Monthly Archives: May 2013

Sweepstakes FRIDAY is here! 5/31

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30 Everyday Uses for White or Apple Cider Vinegar

30 everyday uses for white or apple cider vinegar

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Vinegar is something that you should always have on hand. It isn’t just used  for cooking, baking and canning. you can use it for a multitude of things. Vinegar is also safer to use around pets and children far more than cleaning chemicals that you can find in stores. It  not only cleans but it also disinfect and deodorized all at the same time.

CLEANING
For quick cleaning, always have these two spray bottles on hand. One filled with just white vinegar and the second one filled with 1 part vinegar and 1 part water.

#1 – Sticky surfaces?

Vinegar will remove sticky surfaces and stickers from products you buy.

#2 – Scissors and Can openers need cleaning?

Use vinegar to clean  your scissors and can openers instead of water and soap. They are less likely to rust.

#3 – Smelly lunch box, smelly old chest, or smelly locker?

You can make those places smell better by placing a wet piece of bread soaked in vinegar and placing it in the smelly lunch box, old chest, locker or any other crevice and box that has a smelly odor.

#4 – Cedar paneling looking grungy?

Vinegar can be used to brighten up dull and grungy looking paneling.                    Use this solution:  Mix 1 pint of warm water with 4 tablespoons of white vinegar or apple cider vinegar along with 2 tablespoons of olive oil into a container. next give it a couple of shakes and apply with a clean cloth.
Don’t wipe away immediately let it sit and soak into the wood for several minutes then go ahead dry and polish the wood.

#5 – Worn out and dull looking rugs?

Go ahead and dampen your broom bristles and brush the rugs clean. The rugs won’t need to be rinsed just let dry and your rugs will brighten right up.

#6 – Carpet stains need cleaning?

Sprinkle the stain with baking soda and spray with white vinegar, wait until it bubbles and rub into the stain. Let it sit and dry. Once dry go ahead and vacuum. You can also use 2 tablespoons of borax instead of baking soda in the same way.

#7 – Grease stains in the kitchen?

Go ahead and mix 1 part vinegar and 1 part water and wipe down the surfaces with the mix. It will not only remove the grease but it will also help deodorize your kitchen.

#8 – Refrigerator dirty and gross inside?

Use 1 part water and 1 part vinegar and clean the inside of your refrigerator. It will not only remove the gunk but it will also help deodorize.

#9 – Need to disinfect your cutting boards?

Use just your plain white vinegar full strength and wipe down your cutting boards after each time.
The acetic acid that is found in vinegar will disinfect areas that you cut on and will help prevent E. coli, staphylococcus and salmonella.

#10 – Dishwasher smelling gross these days?

Place 1 cup of vinegar in a cup on the top rack or in the bottom of your dishwasher to help clean and deodorize your dishwasher. Do this once a month on a full cycle without any dishes or  dish washing soap. Double check with your owner’s manual or manufacturing company on vinegar usage.

#11 glassware looking foggy and need a little extra shine?

Add 1/4 cup of vinegar to your dishwasher rinse cycle.

#12 – Windows looking grungy?

mix 1 part water to 1 part apple cider vinegar into a bucket and wash your windows with the solution and wipe clean with a dry micro fiber cloth.

#13 – Fruit flies bothering you?

Use an old jar and place enough apple cider vinegar to fill the bottom part way. Punch holes in the top of the lid and screw the jar lid on and place in your kitchen. near your fruit.

PERSONAL WELLNESS

#14 – Smells lingering on your hands?

Wash your hands with distilled vinegar to remove the smells from fish, onions, garlic and so on.

#15 – Muscles ache?

If your muscles ache or you just feel worn down try adding 2 cups of Apple Cider vinegar to your bath water. It will help soothe away aches and pains and it works wonders for helping relieve stress from the day. You can also use a couple drops of peppermint oil to help enhance the relief.

#16 – Bruises on your body?

You can soak a cotton ball or gauze in Apple cider vinegar or even white vinegar and place it on the bruise for about one hour. It will help prevent black and blue marks and help speed the healing up.

#17 – Bug bites?

