Sunday, September 7, 2008

And SNAP! The Job's a Game!

While folding two loads of laundry I found myself frustrated trying to keep my toddler from constantly un-piling my piles. It finally dawned on me to take my own advice and get him to help out.

I made a pile for each person in our family: Mommy, Daddy, Max, Oliver

I held up an item - (let's say it's Daddy's shirt) and asked him "Is this baby Oliver's shirt?" He would answer "No" but really it was more like, "NoooooooooooOO!" with a dip of inflection in the middle and a punch of an "O" at the end. I would follow up by saying, "Then whose shirt is it?" "Daddy's Shirt!!!!!!" he would reply. Then I would fold it and he would put it in the right pile.

We played that game through the ENTIRE two loads of laundry. It was magic. He thought it was so funny when I would say that the baby's shirt was my shirt. I even pretended I was trying to put it on, and that really cracked him up. Did it take three times as long? Yes. But did I teach my child something in the process? I think so.

It's all about a switch in perspective. I was almost to the point that I wanted to give him a timeout but I just made a simple change in my outlook, seeing an opportunity to have fun and learn, and it turned out to be a grand time.

That Mary Poppins was onto something.

Cost: FREE, unless you pay your kiddos for helping with the chores
VARIATIONS: Have your child sort the laundry. I sorted my own laundry in elementary school. You can start them as a toddler sorting whites and darks and towels and colors and by the time they hit school age, they are doing it on their own. I also knew a family where they put a basketball hoop over the hamper in their boy's room, inviting dirty duds to make their way into the hamper in a fun way.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

A Little Jam in the Morning

Aunt Linda gave us the greatest Christmas present a few years back - A Family Band set from Restoration Hardware. Totally retro and totally me. We love it and use it at least weekly, if not much more. The set came with a tambourine, some maracas, some bongos, a rattle type instrument and a couple other percussion instruments.
Over the years we have been adding to our collection. It started off with some normal things like a harmonica and a cowbell (more cowbell! - anyone?) but I have since added some peculiar noisemakers.

After breaking two cosmetic jars and looking at the two metal lids headed for the trash I clanged them together and decided they would make great cymbals. I added two mismatched potlids - free from a yard sale and they are great additions to the bongo drum set.

"Everyting is music!"
- Bjork parody on SNL (remember that one?).

Get funky in the morning and pump up some music --Let the little ones bang bang away creating sound. It may not be lovely sound just yet, but with a little practice... well, a lot of practice....