Fun Spring Activities Kid Approved

As much as it still does not feel like spring, it’s finally here! After spending most of the winter inside, children can’t wait to get outdoors and play outside.  So, why not come up with a few spring activities the whole family can enjoy.   Here are a few ideas for getting everyone to enjoy the warm weather.

Go On Nature Walks

If your child still rides in a stroller, go for a lot of nice long walks. Or, invest in a jogging stroller, so you can jog while pushing. If your child is able to ride a bike or scooter, have them ride while you jog alongside. Look for various flowers, insects, and animals that can be found during the spring season. Take a few photos or make a list of what you see. When you get home, talk about what you have seen. See if your child has any questions and even do a little research on what they want to know. This will teach children about nature and the world around them!pg-spring-activity-kids-bikes

Garden

There are many people who love to work in the garden when the spring season arrives. Kids love using their hands to create things. So why not let your children work in the garden with you?  It can be as simple as one plant in a single pot or a full designated garden onsite. Either way, kids will enjoy seeing the “fruits” of their labor. Make healthy foods and nutrition fun for kids to learn about.

Have a Picnic

Having an outdoor picnic is a great way to spend time as a family and enjoy the spring weather.  Pack a few sandwiches, juices, and treats into a picnic basket or lunch bag. Grab one or two blankets and head to the yard or local park.  As you and your little ones eat, you can just enjoy the company of one another. Talk about your day, tell jokes, take pictures, color, or read a book together.picnic

Build a Birdfeeder

Your feathered friends are on their way back from their winter trip south. Make a simple bird feeder with your kids and enjoy watching the birds come to it throughout the spring and summer. Using a plastic cup, poke a small hole on two opposite sides and run heavy twine through them (for hanging). Cover the outside of the cup with Elmer’s Glue and then let your child gently sprinkle birdseed over it. Once that’s dry, fill the cup with birdseed and hang it on a branch near a window. Encourage your kids to draw pictures of the birds that visit.

What are your favorite spring activities?

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Dress up Your Home for the Holiday: Easter Decorating Tips

Easter Sunday is fast approaching. Not sure where to start to give your home an Easter twist? Take inspiration from things you like and admire and work them into your decor and scheme. Flowers are the easiest accent to transform your home into a bright re-creation of a garden – a look that’s perfect for Easter but doesn’t have to change post-holiday. Irises, lilies and grape hyacinths add brilliant pops of color to any arrangement. If you happen to have the actual bulbs, you can plant them in your garden. You can also plant bulbs in a growing container at home as long as it allows room for the roots to grow. Place bulbs over at least one inch of gravel, depending on the bulb type, then completely cover the bulb with gravel and store in a cool, dark spot. As soon as you see the green growth above the gravel, move the bulb to a sunny area. If you don’t have a green thumb or time to plant, you can still keep the garden feel by using vases and colored gravel to contain gorgeous cut hyacinths and daffodils that will make your home “spring” to life.
ribbon-vase-spring-mdn

No Easter Sunday would be complete without the requisite hard-boiled eggs. But this year, it may be time to step it up from the plain old dyed variety and try some new decorating techniques. Wrap your eggs with bits of scrap lace or other types of trim before dipping in the dye, leaving a delicate, yet intricate pattern on the egg. You can also use stencils, stickers, felt and fabric to make one-of-a-kind decorations. For an upscale affair, cover the eggs in gold leaf and display in a matching basket.
unique-egg-decorating-ideas-lazy-daisy-eggs-04-sl

Bring Easter outside by decorating your front door. A bright blue wicker basket filled with white tulips is a welcome sign of spring that will complement any door. Choose a basket with a flat side so it will lay flat against your door, then fill with white tulips (in lightweight cups of water), grass, and a tiny birds nest filled with cracked eggshells. For a final touch, add a band of ribbon around the bottom of the basket. Tie a pretty bow in front and on top of the handle to hang.

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3 Spooktacular Halloween Projects for Kids! | Cute Beltz

I am delighted to introduce Keinya of the Busyfams blog, she is our featured guest blogger today.  She is sharing a few fun Halloween projects kids can have a blast doing.  Enjoy!

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The fun and spooky themes of Halloween don’t all have to happen on that one day.  Kids can enjoy fun projects and activities all week-long.  Here are 3 practical and really fun, creative ways to get your kids in the “spirit” of Halloween!

1) TRICK or TREAT?

green goblin smoothie 2 Goblin Smoothie: Healthy Halloween Treat!

Power up before your night out in the neighborhood with this parent approved healthy beverage that will be just plain spooky fun for the little one. There are fun Halloween cups everywhere this time of year.  In a fun cup, make a healthy Goblin Smoothie for your trick-or-treater and better yet, let them help! It’s sure to be a win-win!

What you’ll need:

(serves 1-2)

  • 1 1/2 bananas, frozen (peek ripeness – black spots on peel when frozen)
  • 1/2 cup non-dairy milk (vanilla soy milk used)
  • 1/2 cup vanilla non-dairy yogurt
  • 1 tsp matcha green tea powder
(see alternative below if desired)
  • 3/4 cup watermelon, peaches or more banana, frozen

optional: 1/4 avocado

optional: 1 tsp chia seeds (for a nutrition boost)

optional: handful of spinach

optional: add ice

For extra sweetness, add in another 1/2 frozen banana or a drizzle of agave syrup.

Directions: Blend until very smooth and creamy – and enjoy!

