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If you have young kids then your Disney World planning might need to include some information on how to do Disney while potty training. The potty training process is different for every kid. For some kids it can take a long time. Others might catch on quickly, but they can still be thrown off by things such as a vacation. If your child is anywhere in that potty training process when you head to Walt Disney World it’s good to be prepared.

How to do Disney While Potty Training

It has been several years, but I have been that parent that took a potty training child to Walt Disney World. We went about a month after we started the training process. We were past the point where I was scared to leave the house for fear of accidents, but it was still our first real trip since we had started potty training.

Certainly those first few weeks, and months, after potty training accidents here and there are common. Still things are very different when you’re traveling in the car for 18 hours and you can’t just run your child into a bathroom the moment they tell you that they need to go potty.

I would recommend starting potty training well before you take a vacation to Disney, but when it comes to parenting I think we all know that nothing ever seems to go the way that we plan. Potty training while traveling might seem like a massive undertaking, but it doesn’t have to be. I hope these tips for how to do Disney while potty training will help put your fears to rest and to help you see that a magical vacation can still await you!

Portable Potty Training Seat

When we potty train our kids we typically do it either with a small potty that they can use, or with a special seat that goes on the regular toilet to help them fit on it better. Perhaps you use both. I know we used both depending on the situation.

Kids are used to having that extra seat, so using one while you’re at Walt Disney World can be a big help. Now obviously you’re not going to walk around the theme parks carrying a potty seat. That’s why these folding potty seats are so useful!

These portable potty training seats are really awesome. When unfolded the pieces lock and snap into place like puzzle pieces, so there are no worries about it supporting your child or bending while they sit on it. There are also some foam pieces on the bottom of the seat that keep it from sliding around on the actual toilet seat. Best of all it comes in a plastic bag that snaps closed, so when you’re done using it you can put it away in the bag. That keeps any germs on it from getting all over other things in your stroller or larger bag that you’re carrying it in.

Bring Sticky Notes

Before becoming a parent I never would have thought that sticky notes would be something I’d keep on me at all times. After Nick started potty training I realized that sticky notes became a must have.

Nick’s always been extra sensitive to loud sounds. The sound of toilets in public restroom always upset him, but he would freak out if the toilet he was using flushed while he was still on it. He’s not the only one either. A lot of kids get upset over the toilets simply flushing on them.

I’m sure many of us know that public toilet sensors often don’t work well, but it’s even worse with tiny kids that move around a lot. The simple solution to fix this problem is to cover the sensor with a sticky note before your child sits down. When you’re child is all done using the toilet then remove the sticky note and the toilet will flush.

Basically any size sticky note will do the job as long as it’s big enough to cover the sensor. I find that 3×3 sticky notes are the best size to have on hand because that size is always big enough and isn’t too big to carry in my travel backpack.

My Disney Experience App

With all of my Disney travel experience, including a trip while I was pregnant, I know where just about every Walt Disney World restroom is. Most people don’t have that insider knowledge though. There is nothing worse then having your little one tell you they need to go potty and having no clue where one is!

While any cast member will happily point you to the nearest restroom it’s even faster to pull out your phone and check your My Disney Experience app. This really is a must have app for your Walt Disney World vacation. Especially when it comes to finding things in the theme parks.

Disney has made the app very user friendly when it comes to finding the nearest restroom. At the top of the app, when you’re on map screen, choose “restrooms” from the drop down menu in the middle. Then it will highlight all of the restrooms that are near your current location.

You can see how this works in the image above. There is a blue circle on the right of Dumbo the Flying Elephants marking where I was standing when I opened the app and choose to see the restrooms on my app. You can see the closest restrooms are to the right past the Casey Jr. Splash ‘N’ Soak Station.

Look for Companion Restrooms

As the Walt Disney World theme parks get updated more and more companion restrooms are being added. The companion restrooms make potty use with little ones that are potty training so much easier.

We all know how hard it is to move around in a restroom stall while helping a little one use the potty. Handicap stalls are a bit better, but they aren’t always that large either, and I hate using them in case someone with a handicap comes into the restroom and needs that stall. Nick especially loved companion restrooms because he didn’t have to deal with all of the noise of flushing toilets and hand driers.

Use Pull-Ups

I know that some people really don’t like the idea of using Pull-Ups because they feel it causes potty training struggles. Still, they can make your life a lot easier, and give you peace of mind, when you’re traveling.

When people think of long lines at Walt Disney World they often think of lines for the thrill rides. I’m here to tell you that lines for rides such as Peter Pan’s Flight can get crazy long too. You don’t want to be in the middle of that hour long wait when your child says they have to go to the bathroom. Even if you can get out of line and to a bathroom in time it still will have your nerves on end until you know you’re safe from an accident. The last thing you want to have to carry around in the Florida heat are soiled clothing.

Now I’m not saying you want to encourage your child to utilize the Pull-Up, but I know if we hadn’t used the Pull-Ups I would have been worried and nervous about accidents all day. Plus we didn’t feel we needed to waste time going into every bathroom we passed to make Nick try to go.

In the end we could have made it without them since Nick didn’t have any accidents, but using them made our trip far more enjoyable.

Realize that Florida can be Hot!

When people think of Florida they often think about how hot it is, but they don’t always think about what that always means physically. We know that when we’re hot we sweat and we get dehydrated. This means we need to drink more liquids, but even when we do that we often still release a lot of liquid through our sweat.

Long story short, you’re likely going to find that your child won’t need to go to the bathroom anywhere near as much as they normally do. In fact, depending on how much you get them to drink and how much they sweat they might not need to go all day.

I really didn’t get this when we took Nick to Disney while we were potty training. I kept making him try to go and would get frustrated over how he never needed to go. Nick has always been a big sweater though, and that’s where all his liquid was going.

If he hadn’t been wearing Pull-Ups I probably would have been beyond stressed out over worrying about accidents. I can only imagine how bad our trip would have been otherwise as I would have been really stressed, and that would have caused Nick to be stressed. It’s those type of things that lead to family fights on vacation.

