Can a decorated laundry basket get them to pick up their clothes?

NEWS | | September 29, 2012 at 11:23 am

Gain, the guys behind the fabulous detergent line, sent me an idea to celebrate National Keep Kids Creative Week (Sept. 23rd – 29th) and it got me thinking. Yeah, the devious planning that goes on in mama’s head had started to brew. Their idea: get kids to decorate a laundry basket. They get to show off their creative skills and (hopefully) their laundry stays off the floor. So in utter truth there is not strewn laundry on the floor in their room. Oh, not because the little people are those sweet little kids who are picker-uppers, but because I foolishly do it for them. My aching back from all the constant bending is pure proof of that.

Now I have always said I love using my blog to make changes in my life and since the introduction of chores have helped me plenty, I thought this idea was worth investigating. After all my back may very well thank me. I decided to task the 7 year old with the design since as much as it sounds like a beautiful idea to have the 5 year old do it too, the ensuing squabbles would leave me pulling out my hair. So I left her to her own devices and also an abundant supply of art supplies. The days were crazy busy and each day after homework I saw the changes to the basket. I also saw how she decided that the next day the previous day’s work was not up to scratch and was “erased” as best she could.

Homework was done faster, snacks were gobbled with gusto as she spied the incomplete project each afternoon. The thirst for crafts in my girls is amazing. I could put them for hours straight and they would remain happily occupied. Of course I wish they would work neater but as everything our life is a work-in-progress. Which is why I love that Gain is a brand thoughtful enough to not only identify that celebrating this idea of keeping it creative for kids. When my oldest was a 2 years and in an art class for toddlers, all the other moms were doing the work for them. They looked at my kid with the craziest art and muttered in a reassuring tone “oh, don’t worry about it!” and I always thought – heck I am proud of that because IT IS HER WORK! Letting kids be free to explore their creative selves without trying to conform them to our general view of what is acceptable.

For this endeavor I left her to do do it her way but it seems that kids love parents to be a part of what they do. She wanted me to help her and I did some work on the handles since she did get a tad overwhelmed at the big basket. I must admit it was nice to have a small part in her work. She did draw little people all around but decided 2 days later that she did not like it, bless washable markers I tell you. She decided the confetti theme was going to stick. She wanted something a little more and she finally settled on weaving a few ribbons and I was so proud that she managed to do it easily. She devised a piece of the confetti sticker to end the weaving instead of a knot, something which she is still struggling with even for her laces. I love how she came up with an alternative to work out securing it and hopefully soon we will master knots too.

Now about it working for them to pickup their own clothes? Well, so far so good but the jury is out on long term. For now we will wait and watch, and hopefully no bending may be needed for clothing (toys may be another story).

What will you do today that will inspire creativity in your kids?

Disclosure: I have been provided the supplies and compensation by Gain!

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