Friday, April 8, 2011

Teach Your Children Well...

I came up with a really "fun game" today. Kenna was asking for a Cadbury Creme Egg (girl after my own heart!)...I said she'd have to wait until Easter. She said she wished she could buy her own. Idea is born:

Do you want to make some money to buy whatever you want? Of course she does. Is it really ever too early to instill the value of a dollar?

Here is what you have to do. Fill up this bucket with pinecones, and I will give you a penny for every pinecone picked up. They loved this idea and got straight to work...
Notice Jack is the only one not pausing for a photo op and continuing to work:-)
I might insert here that this idea is not original to me. However, I do consider myself *slightly* kinder than my Mom, as I am not asking them to pick up roofing nails from the grass and flowerbeds in the blistering summer heat (after getting a new roof). Nor am I asking them to remove rocks, in a yard that is completely bedrock (after getting a new septic tank). And all for a penny per. Granted we were older, but that nail thing was killer:-)
Hard at work!!
They filled up a bucket! We went to throw the pinecones out, and practiced our counting...107 pinecones! So I determined that they would get $1 for every bucket filled (mostly to save me from counting/handling each pinecone again, since they are too young to reliably count their own). They filled 3 buckets, for approximately 300 hundred pinecones, and $1 each. Good job kids!!! You can't even tell however. They could pick up 300 pinecones every day of their lives and you wouldn't be able to tell the difference. We have thousands and thousands of pinecones...with thousands more, ready to drop. If they could pick them all up, I'd be broke!!
Just look at all those pinecones up there (click to enlarge, you can see them)!! We have 14 of these massive Virginia pines on our little lot.
So my kids will probably have horror tales someday of the literally never ending 'pick up the pinecones game'...and all for a penny! But I'm sure that Creme Egg will taste so much sweeter after all that hard work! They are ready with their money in envelopes for the trip to Walmart! (We also had fun learning and counting all our coins out to one dollar. Lots of skip counting practice:-)

I promise you, if I ever buy another house, it will have NOT A SINGLE TREE ON THE LOT. Not even a pretty one. Nothing. I am over trees in every way possible:-)


  1. SWEEEEET idea! I tried that last year with our weeds in the yard, but most of them were thistles so the boys didn't get too far. Too bad about the nails - I remember your mom sending me her chores list and saying how she wasn't so mean as to make you do them all, ALL the time, but most of the time ;0)

  2. hey, I think when your kids hear that you were paid a penny way back when, they will go on strike for a wage increase....remember inflation or you will go down as "do you know what my mother made us do?!" ;) LOL

  3. inflation...good point mom, i never thought about that. I'm still sticking with a penny per though...a dollar still buys waaaaaay too much candy. Heaven forbid they had even more money! I know the kids will gratefully complain someday, when they have such a good work ethic behind them:-)...they can vent on their own blog!