Parents Best of the Web Awards
We clicked, liked, and followed our way through more than 500 expert-driven nominations to unravel the gems that will make your life easier and more fun. How did anyone raise a kid in the predigital age?
Get It Done
Instructables.com It's the MacGyver of websites: Uncover all kinds of hacks and DIY deets, from making a costume to de-rusting a tool.
DataCenter.KidsCount.org Whether you're relocating or need info about your own community, this site has the economic and education data you're looking for, says Ned Holstein, M.D., founder of the National Parents Organization. Eye-opening feature: how much money your school district spends per student compared with others in the state.
The Baby Guy NYC "A certified child-passenger-safety technician, Jamie Grayson can answer almost any question about baby gear in a nanosecond—and his account is hilarious, honest, and incredibly informative," says Lindsay Pinchuk, founder and CEO of the event company Bump Club and Beyond.
Doodle.com With this scheduling tool, you can poll your friends to see when would be the best time for a playdate or a moms' night out rather than trying to coordinate a meet-up through text or e-mail. 19 million products) and if you still can't find what you need, post a query of your own.
SignUpGenius.com Whether you need to wrangle donations for a class party or round up volunteers for the soccer fundraiser, this service will help you blast out the info, get commitments, and send reminders in a fraction of the time of doing it individually or, ugh, sending home a sign-up sheet.
Glassdoor.com For job hunters: Look up salaries by company and position, get details on benefits, peruse the listings, and— best part—read what employees really think about where they work.
CommonSenseMedia.org Find out whether your kid is old enough to see the new Disney's Alice Through the Looking Glass movie or thousands of other flicks, video games, TV shows, and more. Age-based ratings and reviews come from independent media experts plus parents and kids.
Fixya.com Fridge on the fritz? Car battery dead? Search previously asked repair questions (there's info on more than
KelleHampton.com Click on the Down Syndrome tab listed under "categories" for poignant posts about Hampton's 6-year-old daughter, Nella (the subject of her New York Times best-selling memoir, Bloom) and Nella's four siblings. "Whether your kids have special needs or not, there's a lot to learn here about living life to the fullest," says Keren Brown, founder of the blog Frantic Foodie.
@SuperHealthyKids "This feed of fun ways to serve fruits and vegetables is daily inspiration to get my kids to try more produce," says Frances Largeman-Roth, R.D., author of Feed the Belly. Brownie points for the holiday-themed ideas like red, white, and blue smoothies.
DinnerALoveStory.com With posts like the one that begins "5:00 Shut down computer. Start making meatballs. 5:15 Get sidetracked by a mind-numbing car-pool text thread," this recipe-packed blog strikes a relatable note.
TwoPedsInAPod.org A pair of pediatrician-moms from The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia "provide straightforward, reassuring guidance about the health topics we all worry about," says Kelley King Heyworth, the founder of HappyHealthyKids.com.
RachhLoves You'll relate to beauty tutorials from this Canadian mom, who gave birth to her second child in January. Must-watch videos: "Hack your morning routine" and "Look awake when tired!"
Weelicious.com It's your go-to for healthy recipes specifically designed to please the under-5 crowd. Like the Facebook page, as well, because founder Catherine McCord posts pics of her kids' school and camp lunches that are surprisingly easy to re-create.
RealMomNutrition.com Registered dietitian and Parents blogger Sally Kuzemchak serves up answers to nutrition questions like "Should you make your kids take one bite?" plus recipes and healthy snack ideas. "She's engaging and relevant for moms trying to feed their family well," says Parents food editor Jenna Helwig.
Fitness Blender Whether you're looking for a stand-alone workout to target a trouble spot or want to be part of a five-day challenge, this channel from husband-and-wife personal trainers has you covered with nearly 500 videos.
Family Food Tube Chef Jamie Oliver and his wife, Jools, cook up kid-friendly recipes such as Crunchy Fish Fingers and Hummus, sometimes with their own brood.
Fatherly.com A favorite of Apartment Therapy's Maxwell Ryan, dad of a 9-year-old daughter, this site's content ranges from An Economic Breakdown of Cloth vs. Disposable Diapers to How to Discipline Your Kids Without Hysterics (From Them or You).
BedtimeMath.org Log on to this nonprofit daily for a short nonfiction story and related math question tailored to your kid's age. "It's nice that the topics are often something that has recently been in the news," says Linda Gojak, past president of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics.
PBSKids.org "It skillfully weaves in content and supports young children's learning without getting dull or stifling imagination," says Amy Susman Stillman, Ph.D., director of applied research and training at the Center for Early Education and Development at the University of Minnesota.
TheKidsShouldSeeThis.com Search more than 2,400 "not-made for kids but perfect for them" videos on topics ranging from animals to animation. They're curated by Rion Nakaya, a mom of two, who puts up eight to 12 new videos every week.
Crash Course Kids Every Tuesday and Thursday, watch a three- to five-minute science lesson video hosted by teen vlogging sensation Sabrina Cruz.
SFSKids.org This animated site from the San Francisco Symphony introduces children to the orchestra and its instruments as well as to music theory and composers.
JoinHoney.com This browser extension automatically searches the Web for coupon codes and applies them to your order at thousands of online retailers.
