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…

Only a Baby’s Butt is Softer

You’vebeen there before: You get the baby shower invite, peruse the registry, and try to figure out what you can buy that will actually be of use. And let’s be honest, a "keepsake blanket" is probably not at the top of your list. Isn’t that just a polite way of saying "blanket that goes in the cedar chest covered with moth balls?"

Like a Monkey on Your Back

My back hurts. New moms know what I’m talking about–it’s all that lugging around baby blankets and baggies full of Cheerios and water bottles and diapers. And in my case, multiple hats. Always multiple hats.

Nice Package

I’m a sucker for great wrapping. Yep, I’m the one at gift exchanges who instead of shaking the box and examining its size and shape picks a present solely on the pretty paper — even as I end up the proud owner of a new electronic nose hair trimmer.

I’m Pining for Some Wood

With an anti-sleep toddler, I barely have time to get a shower, let alone match jewelry to an outfit. But that doesn’t mean I’m willing to sacrifice my stylish tendencies. Itjust means that I need pieces that can multi-itask as competently as I try to.

When You’re Too Sleep-Deprived to Cut Through the BS

As a new mom, it’s hard to know where to turn for good advice. There are several websites offering free newsletters, which at their best clutter up your in-box unopened. At their worst, they make you feel like if you don’t buy a particular developmental toy from their online store right now now NOW, your child will grow up to rob banks and torture small animals.

Let’s Hear it For Less Laundry!

We all know that any eating, drooling, or art-making extravaganza on the part of your toddler is never pretty. But while you may successfully protect your child’s cute top with a smock, the pants are never so lucky.

Out of Africa

One of the greatest gifts my daughter received for her recent birthday was a pair of hand-batiked t-shirts–especially once I discovered the story behind the label. My ever socially-conscious (and gift giver extraordinaire) best friend tracked them down through Global Mamas, a non-profit helping small women-led businesses in Africa.

Where the Real Stars Hang

If you’re a frequent reader of Cool Mom Picks, then you know we believe that being a cool mom transcends what kind of diaper bag you carry. For the past three years I’ve balanced my love of stuff with my work for the Starlight Starbright Foundation, a non-profit organization for seriously ill children and their families.

Nursing, the Rock ‘n Roll Way

The nursing pillow: The number one item on every baby registry. The nursing pillow: The number one ugliest textile in my home. Finally, FINALLY someone has come up with a solution.

Who You Callin’ Cupcake?

Cupcakes are one of the easiest treats to make, which is why they’re a mainstay at school bake sales. "But how can I make my cupcakes stand out from the bunch?" you ask, like the good 1950s housewife that you truly want to be.

A Recipe for the Perfect Gift

I love that my crafty friends are willing to share their cute knit bootie pattern with me, however the illegible scribble on a piece of notebook paper just doesn’t do their creations justice.

Little Miss Can’t-Be-Matched

You’ve surely heard the wisdom that if you buy socks for newborns and toddlers in a single color, such as white like I did, then you’ll never be without a matched pair. But just as you’re thinking you’ve outsmarted the dryer elves, along comes a bigger challenge – a two year-old with strong opinions on clothing, and white is definitely not all right.

On My To-Do List: 1) Find a Better To-Do List

Are you a member of the scrap paper/atm receipt/used envelope scribblers club? The first step to recovery is admitting that you have a problem. And considering my husband has a penchant for throwing away anypiece of paperthat is not attached to a spiral binding, I’m in desperate need of some list therapy.

Look Ma, No Sparkles!

My older daughter, Mimi, is a princess-kittens-glittery flowers kind of girl. I can’t convince her to don any clothing that doesn’t scream I AM A GIRLY GIRL, most often in some shade of pink. Rosie, however, is more tomboy than princess, which makes shopping for both of them at once a little challenging.

Take Me To Your Bathroom Sink

I’ve met kids who will eat raw oysters and kids who clear their plates without being told. But I have yet to meet a kid who likes to wash his hands. Maybe if the bathroom were a more child-friendly place, the odds would tilt in the favor of personal hygiene?

SHOOOOOOOOOOE!

Every year the World Cup brings in a new spate of obsessive soccer fans, and this year my own baby’s daddy was among the casualties–er, ranks.

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