Posted in Parenting

Clean Kids: DIY Laundry and Bath Tips

Welcome to the April 2012 Carnival of Natural Parenting: Kids and Personal Care

This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama. This month our participants have shared stories, tips, and struggles relating to their children’s personal care choices.

Clean Kids: DIY Laundry and Bath Tips

Having clean kids can be easier than you think, if you enlist them to help you out!

Are you drowning in piles of laundry? Children as young as five can do their OWN laundry! Our children started helping with the laundry when they were only toddlers. They can help sort laundry into whites and/or lights and darks, help stuff and unload the machines, and fold and put away items. If you have a top loading washer, you will need to help your five year old until they get tall enough to reach to the bottom of the washer. 

Our children know that when their laundry bag is full, they need to put on a wash. Something that can help the independent learning process along is Trigger Memory System’s Clean N’ Flip Laundry For Kids. Young children often have FUN doing laundry! Oncce they’ve been doing laundry for awhile, it just becomes routine. 

We also find it fun (as well as money-saving) to make our own liquid laundry detergent together. Here is our recipe.

DIY Laundry Detergent
16 cups of water
1/2 cup Borax
1/2 cup Washing Soda
1/2 bar laundry soap, grated
Heat water at medium heat, then add Borax and Washing Soda.  Stir then add the grated laundry soap. Increase heat to medium high and stir until soap dissolves. Pour mixture into a 3 gallon bucket. Let sit for one hour, then fill the rest of the way with hot water and stir. Pour into three 3-quart containers and top with hot water, leaving a few centimetres headspace.  To use, shake the container and pour – depending on your washer, you may need a quarter cup, or even less for a High efficiency washer.

Do you go through bathroom soap like crazy? It’s fun for children to play with it. They love it so much that they can go through an entire bar in just one bath! We started using liquid soap, but they STILL went through it quickly, pumping way too much for one bath or using multiple pumps just to wash their hands. 

I picked up some cheap liquid soap at the dollar store in a sudsing dispenser. It’s amazing how little soap it takes, mixed with water, to fill a sudsing dispenser. The result? Far less waste and dollars spent! For even more savings, I’m going to try making our own liquid soap starting this week. Here’s the liquid soap recipe. Enjoy making up some sudsy fun with your own kids!

Love, Luck &
Laughter,

***

Carnival of Natural Parenting -- Hobo Mama and Code Name: MamaVisit Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama to find out how you can participate in the next Carnival of Natural Parenting!

Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:

(This list will be live and updated by afternoon April 10 with all the carnival links.)