Be Prepared for Anything

When it comes to how to do Disney while potty training it is much like how motherhood is every day. You have to take some deep breaths and be prepared for anything.

It’s always good to have some extra clothes in your park bag and some plastic bags that you can put any soiled clothes into. I would also carry around baby wipes. Cleaning up any possible messes in a bathroom stall isn’t easy, and wipes can make that a lot easier. Plus they’re great to have on hand for dirty fingers and faces from those Mickey Mouse ice cream bars!

Potty training is a tough part of parenting. It takes both time and work, but it doesn’t have to prevent your family from going to Walt Disney World and having a good time! Hopefully with these tips on how to do Disney while potty training your biggest vacation worry will be if you have enough time to wait to ride Dumbo before the parade starts and not about your child having an accident on the ride!

Must Have Potty Training Travel Items

The tips above will help you know how to do Disney while potty training, but they’re only so good without these helpful items.

More Disney World Planning Tips

The most relaxed Walt Disney World vacations come from being prepared. Be sure to check out these Disney World planning tip posts for more help planning your trip!

Get More Walt Disney World Vacation Help

Do you feel overwhelmed trying to plan your Walt Disney World vacation? As a certified Disney Travel Specialist with DreamFinder Travel I am here to help! Be sure to follow my Facebook page for planning tips, Disney travel news, and more!

The post How To Do Disney While Potty Training appeared first on Rock-A-Bye Parents.

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Disclaimer: I was sent free DocaPoles and attachments in order to complete this DocaPole review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Whether it is inside or outside, many of us have places in our homes that are hard to reach and hard to clean. They require dragging over a chair, or worse, getting out a ladder. They are the areas we avoid cleaning because it’s just such a pain. That was until the DocaPole. Now you can easily clean those hard to reach places!

How to Easily Clean Hard to Reach Places: DocaPole Review

There is no denying that I’m short. I’ve always said that I’m 5’3″ on a good day. High area locations can be difficult for many people to clean, but being short can make it even more difficult.

Tops of doors get missed. Cobwebs have been known to take over in high corners. Let’s not even touch on how dusty my fans can get. Many of those areas became ones that I only clean while doing major house cleaning because getting those areas clean is a lot of work.

Several weeks ago I received and email asking me to review the DolcaPole and several of the different cleaning attachments. I was very excited at the idea because it sounded like the perfect solution for how to easily clean those hard to reach places in my home.

What is the DocaPole

I’ll admit that when I was asked to do this DocaPole review I had never heard of this cleaning tool before. I didn’t need to spend much time reading about the product before I started getting quite excited to to try it out.

The DocaPole is a very versatile cleaning tool. It’s a long pole that comes in two different sizes (12 ft or 24 ft), and you can get a number of attachments to use with it.

Most of the attachments are ones that you would use for cleaning your home such as the ones that are found in the DocaPole Cleaning Kit. These include the microfiber feather duster, ceiling fan duster, cobweb duster, and the window squeegee & washer.

DocaPole Attachments

Part of why I love the DocaPole so much is that it can be used in so many ways. There are so many things that can be done with one pole just by changing the attachment at the end.

Several of the cleaning attachments such as the feather duster and the ceiling fan duster are very versatile. These attachments can be taken off the pole and used by hand, so you can clean all of your home with these cleaning attachments and not just the up high areas.

Another thing I really love about the attachments is that they are easy to clean themselves. For many of them you can remove the microfiber cleaning cloth and throw it into the washer to clean it. This is especially nice after cleaning really dirty windows!

I was able to try out four of the different cleaning attachments, but there are other attachments that I’d love to try. I especially want to get the light bulb changing attachment. I have a few spots where that one would be really helpful!

Check all of these different DocaPole attachments out!

My Thoughts on the DocaPole

While I was very excited about testing the DocaPole out I knew that my house wasn’t the best one for putting it to the test. For the most part I have typical height ceilings. Having the DocaPole for them is helpful since I’m short, but they wouldn’t help for trying to clean those really hard to reach areas. To do that I decided to head out to my mother’s house.

My mother’s house was designed with rooms that have cathedral height ceilings. One of those rooms is a solar room that is full of large windows that take over most of the outside wall, and there are some very high windows between the solar room and living room to allow the heat created to enter the entire house.

The solar room is amazing, but it isn’t easy to clean. My mother not only needs to get a ladder to clean most of the areas, but she has to have my grandfather bring his really big ladder over to do it. It is quite a job, and one that my mother doesn’t enjoy doing. She was beyond excited when I told her I was coming over to clean her house.

When I got to her house we decided to tackle the big job of cleaning the windows first. We cleaned the windows inside and out. For the most part the cleaning went really well.

Since the windows were so high we had the pole extended quite a bit. We found when the pole was extended far that it had some bend in it while it was being used. To the person not using it the pole looked a bit flimsy when that happened, but the pole still felt very strong and sturdy. We had no problem adding some pressure with it to clean some bird poop off the outside of the windows which made my mom really excited! She had been looking at those spots with no ways to clean them for months.

The one thing with the squeegee is you will likely need to change the squeegee size a lot as you change windows. The smaller one fit into tight spots a lot better, but with the smaller width it does take more time to get the window clean.

When the cleaning was done we both gave the DocaPole two thumbs up. Cobwebs that couldn’t be seen were gone and the fans we dust free. The windows were a bit streaky, which I’ll admit was difficult for me to look at, but my mom said with those big windows they always get that way when she washes them.

My mother was especially happy with how easy the DocaPole made her cleaning tasks. She tried really hard to convince me that I needed to leave the poles with her since she is the one with the cathedral ceilings. Her arguments were good, but she didn’t win that one. I am really excited to start cleaning all of the hard to reach places at my house now!

Win a DocaPole Cleaning Kit

I am very excited to share that while I received the DocaPole cleaning kit in order to do my DocaPole review, I also have two of these kits to giveaway to my readers!

