One thing driving me bananas this summer is children’s shoes lying every which way all over the house. When kids are in school this is a much simpler situation to manage. But during the summer, my children are constantly in and out of our back door to play, in and out of the garage door to swim practice and summer adventures, putting shoes on and taking them off… And they end up everywhere! I find shoes under chairs and pianos, in our seldom-used dining room, even in the game cupboard the other day.
I should mention, we DO have a place to store shoes in our home, but do children put them there? NO! Our downstairs hall closet has ample racks for shoes… but getting the kids to stop and organize is easier said than done. It usually takes several nagging requests by me before my floors are cleared.
I had to do something, devise some sort of solution. Slowly an idea took form. I introduce to you: The Croc Monster. He lives in our home and eats shoes strewn across the floors. He gobbles them up and takes them to a safe place where children can’t find them. And then he won’t give them back unless the child does a bit of service for said shoes. I announce the Croc Monster will be making rounds and children go scurrying. Never have I seen such an enthusiastic shoe clean-up by my crew! No one wants to have to do extra chores, especially for something as easy as putting away their shoes. I have enjoyed seeing my usual shoe nagging turned into laughter as the kids scramble to get their shoes before the Croc Monster comes. I might have even been seen impersonating the Croc Monster with huge croc choppers as I circle the house. We have a good time with our monster!!
I was worried a bit about how The Croc Monster might hold us up when we’re heading out the door, especially if children have lost shoes. Then I realized acts of service can be as simple as carrying items to the car, shepherding little siblings to their seats, clearing the table of extra dishes, or cleaning up a portion of the living room before we leave. No problem! Kids can earn back shoes in a jiffy and without question, are more likely to put them away when we return. That’s a summer solution for you. God bless you, parents!!