Soak  a cotton ball or a soft cloth with apple or white vinegar and place it on the bug bite for a bit. It will help relieve the itchiness of the bite. This also works great for bee bites and any other bugs that bite.

#18 – Sun Burn?

Grab a cotton ball  and soak it in white or apple cider vinegar and dab the area. This works really well if you do it before the sunburn starts to itch.

#19 – Garlic or onion breath?

Rinse your breath with 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar along with 1 teaspoon of salt in a small glass of warm water. Swish around and spit out.

#20 – Feet itchy?

This is really awesome especially if you have athletes foot. Go ahead and rinse your feet 3 to 4 times a day in Apple cider vinegar. To also help soak your socks in apple cider vinegar for 30 minutes or so before washing them in the washer.

#21 – Age or sun spots?

go ahead and soak a cotton ball in apple cider vinegar and apply it to the spots at least twice a day for 10 minutes. you should see the spots clearing up within 2 weeks or so.

OUTDOOR HELP

#22 – Ants running the place?

Go ahead and grab your full strength vinegar in a spray bottle and spray the outside of the house, by the windows and doors where they like to come in.

#23 – Grill dirty?

Clean your grill with spraying full strength white vinegar over a piece of wadded up aluminum foil and scrub vigorously.

#24 – Grass and weeds all in the wrong places?

Go ahead and grab your white vinegar and pour it on the crevices and areas that you don’t want grass and weeds to grow. They will die.

#25 – Plant food?

This mixture works really well for plants that LOVE acidity  such as azaleas, rhododendrons, hydrangeas and gardenias. Mix one cup white vinegar into a bucket of water and water your plants.

#26 – Tools have rust on them?

Place them in a tub of Just white vinegar over night. By morning the rust should be gone.

#27 – Veggies and Fruit need a good washing?

Mix 1 tablespoon of white vinegar and 1 1/2 quarts of water and wash and rinse your veggies and fruit with it.

#28 – Rabbits in your garden?

Place soaked cotton balls in small containers with holes poked in the top and place around your veggies on the ground to keep them away.

#29 – Moths bothering your fruit trees?

to catch these pests grab your white vinegar and molasses and use this mixture. Mix 2 parts vinegar to 1 part molasses and place in bottles or jugs. Put tops back  and poke holes around the top. They will climb in and not be able to get back out.

#30 – Hummingbird feeders need a good cleaning?

Clean them with white vinegar instead of soap and water. The soap and water can leave behind harmful residue that would hurt the birds.

These are only some of the simple things you can do to help save you money around the home. For more ideas on ways you can use White distilled vinegar and Apple cider vinegar click the link below.

1001 Tips for Vinegar

And as always leave a comment on ideas and suggestions for how you use vinegar in and around your home.

How To: 2 in 1 Travel Lap Pillow

How to: 2 in 1 Travel Lap Pillow

These are fantastic to have on hand for any car ride no matter how long it is. These are great for kids and adults alike. Simple to make and enjoyable to use. Not only is it a table but you can also use it as a pillow! So scroll down to learn how to make your very own 2 in 1 travel lap pillow!

You will need the following:

Clipboard or a cookie sheet
Fabric
Stuffing for the pillow
Thread
Sewing Machine
Sewing needle for sewing by hand *Optional
Velcro with the sticky back
Velcro without sticky backing
Scissors
Pins

The pillow

Now that you have your supplies, you will need to wash your fabric first. to make sure that all the starch is out along. Your fabric will be easier to work with as well.

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Now lay your fabric out on the table or floor and place your clipboard on top and cut approximately 3 inches around.

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Next pin right around your clipboard

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Once you have done that take it to the sewing machine and sew 1 – 2 inches from the pins, leaving a 1 inch seam. Make sure to leave at least 4 inches open on the seam. You will want the opening to use for stuffing the pillow.

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Stuff the pillow and sew the seam shut either by hand or by the sewing machine. Once you have done all that set aside.

The Clip Board

Turn your clipboard upside down and cut your Velcro in 6 – 8 inches long strips. and place Velcro hooks sticky side down. One on each side of the clip board.

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Next very carefully place your Velcro Loops face down on top of the Velcro hooks side with sticky side up. Like so.