The DocaPole cleaning kit comes with a 24ft DocaPole, the window squeegee and washer, cobweb duster, microfiber feather duster, as well as the ceiling fan duster and cleaner. Some of the entries can be done daily, so be sure to come back and earn more entries so you can be one of the lucky two to win a DocaPole cleaning kit!

a Rafflecopter giveaway More Homemaking Tips and Tricks

The post How To Easily Clean Hard To Reach Places: DocaPole Review {Giveaway} appeared first on Rock-A-Bye Parents.

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As someone that’s been in education I know how appreciative teachers are of being recognized. That was why at the end of Nick’s kindergarten year I created this thank you for helping me grow teacher gift printable to attach to a flower for Nick to give to all of his teachers on the last day of school.

Thank You For Helping Me Grow Teacher Gift

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Teachers put in so much hard work and dedication to teaching our children. Many also spend a lot of their own hard earned money to help purchase supplies and other items to help enrich their student’s learning.

In the same way that we were taught to write thank you cards I think it’s nice to thank a teacher for all they have done. Many parents do this during teacher appreciation week. For some that week often falls close to the end of the school year, but it’s over a month away for those of us that get out in mid June. I personally prefer to wait and give a gift on very last day of school, but that’s partly because I was raised doing that.

The year that Nick was in kindergarten the last day of school seemed to come out of nowhere. Maybe it was because in preschool we never had an actual last day of school. Nick’s preschool was part of his daycare, so the preschool year transitioned right into summer camp. Whatever the reason I realized in a blink I needed to get end of the year teacher appreciation gifts ready fast.

I have always felt that flowers are a great teacher appreciation gift. I personally prefer to do something potted so the teacher can plant it and get months of enjoyment out of it instead of a bouquet of flowers that won’t last long.

A potted flower doesn’t have to cost a lot of money either. I like to give geraniums. Each geranium plant usually only costs me a few dollars.

Thank You For Helping Me Grow Gift Supplies How to Assemble the DIY Teacher Flower Gift

Not only is this DIY gift cost effective, but it takes very little time to assemble. I don’t know how it works at your house, but things always seem to be crazy at ours as the school year comes to an end. Something that I can prepare quickly is a parenting win in my book!

So far I have only put this DIY teacher gift together with a young child that struggles with dysgraphia, so I have directed these instructions for the parent to follow. If you have a child that is old enough to cut out the printable and put this gift together let them! It’ll mean more to them and the teacher that way.

While you don’t need to specifically do this step first, things will probably be easier if you purchase your flower, plant, or bouquet first. Any type of plant really works for this. You could even pick a bouquet of flowers from you’re own garden if you want. 

Once you have your plant ready to go it takes very little time to put everything together. First you’ll want to print off the Thank You for Helping Me Grow this Year printable.

Once you have that printed have your child sign their name to the printable. There should be plenty of room for that between the wording and the flower images at the bottom.

After your child has signed their name cut around the outside of the green frame. Then use your hole punch to put a hole in the left corner area. Of course be sure to move the hole punch far enough in so that the hole isn’t close to the end of the paper. If you get too close to the edge of the paper it could easily rip in that area causing the printable to fall off the ribbon.

To finish all you need to do is cut a decent length of ribbon, thread it through the hole on the printable, and then tie it to the plant. I find tying it on the stem close to the bottom usually works well, but find what works best for your plant.

That’s all there is to it! Now your thank you for helping me grow teacher gift is all done and ready to be hand delivered to your child’s teacher on the last day of school.

More DIY Gift Ideas

The post Thank You For Helping Me Grow Teacher Gift appeared first on Rock-A-Bye Parents.

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I love to decorate my home for the holidays, and I love to have all different kinds of decorations. One Easter decoration that I enjoy displaying is my washcloth origami bunny collection. 

Washcloth Origami Bunny

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Since our first Disney cruise my family members have been huge fans of the art of towel folding. Getting a new towel animal in our stateroom every night was so much fun. We learned how to make a few of the origami towel designs, but it wasn’t a talent we did anything with. That is until many years ago when we helped out with my cousin’s baby shower.

My cousin was due in June, so we threw her a baby shower in the spring. That lead to lots incorporating spring animals like bunnies into the theme. We came up with a lot of cute things to use for decorations including origami bunnies made from washcloths.

Best of all they served a dual purpose. Not only did the bunnies help decorate the tables, but every guest got to take a washcloth origami bunny home with them at the end of the shower.

We had so much fun making the washcloth bunnies that we went a little overboard and had a lot left after the shower. That didn’t bother us though because it left us with several to keep for ourselves. Each year my mother and I set out our washcloth origami bunnies as decorations at Easter time.

Supplies Need to Make a Washcloth Bunny
  • Washcloth – You can use any color you want. 12 x 12 is a good size to work with.
  • 2 Rubber bands – Medium to large sized
  • Ribbon – Again any color works, although it’s best to go with a color that is at least a different shade from the washcloth color, but doesn’t clash with it. You’ll want a thin ribbon cut to around 18 inches long.
  • Googly eyes (optional)
  • 2 Pompoms – 1 small and 1 medium sized ones (optional)
How to Make a Washcloth Origami Bunny

Since this is an origami project it actually requires only a few supplies. Now in traditional origami you wouldn’t use anything to help hold the shape together, but sometimes folding a washcloth, or towel, needs a little extra help. Plus the rubber bands help the origami bunnies keep their shape until you take them apart. That makes them easy to store and set them out for decorations year after year.

Making the washcloth origami bunny is actually pretty easy and it only takes a few minutes to do. First thing you should do is lay the washcloth on a flat surface with one of the corner points facing you. Then grab each of the side corners and roll them tightly.

You can start with the right or the left corner. It doesn’t matter. Just continue to roll the sides until the rolls meet in the middle.

Now you want to grab the corner that’s facing away from you and pull it towards you. You want this to basically fold the washcloth in half so both of the ends are lined up together. They should look a bit like floppy ears because that’s what they’ll become.

