Category: Entertainment

CuriosityStream lets you turn your binge-watching habit to fantastic documentaries.

Documentaries are hot right now. The whole earth seems to be obsessed with Making a Murderer, and movies like What Happened Miss Simone?, Man on Wire and Jiro Dreams of Sushi have been big hits in the last few years too. I’m not surprised, considering I’m a sucker for a great documentary too. So I’m excited to dive into the new website CuriosityStream, which features more than a thousand truly high-quality, well-produced, documentaries, all of them streamed to you without commercials. Related: Cutting the cable cord: 5 things that happened when I finally did it Now, the documentaries on CuriosityStream skew more educational and fact-based than the pop-culture docs you’ll see on Netflix, but that’s fantastic for kids...

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Cutting the cable cord: 5 things that happened when I finally did it

I’d been considering cutting the cable cord for about a year before I actually took the plunge. My kids and I rarely ever watch cable, and pretty much never use the landline (I don’t think I ever actually learned that phone number!), so it didn’t seem to make sense for me to continue paying those huge monthly bills. So, when I moved into my new home six months ago, I decided to get rid of cable and telephone entirely, opting only for high-speed Internet. Well, let’s just say my kids and I have lived to tell about it — though I will admit that the transition...

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The Kid Should See This: A smartly curated collection of cool videos for kids (and their parents, too)

We’re always looking for cool educational videos for kids, whether they’re the funniest videos on YouTube, or educational videos and YouTube channels that our own kids love. In fact, we’ve joked that we could just do that, full time, every day. But hey! Someone else is doing it and they’re doing it so well that it’s become a go-to resource of our own. Got a curious kid? Then you need to introduce them to this cool, fun tumblr that’s speaking their language. It’s called The Kid Should See This and it’s fantastic collection of videos for young, curious minds. But it’s...

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7 of the best YouTube channels to get kids excited about math

Even though our kids will be getting lots of STEM in school these days (at least, we hope so), we love the idea of encouraging their love of learning about science, math, and related subjects outside the classroom too. YouTube can actually be a fantastic resource for parents — it’s not just cute puppy videos! — when we’re looking to give our kids a little extra boost or hey, just keep them entertained with something educational. But we also know it can be tough to track down the best YouTube videos when it come to education.   That’s why we’re so pleased to welcome back our sponsor...

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A simple guide to cutting the cable cord: 4 of your best options

For well over a decade, people have been talking — or more like yelling — about being hamstrung by cable companies. Some had-it-up-to-here folks have started cutting the cable cord and looking for more manageable, customized ways of watching what they want, when they want, without emptying their wallets. But those early cord cutting options were limited. Like, you could get some of the basics from Column A, but the truly cool stuff from Column B? For a long time, those options remained off-limits, protected behind the Cable Subscribers Only velvet rope. But that was then. Now the options for viewers who want to severe ties with...

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Common Sense Media: How to know what to watch with your kids, and when

It’s been awhile since we first mentioned Common Sense Media on Cool Mom Picks back in 2009. Since I check it so often, like to remind myself whether there are any pikes through the head in Hunger Games, or whether The Bad News Bears is totally inappropriate for my fourth grader based on today’s values, I just figured it was one of those “in every parent’s back of tricks” resources. As it turns out, so many parents have been thanking us for the reco after hearing us talk about it on our recent SPAWNED podcast, that I thought it was worth revisiting here. Because...

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6 fantastic educational YouTube channels for older kids, to help make the most of that extra screen time.

My kids are already saying they’re bored during the afternoon when it’s too hot to play outside too long. So yeah, they may be getting more screen time than usual, but I’ve been trying to justify it by finding some educational YouTube channels. Or at least more educational than Stampy Longhead videos or episodes of Jessie. Related: Google online camps for kids So here are some of the best educational YouTube channels for older kids that I’m bookmarking for my own brood. These short videos are loaded with both entertainment value and educational value. And when I know my kids are being challenged to think when they’re on their screens, I feel a lot...

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The New Spotify changes: 3 awesome reasons to become a Spotify Premium member right now

We’re huge Spotify fans in my home and on the go (in case you were still wondering whether moms actually know how to use Spotify), and now with the big New Spotify announcement yesterday, I’ve suddenly got a few more reasons to love this popular streaming music app that’s especially useful for parents. The big changes have already hit the iPhone app, and will be coming very soon to the desktop version. And guess what? It goes waaaaay beyond music. Related: 10 ways parents are using Spotify. If you’re still using the free version of the service or you haven’t yet made the leap into Spotify at...

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The new Roku 3: Why you want it.

As an avowed Roku devotee — a word that’s hardly strong enough considering I’ve convinced most of my relatives to invest in one — I was excited to check out the new Roku 3 that just came out this spring. Let’s just say, they had me at “voice commands.” And since today is National #StreamingDay (which, okay, whatever, I think Roku made that up)  it seems the perfect time to tell you why this is my favorite new device. Also because there’s a sweet discount on it, today only. Related: Apple TV vs Roku vs Amazon Fire TV: A triple streaming media device...

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Sling TV: Is this affordable cable alternative worth considering? A thorough look.

I finally sat down and took a good hard look at my cable bill and…whoa. When I consider that there are probably only 4-5 cable channels I really watch, aside from premiums HBO and Showtime; I do pretty much all my watching on Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Instant Video via Roku or my smart TV. So it made sense to sign up for the 7-day free trial of the new service Sling TV, and see whether this is a smart money-saving option for families. Related: A simple guide to cutting the cable cord: 4 of your best options In a nutshell, Sling...

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Ultimate Birthday Party Gift Guide

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