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START INVENTING WITH TINKERING LABS

B&O RAILROAD HOSTS MEMORIAL WEEKEND CELEBRATION: PLAYFUL PARENT GUIDE AND GIVEAWAY

KID-FRIENDLY, ECO-FRIENDLY DIY WEED KILLER

I thought for this weeks Homemade Monday series, I would write a little about a kid-friendly, and eco-friendly way to get rid of weeds. One thing I really despise is weeds, it seems like killing and removing weeds is a never ending story. In the past, we have purchased chemical weed killers. However, this is not cost effective and it’s not great for our family or the planet.  After hearing about a few options, I decided to try one out.

What I love best about this recipe is that it uses basic house hold ingredients, even if you don’t have them laying around the house they are easy to get and super cheap to buy.  What I also love is that this recipe is so safe that the kids can help make it and use it. So if you are inclined to give this chemical free weed killer a try here’s what you will need….


INGREDIENTS


 

  • 1 Gallon Distilled Vinegar
  • 1 Cup Epsom Salt
  • 2 TBSP Dish Soap
  • 1 Spray Bottle
  • Funnel

    1. MAKING YOUR WEED KILLER

  1. Pour vinegar, salt and liquid soap into a container. Using a funnel can help prevent spills.
  2. Shake until thoroughly mixed together.
  3. Now you are ready to go  outside and saturate weeds with the solution. Keep in mind that you can spray the solution or even  pour over trouble patches.

Before Picture…

After Picture

We tested this recipe out a few times and love it. I feel that it works just as effectively as round up, yet is safer, cheaper and readily at hand.

NATIONAL TEACHER APPRECIATION WEEK DEALS

NATIONAL TEACHER APPRECIATION WEEK

Not all super heroes wear capes, yet they have a drastic impact on our community. We see these heroes at work every day in the community. If you haven’t guessed it, I’m talking about the men and women who have dedicated their lives to teaching.  Teachers have one of the most important jobs; to mold, shape and inspire our children. They provide a nurturing environment to promote a love of learning on a daily basis to kids all over the county. I have worked in the Charles County school system for many years as a counselor and see the hard work teachers put into their classes on a daily basis. In some ways, a week is not enough. However, I’m glad we have this week to honor teachers, administrators, counselors, and staff who truly are making an impact on our community.

Teacher Appreciation Week kicks off Monday May 6, 2019 with restaurants and businesses offering free meals or discounts. I complied this list of resources for teachers and staff so they can feel the love and know what freebies are out there for them this week. The biggest day for educators is Tuesday May 7, 2019 – Teacher Appreciation Day.


RESTAURANTS


Chipolte- Teachers, faculty and other school staff with a valid school ID will be able to use a BOGO offer. Buy-one-get-one free offer on May Tuesday May 7, 2019 from 3 PM until closing. The deal is good on burritos, bowls, salads and tacos on dine in orders only. To learn more visit www.chipolte.com/teachers.

Fosters Grill (LaPlata)- FREE meal for nurses and teachers with valid ID all week May 6-11, 2019.

The Greene Turtle- The Greene Turtle is saying Thank You on Tuesday, May 7th with a free meal for teachers who show their school-issued ID. Meal value up to $14, dine-in only. Cannot be combined with other offers, discounts or rewards.

Sonic Drive In- Sonic has a teacher appreciation month deal for teachers and “those who appreciate teachers” From Tuesday through the end of the month get a free Route 44 drink or slush with purchase of order by using the Sonic App use the promotion code TEACHERS.

Rita’s Italian Ice-  This week Rita’s honor hard working teachers at Rita’s of La Plata on Thursday, May 9 from 3:00PM to 9:00PM. Teachers who show their badge will receive one FREE regular Italian Ice.

Sweet Frog (LaPlata)- Enjoy a FREE 12 Oz Cup on May 9, 2019 from 4-7 PM when teachers show their badge.

Wee Bean- Teachers and school employees get a FREE coffee on Wednesday between 7:00 AM – 8:30 AM.


DISCOUNTS & PROGRAMS


Did you know a variety of company’s offer discounts for teachers? Another great resource for Charles County Teachers is the Educational  Association of Charles County; they  are hosting a series of events this week for members.

