Tuesday, December 22, 2015

My Best Idea Ever: The Boredom Jar

I knew we were in trouble last Friday, our first full day of Christmas break, when one of my kids announced for the third time, "I'm bored!"

I told him the "B" word wasn't allowed and that I was going to fill a jar with jobs that needed to be done so that whenever anyone announced they were bored, they'd have to choose a job from the jar and do it. No exceptions.

The next day, this idea took off and morphed into my best idea ever! Here's what we ended up with:

I started writing any household jobs I could think of on slips of paper. To keep it interesting, I also included a few fun things. I put all the slips in a Christmas tin I found in my craft supplies.

Then I told my kids the rules:
1. If you tell me you're bored, you have to draw a slip from the tin and do what it says. There will be no compensation.
2. If you want to willingly draw a slip of paper from the tin, you HAVE to do what it says, but then you will be rewarded with either $1 or 10 minutes on the electronic device of your choice (tablet, wii, computer, etc.), whichever you choose.

The slips were completely covering the bottom of the tin
when we started! They quickly went through them all. :)
I had no idea how this little experiment would take off and force me to get pretty creative to come up with enough jobs for these kids! They went crazy and drew one slip after another. They were so excited to earn time or money and my house has never been cleaner!!! :) They hardly complained even though some of the jobs were less desirable than others.

Today was day 3 and the kids were as motivated as ever. My house looks great and my kids are happy. :)

Sadie - cleaning the neglected parts of the table and chairs
 Here are some of the jobs they've done around the house:

  • Wash walls in the laundry room
  • Sweep the stairs
  • Wipe down all kitchen cabinets and drawers
  • Wipe down all kitchen appliances
  • Wash the stairway walls
  • Clean shelves in the refrigerator
  • Wash both sides of entry doors
  • Vacuum upstairs (or down)
  • Clean outside of toaster and empty crumb tray
  • Clean knobs on oven and wipe down display
  • Clean out the backpack cupboard
  • Clean inside car windows
  • Etc.

Here are a few of the fun things I included (yes, they still get paid for these):

  • Eat a piece of candy out of mom's office
  • Sing to your favorite BYU Vocal Point song
  • Drink a tall glass of water
  • Color a picture
  • Read 20 minutes of Christmas stories
  • Play "Just Dance" on the wii (2 songs)
  • Write Sam
  • Etc.
Like I said, I'm having to get creative to come up with enough jobs, but it's forcing me to see all those little one-time jobs that never get done. And my kids are learning that most jobs around the house can be completed in 15 minutes or less. They're not begging for more computer time because they're earning it!

I'm calling this a win/win and hoping it retains its appeal! By the way, I haven't heard the "B" word in three days. Yes!

*I think it's important to note that I broke down larger jobs into manageable chunks and put each part of the job on its own slip of paper. For example, cleaning the inside of the refrigerator became 4 different jobs: Remove contents, clean out and replace contents in the 1) Meat and Veggie drawers 2) Door compartments 3) Top two shelves and 4) Bottom two shelves.

1 comment:

Peggy said...

You are a genius!!! You should patent that idea!!!