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Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Keeping it Tidy and Teaching a Lesson

Summer is coming and I've been trying my best to get organized for the next few months of busy boys loose in the house all day.  I've been making progress and plans to help keep them occupied.  I've also been working on getting our house in order, purging unneeded items and preparing for a garage sale.  Along the way, I've been scouring Pinterest and Google for ideas on how to accomplish all of the above.

Yesterday, I found a great picture on Pinterest
of a little sign indicating toys that are left where they should not be will be collected by mom and not returned until they are earned back by a chore.  I LOVE this idea!  I'm so tired of repeatedly telling the boys to pick up their stuff, getting them into bed after a long day only to realize the living room is covered in a zillion toys, or tripping over Legos and Hotwheels in the early morning hours.  

However, I couldn't find a link to where this lovely idea was posted.  I even searched Google with the first few lines of the poem, only to be directed back to the Pinterest post.  No worries! I took matters into my own hands and created my own sign, list of chores and a box to collect all of the toys.  Last night at dinner we discussed the creation of this box and brainstormed chores that would be appropriate for both the boys.  As with anything new, it was an exciting novelty and the boys were full of ideas and even picked up all their toys last night before going to bed.

Today, I took the list of chores and created the box.  I was feeling especially crafty so I went all out, printing the chores on cute scrapbook paper and gluing them to large craft sticks.  This is not something I would usually do.  It would be just as easy to write on the craft stick with marker, or just print out slips of paper, like the original pictures shows, and put them in an envelope.  I also covered an empty can in coordinating scrap paper (I know, I was really in the mood!) and glued it, along with the poem, to the font of a box.  I've already collected my first victim, which about brought me to my knees this morning while walking in the dark living room.  

For now, the boys are excited and are even hinting they may purposely leave a toy out tonight so they have to earn it back in the morning.  I know that's not going to last very long.  Right now, my plan is to collect any toys that are left in common areas after bedtime.  If that's successful, and we can finish organizing and cleaning their playroom, I will proceed to do the same for any toys not put away in there after bed time.  I like that I'm teaching them to put things back where they belong and that they're learning how to be even more helpful around the house.  I have to emphasize, the chores in the can are in addition to a list of regular chores they complete each week to earn part of their allowance (more on that another day) so I had to be creative with what else they could reasonable accomplish to earn a toy back.

Here's my step by step instructions for how I made the toy box and I've included a GIF of the sign I re-created off the Pinterest picture.  If you try this out, let me know how it works for you.

 Feel to right click on this image, choose "Save Image As" and use it in your own project if you like.

I typed up my list of chores in Word using the "Cooper Black" font at size 22 and double spaced between lines.  It worked out well but you could probably use whatever font you like--just print it on regular paper first and hold your sticks up to it to make sure everything fits correctly. After I printed out the chore list, I cut them into strips and started gluing them to large craft sticks. 

 I used watered down white school glue (like Elmer's) and a paintbrush to apply the strips of paper.  It will dry clear, kind of like Modge Podge without the expense.

Once they were applied, I flipped them over and trimmed the excess paper with scissors.

I wrapped an empty can in coordinating scrapbook paper.  Then I wrapped a cardboard box in brown paper, glued the sign on the front and attached the can with more white glue and a paperclip to hold it in place.

Once my craft sticks were dry, I stuck them in the can.

I've already collected my first toy after tripping over it on the floor this morning.

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