Tuesday, February 21, 2012

The Orange Box: Purgatory for Clothes

You know that blog post that went viral a couple of years ago about how having a toddler is like going to a frat party?  I think about that blog post all the time.

This activity was an attempt to keep #2 just to crumpled underpants.  My mental rule for underwear is that if it is on the ground, it is now dirty laundry.  I'm not going to expect Bean to put his underwear back on tomorrow, even if he only wore it to school and then spent the rest of the day naked.

But the rest of the clothes strewn about the house during his 8 bajillion costume changes each day (I think, at minimum, the kid wears 3 different ensembles and 2 sets of pajamas a day.  Sometimes they overlap.) were making me crazy.  We never knew what was clean or dirty.  When The Beast and Bean would clean his room, I'd suddenly have three loads of laundry despite just thinking I was all caught up.

So I decided we needed a purgatory for those clothes that had been worn, but were not really "dirty."  I also wanted to make it fun and personalized and somehow make Bean interested in it.  I'm happy to report that, a few months later, it is pretty successful.

Stickers, scrapbooking papers, and a fun bowl
  • A box large enough to contain all the clothes your kid might go through before realizing his drawers are empty but his clothes are all still clean...
  • Three sheets of paper - I used scrapbooking papers that represented water, sky, and land
  • Stickers that can be sorted into three groups (one for each paper)
  • Mod Podge
  • Acrylic paint (we went with orange, as it's Bean's favorite color)
Fun Halloween bowl - this was back in October!  And look what is behind him!
1.  Cut the stickers apart and put them in a bowl or pile (I got a pack of dinosaurs and a pack of vehicles)

2.  Lay out the papers and let your kid go to town sorting them onto the correct paper (boats and prehistoric aquatic animals go on the water paper...pterosaurs and airplanes on the sky paper...cars and T-Rex on the land)

3. Let your kid go to town peeling and sticking the stickers. 

4.  Paint the box.  We did this on three different days so it could dry in between coats.  Bean had a blast.  I wore a lot of orange paint.

5.  Mod Podge the papers to the box.  I also printed Bean's name and glued that on.

6.  Constantly remind your child to put the clothes he just took off in. the orange. box.

In all seriousness, this worked really well, and I ended up designating (but not yet decorating) a box for A-Train and a box for myself.  This morning, Bean admonished me for leaving A-Train's pajamas on the floor while I put away diaper stuff.  "Mom, is this clean?  Doesn't it belong in the orange box?"
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