You know that there has been a common problem amongst families for decades?
It's the missing sock conundrum.
I'm pretty sure it started even before the washtub and washboard!
I mean, think about all the reasons that socks disappear!
Socks are small, they are hard to hold on to, and slip out of our laundry piles all the time in transit to the washer.
Pets steal them (at least mine does)
Children remove them from their feet (anywhere and everywhere).
Dryers eat them.
Okay, so that last one hasn't been proven yet, but there is some question of this in many households.
I have for a long time grilled my kids for socks and their matches. Most importantly, MY socks and their matches.
They'll all swear, as they walk past me, waving a hand even:
"NOPE. DON'T HAVE YOUR SOCK MOM."
"I HAVE NNNOOOOO SOCKS OF YOURS MOM."
"I DON'T HAVE ANY SOCKS THAT LOOK LIKE THAT MOM!"
You and I both know, that this just can't be true because each week we all find socks that are missing their matches and on occasion they are the mate to the original missing sock! See where I'm going here?
So, Monday, as I did ALL my laundry, and now had about 20 socks without matches I thought it was once again time to get creative with my kids, as I sometimes do.
I knew they had my socks, and aside from raiding their drawers, which I like to reserve for the times when it's necessary, I don't think they're going to cough them up. So, this is what I did.
I thought about what motivates all of them:
money, junk food, candy (they also enjoy spontaneity and games).
When they got home from school I grabbed a big bowl and filled it with some coins, dollars and some candy. As I did it, they followed me around trying to get into the bowl. I wouldn't let them.
Then I told them, as I pointed to all of my socks on the couch without matches, that the way to get stuff from the bowl was to bring me matches to my socks.
Do you want to know what happened?
They all scrambled away, and in less than 3 seconds they all returned, with hands full of socks!
What did I get out of the deal?
Many of my socks matched, fun, laughs, and three kids who realized it wasn't that hard of a job to look in their drawers for something.
The BONUS? When they were done matching my socks with the ones they found, I had them turn to their sibling and try matching them to each other's socks! And there were some matches found! Yay!
Think of the money saved on 6 pairs of socks. And honestly, isn't it truly just the principal of it all?
We KNOW the socks haven't left the house...so why do we buy new ones when we know the mates still LIVE HERE!?
The way the rewards worked was:
They were able to choose 1 coin or 1 piece of candy for each sock they brought to me that matched. Then they could choose a big treat of junk food or a dollar if they were the one with the most matched socks.
This was so quick, so fun and so easy.
Sometimes ya just gotta get creative and have fun.