on her face, just before her bounding through every fallen drop in her path. The only part I have issues with, however, is the post-splashing whining about wet socks.

Save Your Baggies for Veggies

There comes a time in every mom’s life when she realizes that that diaper bag she once spent hours (weeks? months?) choosing, is often obsolete. Sometimes you just want to grab a few diapers and wipes, stuff them in a Ziplock bag, and run out the door. But that wouldn’t be very stylish now, would it.

Laundry-Safe Artwork

Given that my pre-baby figure is MIA and unlikely to return without surgical assistance, I now consider clothes shopping for myself to be a less than perfect way to while away an afternoon. But shopping for my girls? That’s another story.

The Happy Head

Growing up in the midwest, I endured some harsh winter mornings at the school bus stop. I gladly donned a heavy winter coat and warm mittens, but I drew the line at hats. Even though my mother was a talented knitter, she always tried to stick me in some goofy beanie. Talk about harsh.

Hey Little Thing Let Me Light Your Candle

For me, one of the few downsides to the holidays is having to smell that nasty synthetic pine tree scent wafting from candles everywhere. Or worse, the cinnamon scent. It smells less like grandma just baked a pie, and more like grandma just got back from the cheap candle booth at the flea market.

A New Spin On the Old Pirouette

Mention music boxes to any mom, and undoubtedly she’ll be able to recall with vivid detail the very one she fell in love with as a child. It’s not hard, considering we all had the exact same one – it featured a spinning ballerina and played either You are the Sunshine of My Life or the theme from Love Story.

Boys Will Be Boys. Even Without Trucks On Their Shirts.

I’ve got two little girls myself. But when I’m buying gifts for the sons of friends and family, I tend to shy away from the camouflage pants and the construction-themed tees that every store seems to push on me. I suppose I feel they can still be "all boy" without dressing like miniature soldiers or welders.

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