Once you have the ends in the spots you want take one of the rubber bands and put it about a third of the way up the washcloth from the rounded edge. The side that isn’t the two edges.

At this point you’re actually almost done! To finish the shape of your bunny pull the loose floppy ears part of the washcloth back towards the curved side. Then put another rubber band around it. The two rubber bands should be at basically the same spot although the new one might be just a little farther forward. 

All you have left to do now is to polish off the look of your bunny. To do this you’ll want to tie the ribbon on. You want to wrap it around the rubber band area to keep any rubber band spots from showing.

You’ll also want to pull on the ears just a tad to get them to stand up well and be in the exact place that you want them. Although if you made the side rolls tight enough it should all look fine.

Once the ribbon is on and the ears are to your liking you technically are done. You can choose to give your origami bunny a bit more personality though. 

This is where the optional supplies come in. You can use them to give your bunny eyes, a nose, and a tail. You’ll want to make sure you have a hot glue gun on hand to attach these items. Adding them can make the origami bunnies really cute, but they honestly look nice either way.

Now your washcloth origami bunny is ready to be set out with your other Easter decorations! They are very easy to store after Easter as well. I simply put mine into a large gallon sized baggie and put them in the storage tub that has all of our Easter stuffed animals.  Happy towel folding!

Yield: 1 Washcloth Bunny Washcloth Origami Bunny
Want to know how to make a washcloth origami bunny? These adorable washcloth bunnies, also known as boo boo bunnies, are very easy to make and make for great Easter decorations or favors for a spring party.
Prep Time 2 minutes
Active Time 5 minutes
Total Time 7 minutes
  • 12 x 12 Washcloth
  • 2 Rubber bands
  • Thin ribbon cut around 18 inches long
  • Googly eyes (optional)
  • 2 pompoms - 1 small and 1 medium sized (optional)
  • Glue gun for attaching googly eyes and pompoms
  1. Lay the washcloth flat with one of the corners pointing to you.
  2. Roll the outer corners in from each side until the rolls meet in the middle.
  3. Fold in half in the middle so both pointed ends are pointed in the same directions.
  4. Place a rubber band about a 4th of the way up the rounded area of the washcloth.
  5. Take the pointed ends and bend them back towards the rubber banded area.
  6. Place another rubber band to hold the ears in place. This rubber band should be placed in about the same area as the first one.
  7. Wrap the ribbon around the washcloth bunny in the same place as the rubber bands to hide them, and then tie it into a bow.
© Rock-A-Bye Parents
Category: Family
More Creative Easter Ideas

The post How To Make A Washcloth Origami Bunny appeared first on Rock-A-Bye Parents.

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There can be no denying the fact that our family loves Oreos. I mean we seriously love them. Not surprisingly one of our family’s favorite go to pie recipes is this no bake Oreo pudding pie.

No Bake Oreo Pudding Pie Recipe

My mom started making this Oreo pudding pie recipe years ago. In fact it’s been so many years that I can’t remember if she started making it when I was in college or back when I was in high school.

It was a huge hit with the family from the very first time she made it. Since that time she has been asked to bring it to a lot of family events.

At this point it has actually become a staple dessert for our family. While she used to make it for a lot of events she started making it even more when Nick came into the picture and we needed recipes without eggs that he could eat.

This was an egg-free dessert that Nick not only could eat, but loved. Plus, since the rest of the family loved it too making it for most family events became a given.

As a mom I love this pie because it doesn’t take much time to make. You whip a few things together, crush some Oreos, and pretty much you’re done.

It does need a couple of hours in the freezer in order for the pudding to fully set though. So while it doesn’t take long to make this Oreo vanilla pudding pie it is one that you need to plan on making ahead of time.

What You Need to Make an Oreo Pudding Pie

How to Make an Oreo Vanilla Pudding Pie

This no bake Oreo pudding pie really is so simple to make. Since you can buy the pie crust all ready made that saves a lot of time. Making a crust always seems to be so time consuming. If I can go with a premade crust I will. Honestly most of my family has gone that way. We don’t mind making a homemade pie, but we don’t want to deal with the crust.

The very first thing I recommend doing is to get the whipped topping out of the freezer before you start making the recipe. You’re going to need to mix half of the tub into the pudding. That’ll be much easier to do if it’s somewhat warm and soft.

To start making the pie you’ll want to start with crushing the Oreos. The easiest way to do this is by using a large gallon baggie like these. Place 15 Oreos in the baggie and close it. That will keep any Oreo pieces from coming out and making a mess. 

Then grab a rolling pin and start hitting the Oreos with it. Continue to smash the Oreos until the are broken down into pieces around the size of a nickle. Smaller is fine too, but the goal isn’t to crush them to dust like you want for a dirt cake recipe.

After you’ve smashed the Oreos up you can place the baggie with them to the side. You’ll need it again in a few minutes.

Next you’ll want to make the pudding. Make the pudding according to the instructions on the pudding box. Most likely it’ll tell you to add two cups of milk and then whisk it for two minutes.

Once the pudding is all whisked together you can stir in the whipped topping.

When the whipped topping has been mixed in well you can finish by adding in all of the Oreo pieces that you crushed earlier. After that you’re just about done.

To finish the pie just pour the pudding mixture into the Oreo cookie crust and place it into the freezer for a minimum of 2 hours. It would be even better if you could have it in for a bit longer then that though.

Remove the pie from the freezer 15 minutes before serving to let it soften. Before serving the pie crush the remaining 4 Oreos in a baggie and then sprinkle them all over the top of the pie.

I hope your family enjoys this no bake Oreo pie recipe as much as our family does. We love to have it for spring and summer events, but it really is a great pie to serve any time of the year.

