Kid Zone

Chlorine Free Products Association

The Chlorine Free Products Association (CFPA) is an independent not-for-profit accreditation & standard setting organization, incorporated in the state of Illinois. The primary purpose of the association is to promote Total Chlorine Free policies, programs, and technologies throughout the world. Our mission is to provide market awareness by providing facts, drawing direct comparisons, and highlight process advantages for Totally Chlorine Free (TCF) and Processed Chlorine Free (PCF) products.

Chlorine Free Products Association

Be a Mean, Green, Cleaning Machine You can breathe easy knowing that many companies have recognized these potential dangers and have made safer and greener alternatives available. Also, you can stock your house with some natural and non-toxic cleaning ingredients for amazing do-it-yourself power:

  • Baking soda provides grit for scrubbing and reacts with water, vinegar or lemon by fizzing, which speeds up cleaning times in addition to its deodorizing properties.
  • Distilled white vinegar disinfects and breaks up dirt—choose white vinegar over apple cider or red vinegars, as these can stain surfaces.
  • Hydrogen peroxide disinfects and bleaches.
  • Lemons cut grease—even bottled lemon juice works!
  • Olive oil picks up dirt and polishes wood; cheaper grades work well and vegetable-based soap (liquid castile) works as a non-petroleum all-purpose cleaner.

Some fun outdoor activities:

  1. Big Foot Relay. Have the children bring two shoeboxes with them. Tape the lids onto the boxes, then cut a one-inch-wide and four-inch long slit in each top. Have the contestants slip their feet into the slits in the boxes and race.
  2. Batty Bowling. Find a number of silly or odd items that can be knocked over by a ball, such as a plastic milk carton, a candlestick, a stand-up doll, a plastic vase of flowers, a pizza box, a tower of empty cans, an umbrella stand, an empty oatmeal container, and a book. Line them up like bowling pins and let the bowlers try to knock them over with volleyballs, tennis balls, or golf balls.
  3. Name-It Ball. Have players form a circle. Give one player a rubber ball. That player selects a category, such as "candy bars." He or she then bounces the ball to another player in the circle, who must catch the ball, state an item from the category, such as "Snickers," and keep the ball moving to the next player. If the player can't name an item, holds the ball too long, or repeats an item, he or she is out.
  4. Frisbee Tower. Purchase a bunch of mini Frisbees and place them in a pile in the middle of the yard. Have the guests divide the Frisbees among themselves. The first player begins the activity by placing one of his or her Frisbees on the ground. Each of the following players places his or her Frisbee on top of the first Frisbee, and the action continues until someone causes the growing tower to topple.
  5. Blind Walk. Create an obstacle path from one end of the yard to the other. Line up the contestants and let them have a good look at the path. One at a time, blindfold the children and have them walk the path without looking. Note each player's time on the scoreboard.
  6. Cross Step. Draw a ten-by-ten grid on the sidewalk or patio with chalk. Have each player stand on a different square. One at a time, each player must move to a new square after crossing out the square she or he was formerly standing in. The trick is that players cannot step into a square that is occupied or crossed out. If a player cannot move to a new square, he or she is out. The game continues until one player is left.
  7. Pick Pocket Tag. Put a strip of cloth in each player's back pocket. Have the players try to grab each other's strips without having their own strip taken. The player with the most cloth strips wins the game.
  8. Kill the Cockroach. Divide the players into two teams. Line them up, one in front of the other and set an odd object in front of the first players in line. They must kick the object across the yard and the across the finish line to win a point for their team. Kick things like a pillow, empty can, a sock, and so on.
  9. Drag the Body. Divide the group into two teams. Give each team a blanket. Have one player from each team lie down on the blanket. The teams must drag the body on the blanket from one end of the yard to the other. Whoever crosses the finish line first, wins.
  10. Blind Snakes. Set up a number of sprinklers in between a starting line and a finish line. Have the kids try to run from one end to the other without getting sprayed. Have one of the kids control the faucet, turning it on and off at random. Award ribbons to the kids who play the longest without getting wet.

Top Tips for Novice Gardeners

  1. Choose a site with as much sun as possible! If there is no sunny space, you can still plant a garden. Simply choose plants that thrive in shade.
  2. Treat your soil and garden organically. Don't use chemical pesticides or fertilizers.
  3. Do not plan too large a garden. It is far better to begin with a small plot and increase the garden's size when the gardener is ready.
  4. Dig the earth in your chosen garden site to loosen the soil. Add some compost to enrich it. Rake it smooth.
  5. Keep the garden plan simple. Allow plenty of space for paths (at least 24 inches) and easy access to each plant (no more than a 24-inch stretch).
  6. Choose only a few varieties of plants to begin. Add others as you and your young gardener learn how much space and how much attention your garden requires.
  7. Ask before you buy plants; read the instructions on the seed packet before purchasing.
  8. Choose good-quality tools that fit your young gardener's hands. Plastic "toy tools" are not adequate. Many garden tool manufacturers make child-size tools.
  9. As you and your companion(s) begin to plant, offer reasonable instruction, but do not be too particular. Seeds do not need to be planted in a straight row. Plant them in a circle or in a free-form design, or scatter them. Never cry over spilled seed.
  10. Try not to walk in the garden right after it rains. It compresses the soil and makes it hard.
  11. Wait until the soil is moist before you try weeding. Then pull each weed gently, from its base, to remove the whole root.
  12. Another option for those with limited space is to plant in containers. A flowerbox or large flowerpot can brighten your deck, balcony, windowsill, stoop, or stairway. Choose seeds and plants appropriate for the size of the container. (See "Sprouts for Sprouts" below.)