for helping Tor through his hectic life with me!
I call it itchy feet syndrome. I have this in lots of aspects of my life. If I could afford to I would probably move house every couple of years or have a camper van that I could visit different places dependent on what mood I wake up in. As I am unable to do this at the moment I cope with this by rearranging my furniture in the house (a concept that Tor has started to enjoy and tries to help with at any given moment) and by reorganising my life at home.
So the 1st January comes around and I start with Tor his pocket money chart (see previous blog Positive Me Positive Tor Positive Life ) and also the "I'm bored!" jar. Tor has taken to calling it his treat jar.
The general idea is a jar, or in our case a plastic cup with a lid, full of small pieces of paper that have things to do written on them.
We set the jar up ourselves. Tor decorated the attractive brown plastic cup with random stickers and then proceeded to decorate himself with random stickers (found one in the washing machine this morning!). I then showed him what size pieces of paper we needed and he cut out lots of different coloured squares.
We discussed the different things that we both enjoy doing together, the things Tor can do on his own if I am busy and even things that we both really should do even if we do not like it.
We came up with the following:
- Go out on your scooter, bike or skateboard
- Play in your bedroom
- Do a puzzle with someone
- Do a puzzle on your own
- Have a healthy snack
- Play a board game - Mummy chooses the game
- Watch TV or a video for 20 minutes
- Draw a picture
- Play some music and make lots of noise
- Vacuum a room
- Have a disco
- Have your face painted
- Have someone read a book to you
- Make something crafty
- Do an activity book by yourself
- Do some baking
- Go on your swing
- Play a role play game with someone
- Go for a walk or a scavenger hunt
- Do an activity book with someone
- Have some sweeties
- Play a board game - You choose the game
- Help Mummy with a job
- Play on your Innotab
- Read a book to someone
- Read a book on your own
- Call someone on the phone or Skype them
I'm starting to think we may need a bigger jar!
As with everything in my household there are rules!
The jar must be shaken up (hence the lid) before a piece of paper is picked. No peeking and trying to pull out the thing you really want to do. No swapping unless its 7 pm, dark, cold and raining and you pick out an outdoors activity. No moaning about what you pick.
Tor has loved it. His face lit up with anticipation every time he picks out a piece of paper is amazing, it actually makes me a little excited too. He has taken to it very well and has vacuumed two rooms for me since the 1st of January!
Most of all it makes me stop and sit down. It makes me stop from hanging out the washing until we have finished playing Mouse Trap. Its made me turn the cooker off and go outside in the wild wind with my wellies on and collect stones and count houses. Its made me be a better Mummy. Yes sometimes dinner has been a little late. Yes sometimes I have been ironing dry his school uniform but its worth it.
In the last week we have not really used it and Tor has not mentioned it to me as something has happened. He has stopped following me round when I am trying to do housework, instead I've found him stood on a stool trying to get to his play-doh. I've found him sat in his cardboard rocket ship chatting with his dinosaurs. I've found him with a pencil in his hand doing a dot to dot. He has asked me to play different board games. He has switched on the keyboard and started making noise. He hasn't offered to do a job for me though.
Its as though the jar has made him realise, made him see what is around him to do. The house has been again full of surprises and I haven't even moved the furniture!
I may actually put the jar in a prominent position tomorrow and see if he picks it up.