  • Rub-a-Dub Co-Bathing in Our Tub — Bath time is more than soap and water! That Mama Gretchen shares how co-bathing with her toddler has opened up a world of cleanliness, learning, and bonding.
  • This is How We Take a Bath — Shannon at GrowingSlower shares her special formulas for babywash and a happy bath time.
  • How to Gently Trim Your Toddler’s Nails — Shannon at The Artful Mama discusses some of the gentle suggestions she has received to help Little Man overcome his anxiety of having his nails trimmed, as well as how she copes with her need for his nails to be trimmed.
  • Baby bath time and skin careUrsula Ciller shares some simple and natural tips for bathing and skin care.
  • Want Your Child To Love Getting Clean? Have Them Make Their Own Soaps, Shampoos, and Lotions! — Jennifer at Hybrid Rasta Mama shares her secret to empowering her daughter to “get clean.” Together, Jennifer and her daughter make their own body washes and lotions which makes clean up time fun!
  • Encouraging Self-care Through Awareness… and Fun — Amy at Presence Parenting shares some tips on how to transform self-care from a struggle into an opportunity — for kids and adults.
  • Caring for kids’ curls — Lauren at Hobo Mama tells you how to clean, condition, comb, and style ringlets and waves on little heads.
  • Playing in the Rain — Jorje of Momma Jorje loves how her family has come to make a family event of showering!
  • The Cleansing Power of the Football — Rachel at Lautaret Bohemiet talks about her son’s favorite bath buddy.
  • Coconut Oil: Nature’s “Baby Magic” — Megan at The Boho Mama has only one must-have baby care item in her cupboard: Coconut Oil!
  • For Sensitive Kids, Less Is More — Kadiera at Our Little Acorn finds less cleaning is better.
  • Bathtime: Just Another Chance to Play! — Lyndsay at Our Feminist {Play} School discusses the many reasons bath time is important – getting clean isn’t one of them.
  • Hygiene? What hygiene? — Sheila at A Gift Universe confesses some of her most embarrassing hygiene secrets.
  • Confused About Chemicals? — Jaye Anne at Wide Awake, Half Asleep describes how to find out where the toxic chemicals are in your house and tips on alternatives.
  • Clipping Those Talons — ANonyMous at Radical Ramblings describes the ways her daughter’s tolerance for personal care has changed over time, especially when it comes to nail clipping.
  • Sit Back, Relax and Unschool Hygiene — Instead of focusing on tactics of how to ‘get’ your child to focus on hygiene, Authentic Parenting explains how to help your child internalize hygienic standards.
  • Help! My Tot will not let me brush her teeth!Mudpiemama shares five positive ways to help toddlers brush teeth and sabotage the tooth fairy’s secret conspiracy.
  • Self Care and the Spirited Child — Amy at Toddler In Tow shares how a balancing act between independence and connectedness helps her spirited child learn appropriate self-care.
  • Hairbrushing is a Safety IssueDulce de leche guest posting at Natural Parents Network explains that although tangles are not a safety issue, self-confidence and body boundaries are.
  • 15 Ideas to Prepare Toddlers and Preschoolers for Dental Procedures — Dionna at Code Name: Mama is sharing ideas on how to thoughtfully prepare little ones for dental visits (particularly those that require anesthesia).
  • Holistic Care of your Toddler’s Teeth — Erica at ChildOrganics tells a tale of her children’s teeth issues and how she uses homeopathy and good nutrition to keep cavities at bay.
  • Bath Time Bliss : Fuss-Free Bath Time for Toddlers — Christine at African Babies Don’t Cry shares how she has made bath time completely fuss free for both her and her toddler.
  • Homemade Natural ToothpasteCity Kids Homeschooling hosts a guest post on a homemade natural toothpaste recipe that kids will love!
  • Bathing Strike StrategiesCrunchy Con Mommy offers her best tips for keeping your little ones clean when they refuse to bathe.
  • Bodily Autonomy and Personal Hygeine — Mandy at Living Peacefully with Children discusses the importance of supporting a child’s bodily autonomy in the prevention of abuse.
  • A Tub Full of Kiddos! — Kat at Loving {Almost} Every Moment has kiddos who love the water, so bathtime is a favorite evening activity!
  • The Trials of Tidying My Toddler — Adrienne at Mommying My Way shares the difficulties she has with getting her on-the-go son to be still enough to get clean.
  • Wiped Clean — Laura at Pug in the Kitchen shares her recipe for homemade diaper wipe solution to clean those sweet little cloth diapered bottoms in her home!
  • Snug in a Towel: Embracing Personal Grooming — Personal care is time consuming,especially with more than one child; but the mama at Our Muddy Boots is learning to embrace this fleeting and needful time.
  • EC: All or Nothing? — Elimination Communication. Even the title sounds complicated and time consuming. It doesn’t have to, if you adapt it to meet your family’s needs, says Jennifer at True Confessions of a Real Mommy.
  • Routine Battles — In a guest post at Anktangle, Jorje of Momma Jorje outlines a simple incentive to help inspire your little one to follow a routine.
  • Redefining Beauty For My Daughter — Justine at The Lone Home Ranger relays her struggle to define her own femininity and how her preschooler unexpectedly taught her a lesson in true beauty.
  • Rub-A-Dub-Dub, Three Girls In The Tub — Chrystal at Happy Mothering shares how she turns bath time into a few minutes of peace and quiet.
  • Montessori-Inspired Activities for Care of Self — Deb Chitwood at Living Montessori Now has a roundup of Montessori-inspired activities for care of self and ideas for home environments that encourage independence.
  • 10 Gentle Tips for Little Ones Who Hate the Bath — Kim at life-is-learning gives 10 tips to get your little one into the bath and maybe even enjoying it.
  • The Boy With The Long Hair — Liam at In The Now discusses his son’s grooming choices.
  • Personal Care in a Montessori Home — Melissa at Vibrant Wanderings shares a summary of the ways she has organized her family’s home to make for easy, Montessori-inspired toddler personal care.
  • Styling Kids — Kellie at Our Mindful Life is letting her kids decide what to look like.
  • Clean Kids: Laundry and Bath Tips — Kimberly at Homeschooling in Nova Scotia shares tips on how to get your children helping with laundry plus recipes for laundry and liquid soap.
  • How to Clean Your Children Naturally: A Tutorial — Erika at Cinco de Mommy shows you how to clean your children.
  • Cleaniliness is next to… dirt — The lapse-prone eco-mom (Kenna at Million Tiny Things) sometimes forgets to bathe the kids. Except in the mud pit.

