The School Shoe Crisis
The school year is about the begin and I am dreading the conversation, or screaming rather... "Where are your shoes?!" Last year was pure hell, if I have a dollar for every time we were late because I was looking for three pairs of shoes that I swore were by the door before I went to bed, I would be rich! As I am getting everything organized for back to school, I started thinking about this pain point and how I might be able to motivate my sweet morning monsters into putting their school shoes in one place and leaving them there until the next morning... what a concept.
In a perfect world, the kids would come home, put their school uniform shoes in one place, hang their backpack up and put their dirty clothes from the day in the laundry basket. Now, there would need to some type of reward system for them if they were actually able to pull off this miracle. After deeply pondering this issue, and a couple glasses of wine, I think I may have found the solution. I've been using this with their play shoes this summer to test it out, and so far its become an all out competition. Here is how I solved the "Where are your shoes" crisis.....
I found this wooden plaque with mason jars at Target and wrote the kids names on them (well only the kids that have school uniform shoes). I filled up a large mason jar with my husbands pocket change (we keep this jar in the laundry room and fill it up with whatever change falls out in the wash.)
It took me a while to find a bin that was small but separated all the shoes. The kids uniform shoes all look the same, and are roughly the same sizes, and I didn't want to have to rummage through each day to see who put their shoes back. Finally I came across this awesome box at Home Goods that has three separate spaces.
In the pantry at our house I made a little area for all the kids stuff, backpacks, homework folders, art work, weekly readers... you name it. I ended up hanging up the mason jars above the shoe box where all the kids could easily see it. During the school year, at the end of every day, before I make the kids bedtime drinks, I check their backpacks and put their completed homework folders inside. This is also when I check to see who has their shoes in the box! If the kids have shoes in their designated spot, they get a dime! I also use the jar for other rewards like helping out, following tasks, who gets their homework done first... all kinds of stuff.
Hopefully this works for you as well as it has for our family. If you have a big family, the shoe crisis is a known pain point for any ringleader parent of the morning circus. If your kids don't respond to dimes as well as mine did, try an IOU for 5 mins screen time, extra playtime or M&M's. Something else I might try, in an effort to instill team work in the kids, is a pizza party. All the kids need to have their shoes in the box by 7:30pm, if they do, each day they get one popsicle stick in the jar, if they get to 30 sticks, they get a pizza party or ice cream party.
Which ever way you choose to encourage your kids to solving the shoe crisis, share in the comments below!