We recently took the plunge and made the decision to allow a video game system in our house. Boys and video games can be a dangerous combination because addiction is a likely side effect. So, when my boys got a Wii for Christmas, I realized we had to come up with a system for monitoring the time spent playing this new toy fast! It was almost as unnerving to have to field the question “Can we play the Wii?” twenty times a day as it was to realize that they could spend four straight hours trying to conquer one Mario Brothers world without even coming up for air.
So, when a friend told me about a ticket system that her friend had put in place for TV privileges in their house, I decided a similar system would be a great solution to our Wii woes. Boy #2 and I headed out to Hobby Lobby to peruse the isles for supplies for our new Wii ticket system and came home with the items pictured above. We bought small cardboard boxes (all 50% off that day) for storing the tickets and we cut a slit in the top of a larger one so they had a place to deposit their tickets. We used my paper cutter to cut the strips of card sock into small ticket-shaped rectangles and personalized each cardboard box with the sticker letters.
The system works like this:
Each ticket is worth 15 minutes and they each start out with a certain number of tickets at the beginning of the week. They can cash in their tickets individually or combined, based on time availability when they want to play. And when their tickets are gone, they’re gone until Sunday when the get them all back again. During the week, Anthony and I can take away tickets for disobedient behavior and the boys can earn “golden tickets” for certain displays of good behavior.
As it turns out, my boys have welcomed this system almost as much as Anthony and I–they love going through the motions of turning in tickets, and also enjoy the freedom to pick and choose when to use them. With the help of their older brothers, my three and four-year-olds have even learned how the system works–they may not know how to add 2+2, but they now know that 15+15=30!