Yield: 6 Slices No Bake Oreo Pudding Pie
This no bake Oreo pudding pie is a real crowd pleaser. It is a great choice for warmer weather months when you don't want to heat up the kitchen with baking, but it's also great to serve any time of year. Best of all it only requires a few ingredients and is fast to make!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours
Additional Time 15 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 25 minutes
  • Oreo cookie crumb crust
  • Small box of french vanilla pudding
  • 2 Cups of milk
  • 1/2 of an 8oz tub of whipped topping
  • 19 Oreos
  1. Crush 15 Oreos in a large baggie and set aside`
  2. Make pudding based on box instructions
  3. Add the whipped topping to the pudding and stir in
  4. Add the crushed Oreos to the stir in
  5. Pour mixture into the pie crust and place in freezer for a minimum of 2 hours
  6. Remove from freezer 15 minutes before serving to let soften
  7. Crush remaining 4 Oreos and sprinkle on top of pie
Nutrition Information: Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1 Slice
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 381 Total Fat: 20g Saturated Fat: 12g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 7g Cholesterol: 7mg Sodium: 249mg Carbohydrates: 47g Fiber: 1g Sugar: 29g Protein: 5g
© Rock-A-Bye Parents
Cuisine: American / Category: Recipes
Be sure to check out these other yummy dessert recipes!

The post No Bake Oreo Pudding Pie appeared first on Rock-A-Bye Parents.

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Sometimes it’s the basic things in life that work the best. That is why washing towels with vinegar and baking soda can be such a successful way for getting towels clean. The problem is that these two ingredients do not react well when mixed, so you need to know how to safely use the two of them together.

Washing Towels with Vinegar and Baking Soda

A few years ago now, when I was researching how to stop towels from smelling, I kept seeing posts that told me that I needed to be washing my towels with vinegar and baking soda.

This seemed all well and good, but I wasn’t sure how to safely do that. If you combine vinegar and baking soda together you’re going to get a chemical reaction.

This is the basis for all of the volcanoes that have been created for science projects across the country for generations. The last thing I wanted was for my washing machine to become the next volcano. I wanted to save my towels, but I didn’t want to add a giant mess that needed cleaning to my immediate to do list.

I spent some time researching how to wash towels with vinegar and baking soda in the washing machine. With so many sites telling me that vinegar and baking soda were the answer to my towel washing prayers I figured there had to be a safe way to go about it.

I was able to find out the best way for washing towels with vinegar and baking soda safely. How you do it can depend some on the type of washing machine you have.

Cleaning Towels with Vinegar and Baking Soda in a Top Loading Washing Machine

If you have a traditional top loading washing machine you can basically do a load of laundry like you normally do. You’ll just replace the items that you use.

Instead of laundry detergent you’ll pour baking soda into the washing machine. Half of a cup of baking soda should be enough to replace your detergent.

For those that still want to add some detergent to the wash you can do that as well. Simply add a small amount of baking soda as well as a small amount of powder detergent. You can add both of them, at the same time, before starting the wash. This is part of the best way to wash towels to keep them soft and fluffy.

Now when it comes to washing towels with vinegar you need to think of the vinegar as your fabric softener. You do not want the baking soda and vinegar to mix at any time though, so it’s best to manually add the vinegar to the wash. If you’re adding it manually then you need to add the vinegar during the rinse cycle. A fourth of a cup of vinegar should be a good amount to add.

Washing Towels with Vinegar and Baking Soda in a Front Loader

Things are only slightly different when using vinegar and baking soda in a front loader then they are with a top loader. As with the top loader you’ll replace your detergent with baking soda and you’ll replace the fabric softener with vinegar. The same amounts work as well. You’ll want to use 1/2 a cup of baking soda and around 1/4 a cup of vinegar.

After that things can get slightly different though. Now you can add the baking soda directly to the wash before you turn the washing machine on, but you don’t have to do it that way. In fact using vinegar and baking soda in a front loader is really easy because you can preload all of it before you start the wash.

To prepare the vinegar and baking soda ahead of time you’ll want to put the correct amounts in the detergent drawer. To do this you need to first pull open the drawer and remove the cup that is made to hold the liquid detergent.

Once the cup is removed pour the baking soda into that compartment. You can then pour the vinegar into the fabric softener cup. I don’t measure out the amount of vinegar I pour in. I just pour until the vinegar reaches the “max” spot.

Once you’ve add the baking soda and vinegar just turn the washing machine on as you normally would. The machine will release both items at the correct time without mixing them.

Washing towels with vinegar and baking soda can be a simple process when done right, and it’s a great way to get towels soft and smelling great. If you’re still worried about them mixing then you can wash the towels with baking soda and then run them through the wash again with the vinegar. Just be sure to still add the vinegar when it’s time for the fabric softener.

More Homemaking Tips and Tricks

The post How To Wash Towels with Vinegar and Baking Soda Safely appeared first on Rock-A-Bye Parents.

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I love being able to use holidays to add a new dimension to our learning. These St. Patrick’s Day vocabulary cards do just that. Plus, there are so many fun activities that you can use them!

St. Patrick’s Day Vocabulary Cards

What is it about St. Patrick’s Day that makes it so much fun? As a kid about all I ever did for the holiday was dress in green, and yet I always looked forward to it every year.

St. Patrick’s Day has become a much bigger thing then it was when I was a kid. Now parents and schools find lots of ways to add fun to the holiday with fun crafts and learning activities.

That’s why I love these St. Patrick’s Day vocabulary cards so much. These cute shamrock cards really add some extra language arts fun to the holiday.

There are 20 shamrock cards on the vocabulary printable. Sixteen of the cards contain different St. Patrick’s Day vocabulary words. The remaining four shamrocks on the printable are blank. That way you can add your own St. Patrick’s Day words if you like.

St. Patrick’s Day Vocabulary Activities

These vocabulary cards are fairly simplistic, but that allows for them to be used in a lot of different ways for multiple language arts activities. This allows means that their use can maladjusted for different ages, different learning abilities, and even different interests.

Below I have shared some of my favorite ways to utilize these shamrock vocabulary cards, but this is truly a small list of ideas. You can use these cards for so many fun St. Patrick’s Day word activities.

