Tuesday, December 18, 2012

"What now mama" game

I started a game a long time ago with my kids when I want them to do a lot of work, happily, in a short time.

Here are the rules:

Mom brings a bag of candy like M n Ms, Skittles, Reese's Pieces, etc. (I have also used pennies.)

She declares a start to the game and calls all the children to her.

She declares that they shall do as you say. If they do as you say, they come back to mom and say, "what now mama? (mom?)" and you thank them with words and hand them a piece of candy. Then you give them another task.

I have 6 kids so this can get chaotic. I added another rule last time.

If they interrupt anyone (you or another sibling) they shall play the game with zero rewards.

I will typically do some fast and furious tiding up this way. Our kitchen island is 6'x6'. VERY large and get's VERY full of junk. Also good for tiding up living rooms and dining rooms, etc. Especially places where you know what goes where but you don't want to do all the running around to put it all away.

It usually only lasts for 45 minutes or so. I start to run out of things to tell them to do and it hurts my brain to think of so many things so fast.

Some of them stash the candy for when they are finished and some eat it right away.

They like this much better than the non-candy version which I do use sometimes. I will pick one or two and nominate them for the "what now mama game with no candy". They are basically my slave 'till I tell them, "thank you, you can go." They really don't seem to mind that too much. They really need to know when the end will be, then they can cope with it much better.

The main purpose is to get things cleaned up right away, but also to get the kids in the habit of being polite, saying thank you and making them ask if you need help.

It's easier than beating them with a broom...


Laura said...

EXCELLENT!! now I can work them harder!! thanks for the post

Carol G said...

Love it! And your last line is just hilarious! Lol!