Category: Tips and Tricks

Watching the total solar eclipse in August? Here’s how to get the glasses you’ll need for free.

Unfortunately, we’re going to be in an airplane during the highly anticipated total solar eclipse in August, so it’s questionable as to what we’ll be able to see of it. But, if you’re going to be on the ground, mark your calendar because this is not to be missed. The only issue: you’ll want to have glasses to protect your eyeballs, even if you’re in the areas where you’ll only see a partial solar eclipse. Related: 71 of the best science Twitter accounts to follow But, lucky you! There are a bunch of libraries (like 4800 or so) across...

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Summer screen time making you nuts? Here’s how to manage it, parents.

If you’re like us, then your kids having been begging for screen time the second they got out of school. But hey, just because you’re home more doesn’t necessarily mean you get more time on your screens, kids. So, to help you manage the summer screen time, we’ve got a ton of fantastic resources, ideas, and tips to help make it a whole lot easier, all of which we’ve tried ourselves and can vouch for as working in our own homes. Related: The Circle for Disney screen time management system. Is it worth it?  Take a peek at our...

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Addicted to your iPhone? Try this one easy trick to seriously curb your screen time.

I’ve been seeing a lot of research lately that seems to find a correlation between how much time we spend on our phones and our kids’ behavior. Specifically, their bad behavior. The constant distraction of pings and alerts from my phone that takes my attention away from my own kids frustrates them too, especially now that they’re home all day on summer break and I’m trying to juggle work and kids at the same time. But, I’ve recently found a tip to break the iPhone addiction that really works: setting my screen to black and white. It’s painful, but...

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How to get money back from your kid’s $*%! in-app purchases on Amazon.

While it was announced on May 30, a lot of parents still don’t know that the FTC announced refunds are now available for unauthorized in-app purchases on the Amazon Appstore. That means you, kids, and your itchy little in-app purchase-happy fingers. This is all because the FTC decided that between November 2011 and May 2016, it was too easy for children to make purchases on Kindle devices using real cash, should it have been presented as “coins” or “lives” or “donuts” or whatever else that does not sound like “mom and dad’s actual hard-earned money that will be needed...

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Tech trick: How to hide app purchases so your kids can’t download through Family Sharing.

I’m grateful to my daughter who (much to the chagrin of tweens and teens everywhere, I’m sure) tipped me off to a trick I wasn’t aware of: Kids can easily download new apps to their devices without your knowledge, if you have Apple Family Sharing in use. Now my kids do need my approval to download any new apps, because of the Ask to Buy feature I have enabled. And I love Apple Family Sharing, because it means I’m not paying three times when we all want to play Alto’s Adventure. (Don’t judge.) Related: A new study about kids’ online behavior might surprise...

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9 creative kid portrait ideas that make genius Father’s Day gifts. Just add a frame!

If you missed the boat on photo gifts for Father’s Day or Mother’s Day…no, wait! You didn’t! We all live in the land of the smartphone cam, after all, and if you’ve got a camera  — especially that dandy iPhone 7S — and a place to print a photo, you’ve got what it takes for a creative kid portrait idea, that makes a wonderful surprise Father’s Day gift. Well, you’ll need the kids too, of course. Here are just a few creative kid portrait ideas for Father’s Day that we’ve seen found from incredibly talented parents around the web that...

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Harvard rescinds 10 offers to students posting offensive Facebook memes.

For those of you with teens applying to college, if you’re wondering whether college admissions officers check student social media accounts, the definitive answer is “yes.” This is clearly evidenced by this week’s incident in which Harvard rescinded offers made to ten students who posted offensive Facebook memes in a “Harvard Memes for Horny Bourgeois Teens” group chat. Now, Facebook meme groups are quite common among prospective and current students. In fact, according to The Princeton Review (with whom I’ve been doing some work with over the last few months), Facebook meme groups for college students can be a positive way...

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How tech can help keep kids safer with crowds and separation

When we saw the reports coming out of Manchester last night, we were completely devastated. And, we found ourselves thinking about what we would have done if our children (some of whom are tweens, and Ariana Grandé fans, by the way) had been separated from us like so many were. So with that in mind, we’re sharing tips for parents on how to talk with your kids about crowds and separation over on Cool Mom Picks today. From teaching kids what to say if they’re dialing 911 from a cell phone, to how they can use social media (even...

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Worried about your tween or teen’s mental wellbeing? Avoid this popular app.

In a recent survey of 1500 young people aged 14-24, researchers discovered that Instagram was cited as the most damaging to a young person, followed closely by Snapchat, and then Facebook. In fact, YouTube was the only of the 5 networks (which included Twitter, as well), that was seen as positive. Yikes! Related: The deadly Blue Whale online suicide game targeting teens. Respondents noted that using Instagram (and Snapchat) increased their feelings of anxiety and inadequacy, which researchers speculate is due to the increased visual nature of both apps. Of course, these are two of the most popular apps for tweens...

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How to use the fun new Instagram 3-D facial filters. Wheeeee! Snapchatty

As someone who’s not on Snapchat (what? I’m old!) I admit I’m excited about the novelty of the new Instagram 3D facial filters, as anyone who follows our @CoolMomPicks Instagram Stories can tell today. I put together the quick, Cliff’s Notes version below, for you visual learners, but here’s step by step just what to do to use your fun new starter pack of 8 Instagram 3-D facial filters. Related: How to use new Facebook story. It’s like Facebook and Instagram story had a baby!   1. Be sure to update your Instagram app for iOS or Android to the May 15 release....

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Ultimate Birthday Party Gift Guide

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