Monday, April 28, 2014

In Every Job That Must Be Done There Is An Element of Fun. You Find the Fun and SNAP! The Job's a Game

I love being a mom. I just love. it's my favorite thing I have ever done.

Sometimes I have a breakthrough where I think to myself "I nailed that. Man, I'm good." They are few and far between, but they happen.

Ash was having a hard time doing chores. I'm not talking about breaking rocks in the summer heat or scrubbing the floors with a toothbrush. I'm talking about basic morning chores everyone needs to do: Eat breakfast, clear the table, brush hair, brush teeth, get dressed, make bed.

Ash is very capable of doing all these things. She seemed to be lacking motivation. I tried a chore chart. I tried a chore card. I tried bribes. I tried threatening. Ash is one of those children who is given a chore that should take five minutes and somehow turns it into a three hour chore and in the end it's still not done. She has mastered the opposite of efficient.

Here come the part where I brag:

I turned her morning chores into a playlist. Every morning I play the same six songs. Each song corresponds with a chore. For instance, when she is supposed to be getting dressed, the song that plays is You're never Fully Dressed Without A Smile from Annie. When she is supposed to brush her teeth, the song is Elmo's Brush Teeth Song Which, if you haven't heard it, just might be Sesame Street's best Pop song ever. She must finish that chore during the song. There is no pausing. Once the playlist is over, all her chores need to be done.

The first few days I was right there with her, keeping her on track. Then she did it by herself. it's been a few months and now she's figured out actual time management tricks: If she grabs her toothbrush and hairbrush at the same time, she only has to make one trip. If she gets dressed first thing in the morning, before we eat breakfast, when that song comes on she can dance along. It's also adorable to see a four year old singing her heart out to Annie.

And just like that, she is self sufficient in the morning, I don't have to nag, and I've taught her time management and efficiency. Man, I'm good.

Here is the list. If you have other song suggestions I'd love to hear them!

Finish breakfast and green smoothie
Clear the table
Get dressed
Brush hair
Brush Teeth
Make bed


  1. That's pretty awesome. I don't get Toby ready in the morning because I'm off to school before Nate gets him up. But Toby is definitely the same way about mastering the opposite of efficient.

    I need to figure out how to teach Toby to make his bed without dying. He's got his bunk bed thing, and it just seems like an accident waiting to happen. Doooom.

  2. We do something similar. I made a 30 minute playlist with songs like, "Working Man" by Imagine Dragons, "Chains on Me" and "Do Nothing Day" from Phineas and Ferb,"Our House" by Madness. Some of the songs remind them to work, some are on there as a joke. But it works and it's fun.

  3. You are Brilliant!!!! I have the Hardest time with Ryan in the mornings now that he is in school, and I have been dreading trying to get him up for earlier school next year.
    This looks like just the thing to get him motivated! He loves to dance and sing.

    You really may have just saved my sanity!!!!

  4. Maybe I need one for me!

  5. Hahaha, this is amazing! :D I play the Ratatouille soundtrack to help motivate me to cook/do the dishes... and I'm not a 4 year old. In case you ever want her to cook, there you go. :P


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