DIY Glitter Playdough Recipe | Cute Beltz

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Add some sparkle to your homemade playdough with this glitter playdough recipe! This is a kids’ favorite and one of the best playdough recipes to make for kids birthdays or other special occasions. This playdough recipe is not edible, but it does not need to be refrigerated so it is easy to store and keep. Use multiple colors and glitters to make all kinds of playdough that can be used to create every kind of shape and object, making this playdough recipe for kids a great choice, especially for crafts with young children.

Ingredients:

  • flour – 1 cups
  • salt – 0.5 cups
  • cream of tartar – 2 tbsp
  • cooking oil – 1 tbsp
  • water – 1 cup
  • food coloring
  • glitter

Directions:

  • Combine all ingredients except glitter into a large mixing bowl.
  • Mix ingredients until consistent.
  • Add to a pan at medium heat.
  • Cook until mixture is a doughy ball.
  • Put on wax paper and add glitter.
  • Knead until dough is smooth and consistent.
  • Store in a sealed container but do not refrigerate.

If you want to add even more sparkle to your playdough sprinkle some glitter on after you’ve finish kneading everything together. This recipe is very kid friendly and easy to make! It is particularly fun to make after you have made some simpler playdough recipes with your kids and they can make something a little bit more difficult with your help.

What are some things your kids would add to their playdough  to make it fun to play with? – Cute Beltz

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Fun and Healthy Ways to Keep Your Toddler Busy This Summer | Cute Beltz

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Whether they’re tearing through the house giggling madly or scaling a Mount Everest of sofa cushions, toddlers are an active bunch. One of a kid’s main jobs in the transition between infancy and childhood is to learn the foundations of movement. When your toddler is throwing building blocks as hard as he can across the room, he’s not just testing your limits. He’s also practicing his motor skills. Toddlers learn by playing. And when you give them a wide variety of games and different settings in which to play, you help them to learn more.

Above and beyond the minimum of 60 minutes and up to several hours of unstructured free play toddlers require daily, the National Association for Sport and Physical Education recommends that toddlers get at least 30 minutes of structured physical activity each day. Here are some healthy ways to harness your toddler’s boundless energy.

Brain Games

From the moment they wake up until the time they drop off to sleep, toddlers are developing intellectually at an amazing rate. Here are some fun things you can do to boost your toddler’s brain power:

  • Dress Up: Adorn your daughter with a top hat and baton so she can “lead the band” while you both march around the living room. Comb through thrift stores for gently-used Halloween costumes, fancy hats, boas and ties for a low-cost way to build a stockpile of dress-up supplies. Keep in mind that a toddler’s attention span is very limited. He or she may like the silly hat more than the pretend game, but dress-up is a great way to stimulate creativity.
  • It’s A Bug’s Life: Head outside and hunt for bugs. She’ll learn the names and characteristics of all kinds of creatures, from ants to worms, and squatting and standing will help her practice balance.
  • Head and Stomach, Knees and Toes: Ask your son to point to his head, pat his ears, rub his tummy and touch his toes. This time-honored game not only teaches your toddler to recognize and identify parts of his body, it also helps him learn new action verbs like rub, touch, pat and point that he can use in many other games.
  • Story Time: Pick a time that you can read every day such as during snack, bath time, before a nap or at bedtime. Stories are very calming to a child as well as stimulating. The pictures visually stimulate the brain while your voice teaches vocabulary. Books with textures are will develop tactile awareness as well! Have fun and make animal sounds or give characters “voices”. Toddlers love to make sounds and the more sounds they make; the more they talk and will want to talk about what they see in the books.
  • Look and Listen: This you can do anywhere; sitting on your front porch, pushing the toddler in the stroller, waiting at the airport. Point out sounds – identify what it is and show the child where the sound is coming from. This activity teaches a child to follow where you are directing his attention. Encourage him to make up the sounds himself. This will also develop his listening skills.