Bankrate.com "It's your best one-stop-shopping personal-finance site, whether you want to get a mortgage, change banks, find a better credit card, or calculate a loan, " says Parents senior editor David Sparrow, who oversees our money coverage.
WealthySingleMommy.com Forbes contributor Emma Johnson not only tells single moms how to earn more but also tackles emotional issues like how to handle being the only solo parent at family events.
Have More Fun
JimGaffigan.com Stand-up comic (and dad of five) Gaffigan's TV Land sitcom about fatherhood is hilarious and honest. Put the kids to bed early and binge-watch Season One!
@HonestToddler "It's the feed you'd expect if your toddlers were more Web-savvy and had impeccable spelling," says children's librarian Betsy Bird, mom of two. "You'll laugh then cry because it's just so true." Particularly quippy tweet: "So quick to claim someone on your taxes yet so slow to make them a snack."
@ObviousButAmazing From Julie Stone, a former Glamour photo editor, this feed is all celebrity news. "She comes up with the best hashtags, like #getontopofme [#hotguycelebname]," says Parents senior editor Gail O'Connor.
KidandCoe.com All of the 850-plus vacation-rental properties on this site include high chairs, cribs, books, toys, sitter recommendations, and other family amenities so you don't have to schlep your own stuff. A home exchange is launching soon.
@KidVenturous Erin Gifford, contributor to our sister magazine FamilyFun, pops up with her four kiddos in so many cool places, from Grand Teton National Park to Chicago's Navy Pier.
AllEars.net You can "tour" many of the room types at the Walt Disney World hotels so you really get an idea of the sense of space before you book. Head over to the website of the same name for news about Walt Disney World, Disneyland, and Disney Cruise Line.
@TravelingMoms Drop by every Monday at 9 p.m. ET for a Twitter party. "You learn tips from family-travel experts and may even score free swag," says Katie Bodell, an editor for Trekaroo.com.
TakingTheKids.com With sections on Disney, beach trips, snow vacations, cruises, nature trips, and all-inclusives, this site from longtime travel writer Eileen Ogintz (a mom of three) has great advice.
HotelWiFiTest.com Never book a hotel with crummy Wi-Fi again. This site supplies the average connection speed for thousands of hotels worldwide.
GoNoodle.com While the videos on this site, like Cat Party and Rock Your Body, were originally intended to help teachers give kids short exercise breaks, it's fab for parents to use at home. "Think Yo Gabba Gabba! meets Richard Simmons," says Apartment Therapy's Maxwell Ryan.
ProjectKid.com Based on the book of the same name, this site from Amanda Kingloff, the former lifestyle director of Parents, supplies clear directions for a wide range of projects, from a robot bank to a sunglasses case.
TinkerLab.com "It's an extraordinary resource with countless ideas to support children's curiosity and exploration," says Emily Prabhaker, an educator at The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art. Recent fun post: How to make your own paint with powdered milk.
Nerdy Nummies Rosanna Pansino's self-described "geeky cooking show" features more than 200 videos of children's party-worthy treats ranging from Minecraft Rice Krispies Treats to a Castle Cake.
@OhHappyDay How can a photo of paper plates and napkins draw more than 2,000 likes? Because Jordan Ferney's styling is so much fun! Check out her blog, too, for her "favorite party ideas of the week" posts plus a fantastic collection of printables, including penguin cupcake toppers and ice-cream fans.
ShareYourWish.com This site allows party guests to donate to the birthday child's fund—you decide what percentage goes toward purchasing a gift for the child, and the rest is donated to charity. "We have used it the last two years for my daughter, Madelyn's, parties," says Parents executive editor Chandra Turner. "We don't get a bunch of birthday gifts she won't ever play with (such a waste!), we donate to a great cause, and she ends up with some money to spend on something herself. Win, win, win."
StyleByEmilyHenderson.com Whether this stylist, mom, and TV host is posting about fashion or home design, she seems relatable. Recent posts: "6 things I would save from a fire" and "My biggest design regrets—and what you can learn from them."
Daddy Daughter Hair Factory A single dad from Florida rocks the braids, up-dos (including the Princess Leia look), and ponytails for his 9-year-old. He's bringing us one step closer to the end of the "dads can't do hair" stereotype!
ABeautifulMess.com You'll probably start following this well-organized blog written by two sisters for their DIY home advice—such as three ways to style a coffee table and how to use removable wallpaper. But you can't help getting caught up in their beautifully photographed recipes, crafts, hair and makeup ideas, and even happiness tips too.
PICKS FROM WHAT'S UP MOMS
YouTube sensations and Parents contributing editors Elle Walker, Meg Resnikoff, and Brooke Mahan—who have eight young children among them—reveal the sites and feeds they couldn't live without.
Do It On a Dime We don't know where we'd be without Kathryn's organizing tips! She inspires us to get organized and she does everything on a budget.
The Sunny Side Up We can spend hours going through the 75-plus inspiration boards that cover everything from closets and paint colors to playroom fun.
@AverageParentProblems Ilana Wiles captures the hilarity of parenthood that any mom or dad can appreciate. When your kid discovers your secret chocolate stash? Yep, we've been there.
Marisa@Omiyage Marisa is the queen of craft. Her boards are filled with cute and creative projects that make our hearts flutter.