We've been remodeling our kitchen due to a water leak which made the particle board swell under the linoleum and because the cabinets pretty much fell apart when we tried to remove the floor. That's a long story, but not the point of this post. :)
With the remodel in progress, a recent yard sale we held, winter/summer clothing swap for a family of eight plus school, illness and life, needless to say the house is a tiny bit messy. Ok, it's a lot messy.
My husband and I decided to hold a competition. We split the older four kids into two teams: Dragon Knights and Killer Girls (they chose the team names).
We assigned the rooms and off they went cleaning and organizing. The first round was a close one - I went back and forth between who I thought was winning. They went three rounds yesterday and are on their fourth round now. It's a two point game at this point with the Dragon Knights leading. Really - it's anyone's game.
Basically, the first team to finish each round gets five points and the second team gets three points for completing the task all the way. Now, if they say they are done and they aren't, they lose a point and quite possibly the first place spot.
Mom is keeping the youngest two (ages 4 and 19 months) occupied as well as offering help and advice as needed. I also might hint at something being overlooked, but honestly, the two teams have been very thorough (um - not a regular occurrence hence the possible negative points). They have impressed me by their hard work AND by their positive attitudes.
So what are these teams competing for? I'm glad you asked.
The winning team gets to choose two family traditions to implement (or re-implement) such as Family Game Night (or afternoon), Pajama Day, Manner's Day, Bowling Night, etc. Some things will reoccur nightly or weekly and others will occur at varying intervals, but will be a re-occurring event.
There is also a Bonus Prize, but they don't know what that is yet. The winning team will each be able to pick out a fall decoration worth $5 or $6 while the second place team each gets to choose a fall decoration from the Dollar Store. They've been wanting to decorate for fall, so this way they can pick out the decorations themselves.
I love this competition because they are working as individual teams, but they've also made sure to let the other team know what they might get dinged on, which means they are working as a family team as well.
Plus, everyone gets to win because the house will be clean and organized, the yard will be cleared of weeds (part of the challenge is clearing weeds from what we hope will be a future backyard - that was where the money was supposed to go before the kitchen disaster), they will have worked well as a team and they get to enjoy family traditions and fall decorations.
I may have to keep this idea for future competitions.