Friday, April 26, 2013

Dollhouse Days, Revisited, and Fancy Rewards!


Six years ago, when Gracie was a diaper-wearing toddler, I blogged about her love for Playmobil and the pop-up dollhouse I saved from my own childhood Playmobil-playing days. {clicky click}

Well, naturally my children destroyed the dollhouse (I blame baby Annelie) and lost all the people (I blame Gracie) and now they look at the pictures and regret being the Queens of Destruction very deeply.

GRACIE [gazing wistfully at the picture of toddler-self playing with rad dollhouse]: Ugh, that looks awesome.

ME [remembering playing with said dollhouse when I was her age]: It was. It really, really was.

Gracie, upon discovering that Playmobil has a super fancy royal set of dolls, has rekindled her love for her "people" - what she called her favorite toys when she was two and a half.


It's like they were designed just for her. And as a Playmobil-loving parent, I couldn't be more jazzed.

But..... I refused to buy them for her. Yep. 

ME [2 months ago]: Guess what, kids! I've come up with a new Hopkins Family System of Doing Things, and from now on, when you beg and beg and beg for more toys, I'll say, Sure you can have toys! But first you have to earn the tickets to buy them! [waves handful of freshly printed tickets from http://www.kidpointz.com/]

GRACIE: No way. I'm just going to use the money in my piggy bank. 

ME: Nope. After I caught Annelie with TWENTY DOLLARS in her backpack, so she could buy her friend's hand-drawn comics, Daddy and I have decided you girls are going to the bank and starting accounts, and you don't get to spend your money. 

[shakes handful of tickets] But good news! You get to earn tickets to buy whatever you want!

At first my kids were a little shell-shocked, because my new Family System of Doing Things involves hard work and math skills, and a zero-tolerance-for-sibling-rivalry policy. (they get to earn behavior tickets - yay! - but have to give them up to their sister when caught being rotten little meanies - boo!)

Fast forward two months, and now they have ticket jars full of awesome behavior tickets, and charts full of neon happy face stickers, for doing daily chores, and momwork (math tutoring w/ me - yay, fun!). And their chart stickers turn into tickets that can't be taken away, or given to their sister, once their chart is full. They're pretty excited about their tickets.

And I can never quite believe how much smoother life gets with an in-house reward system. My kids eat it up! They ask for extra chores and beg to study! WHO ARE THESE PEOPLE?

Anyway, Gracie has been saving and saving, and finally last week, after passing over 75 tickets and a printed voucher for the Playmobil Royal Dressing Room set, she bought herself her first toy - and proceeded to stalk the mail, counting down the 5 shipping days until her new playset was hers, all hers!

You guys, it was the cutest thing! I've never seen her so excited for something. 

And because I had an empty box laying around, and a room full of craft supplies, gold puffy paint, and a glue gun, *kisses glue gun* I said, "Hey, let's build your Playmobil a fancy dressing room."

So we did!

Her dolls came in the mail a couple days ago, and she hasn't stopped playing with them - and her new dressing room - since. 

And, because this is Gracie we're talking about, here... yes, I have already taken away behavior tickets for catching her out of bed, playing with them late at night on a school night - the little sneak.

She was super excited to comb though my Southern Living magazines for room decorations - especially when she found Monet's Waterlilies (her favorite).

Isn't her little dressing room cute? She used the Napoleon Apartments at the Louvre as her inspiration, and made sure it had the chandelier of her dreams.


And dogs wearing fancy necklaces.

Also, after taking some photos of her playing with her new dollhouse... I realized I never wallpapered the outside of the box.... 
 ME [to Gracie]: Don't worry, I'll paper the outside for you ASAP.

WILL: Why would you cover up the best part?

GRACIE [rolls eyes]: Da-ad!

So that's what we've been up to, lately! Also, someday I'll blog about my husband winning us a spring break trip to Jamaica, and then winning another trip to Jamaica while we were in Jamaica. Yes, he is that amazing.

Happy Friday, folks! Hope you have a great weekend! 

xoxo,

4 comments:

Krystalyn Drown said...

That is so cute, and I love the idea of earning tickets to buy things. We have several problems in my house: too many toys, a child who begs for things every time he goes out (it's bad, he starts out asking for trains and bikes, then decides he'll settle on anything shiny, even if he doens't know what it is), and a child who requires behavior charts. Maybe if he started earning tickets, it would help the behavior and help our store trips, which are a nightmare.

Dean Mayes said...

We are trying to institute a similar sort of reward/token system into our house hold in a similar (though hopelessly haphazard) fashion to the one you've described - mainly to stop our 6 year old boy and 3 year old girl (diva) from sneaking their way into our bed at night. The early mail seems to be showing promise, though our Lucy has set her sights on the amazingly complex Sylvania Families which are highly appealing (especially to her geeky father) but fraught with complications. They make little macaroons ... on oven trays ... THEY MAKE LITTLE MACAROONS ON OVEN TRAYS!!!

Just what a completion obsessed father needs at this stage of the game.

Marisa Hopkins said...

KB - you should try it for not-so-small-anymore child!!! It does take a bit of parent work to get it going, and keep it up, but once a reward system gets going, it's SO NICE when it comes to helping manage kids. I also update my reward systems every year or so, as the kids grow :)

Dean - omg, I want oven trays with little macaroons!! SO MUCH. I used to love Sylvanian Families!! I had sets of those, too, as a kid :) Good luck with your system!

Lola Sharp said...

While I applaude your ticket earning system, what I LOVE here is the adorable dressing room! *loves* <3

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