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You will than want to grab your pillow and place it down on top of the Velcro pushing very hard so the sticky side attached it’s self to the pillow. ** This only worked on one of the pillows I did. the other one I had to sew on by hand since I had already sewed the pillow together.** Next pull the pillow off very carefully and make sure that the Velcro is sticking. if it is still not sticking very well place the pillow down on the sticky side of the Velcro and push down and press along the Velcro strips to insure that they stick. Now stick it back on the clipboard and take off again to make sure the sticky side of the Velcro stayed on the fabric. Also if  you do not want to hassle with sticky Velcro on the pillow you can sew the Velcro on right before you start sewing the pillow together. I usually buy both kinds of Velcro sticky and non-sticky.

And there you go all finished!

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If you have any further question on how to make a 2 in 1 travel lap pillow comment below! We would love to hear from you! Plus don’t forget to rank this post “how to: 2 in 1 travel lap pillow”

National Missing Children’s Day May 25th

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As a mother, I will be the first to admit. I have lost my child in a store and once at the zoo. It was the sickest feeling in the world, a feeling that I will admit that praying was the number one thing I did, saying Lord show me where my child is. Help me find him. Please let their not be anything wrong with him, please let him be safe.

I know other mom’s and parents have gone through that thought process. It is not fun. It is even worse I’m sure when you realize that your child is not lost but was kidnapped. My heart breaks every time I walk by the missing children’s posters at stores.
Well May 25th we don’t celebrate National Missing Children’s Day but we observe and hope and pray that we will never really “Lose” a child or have a child taken from us.

Here are some tips to help teach your child/ren to stay safe and not go with strangers.

  • To start the conversation click here for help “Take 25”
  • Here are some great things to teach your child that are age appropriate for safety. Click here
  • Internet safety is also very important to teach your children that are old enough to use the internet click, to learn more click here
  • To go with everything above you should also put together a Child ID kit click here to get started
  • If you ever see an AMBER ALERT please take note and be on alert for the child that is missing.
  • Click here for the timeline and where and when the Amber Alert got started.

Here are my 5 tips to keep your child safe.

  1. Buy a toddler safety harness. I know it might sound cruel like your putting a child on a dog leash but they come in several different styles and are very cute and most importantly they keep your child from wandering off. Click here to learn or buy one. They cost between $12 and $25
  2. Talk to your child about stranger danger. Don’t be afraid to tell them there are bad people in the world that want to hurt them. Sometimes fear is not a bad things, if it means keeping your child safe at all time.
  3. The moment your child can talk, start teaching them your name. The reason for this, is that if they do become separated from you and are asked “what is your mommy’s name?” they will be able to answer.
  4. Teach your child to say NO, Then GO, YELL loudly, and TELL someone “No, Go, Yell, Tell.”
  5. Walk around your neighborhood and point to the places that are safe for them to go, Safe roads, paths, and safe places to play.

I hope this information helps in keeping your child/ren safe.

Please leave any questions or ideas on how to keep children safe. Thanks!

National Maritime Day

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Yeah for steam power! National Maritime day happens on the 22nd of May every year. It is a national holiday for the US. National Maritime is a day that recognizes the maritime industry.
This holiday was created by the United States Congress on May 20, 1933. May 22 is the day that the American Steamship named Savannah had set sail across the Atlantic Ocean to England. She left in May and came back June 1819. . It was the very first transoceanic voyage that was done with steam power.
On this day the president is requested to issue a statement or proclamation calling on everyone in the US to observe National Maritime Day by displaying the flag of the United States at their homes and at all government buildings.
For some fun activities for kids check out the link below and head on over to the library for some great books on Boats.
http://www.seahistory.org/education/neat-stuff-kids/

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20 Memorial Day Activities for You and Your Family.

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First I just want to say thanks to all the Military Men and Woman and their families. I would also like to thank all the past and present men and woman who have retired from the military. Thank you for fighting for this country so that me and my children will continue to have FREEDOM! Thank You, from my family to yours.

Now for some ideas.

#1 – Take your family and go on a picnic to a local park. Click here 12 perfectly packable picnic ideas.

#2 – Go to your local Memorial Day parade. Check your local newspaper for times and places.

