Puzzle Motivator aka Cleaning Toilets Happily

January 16, 2018

We do Saturday chores around these parts. Note I said "Saturday chores," not "Saturday MORNING chores." Chores have been known to take a large portion of our Saturday.

 

Not that the chores themselves are so long or difficult or time consuming. Mostly, it's the idea of doing chores that makes them take so dang long. 

 

We've been known to take quite some time to get started. And then we've been known to get "distracted." 

 

We've been plugging away with chores, week after week after long, tedious week, fine tuning the heck out of our process as parents and praying that our children will somehow, miraculously, learn the value of Work. 

 

I'm not claiming we've arrived there by any stretch of the imagination, but we've had some major progress as of late.

 

Halle-frickin-lujah. 

 

* Sidenote: I love doing these quirky little projects. They float my boat and make me happy. I love coming up with the ideas. I love the process of creating them. I love seeing my kids enjoy them. In no way I am saying that these weirdo ideas are for everyone. My hope in posting is that I can help you come up with your own weirdo ideas that make YOU happy. And hopefully I entertain you somewhat in the process. 

 

This last Friday night Matt decided for our stay-at-home date night after the kids were down that we would surprise the kids the next morning with a reward as part of their chores. 

 

We came up with this beauty of an idea. Here's how we rocked it.

 

PuzzleFest 2018

 

1) Matt pumped out a batch of his amazing chocolate chip cookies

2) I started in on a poster. I just cut a poster board in half and drew out our instructions. 

It says, "Cookies for you to eat in the fireplace. Great job." I purposefully made it a bit tricky so they couldn't figure it out right away before they finished the puzzle.  As they solved it in 2.3 seconds, it turns out I'm not tricky. Good to know.

3) I cut it in a bunch of puzzle pieces. This pic is actually after they put it together. You can tell that from where the 3 yr old helped decorate it. 

 

4) Matt double bagged the cookies and shoved them in the fireplace. Yum, fireplace cookies. My favorite.

The next morning as they were doing their chores happily or quickly or not-fighty (that's a word) they got a puzzle piece in the jar. 

There really is something beautiful in seeing these beautiful children doing their beautiful chores so beautifully happily.

 

It brings joy to my soul. 

Come on, how cute are these two?! Working together? With the Windex-action shot? Love this pic. 

 

Wouldn't you know it, they got their last piece just as the last kid finished his last chore. Crazy. 

 These Puzzle Ninjas had that thing put together so fast. 

 And then had their cookie eaten even faster. 

The looks on both their faces are hilarious. Love these kids of mine!

 

Your prize could be playing at a park or going to the zoo or getting ice cream or picking something out at the dollar store or getting a new book or whatever.

 

If drawing something for the puzzle sounds horrid, you could also quickly write just words or type something and print it out on cardstock or regular paper and cut it out. 

 

This puzzle was a fun way to motivate my kids. Plus, I got a cookie (or 2) out of the deal, so it was a win all around. 

 

So what do you think? Could you think of a way to use this? 

 

 

 

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