teaching kids how to clean

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Isn’t my little guy handsome? I asked him to look tough for that picture.

One of the most important things I can do for my children will be to teach them the value of hard work. I admit, though, it’s not my strongest area of parenting. It’s much easier to clean up a mess myself than to ask my child to do it, show them how to do it, and then watch and wait while they get it done. But I guess parenting isn’t easy, is it?

When ARM & HAMMER®* Baking Soda asked me how I used their Baking Soda around the house, besides just baking or sticking a box of it in the fridge, I thought immediately of how I love to sprinkle it on my carpets right before I vacuum. It helps lift up the dirt, and freshens even the most dingy carpets.

But I don’t have carpets where I live right now, so I couldn’t demonstrate that for you.

I have been wanting to do a post on encouraging kids to do chores around the house, though, and since ARM & HAMMER® Baking Soda has such a multitude of cleaning uses, I thought I could teach my kids how to use it to do their chores.

The beauty of using ARM & HAMMER® Baking Soda as a cleaning agent is that it is 100% safe for children to use. It won’t scratch or corrode, and, most importantly, is non-toxic. That’s something I can really feel good about.

My oldest son used it to scrub the kitchen table which had little bits of food stuck on it since breakfast.

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My daughter used it for the bathroom—in the tub and in the sink. She discovered it was great for scrubbing all the grime in the sink and making it shine.

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I would have had my youngest scrub the baseboards with it, but he said he was tired and just wanted to hold the box for the picture.

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Never said I could teach them to love cleaning overnight. But this was a start.

What about you, what do you find are the tougher things to teach your kids?

And what do you use ARM & HAMMER® Baking Soda for? What are your secrets? If you have one you’d like to share, be sure to share it in the ARM & HAMMER® Baking Soda/Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia Sweepstakes, which you can find out all about here.

*As a Martha’s Circle Blogger, I have been compensated for this post, but all views and opinions are my own.

all natural red velvet cupcakes

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Since last year, when I posted my all natural red velvet cake, which I made without red food dye, dozens of people have tried my recipe. For some, it worked well, and for some, it did not. Making a cake is hard enough without the addition of carefully balancing the pH levels, and it seemed everything affected the outcome of the color, whether it was the type of flour used, the type of cocoa, fineness of the ground beets, and on and on and on. People in Europe, for some reason, had the most difficult time with it, and I have yet to hear of a reader across the Atlantic who got a red cake at the end of it.