Wednesday, June 10, 2009

The Bean Jar

Last summer, I realized very quickly that when two kids who are not used to being around each other all day are, it can become very touchy (to put it mildly). My kids are huge fans of filling in charts for tasks and earning a prize when they fill their chart. T.S. is really hoping they have charts in Kindergarten. So, last summer we came up with "The Bean Jar."

Our bean jar is actually the jar Nonnie used to store her pinto beans in. I love the label. Please note the ironing hanging in the doorway in the background. I just wanted to point out that I am domestic from time to time.
It is really quite simple. We took a jar, drew lines at different intervals, assigned a reward for each line and then begin filling it with beans. When the kids do what they are supposed to do (without fussing) and are kind to one another, we add beans. When we don't quite meet expectations, beans come out.

Last summer, they earned:
  • a snow cone maker--which was probably one of the best investments we've made
  • a trip to Jump-N-Jive to bounce on all of the inflatable stuff
  • a trip to Wonderland--Amarillo's small amusement park.
This summer we are working towards:
  • a slip and slide for two people to race down at once (complete with boogie boards)
  • another trip to Wonderland
  • a visit to Mr. Gatti's or Chuck E. Cheese

The best part about the whole project is the kids learn to work together towards a common goal.