Saturday, November 19, 2011

Helping Hands (or "how to rescue toys from toy jail")

The toys were getting out of control, so we instituted Toy Jail. Any toys that are away from their "home" at bedtime go directly to jail. Within the first 3 nights, we had 3 laundry baskets full of abandoned toys. Now, the kids are more careful about their things and the apartment is easier to walk through.

In order to rescue a toy from jail, you need to help out with an extra chore - putting away JMC's folded clothes, unloading the dishwasher, folding socks (I hate to fold socks!), etc.  It's been interesting to see which toys the kids are willing to do extra work for.  And it's incredibly gratifying to have 2 children begging for extra chores, and come running when I announce I need help with something. :)

Here's JMC helping JA unload the dishwasher. (Don't worry, I unload the sharp knives before any child is allowed nearby.)
At the end of the month, they'll have one last chance to rescue toys, and then all remaining abandoned toys will be donated. The kids already know this, and are ok with the plan.


  1. So, did it work? Did you donate the extra toys?

    I am seriously considering this for our house. Maybe after baby is a couple of months old. :)

  2. Yes! We have a box ready for donations - and the kids haven't asked about them at all. The first week or so, they were running to do any extra little chores to rescue a toy, but by the end of the month, JT actually said there was nothing left he cared about! And JA said the toys left weren't worth doing a chore for. I did rescue JMC's toys though since he's too little for chores. :)