St. Patrick’s Day Words Matching Activity

Kids love to play matching games. Often we play that game with pictures, but word matching games are a great way to help give extra reading support in a fun and relaxing way.

For this activity you will need to make sure to print two copies of the vocabulary cards. Then have your child flip different cards over until they match two with the same words.

Matching the same word may seem fairly simple, but there is more to it then you might think. Several of the St. Patrick’s Day words start with the same letter, so kids have to look at more of the word then just the first letter in order to match them up.

If your child is able to read then add another level to the activity by having them read the cards as they match them up. This is a really great way to reinforce the new words that they are learning.

Vocabulary Words for St. Patrick’s Day Placed in ABC Order

Having your child put vocabulary words into ABC order is a another great way to support literacy learning. With this activity your child will not only need pay attention to the word on the card, but they will also need to pay close attention to the letters and their location in the word.

In our area this is a very common activity, and I used to do it with first graders a lot when I used to sub. Over the years I have seen that some kids can get this task fairly easily, but others can really struggle with it.

If your child finds putting words into ABC order is a bit tough than you can help by giving them an alphabet chart to look at as a reference. This can especially be helpful for times when there are several words that start with the same letter because that starts getting trickier. 

If they need more help you can coach them by helping talk them through the activity with dialog such as: “Are there any A words? No? OK, are there any B words?” Go through each letter that way, and if there are words with more than one letter do the same thing for the second letter of the word.

Sorting Words for St. Patrick’s Day

Until Nick started kindergarten I didn’t realize just how much sorting kids in the early grades do on a daily basis. I’m not sure a day goes by that Nick didn’t bring a sorting page home.

There are so many different ways that you can sort these vocabulary cards. You can make the sorting activities easier or harder depending on the level your child is at. Here are a few sorting ideas:

  • Sort by the first letter of the word
  • Sort by the number of letters the words have
  • Sort by the number of syllables in each word
  • You can even encourage your child to decide how they think the words should be sorted. It’s amazing what a child’s mind can do when given some limited instructions.


St. Patrick’s Day Word Wall

Word walls weren’t really a thing when I was a kid, but they were becoming a very big thing by the time I was in college and getting my teaching degree.

During my years working in classrooms I saw how much kids loved to add words to their word wall. Nick was a big fan of the word wall himself. When he used to come with me to other classrooms before the school day started the word wall was one of the first things that he looked for in each room!

In fact, Nick loved word walls so much that I created one for him at home on our refrigerator. He always loved when I would add new words to it and these St. Patrick’s Day shamrocks certainly make fun additions to any word wall. It seems like such a simple thing, but it’s really a fun way to help kids expand on their reading vocabulary.

Download Your St. Patrick’s Day Vocabulary for Kids

Are you ready to add some luck of the Irish to your child’s literacy learning? Be sure to download these St. Patrick’s Day Vocabulary Cards

I hope your child has a lot of fun using these St. Patrick’s Day vocabulary cards. I know Nick and I have had a lot of fun finding different ways to use them over the years.

More St. Patrick’s Day Ideas for Kids

The post St. Patrick’s Day Vocabulary Cards appeared first on Rock-A-Bye Parents.

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Is your child looking for something green to wear this St. Patrick’s Day? This shamrock beaded safety pin is just what they need. Beaded safety pins are such an easy kid crafts, and with this one they’ll have something fun and green to wear for St. Patrick’s Day!

Shamrock Beaded Safety Pin

I’m sure when you think back to your childhood you can remember a St. Patrick’s Day or two when you were searching for something green to wear so you wouldn’t get pinched. Certainly schools are on top of making sure pinching no longer happens, but we all need some green in our lives on March 17.

This shamrock beaded safety pin is such a fun way to add some green to the holiday. Plus it’s a great activity for a snowy March day when the kids are stuck inside and everyone is feeling so over the winter.

Supplies Needed for Shamrock Beaded Safety Pin How to Make a Shamrock Beaded Safety Pin

Over the last year or so I have had so much fun designing new beaded safety pin crafts. I have such a good time creating them, but coming up with the designs are not always easy. It can take a lot of fiddling to get a design to work.

You don’t have to worry about that part of the process though because I have that part covered for you. You can just hand the supplies and design over to the kids and let them have fun crafting away!

Before I get into the technical part of the craft I do want to put a disclaimer out there. This craft is not made for young kids. Between the pins and the tiny beads it’s all around not the best idea. I do create these crafts with kids in mind, but I create them for older kids. I’m sure I don’t really need to say that, but the educator in me just can’t pass this part by.

I also have a tip I want to share. If you’re new to seed beads be aware that they are not created equal. The shapes and size of them are not all the same. This means that you might need to play around with what actual beads you use to get the design to look the way you want it to.

Alright, now with all that out of the way let’s get crafting!

Building the Beaded Safety Pins

To make things easier I will talk about the order of the safety pins from left to right. In reality though the pins are a mirror image, so you truly can go left to right or right to left. Which ever works best for you.

When making beaded safety pins I like to make them by first building all of the pins. Then I work on assembling the entire pin. I find working this way makes it easier to play around with the seed beads if needed for everything to line up right.

