DIY Laundry Detergent

A few years ago, I was pregnant with our first child. I was swimming in school debt, making pennies working at a private school, and looking for ways to save money wherever possible.

When I read about DIY laundry detergent and how it not only was cheap and easy to make, but also made your clothes smell super fresh, I decided it was something that I wanted to try. I found a recipe on Pinterest and haven't looked back since! I honestly love my soap. It usually takes only about 10 minutes to make, once batch lasts my family of 4 a year, and our clothes smell amazing.

I recently posted about making my own soap on Instagram, and had a ton of you asking for my recipe. I scoured my DIY board on Pinterest trying to find my original recipe and couldn't find it anywhere, so here it is. If this is your recipe, please let me know, so I can link to your blog! 

It costs about $30-$35 for all of the ingredients. Some of them, if you are a couponer, you can definitely find coupons to get them cheaper!

DIY Laundry Detergent
I have found all of the ingredients in the laundry isle at Walmart. Some of the exact quantities may be a few ounces different than what I have listed, so grab whatever is in the laundry isle. If you prefer to order off Amazon, see the links at the end of this post go grab everything there!
4  lb box of Pure Baking Soda
4 lb box of Borax
4 lb box of Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda
3 lb box of Oxi Clean
2 bottles of Purex Crystals
2 bars Zote soap

The only hard part is that you have to grate (as in use a cheese grater) the bars of Zote soap. Then,
I literally just mix them all together in a bucket. My kids even like helping me out with it! 


That's it. When you use it, you just need a little bit with each load. Only about 2 TBSP, which means this stuff lasts forever!

I have a glass jar that I bought at TJ Maxx a few years ago that I keep on top of my wash machine, and I store the rest in the Oxi Clean containers until my class jar runs out, but you could keep it in your big bucket too. However you want to store it. 

I tried to be fancy with my jar and actually di-cut the word "laundry" and put it on the jar, but it's lost a few letters over the years, so it just looks like "dry" now. Ha! Maybe eventually I'll fix it, but #tiredmom. If I ever get around to fixing it, then I'll share a photo! ;) 

There you go! If you try making your own soap and you love it, let me know!

Grab all the ingredients off Amazon!

Engaging (and not so scary) Halloween Read Alouds

I know I'm not alone when I say that picture books are my jam! I think one of my favorite parts of teaching and parenting small children is reading aloud. Books are magic! 

In this post, I've compiled about 10 of my favorite Halloween read alouds, and a short reason why each are must reads! These are in no particular order!

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. By ordering through these links, I earn a small commission. All opinions are my own. You can click to purchase any of the books on Amazon by clicking the photo on each (just click outside of the "Pin It" button in the middle). 😀

1. Bonaparte Falls Apart
My son wanted to read this book on repeat this last Halloween. I'm not kidding. He thought it was absolutely the funniest thing he had ever heard. It also has the cutest story line about friendship and celebrating your individuality. It is a perfect book to include in your classroom if you have students with disabilities, as Little Bonaparte ends up with a service dog in the end to help him keep himself together!
Grab Bonaparte Falls Apart on Amazon by clicking HERE!

2. Room on the Broom
There is always room for others on the broom. I love this sweet story about friendship, and bravery, and sticking by each other. The witch is happy to share her broom with others, and when she gets in trouble, they come to her rescue. In the end, they each contribute a piece to make a beautiful new broom. It's the perfect story for friendship, compassion, and teamwork! Follow up activities could be building brooms using recycled materials or Legos, or a writing project about where they would travel to and who they would travel with, if they had a broom.
Grab Room on the Broom on Amazon by clicking HERE!

3. Creepy Pair of Underwear
(and Creepy Carrots)
We all know kids love underwear. Just saying the word "underwear" around littles will make them laugh hysterically. So this story has the right ingredients to be a hilarious read aloud. Kids also get a kick out of how a little rabbit is scared of his underpants. He goes through great lengths to get rid of them, and they just keep coming back. Jasper is funny. Just funny.
Grab Creepy Pair of Underwear on Amazon by clicking HERE!
Grab Creepy Carrots on Amazon by clicking HERE!

4. The Ugly Pumpkin
This is a cute little story about a "pumpkin" who doesn't get chosen at Halloween and thinks there is something wrong with him, only to find out that he isn't a pumpkin after all! A great book for classifying fruits and vegetables!
Grab The Ugly Pumpkin on Amazon by clicking HERE!
5. It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown
This book is full of nostalgia, and that alone makes me excited to read it every year! When you are excited, your kids are excited! Plus, there are some books that are just timeless!
Grab It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown on Amazon by clicking HERE! 

6. Pete the Cat Five Little Pumpkins
I don't know what it is about this Groovy Cat, but my kids are obsessed! As long as a book includes a little blue cat and rhyming, my kids are hooked. That makes this a great read aloud to hold their attention! It's a Groovy spin on the classic 5 Pumpkins Sitting on a Gate poem, and is perfect story to lead into a Jack-O-Lantern Craft!
Grab Pete the Cat Five Little Pumpkins on Amazon by clicking HERE!

7. Little Boo
This is an adorable story about being patient, waiting for what you want, and working hard to get there. As the little seed keeps trying to scare other objects, but nothing is scared. Over time, he grows and becomes a Jack O'Lantern. This book is also great for a introducing the life cycle of a pumpkin!  
Grab Little Boo on Amazon by clicking HERE!

8. There's a Monster in your Book
This book is fun because it allows kids to engage with the story. Each page has a different "task" for them to do to get the monster out of the book. A fun story to read again and again and again!
Grab There's a Monster in your Book on Amazon by clicking HERE!
9. The Hallo-Wiener
My Sister in Law bought my son this book a few years ago and it's been a favorite in our house ever since! Dav Pilkey writes a ton of funny stories (including one of our favorite, Dog Breath!) and we just can't get enough of his style. It's a sweet story about a poor wiener dog that just doesn't feel like he fits in, but low and behold (pun intended) he becomes the hero of the story and learns that he is perfect the way that he is.
Grab The Hallo-Wiener on Amazon by clicking HERE!
10. How to Catch a Monster
Okay, I miiiiiight be obsessed with this whole series! (to see all of them, click here), but it's just a cute story that shows how we can have misconceptions of others and we should never judge them by rumors or stereotypes. Plus, it's fuuuuunny! (It does have some farting in it though, so if you have kids that just can't handle that, maybe don't grab this book. ;) If you're looking for a follow up activity, have students create their own monsters and write about their characteristics.
 Grab How to Catch a Monster on Amazon by clicking HERE!

As always, I would love for you to help me spread the word about these amazing books by re-pinning the image below. 😀
Get students laughing with these engaging Halloween read alouds! Each book has it's own unique and hilarious story that are sure the keep your students engaged all October long! #Halloween #PictureBooks #GoodReads