Note: matcha green tea does contain a small amount of caffeine so if serving this smoothie to kids you can either use a smaller amount of matcha or sub the matcha with a handful of green spinach or 1/2 green avocado for green color.

Green Goblin Smoothie – courtesy of Babble (Hyperlink to: http://blogs.babble.com/family-kitchen/2012/10/04/goblin-smoothie-healthy-halloween-treat/ )

2) MAKE TRICK OR TREAT BAGS

Take it from Martha Stewart and put those paper grocery bags to good use by using them for a fun creative Halloween project. What trick-or-treater doesn’t need a bag for all those treats? Not only can you pack this handy bag up with treats, but you can enhance your child’s safety in the evening while out as well.

What you’ll need:

  • Paper grocery bag
  • Duct tape – Identi-Tape carries a variety of colors (Hyperlink to: http://www.identi-tape.com )
  • Reflective tape (1 inch in width)
  • Tape measure
  • Scissors
  • Ruler or tape measure
  • Bone folder

1. Use the scissors to trim 4 inches from the top of the grocery bag. Cut a 50-inch piece of duct tape and lay it down, tacky side up. Cut an additional two 2-inch pieces; set aside for later.

2. Make guide marks with the pencil down the front and back of the bag, 2 inches in from the sides. Make marks on the inside of the bag, as well, 2 inches from each corner.

3. Position the bottom of the bag over one end of the tape; the tape should be 2 inches in from the side. Slowly tip the bag onto the tape, using the marks inside the bag as a guide. Place a 2-inch piece of duct tape on the inside of the bag where the handle begins. Place another 2-inch piece about 9 inches down the tape. Fold this portion of tape in half to create the handle. Use a bone folder to smooth out the bubbles.

4. Carefully flip the bag over. Attach the remaining tape to opposite side using the guide marks. Repeat for the back of the bag.

5. Cut four pieces of reflective tape that are equal to the height of the bag. Center the reflective tape on top of the duct tape. Do this step on the front and back. For extra strength, double bag.

Trick – or – Treat Bags – Courtesy of Martha Stewart (Hyperlink to:  http://www.marthastewart.com/268447/trick-or-treat-bags

3.) GLOW JARS

This was a project I actually did with my kids over the summer on more than 1 occasion, but it can be just as effective for Halloween.  You can use it to light a pathway in your yard to your front door.  This is also a handy kind of light to stick in a carved jack-o-lantern. It looks really cool!

What you’ll need:

You will need:

  • Jars – I recommend having lids
  • Glow sticks – this project calls for 3 glow sticks per jar.
  • Scissors – not your good ones!
  • Gloves – I recommend gloves if the kids will help with dumping the glow stick juice.
  • Apron – the kids can make a mess, so best not to have your best clothes on in case you get flicked with the dye.

There are several web sites that show ways to do this project.  I like the way Planning With Kids (Hyperlink to: http://planningwithkids.com/2012/06/21/glow-jars/ ) presents it as they do it step by step with lot’s of pics and kids in mind.

For extra fun: Decorate the jar with a face and get a jack-o-lantern effect! Kids can paste the eyes, nose, and mouth made of black construction paper to the jar.

Guest Blogger Bio – Keinya L, the voice behind Busyfams is a busy mama of 3, a happily married wife, sibling of many (yep part of a big dysfunctional, but loving family), a student who is extremely close to obtaining that BS degree, and a full time supervisor…trying to juggle a blog in the mix too! Is she crazy?! Yes…just a little, but she wears many hats and has inspiring stories, a sense of humor, random thoughts, and “realness” to offer in the areas of “busyness” and work/life balance.  She’s all about staying on top of your game in that sometimes dysfunctional world called family. Find her on Facebook and Twitter.

Dreaming Of a December Vacation | Cute Beltz

I need a vacation!!

 

The kids have only been in school for  2 months and I need a vacation! Between activities and school this mommy is one tried cookie.  So, December can’t get her fast enough because the family will be escaping to somewhere warm.  I’m thinking Disney, not sure if I will go for the cruise or one of the Disney Parks, but either way the kids, dad and mom are getting out of dodge for a little R & R.   We’ve been to Disney World, but never the cruise, can’t decide????  If you have been on the cruise, I would love to hear about your experience and tips.

Here’s to December Vacation! -Cute Beltz

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Ask Cute Beltz – Traveling With Kids, What Do I Take For Entertainment?

Q: I am traveling with a 3 and a 5 year old on an airplane, what items  should I take with me to keep them entertained.  I am afraid they may end up being the kids no one wants to sit next to, any advice?

A:  As a mother with two kids and who has traveled many places with her children, there are some key items you must have when venturing into the world of travel with kids.

1. DVD Player with headphones! – Nobody will want to listen to Dora and Diego on their adventures.  Tip:  they make a plugin for headphones with dual headphone plugins, make sure to get this attachment because you will have two headsets.  Take at least five movies, kids can often change their mind in the middle of a movie and request something new.  Tip:  Let them pick two movies each, make the 5th movie a surprise, maybe go buy something they haven’t watched.

2. Coloring Books – Take at least four or you can print some of their favorite characters from an activity website.  Nickelodeon Kids Printables and Crayola offers cool Disney Coloring Pages are good resources.

3. Gaming System – A Leapster, Mobigo, etc. will keep them busy and quiet.  Make sure to take at least two games and download a few new games from the gaming systems website, this will give them a new challenge which provides you with peace and quiet.

Hope these tips help.  Traveling with children is always an adventure, you never know what will happen.

Happy Traveling! – Cute Beltz

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