The designs of the pins are as follows:

Pin 1: 4 Orange seed beads, 1 Green seed bead, 1 Orange seed bead, 1 Green seed bead, 3 Orange seed beads

Pin 2: 3 Orange seed beads, 5 Green seed beads, 2 Orange seed beads

Pin 3: 3 Orange seed beads, 5 Green seed beads, 2 Orange seed beads

Pin 4: 1 Orange seed bead, 2 Green seed beads, 1 Orange seed bead, 3 Green seed beads, 3 Orange seed beads

Pin 5: 4 Green seed beads, 1 Orange seed bead, 2 Green seed beads, 3 Green seed beads

Pin 6: 1 Orange seed bead, 9 Green seed beads

Pin 7: 4 Green seed beads, 1 Orange seed bead, 2 Green seed beads, 3 Green seed beads

Pin 8: 1 Orange seed bead, 2 Green seed beads, 1 Orange seed bead, 3 Green seed beads, 3 Orange seed beads

Pin 9: 3 Orange seed beads, 5 Green seed beads, 2 Orange seed beads

Pin 10: 3 Orange seed beads, 5 Green seed beads, 2 Orange seed beads

Pin 11: 4 Orange seed beads, 1 Green seed bead, 1 Orange seed bead, 1 Green seed bead, 3 Orange seed beads

Assembling the Beaded Safety Pin

While it seems like the easiest step, assembling the entire pin is actually the trickiest part, and will most likely require some adult help.

The first step is to open up the coil of the safety pin that all of the beaded safety pins are going to hang from. You don’t need to widen it a lot. You just need to open the coil enough to allow the beaded safety pins to slide over it.

The easiest way to open the coil is with a butter knife. Slide the thin cutting side of the butter knife into the coil. Then pull on the knife in order to open up the coil.

You can start to add the beaded pins to the main pin once the coil is open enough. I start with Pin 1 and work my way to Pin 11, but since the sides are mirror images you can start at either end.

To attach the beaded pins you just slide the hole of the beaded pin onto the opened side of the main pin. When you get to opened coil just continue to slide the pin over it so it ends up on the other side of the opened pin.

Don’t worry if this sounds a bit confusing. Once you try it a few times you’ll get the hang of it. If you are unable to slide the beaded pin through the coil then just use your butter knife to open the coil a bit wider.

Something that is important to note is that when you attach the beaded safety pins make sure that all of the beaded pins are facing the same way when you attach them. If you don’t do this then the beaded pins will face in different directions when they get to the other side of the pin.

The way they face, either left or right, when you attach the beaded pins is totally up to you. I’ve done it both ways. Just depends which way I grab the first pin when I go to put it on.

Once you have all of the beaded pins on the main pin, and they are all facing the same direction, there is just one small step left. You’ll need to take the pliers and pinch the coil of the main pin shut again. That will keep any of the beaded pins from sliding back through it.

Yield: 1 Beaded Safety Pin Shamrock Beaded Safety Pin - St. Patrick's Day Kid Craft
This shamrock beaded safety pin is a fun St. Patrick's Day kid craft. It's a great way to keep kids entertained on a snowy and cold March day.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Active Time 30 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Difficulty Easy
  • 12 Safety Pins - size 3
  • Seed Beads - Size 6/0 (55 orange and 55 green)
  • Butter Knife
  • Pliers
  1. Create 11 beaded safety pins as listed below (pins are a mirror image so can be built from left to right or right to left)
  2. Open the coil on the main pin with a butter knife
  3. Slide beaded pins over the coil in the correct pin order
  4. Use pliers to pinch the coil shut

Beaded Safety Pin Designs:

Pin 1: 4 Orange seed beads, 1 Green seed bead, 1 Orange seed bead, 1 Green seed bead, 3 Orange seed beads

Pin 2: 3 Orange seed beads, 5 Green seed beads, 2 Orange seed beads

Pin 3: 3 Orange seed beads, 5 Green seed beads, 2 Orange seed beads

Pin 4: 1 Orange seed bead, 2 Green seed beads, 1 Orange seed bead, 3 Green seed beads, 3 Orange seed beads

Pin 5: 4 Green seed beads, 1 Orange seed bead, 2 Green seed beads, 3 Green seed beads

Pin 6: 1 Orange seed bead, 9 Green seed beads

Pin 7: 4 Green seed beads, 1 Orange seed bead, 2 Green seed beads, 3 Green seed beads

Pin 8: 1 Orange seed bead, 2 Green seed beads, 1 Orange seed bead, 3 Green seed beads, 3 Orange seed beads

Pin 9: 3 Orange seed beads, 5 Green seed beads, 2 Orange seed beads

Pin 10: 3 Orange seed beads, 5 Green seed beads, 2 Orange seed beads

Pin 11: 4 Orange seed beads, 1 Green seed bead, 1 Orange seed bead, 1 Green seed bead, 3 Orange seed beads

© Rock-A-Bye Parents
Project Type: Beaded Safety Pin / Category: Crafts

With the coil pinched shut the shamrock beaded safety pin is ready to wear! This really makes for a fun kids craft that is perfect for the next snowy or rainy March day.

More St. Patrick’s Day Fun

The post Shamrock Beaded Safety Pin – St. Patrick’s Day Kid Craft appeared first on Rock-A-Bye Parents.

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Meatloaf is a meal that I crave on a cold winter night. The recipe that I used called for egg though, and my son has an egg allergy. In order for him to be able to eat it with me it had to be an egg-free meatloaf recipe. Luckily it was easy to modify it and add it to my list of recipes without eggs.

Egg-Free Meatloaf Recipe

When you say “meatloaf” you often get two different reactions because people seem to either love it or hate it. I’ll admit that as a kid I wasn’t a big fan of it, but things change. As an adult I can’t get enough of it.

My mother’s meatloaf recipe is one of her own creations because she had never been a fan of most meatloaf recipes that she had tried. In the end she took a little of this, a little of that, and created an easy meatloaf recipe that she enjoyed.

To this day she just throws the ingredients into the bowl without really measuring them. I have never had the knack to cook that way, so I use the recipe that I posted below that includes specific ingredient amounts. It still tastes just as good! Promise!

Meatloaf is so soft, that it can be a good food option for young kids to try. With Nick’s egg allergy though our recipe was off limits because it contained egg. One day my mom mentioned to me that she thought we could modify her recipe to be an egg-free meatloaf recipe.

I still remember when we tried to make the meatloaf recipe without the added egg for the first time. We really weren’t sure how it would turn out. Would it taste as good? Would it fall apart on us?