Have a Ball

Since the wheel was invented, humans have been steadily improving upon things that roll. Today, toddlers and their parents can enjoy playing with balls in all sizes and shapes — from simple soccer balls to fancy spheres that light up and make noise when they move. Ball games can help teach everything from impulse control to motor skills. Here are a couple ball activities you can try:

  • Kick Ball: Set up simple targets (a sofa cushion, a stick or a pile of leaves) and take turns with your toddler kicking a ball toward the goal. The kicking will develop her motor skills and balance; taking turns will help her develop impulse control. This game works inside as well as outside.
  • Track Ball: Use a roll of wide masking tape to mark off a simple “track.” Encourage your toddler to try to kick or roll a ball along the track. Extend this game by setting up two or three stopping points along the way. When the ball reaches a station, perform a simple exercise like jumping, turning around or touching toes.

Swim like the Fishes

Most toddlers love the water, whether it’s bath time, running through a sprinkler or playing in the pool. While swim aficionados maintain that the earlier a child learns to swim, the safer that child will be in the water, parents often worry that pools bring a risk of accidental drowning, sunburn and chemical exposure. While pools do pose risks, with proper safety precautions, swimming can be a healthy and enjoyable activity for the whole family, including your toddler.

Use adequate sunblock or visit an indoor pool to reduce the risk of sunburn. The chlorine used in pools actually kills off disease-causing bacteria, and when applied within proper guidelines by safe, qualified pool operators, it doesn’t put people at risk.

A great way to introduce your toddler to swimming is by enrolling him or her in a qualified swim program. A good program will offer a clean, safe environment, warm water and experienced, trained teachers. Since parents are usually required to join their child in the water for lessons, both of you will benefit from the training. Soon your toddler may be a stronger swimmer than you are!

Move It!

The healthiest activity for toddlers requires no props, no instruction and no special venue. It simply requires that you and your toddler get moving. Young children aren’t meant to be sedentary. They need to practice balance and a variety of basic movements to develop the motor skills that form the building blocks for the more complex movements they’ll perform in later life.

Something as simple as ditching the stroller and having your toddler accompany you on a walk around the block will provide him or her with tons of opportunities to get moving in novel ways. He’ll have to navigate curbs, watch out for trip hazards and adjust his balance to accommodate variable surfaces. Turn your daily walk into a learning game by identifying and describing familiar sites along the route. Ask him: Is the neighbor’s dog with black spots snoring? Is the stop light red, green or yellow? Is the door to the bank open or closed?

To practice moving indoors, have your toddler crawl under, climb through, jump over and twist around a simple obstacle course you’ve made out of couch cushions, pillows and blankets. Even asking her to help you pick up toys will provide her with many different opportunities to squat, stand, walk and reach. It’ll also teach her to be helpful, which is a valuable lesson. Whether you’re tickling, wiggling, rolling, jumping  or chasing, the sky’s the limit on ways you and your toddler can get moving together.

How will you keep your toddler busy this summer? – Cute Beltz

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Fun 4th of July Treats | Cute Beltz

Somehow June has flown by and the 4th of July is right around the corner.   I’ve been looking for fun and festive 4th of July treats and desserts, and thought I would share some of the fabulous sweets I’ve found around the web.

Here are some 4th of July treat ideas that include just a few simple ingredients. No real cooking is involved- just some very easy assembly is required.

Red, White and Blue Strawberries

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Strawberries taste best in the summer but these juicy fruits might be too pretty to eat! Take a strawberry and dip it in melted white chocolate (I used the Baker’s brand) and then sprinkle blue sugar on the bottom tip of the berry. Keep the strawberries in the refrigerator on waxed paper until you’re ready to serve.

Ice Cream Sandwich Pops

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These treats are a kid-tested favorite and so easy to make it should be a crime. Cut an ice cream sandwich in half or use the mini sandwiches (I know Meijer has the mini ones.) Insert a wooden craft stick into the sandwich and then allow the ice cream to soften just a bit. Roll the ice cream in red, white and blue sprinkles and re-freeze on wax paper. Take out and serve when you’re ready.

Patriotic Cones

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These ice cream cones are just too fun and couldn’t be any simpler to make. Take a sugar cone and roll the top round part in melted white chocolate and then add red, white and blue sprinkles or colored sugar. Line them up on a wax-paper covered platter to harden and then bask in the admiration you will surely receive for your talent and creativity.

