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…

Stop: Hammer Time

When I was in middle school, I should have failed Home Economics. I burned my banana bread in cooking class, and the blouse for my final sewing project might have fit had my head been the same size as my arms. But woodshop–now that, I aced. And Aunt Ginny loved her new birdhouse.

Kids In the Hood

I just came to the realization that the hooded towels Iown cover only about half of my 2-year-old daughter’s body. No wonder she’s always shivering after bathtime.

Wrappers Delight

I’m a lover, not a wrapper. My version of creative holiday giftwrapping involves creating a messy patchwork of paper from mismatched leftover scraps.

Siblings With Style

The time has come for me to search for the perfect big sister shirt for my daughter. But, I’m not so much for the sparkley stick figures designs or the cutesie kid-style typefaces I keep coming across.

Your Kids’ Guaranteed Favorite Gift This Year

While it’s not indicated on our calendars, every parent knows that candy season starts just before Halloween, progresses through chocolate turkeys on Thanksgiving, peaks gloriously on Christmas day, and then trickles to a close with nervous dental visits in early January.

Goggly-Eyed

We’re all finally getting the message that sunscreen is not optional, particularly for the sensitive skin of little ones in our lives. But what about protecting those beautiful baby blues or greens or browns?

Girlie Tees, Hold the Saccharine

Lately, the SigOth has been dressing our daughter in the navy, red and olive garments that he’d wear himself. I’ve been insisting that we’d get fewer, "oh, how old is he?" remarks if we girled her up just a wee bit more.

Not Just Any Book Will Do

The lovely yet ill-conceived baby book is almost a guaranteed shower gift. While we all love to keep track of the milestones as best we can, let’s be honest, those early days are exhausting. If you’re going to spend the energy keeping track of details, it’s not going to be things like "the outfit baby wore on her sixth day" or "the date he got his fourteenth tooth"

Stationery Gone Wild

If you’ve got kids, then you know what it’s like to have a pack of wild animals roaming around. They make strange noises, they eat everything in sight, and they leave disasters in their wake. Even little girls do it – if you need proof, I’ll send pictures.

A Parent’s Thanksgiving Lifesaver

Now you don't have to feel bad going back for seconds (or thirteenths). Only 3.79 at drugstore.com. Now if only we could find the tryptophan coma remedy. Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! Now go overdo it--you know you want...

But What About the Mom?

After the labor, delivery, and oh yeah, the pain, don’t moms deserve a little more than yet another six-pack of infant socks, or worse, one of those scary looking diaper cakes? While we’re all grateful for every baby gift we receive, it’s easy to feel a little, well, forgotten, amidst all the new baby commotion.

Choosy Moms, Unite!

If I don’t absolutely adore an outfit for my girls, I don’t buy it. Not even if it’s on the five-dollar rack. But it’s not easy being picky, especially when you’ve been to sixteen stories looking for Just The Right Thing.

Playlist by Zanes

If you haven’t heard of Dan Zanes, you haven’t been through labor and delivery. Or at least not in good long time. While many families Zanes for his folksy, sing-along musical style, his "House Party" videos on the Disney Channel, and above all, his wild hair, Zanes also frequently lends his name and his talent to some important causes.

Been There, Worn That

We constantly come across maternity tee-shirts with cheeky statements that try to fend off questions like, "when are you due?" or "what are you having?" But personally, I'd rather spend my money on clothes I'll actually be able to wear after the baby arrives too. So...

Sushi For the Jonesing Preggo

Recently, after confessing an irrepressible pregnancy craving for very forbidden spicy tuna rolls, I found out that I was far from alone. But only one thing was more comforting: A sushi recommendation that gets thumbs-up from even the most cautious OBs. Perhaps because it’s not actually made from raw fish.

Chinese Laundry

Recently a friend of mine arrived home with her beautiful new daughter – a thirteen month-old from China. I love how she’s making an effort to help her child retain aspects of her heritage, even as she assimilates into her new home. A perfect gift for her–or any new parent, come to think of it–is one of the Chinese Satin Baby Blankets from Graceful Kate Designs.

I’m Dreaming of a Tropical Christmas

It won’t be long before snow blankets much of the country, bringing with it exorbitant heating bills and mothball scented sweaters. And it also won’t be long before some of us escape it all, heading south to warmer climes.

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