The only difference we have ever found between the two recipes was that with the egg-free meatloaf recipe the meatloaf doesn’t hold it’s shape quite as well, but it still stays together. Basically unless you’re going for a five-star restaurant meatloaf presentation you should be fine.

In the end adjusting the ingredients to remove the egg part turned out to be very easy. There really is no reason to include the egg in my opinion.

Here’s What You Need to Make the Egg Free Meatloaf For the Meatloaf For the Meatloaf Topping
  • 1/4 Cup ketchup
  • 1/4 Cup barbecue sauce

How to the Make Egg Free Meatloaf

First you need to combine all of the ingredients for the meatloaf into a large mixing bowl and mix them together. I recommend crushing all of the crackers in the sleeve before dumping them into the bowl. If you find that your mixture is a bit soupy than add some additional oatmeal.

Next, put the meatloaf mixture into a sprayed 2 quart oven safe casserole dish. Bake the meatloaf for 45 minutes at 350.

At some point while the meatloaf is cooking you’ll want to mix the ingredients for the topping together in a bowl.

After the 45 minutes remove the meatloaf from the oven and apply the topping to it. I find it easiest to just pour the topping on to the meatloaf and then move it around with a basting brush.

Finally, put the meatloaf back into the over and bake it for another 15 minutes at 350.

That’s all there is to it! You can see why this is such an easy meatloaf recipe to make! It takes almost no time to make. The only thing that actually takes much time is waiting for it to bake. That isn’t all that easy either because your house will quickly start to smell really good.

Yield: 6 Helpings Egg-Free Meatloaf
This egg-free meatloaf is such an easy meatloaf recipe to make. It'll really hit the spot whether you're craving winter comfort food or you just want something new to serve for dinner.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
  • For the Meatloaf
  • 1lb Burger
  • 1/2 Can tomato soup
  • 1 Sleeve Ritz crackers (crushed)
  • 1/2 Cup ketchup
  • 1/3 Cup barbecue sauce
  • 1/2 Cup oatmeal
  • Pepper to taste
  • For the Meatloaf Topping
  • 1/4 Cup ketchup
  • 1/4 Cup barbecue sauce
  1. Combine meatloaf ingredients in a bowl and mix together. Crush the crackers in the sleeve before adding them. If you find that the mixture seems to soupy then add some more oatmeal.
  2. Bake the meatloaf in a sprayed oven safe bowl for 45 minutes at 350.
  3. Mix together topping ingredients.
  4. Remove the meatloaf from the oven and apply the topping with a basting brush.
  5. Put the meatloaf back in the oven and cook for an additional 15 minutes at 350.
Nutrition Information: Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1 Helping
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 400 Total Fat: 16g Saturated Fat: 6g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 8g Cholesterol: 82mg Sodium: 1180mg Carbohydrates: 43g Fiber: 1g Sugar: 19g Protein: 22g
© Rock-A-Bye Parents
Cuisine: American / Category: Recipes

Whether you need an egg-free meatloaf recipe because someone in your house as a food allergy, or just because you are craving meatloaf for dinner and you don’t have any eggs on hand, this egg-free meatloaf recipe is sure to please!

More Recipes without Eggs

The post Egg Free Meatloaf: The Perfect Easy Meatloaf Recipe appeared first on Rock-A-Bye Parents.

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March is such a wonderful month. Winter is no longer as harsh, signs of spring start to appear, and it’s all about reading! March is Reading Month is so much fun, and a great way help kids find joy in reading. There are so many March is Reading Month activities to  help add to the fun, and this March is Reading Month activity calendar will help you bring reading fun and excitement to each day of the month!

March is Reading Month Activity Calendar

As a child I always loved the month of March. Partly because it was the month that my birthday fell in, but also because I loved March is Reading Month.

March is Reading Month was a really big deal in our school. There were so many fun activities that would happen during that month.

One thing that every child looked forward to was being caught reading. Teachers would randomly call their students in the evenings and if the student was reading when the call came in then they could go to the office for a special prize the next day.

Of course there was always a fun competition going on all moth to see which class could record the most reading minutes. The winning class won a pizza party, so of course everyone wanted to add to the total. The principal always sweetened the deal by vowing to do some crazy thing if the entire school passed a certain number of combined reading minutes.

Still, what I always loved the best was the March is Reading Month activity calendar. Just before March started a calendar would be sent home that had fun reading activities for every day of the month.

March is Reading Month Activities

It’s amazing how many fun activities there are to help children get focused on, and to have fun with, reading. There are so many ways we interact with reading in our everyday lives, and these March is Reading Month activities help kids to see that.

Even though it’s been many years since I participated in March is Reading Month activities at school (and we won’t say how many years) I still remember how much fun I had doing them. Now as a mother I see how much these activities get my son excited for reading too.

Nick is at an age where he’s starting to be able to read books that interest him. He has always liked having me read to him, but he’s starting to pick up a book now and then to read on his own too. That doesn’t happen all that often yet, but with many of these fun activities he’s jumping for book time.

One of the things I really love about so many of these activities is that they are things the whole family can get involved in. There are so many great ways to bond such as reading a recipe and then making it, or playing a board game that requires reading.

Printable March is Reading Month Calendar

When I was a kid our March is Reading Month activity calendar had activities that we could complete every single day of the month. No day went without something fun to do.

When I went to create this March is Reading Month printable activity calendar I followed the activity system my school used. Many of these activities were ones we did. I even called my mom up to ask her to help me remember some of the reading activities we had.

As a child I simply loved March is Reading month. As an adult with a language arts degree I’m so proud of the program my school put together for the month of March. These fun activities help instill in children a love for reading that will last far past March is Reading Month. My son’s school does stuff, but not to the extent my school did and I think it is such a shame because I got way more out of the entire month then he does.

Whether you’re an educator yourself, or just a parent that wants to add some reading fun for March I hope this March is Reading Month activity calendar helps your children realize how much reading is.

Book Collections for Kids 

The post March Is Reading Month Activity Calendar appeared first on Rock-A-Bye Parents.

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