Red White and Blue Layered Popsicles

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Ingredients:

  • Blue Kool Aid (and sugar) or blue Gatorade
  •  Red Kool Aid (and sugar) or red Gatorade
  •  Vanilla yogurt
  • Cool whip
  •  Plastic cups or popsicle molds
  • Craft sticks

Directions:

1. Mix the blue kool aid as directed and pour into cups or popsicle molds for bottom layer. Freeze for 1 hour, or until mixture is beginning to freeze, but not yet hard.

2. In separate bowl mix 2 cups vanilla yogurt with 2 cups Cool whip. Spoon white mixture into popsicle molds. Insert craft sticks in an upright position into popsicle molds. Stick back in the freezer until solid (white mixture won’t get completely hard, but pretty firm).

3. Mix the red Kool Aid as directed and pour into cups for final layer. Freeze overnight or for at least 5 hours

If you feel like channeling your inner Martha Stewart, give any of these recipes a try and let us know how they turned out! Happy 4th of July everyone! – Cute Beltz

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DIY Home Accents | Cute Beltz

Do-it-yourself home accents transform any space into one you can call your very own. Follow these tips to make over any room with budget-friendly projects you can complete in a weekend.

Chevron Vase

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Customize a plain vase by taping off a chevron pattern with painter’s tape (it need not be perfect). Spray-paint the exposed area with a lighter shade of the vase color. Remove the tape when the paint is dry.

Memo Board

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This magnetic memo board is as functional as it is stylish. Simply cut decorative paper to fit inside a cookie sheet and glue it to the pan. Add magnets and important papers, notes, or letters, and you’re ready for business. Place it on a desk or hang it in the kitchen to ensure your family always stays on task.

Rosette Lampshade

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Embellish a plain lampshade with paper roses. Use a compass to draw an 8-inch-diameter circle onto drawing-weight paper. Cut the circle into a swirl to create a paper coil about 1/2 inch wide. Roll the paper tightly starting at the outside end of the coil. Release the coil slightly and manipulate it until you have created a flower shape, then hot glue it at the base to retain the shape. Use hot-glue to adhere roses to the lampshade.

Ombré Dyeing

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Hot from the runway, ombré dyeing is a variation on basic tub dyeing giving fabrics a subtle, ethereal look. We put the trendy technique to work on these ordinary, store-bought throw pillows. For maximum results, always make sure you take the process slowly and follow through with each step

What you’ll need (per pound of dry fabric):

  • 1/4 cup professional textile detergent
  • 1/3 cup soda ash
  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Two 5-gallon buckets or plastic containers
  • 1 tablespoon urea powder
  • 1-2 tablespoons fiber-reactive dye
  • 3 cups non-iodized salt
  • Rubber gloves
  • 2-3-cup plastic mixing container
  • Ruler
  • String
  • Two binder clips
  • Stool
  • Spring clamp

Directions:

1.Wash fabric with professional textile detergent, following manufacturer instructions. Combine soda ash and 3 gallons of warm water in a bucket, stirring until dissolved.

2. Submerge fabric in soda ash mixture. Do not overstuff; instead, soak only fabric that easily fits in bucket. Allow fabric to soak in soda ash mixture for at least 30 minutes.

3. Combine urea powder and 1 cup warm water in a mixing cup. Pour a few tablespoons of urea mixture into a plastic mixing container with fiber-reactive dye in bottom. Work the powder and urea water into a smooth paste, then stir in the rest of the urea mixture to make a concentrate.

4. Add salt to 3 gallons of warm water in your dyeing tub, stirring until dissolved.

5. To create the lightest shade in your ombre pattern, add about 1/3 cup dye concentrate to saltwater and stir.

6. Wipe the inside of dye tub to prevent unwanted dye marks on fabric.

7. Create a tool to help you hold your fabric longer by tying strings to two binder clips and then wrapping the string around a ruler. Wring out fabric and attach binder clips.

8. Dip fabric to desired point and hold for 10 minutes or until you reach preferred color intensity.

9. With clean, gloved hands, remove fabric from dye. Hold undyed end of fabric with one hand while wringing out excess dye with the other.