YEAR ROUND DISCOUNTS AND DEALS

  • A.C.Moore- Teachers get 15% off entire purchase any time of the year!
  • Amazon Prime Student- Anyone with a .edu email account can enjoy Amazon Student (a version of prime) for FREE for six months!
  • Ann Taylor Loft- Register to receive 15% off your full-price purchases in store, every day!
  • Apple Store- Make purchases through the Apple Education store and save up to $200 on products.
  • AT&T- Save up to 17% on your wireless service for teacher and faculty, 20% off of accessories and more!
  • Banana Republic- Register to receive 15% off your full-price purchases in store, every day!
  • Barnes & Noble- Every classroom needs books! Teachers receive 20% off on publisher price for classroom.
  • Books-A-Million- Teachers get 20% off all items purchased in-store.
  • Costco- Special teacher discount on membership.
  • Crayola- 15% off the entire website at Crayola.com from May 6- May 13. Promo Code THANK YOU.
  • Hobby Lobby- Save 10% on crafts and school supplies. Need school check or bank card to make purchases though.
  • Hot Wheels- Offers teachers the opportunity to request tons of FREE toys for their classroom’s in Mattel’s Hot Wheel Speedomentry Program.
  • JoAnn Fabrics- Get 15% discount both in-store and online.
  • Lakeshore- Sign-up for their teachers club and receive 15% on purchases.
  • Lenovo- Save up to 20% on laptops, tablets and desktops.
  • Michaels- Get 15% discount on in-store purchase with ID every day.
  • Microsoft- Educational software discounts available, including free Office 365! Plus 10% off devices.
  • Office Depot- 10% discount for teachers on most classroom supplies.
  • Party City- Save up to 20% on everyday purchases.
  • Scholastic- Save up to 75%
  • Staples- Enroll for a teachers reward card 888-636-9555.

WHY WE LOVE WOODEN TOYS: PLAYFUL LEARNING

We love wooden toys! I often feel that most children play best when they are given the simplest of toys to play with. In fact, as baby’s my boys were always more fascinated with the wrapping paper and packaging than the actually toys on their birthday or at Christmas. It’s this idea of pure play that leads me to believe that children crave toys that offer open ended play. I’m excited to write a little bit about our favorite wooden toys and why wooden toys are so great. 


WHY WOODEN TOYS


What I love most about wooden toys is that they inspire creative and imaginative play in children. In addition to having fun they are learning through play, while working on key developmental and cognitive skills. Wood toys are also classic, they will never go out of style and very durable. In fact, my brothers wooden railroad tracks from over 20 years ago have passed down to my boys in mint condition. I love that when I purchase wooden toys for my children, I know they are a great family investment because they can be passed down to future generations. Wooden toys are better for the environment and our children’s health too. With wooden toys you don’t have to worry about harmful chemicals such as BPA or phthalates. They yield less waste than plastic toys and are biodegradable. 


HAPE TOYS


Hape Toys is passionate about making toys that are both creative in design and eco-friendly. Their mission statement is amazing… “Hape believes that the future begins and belongs to our children. It is our duty to leave them with infinite possibilities, not unsolvable problems. Our toys are created to inspire play, learning, and exploration of the world we live in; through responsible business practices we aspire to leave the world in a better condition than when we received it.” In addition to their mission state, I love that they focus on six key areas of child development: Imagination and creativity, social skills, self-discovery, problem solving, gross motor and fine motor skills in order to create toys that promote learning through play.

Our two favorite collections by Hape are the Marble Run Construction sets and Railroad sets. These toys are great because you can build on them and collect more pieces over time to add to your collection. My boys will play with these sets for hours non-stop. They love configuring the tracks in a variety of different ways to make new marble runs or train tracks. Not only are they extremely fun but help kids develop:

  • Problem Solving Skills: Children using problem solving as they try to figure out how to arrange their track or set up their marble run. 
  • Social Skills:  These toys encourage children to take turns, as well as come up with solutions to problems together when playing with others.
  • STEAM: They are working on the basic principle’s science, technology, engineering, art and math through experimenting with concepts such as physics and gravity.
  • Coordination: They are strengthening hand eye coordination and fine motor skills.

Be sure to check out Hapes Website and Facebook Page to learn more or even order toys for your kids.

You really need to check out the Solar Power Circuit set by Hape. Your little engineer will step into the future with this solar-powered rail set. The engine has its own solar panel that generates enough electricity to power its lights.

***Thank you Hape for donating  the Quadrilla Marble Run Construction Set and Solar Power Circuit in order for The Playful Parent to share with the community. The Playful Parent is a 501c3 Non-profit and does not accept payment for endorsing companies. All information is based on my own non-bias opinion. Content and photographs are intellectual property of The Playful Parent.***

 

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