Posted in Homeschool Information, Parenting

Learning From Our Children, Every Day

Welcome to the January Carnival of Natural Parenting: Learning from children

This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama. This month our participants have shared the many lessons their children have taught them. Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.

***

As a parent, and as a homeschooler, you just can’t help but learn from your children, every day. It is amazing the kind of insight and perspective that children have, and the inspiration they can be to us as adults.

I love the magical perspective that our children have on the world and life in general. Just the other day, we went on a walk through our woods together as a family. My almost-7-year-old daughter has turned it into her own magical place, with the help and encouragement of big brother of course.  She pointed out “fairy houses,” a “dragon tree,” and “tentacles.” It was a beautiful walk, even if my feet got thoroughly soaked because of ridiculous amounts of rain we’ve had recently 🙂

Life for a child is so simple, and my daughter regularly reminds me that a hug can solve a variety of ills.  Both of my children are constant reminders to enjoy the simple things in life – all we need do is give them a pen and a piece of paper to keep them happy (my daughter to draw, my son to write).  My daughter is still at the age when everything is so exciting – like tonight when she exclaimed “Mom, Orion’s belt is huge tonight!” while walking from the car to the house and noticing the constellations.  Are we ever going to have fun studying Astronomy in our homeschool in the next few months.  There’s nothing like a child to remind you to stop and smell the roses.

Sometimes things our children do can inspire and motivate us to do something ourselves.  Both of our children have been active in theatre, both through their drama classes and in the drama community.  Well, it had been 15 years since I had been onstage, and my kids inspired me to get back into it.  In fact, my husband joined us, and he’s only ever had one line in a play!  We all appeared together in a dinner theatre production of  “A Christmas Carol” this past month, and we had a blast!  I couldn’t believe how well my husband in particular did – who was this man that I married? LOL.

Another thing that a child of ours has inspired – my husband is writing again.  He used to write novels while we were dating, and I loved reading them, but he got busy and bogged down and stopped writing.  Well, he’s still busy today, working two jobs, but he’s making time for writing.  My almost 12-year-old son has been writing for almost 4 years now and has participated in NANOWRIMO for a few years, and the last couple of years his dad joined him.  Slowly, this turned into writing being almost a daily habit, not only for my son, but also for his dad.  Now I’m enjoying reading his novels again 🙂

Love, Luck &
Laughter,

***

Carnival of Natural Parenting -- Hobo Mama and Code Name: MamaVisit Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama to find out how you can participate in the next Carnival of Natural Parenting!

Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:

  • AffectionAlicia at I Found My Feet has finally become a hugger and kisser, now she has someone sweet and small to snuggle with. (@aliciafagan)
  • Learning from DanielAmy at Anktangle hopes that she and her husband will always be open to learning from their son. (@anktangle)
  • Kids Cultivate Awareness of Universal Truths � From forgiveness to joy, Amy Phoenix at Innate Wholeness has become aware of deep truths that come naturally to children. (@InnateWholeness)
  • What the Apple Teaches the TreeBecky at Future Legacy has learned about imagination, forgiveness, and strength.
  • A Lesson in Slowing TimeBethy at Bounce Me To the Moon revels in the chance to just be with her baby.
  • Learning From My Children: I Am So Honored � WAHM Chante at My Natural Motherhood Journey is learning to choose tea parties over work. (@MyMotheringPath)
  • P-A-T-I-E-N-C-E � Now that she’s a mother, Danielle at born.in.japan is finally learning about a personality trait she lacked. (@borninjp)
  • Top 5 Homeschool Lessons My Children Taught MeDeb Chitwood at Living Montessori Now shares what she learned from homeschooling her (now grown) children. (@DebChitwood)
  • Learning to Live in the Present By Looking to the FutureDionna at Code Name: Mama finds the patience to be a gentle parent, because she knows how fleeting childhood really is. (@CodeNameMama)
  • The watchful Buddha boy � At Dreaming Aloud, they are learning to cherish their thoughtful, sensitive child in a action-driven, noisy world. (@DreamingAloudNt)
  • What My Children Taught MeDulce de Leche‘s children have taught her to value herself for the wonderful person and mother she is.
  • Lessons from the First Year � Having a child made Emily at Crunchy(ish) Mama realize that her decisions affect more than just herself. (@CrunchyishMama)
  • Lessons from LossErica at ChildOrganics learned so much from the love � and loss � of her sweet Bella, five years ago. (@ChildOrganics)
  • The Socratic BabyErin at Multiple Musings has so-called “identical” twins to serve as a daily lesson in nature vs. nurture. (@ErinLittle)
  • Learning to be a MotherFarmer’s Daughter learned the type of patience that enabled her to calmly eat one-handed for months and change clothes seven times a day, before noon. (@FarmDaughter)
  • A Few Things Being a Mom Has Taught MeHeather at Musing Mommy shares the curious, hilarious, and sometimes Murphy’s Law-like tidbits we learn from our children. (@xakana)
  • I Feel You � Motherhood has taught Jamey from At the Bee Hive empathy, and it extends beyond just her child. (@JameyBly)
  • Lessons From My Child�Jenny at I’m a full-time mummy shares the inspiring ways she’s learned to expect the unexpected � and have a camera ready! (@imaftmummy)
  • My child is my mirrorJessica Claire at Crunchy-Chewy Mama has seen herself in her children � and it’s not bad. (@crunchychewy)
  • There is enough to go around�Kellie at Our Mindful Life learned that love doesn’t diminish when it’s shared.
  • Learning From Our Children, Every DayKimberly at Homeschooling in Nova Scotia, Canada is continually inspired by her children. (@UsborneBooksCB)
  • Life Lessons From My ChildrenKristen at Adventures in Mommyhood has learned that every slug is fascinating, doing the dishes is fun, and sharing a banana is a delight. (@crunchymamato2)
  • Things I’ve Learned From My ChildrenKristin at Intrepid Murmurings uses pictures to share what she has learned from her children. (@sunfrog)
  • Beyond the questions lies the answerLauren at Hobo Mama stopped wondering and started knowing � loving and liking our children comes naturally. (@Hobo_Mama)
  • Learning from ChildrenLily, aka Witch Mom, finds out just how enchanting balloons can be. (@LilyShahar)
  • Lifelong LearningLindsay at Living in Harmony has learned that what works for one kid might not work for another. (@AttachedMama)
  • Walking alongside my daughterLindsey at Mama Cum Laude is learning to give the clock less power over her family’s life.
  • Things my baby taught me about meLuschka at Diary of a First Child is proud of how she has grown as a mother. (@lvano)
  • From my children, I have learnedMama Mo at Attached at the Nip has a litany of beautiful lessons, from selflessness to sleeplessness.
  • The Little Things in Life � In a simple and lovely prose poem, Mandy at Living Peacefully with Children shows how adults worry about the wrong things and forget the little, important ones: watching ladybugs, jumping in leaves, cherishing each moment as it comes.
  • The Virtues of MotherhoodMelissa at The New Mommy Files has had opportunities to learn from children as both a teacher and a mother. (@NewMommyFiles)
  • My Kids Have Taught Me That It’s Time To Stop BloggingMelodie at Breastfeeding Moms Unite! has learned that childhoods fly by too fast to blog. We’ll miss your wonderful online presence, Melodie, and we wish you much peace and happiness. (@bfmom)
  • Having Kids Has Taught me a Thing or TwoMichelle at The Parent Vortex learns all day long � from fun facts about hedgehogs to tying a complicated wrap with a screaming child and an audience. (@TheParentVortex)
  • We Could All Learn from the ChildrenMomma Jorje takes time to get on the floor and play so that she can see the world through her child’s eyes.
  • Teaching ForgivenessMrs Green at Little Green Blog has a daughter who’s taught her unconditional love � even when she feels like she does’t deserve it. (@littlegreenblog)
  • Parenting as a joint ventureOlivia at Write About Birth appreciates watching the astonishing way her children learn. (@writeaboutbirth)
  • Beginner’s MindRachael at The Variegated Life learns from a child who builds bridges to nowhere, calls letter magnets his numbers, and insists dinnertime is truck time. (@RachaelNevins)
  • A baby’s presentRS at A Haircut and a Shave presents a short poem on the differences between a baby’s mindfulness and ours.
  • Self-Confidence Was Born With My DaughterSara at Halfway Crunchy learned to trust her instincts by responding to her child’s needs � and saw her self-confidence bloom.
  • The Importance of Being Less EarnestSeonaid at The Practical Dilettante has one list of earnest and one list of silly things she has learned as a parent. (@seonaid_lee)
  • Lessons my children have taught meSheryl at Little Snowflakes learned that attachment parenting was the best way to meet the needs of her child and herself. (@Sheryljesin)
  • Till the water is clearStacy at Mama-Om learns that being present is the best present. (@mama_om)
  • I Hold ItStefanie at Very, Very Fine has learned that the ability to communicate is much more important than the number of words a child knows.
  • What My Children Taught Me About Letting GoSummer at Finding Summer is learning from her kids to laugh in the face of heartache. (@summerminor)
  • Finding My ToolsThe Artsymama has applied some of what she’s learned as a mama in the classroom, with great results!