#3 – Have your kids create a thank you card and take it to your local VFW. The Veterans and Active Duty Men and Woman will love it! Click here for some ideas.

#4 – Have your kids color the American Flag coloring sheet. Click here for a free template.

#5 – Click here for more fun crafts and activities for kids.

#6 – More crafts and ideas to do with your kids on Memorial Day. Click here.

#7 – Take your kids and go to a local Veterans Hospital and visit the residence. They would love seeing some kiddos and knowing that what they did didn’t go unnoticed. It would be appreciated.  Click here for your local Veterans Hospital.

#8 – You can also visit your local Veterans Nursing Homes. Click here for a list.

#9 – Take your family to a Military Cemetery. Click here for your local Military cemetery.

#10 – If you have neighbors, friends or family that have served in the Military. Make sure to call them and thank them for their service. To read the story of Memorial day , click here.

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Now for some of those awesome benefits that go along with serving our country.

#1 – Veterans if you live in or near Urbandale IA head on over for a FREE BUFFET all day long on Memorial Day starting at 11:00am and ending at 8:00pm click here for more information. Address is towards the bottom of the page.

#2 – Veterans if you live in or near Round Rock TX head on over to Homefield Grill from May 25th- May 27th for a meal from a special menu just for you. Click here  for more information and address.

#3 – Dogwood Hills Golf course on May 27th, 2013 – Memorial Day Golf Special for Active and Retired Military
18-holes of golf including riding cart for $20+ tax to all active/retired military personnel with Military ID. Click here for directions.

#4 – 24 hour fitness is offering  a 10% Military Discount for Active, Reservists & Spouses. Veterans and retirees can work out at no cost during Memorial Day weekend at any 24 hour fitness for more information and to sign up for free click here. This discount is available everyday of the year.

If you are not active in the Military a reservist, veterans, retirees or a spouse of one click here for a free trial at 24 hour fitness.

#5 – Anytime Fitness is offering a FREE 7 day trial for everyone click here to start your free 7 day membership. Some exclusions do apply.

#6 – Lifetime Fitness is also offering a FREE 7 day trial for everyone. Click here to start your free 7 day trial membership. Some exclusions do apply.

#7 – If you LOVE books this is for you. Barnes and Noble are offering a FREE 2 month trial period. ” This offer requires purchase with a credit card. Unless you cancel your free Membership, Barnes & Noble will charge your credit card $25 at the end of your free Membership period and at the end of each 12-month period henceforth.” Click here to start your FREE 2 month Trial.

#8 – If you serve in the Military click here for 20+ restaurant discounts. Just have your military ID ready to show.

#9 – Military Men and woman want to have some fun? Click here for  10+ Activities and opportunities where you will feel spoiled!

#10 –  Click here for even more discounts for active and retired Military personal.

Once again THANK YOU for fighting for this country. Thank you so much! without you and the men and woman before you we wouldn’t have a free country. Thanks from my family to yours.

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Sweepstake Winner for 5/18 is……….

Sweepstakes Winner is

Sarah L.

Congratulations

YEAH!!!!!!

You won a $10 gift card to the Dollar Tree.

look for an e-mail with more information.

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Homemade Deodorant

Saving money in the bathroom part 2 of 10

The cost of deodorant these days keeps going up, and the fillers keep increasing. Do they work? Are they worth buying for the price? What about all those fillers? Are they even good for you? These are all great questions. So let’s start with some alternatives that you can buy. They may cost a little more. but they don’t have the harmful fillers in them.

These Deodorant’s are aluminum free and work great!

Deodorant Stone – cost, between $5 and $6. **They last up to a year**
Arm and Hammer Essentials – Cost between $2 and $3
Tom’s of Maine Deodorant – cost between $5 and $6

If you would to try something new. Here are some recipes for making your very own deodorant. You can also add your own scents to them as you feel.

