This weekend, we had my cousin’s daughter, M, staying with us. I wanted to motivate the children to play outside while the weather was good, and I had some cleaning to do and didn’t want to be constantly interrupted. So, I sent them out to the driveway with sidewalk chalk.
Less than five minutes later, she came inside and informed me that she was bored and didn’t like to draw with chalk.
Arrgh! How could I keep her in the sunshine and not in front of the TV? We’d be watching a movie that night, so I wanted to keep it special, and if she were to come in then, and I were to put her onto the tube so I could clean, the evening movie would be lame. Not to mention the fact that if our guest was allowed inside, the other kids would want to be inside as well.
And so, the quick thinking began…
Winner gets a piece of candy – ooooooh!
You may think it’s silly, but I mentioned my contest and she ran out the door and grabbed up the chalk.
Then I added something to sweeten the deal – I would take pictures and put it on my blog!
“I’m going to be famous!” She yelled, and the wheels began to turn in her brain. I got a good hour of creative, hard work out of the kids.
The younger ones drew on the driveway simply because when you’re little, permission to draw on the ground – ROCKS! The older kids did sidewalk art because competition and reward motivates kids.
So, here are the art pieces and as I promised, I am blogging about them.
For most fun drawing – M’s Beautiful Sunset.
For most original piece – J’s Easter egg in a rainbow.
Honorable mentions go to the younger kids that just had a good time (we drew their outlines and they scribbled all over.)
And finally, just because I just think it’s cool – a blob of chalk. But why is it cool? Because they used water and chalk together and came up with some amazing textures!
Most of us need some form of motivation to do something (money, prizes, rewards, etc.) Kids are no different. I got my nephew to do some cleaning the other day, by saying in a really cheerful and excited voice that he could have a banana if he did the work. He did it, though I’m sure he wondered what was so great about a banana.
The wonderful thing about kids is that they are moldable and impressionable. If you can channel those qualities, they will do a lot of work for a very little bit of motivation. It’s all in how you present it.