25 June 2011

Saturday morning slavery

As much as my kids are pretty close to perfect ( no, really!), like most kids, they are much more inclined to spend a Saturday morning watching tv, playing and hanging around in their jammies than willingly tidying up around the house.

Which is fair enough at 4.5 and 8 years, really...

Trouble is, I woke up to a pig-style of a house due to having had an off week in terms of my health and didn't really want to look at it all weekend, or run around tidying it up when I'm still not feeling on top of the world.

Enter my idea for cheap child labour a super-fun tidy up the house game - the best way I know to get my kids on board doing something that would usually elicit groans of "do we HAVE to?" and "but I'm TIRED!"

While they were taking turns playing computer games, I ripped up some pieces of scrap paper and wrote small jobs on eight of them.  Things like "put away shoes", "take dirty clothes to the laundry" and "make Sophie's bed" with another eight pieces of paper bearing rewards that they could choose after each job was completed.  These consisted of things like "an m&m", "a BIG hug" and "a 20c piece".

You know, super motivational type stuff.

I called them out to the loungeroom and explained the rules...
  • they would take turns pulling a random job out of a bowl
  • they had to do the jobs together
  • the didn't have to do them quickly (I was timing them for an added element of fun), but they had to do them well
  • at the completion of each job, they had to bring the slip of paper to me and I would check on their work
  • once it was deemed to have been done properly, they could choose a reward slip that they each would receive before pulling another job out of the bowl
They were excited to get started, and during the entire process, Sophie was heard to utter several exclamations of "this is FUN!".  She did fall in a heap after a little while, but Hannah was totally into it, so kept motivating her little sis to keep her eyes on the prize.

At the completion of the entire exercise only about half an hour later, I had finished my coffee (and most of my scrapbooking magazine!), and the girls had:
  • made both of their beds (beautifully :-))
  • put their dirty clothes in the laundry
  • hung up their clean clothes
  • put their shoes away
  • removed the toys from the loungeroom
  • tidied the toy area
  • tidied the kitchen table of their colouring in stuff

All of this for the royal sum of three m&m's each, a BIG hug, a high five and 80c each for their money boxes.

The bonus reward (for getting dressed and brushing their teeth and hair) was an outing with daddy for a Bunnings hot dog and to spend their money, which has since morphed into a trip to the movies, as it turns out.

Happily, this leaves mummy at home with a tidy house and some time to finish my scrapbooking magazine  while away some hours on Pinterest catch up on the work I didn't manage to get to during the week.

I'd love to hear your ideas for motivating your poppets around the house...