Deodorant recipe #1

This recipe comes all the way from Passionate Homemaking 

You will need the following:
Coconut oil
Baking Soda
Arrowroot powder or cornstarch “arrowroot is preferred”
1/4 measuring cup
1 tablespoon measuring spoon
Spoon
hand blender
Old Deodorant container or a small container with a lid

Ingredients:

6-8 Tbsp Coconut oil (solid state)
1/4 cup baking soda
1/4 cup arrowroot powder or cornstarch

Directions:

You will want to add your baking soda and arrowroot powder(cornstarch) together and mix. Next grab your coconut oil and mix it slowly into your powders. You can do this with either a spoon or a hand blender. *Hand Blender works faster. Keep blending until it firms up. The mixture should be pliable and have about the same texture as a commercial deodorant. *If it is too wet add a little more arrowroot or cornstarch powder. Next place it in an old deodorant container or in a container that has a lid. This recipe makes about 1 cup of deodorant and should last about 3 months if 2 people are using it every day. **You can add your essential oil into the mix when you add the coconut oil. Just make sure that you don’t end up with a reaction. Try only a few drops your first time making this. You can increase it again on your next batch if you don’t end up with a reaction to it.

Deodorant recipe #2

This recipes comes to us from The Polivka Family

You will need the following:

Coconut Oil
Beeswax
Baking Soda
Arrowroot
Tea Tree essential oil
Essential oil – Your favorite scent
Stove
Pan
Spoon
Old Deodorant container or small container with a lid
Tablespoon Measuring spoon
1/8 tsp Measuring spoon

Ingredients:

3 tbsp of Coconut oil

2 tbsp of Beeswax
2 tbsp of Baking Soda
2 tbsp of Arrowroot or Cornstarch
1/8 tsp Tea Tree Oil
1/8 tsp of your favorite scent of essential oil.

Directions:

Start by taking your beeswax and coconut oil and put it in a double boiler or a pan on LOW heat. While whisking slowly stir in the baking soda and arrowroot (cornstarch). Keep stirring until all the ingredients have melted. Next add in the essential oils. Stir a little more. Then place your melted mixture into your old deodorant container or container with a lid. Make sure to leave the cap off of your deodorant container for up to 24 hours to insure it has harden. Once hardened place cap on tight and feel free to use.

FREE Recipe cards for the above deodorant recipes. deodorant recipe cards

deodorant pic

**Have you ever tried making your own deodorant?  
And what are your thoughts on making your own?**

To tweet #homemadedeodorant

Teaching Responsibility to a Toddler or Preschooler Part 2

Part 2

Once our kids were able to do some simple tasks like brushing teeth, making their bed, cleaning their room. We added on another chore they like to do. For instance “Bubba” loves to help in the kitchen, so his job is to help rinse the dishes so I can put them in the dishwasher or dry the pots and pans once I have washed them. “Pipsqueak” Loves to hand me the clean dishes from the dishwasher. So those things became theirs to do as well as their bedroom.

I then added on a few more. Granted they are not ones they like to do.but being responsible isn’t always about being able to do what you like. So for Bubba he gets to clear the table and pipsqueak gets to set the table.  The newest chore that has been added to Bubba’s list is folding his own clothes and sometimes some towels. Which by the way he is not a fan of, but we thought it was important because it teaches sorting and folding things neatly.

I just have to say for being 4, he has become a pro and he loves it when I sit down next to him and fold his siblings clothes with him.

I will be the first to admit this, sometimes it is more work to have them “help” but I know that it will be a BIG HELP later on. Right now we are in the process of training our children in the way they should go. Sometimes it’s hard and sometimes it easy. But all in all I know that one day their bosses will thank me and no matter how tough a job may get they will stick it out.

Now for a  simple chore chart click the link below.

Chore chart material you will need:
– Printer
– Paper
– Clear Contact Paper
– Crayons or Markers *Optional
– Scissors
– Magnet Tape
– Your Refrigerator or another magnetic surface.

We found that if we placed a chore on one side with a picture it was easy for the kiddos to associate the picture with words. On the opposite side we place the word “Done” in large, bold black letters. They feel a huge accomplishment when they get to turn their cards over and see the word done.