10. Place dyed fabric on a clean surface protected from the dyeing area.

11. To create the next intensity of dye, pour about 1/3 cup of the dye concentrate into the dye tub and stir.

12. Dip fabric to desired point (we suggest several inches below your last dip point for a noticeable progression) and hold for twice the amount of time of first level or until you reach preferred color strength.

13. Repeat steps 8 through 12, each time doubling the amount of dye you add and the amount of time you leave the fabric submerged. For more than three levels of ombre, you’ll need to make more dye concentrate. Use a spring clamp and stool or ladder to hold fabric while dyeing if desired.

14. Rinse fabric with cold running water until water runs clear.

15. Wring fabric again, squeezing out as much excess water and dye as possible.

16. Wash fabric in hot water using professional textile detergent. If you’re unable to wash immediately, lay fabric flat on clean plastic wrap and wrap completely to prevent unwanted dye marks and drying.

What are some ways you add DIY accents to your home? – Cute Beltz

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Fun Ways to Get Your Kids Excited About Gardening

Involving children in fun gardening activities provides valuable opportunities to enjoy the spring and summer weather while helping to instill a love of nature in your little ones.

Kids can benefit from gardening in many ways. Not only does it teach children patience, it helps to improve life skills, a child’s well-being and forms a positive connection between the child and the environment.  Children not only learn the process of growing a flowers, fruits or vegetables, they get to experience the process using multiple senses. These experiences, along with hard work, encourage kids to respect their environment and learn how things within the environment work together.

Tips to get your Kids into Gardening:

  • Start with a story: Choose a selection of books that focus on different veggies you may plant, the process of gardening, and the overall impact that a garden can have on your family, community, and the environment. Books can plant the seed of excitement in your child and give her an idea of what to expect from her own garden.
  • Give them the Tools:   One thing is for sure, and that’s that things aren’t as fun when it’s hard to maneuver the tools needed to get the job done. Provide the kids with a set of tools their own size so that they can get the work done more easily and because they’ll like having their very own set that made just for them.
  • Get the whole family involved: Children find anything more exciting when there are others to share the experience with and garden is no exception. Pick the vegetables, wash them, bring them into your home, and talk about the ways that your family will enjoy the vegetables that they grew on their own.

Check out these fun gardening projects that your kiddos can enjoy!

Hanging Rainboot Garden

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This is a great way to repurpose those adorable little boots that your kids have outgrown (and that you just can’t bear to part with). You can also represent each member of your family with a boot!

What You’ll Need: Several pairs of rainboots, all sizes and colors (the more the better!), soil and seeds, a drill or awl, nails or hooks.

How to Do It: Drill drainage holes in the sole of each boot, and then again in the top of the boot for hanging. Fill boots with soil, plant seeds or plants according to directions and hang as desired using a nail or a hook on a fence or wall. You could also arrange the boots on the ground as a collection of colorful containers.

Letter Gardens

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It’s a gardening and spelling lesson all rolled into one! This project couldn’t possibly be easier, and the results will delight your kiddo.  It can be done indoors at any time of the year, so no worries if you don’t have a yard. Let your kid’s imagination go wild and help them spell out words, their initials — or even use this project to help teach your preschooler the alphabet.

What You’ll Need: Seeds, soil and containers for planting, preferably one that is tray-like.

How to Do It: Fill your containers with soil and use your hands or a stick to draw the outline of a letter. Carefully sow the seeds along the shape, spaced according to the directions on the packet. Water the soil daily until your seeds begin to grow.

Herb Terrarium

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It’s simple, fun and can be done indoors, and your kids will have fun decorating their mini-garden with bits and pieces they collect from around the neighborhood.  It’s super inexpensive and you don’t need to get down on your hands and knees.

What You’ll Need: A big glass jar or a bowl, two or three small herb plants, gravel, pantyhose or some other mesh material, moss and some small decorative items like shells or stones.

How to Do It: Soak your moss in water while you place two inches of gravel in your container. Place the mesh over the gravel. Arrange your plants in your bowl or jar and then fill with soil. Lay the moss over the soil where you want it and add your decorations.

How do you get your kids excited about gardening?

 

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