Directions:

Once you have printed off the 2 pages of chores.

chore chart 1

chore chart 2

Cut the chores apart and the “Done’s” apart place one of them down on the contact paper, words down  and then place 3 to 4 magnet tape pieces down on the back of the paper alternating sticky side to magnetic side. “Make sure you alternate, otherwise the chore won’t stick to the magnetic surface really well on of the sides” Then place the other paper side down. and put another piece of contact paper over, press down and cut the edges so they are all even. stick on fridge and there you go. Make sure that the contact paper or the printer paper isn’t scrunched up, it doesn’t like to stick to the fridge.

 Chore Chart 2         Chore Chart

These are some of the chores we set for our kids.

 10 other chore ideas for 2-3 year old’s

  1. – Take their dirty laundry to the laundry room
  2. – Place dirty clothes in the hamper
  3. – Put water in a pets dish with help
  4. – Help Clear the table
  5. – Wipe the table off with assistance
  6. – Dust furniture that is lower to the ground
  7. – Help Set the table
  8. – Water plants “get a small watering can”
  9. – Help sort clothes “Whites and dark’s”
  10. – Sweep “I cut the handle off a broom, so it was shorter for them to handle” They loved it!

10 other chore ideas for 4-5 year old’s “plus the ones above”

  1. Help cook in the kitchen with supervision
  2. Help carry groceries in.
  3. Give the pet their food in a dish
  4. Help clean the bathroom sink
  5. Help clean the bathroom tub
  6. Help change the bedding on the beds
  7. Help load the washer
  8. Unload dryer and put in laundry basket
  9. Dust furniture that is not higher than their height.
  10. Help weed the garden

10 Other chore ideas for 6-8 year old’s “plus the ones above”

  1. Write Thank you notes with supervision
  2. Take the pet for a walk
  3. Groom the pet
  4. Fold linen
  5. Hang clothes on hangers
  6. Hang laundry outside on the clothesline
  7. Vacuum
  8. Put dishes away that are in the dishwasher
  9. Wash dishes
  10. Dry Dishes

For more ideas on chores click here. Age appropriate chores go up to age 18

Do you have good luck with getting your kids to do chores? Leave a comment. Thanks
To tweet #toddlerresponsibility

Teaching responsibility to a toddler or preschooler Part 1

Teaching responsibility to a toddler or preschooler
Part 1

My hubby and I decided long ago that it was important to teach our children at an early age that responsibility is an important thing. We don’t want our children to get older and think that everyone owes them. We want to teach a good work ethic, even at an early age. We have found some things that work well and some things that don’t. We have tried to figure out the areas where our children are strong and where they sometimes need a little extra help. Sometimes we succeed and sometimes we have to keep trying new things. All in all our goal is to encourage, teach and most importantly love our children while doing it.

Childhood chores can teach responsibility

For instance our eldest child “Bubba” likes to complain about hard work. We fixed it for the most part. How did we fixed the complaining of hard work? Well every time he complained about something being “hard work” we would give him another chore. Lets just say he learned pretty fast not to complain. His strong points are that he loves to help in the kitchen, with cooking or doing the dishes. His weak point is pretty much anything outside the kitchen. He is not a fan of folding clothes or helping in the bathroom cleaning routine.

Our middle child “pipsqueak” He just loves to help, plain and square. He’s 2 and at that very helpful stage. His favorite thing to do is to put the groceries away. “Now sometimes they are not always on the right shelf, but he is pretty good at figuring out where everything goes.  His weak point is putting his toys away. I know which kid really does.

Our youngest “Sweet Pea” well she is only 8 months and is just figuring out how to stand and cruise the living room. but my hopes are that she will become my little helper and love doing it. I know wishful thinking, but a mom can dream right?

How we started doing the chore system was easy. We started with our expectations. Clean room, bed made, teeth brushed and dressed for the day. They need to do those 4 things before breakfast.

The thing to remember is that they are in the early stages of learning how to work. During this stage they will need help and encouragement and sometimes a big hug if they are having a rough time.

This process worked with our kids. The biggest thing in setting chores and teaching responsibility is to learn who your children are, their likes and dislikes. Once you have done that, the chore list will come much easier.

What things do you have your children do to help around the home?
Check us out on twitter EconomicalMommy  #toddler

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To learn how to make these Look for our blog post on Thursday, Part 2 Teaching responsibility to a toddler or preschooler.

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