Sunday, April 15, 2012

Red Light/Green Light


Much like Bean's Orange Box, this was something we created to solve a problem. 

Bean was not always napping during naptime, so I instated "Quiet Time."  Also known as "if you don't leave me alone for an hour, I'm going to lose my shit."

We finally solved the problem of him coming out to ask if Quiet Time was over by telling him "don't worry.  We'll tell you."  And then he started falling asleep within that hour and we had no way of telling him immediately upon waking that he could come out.  It was kind of sad!  He would come out drowsily, go pee, and head back to his room.  At which point we would tell him "Quiet Time is over!  You fell asleep!  You don't have to go back in your room!"

Then I made the mistake of telling him "if you fall asleep, it's pretty safe to assume that Quiet Time is over when you wake up."

Bean does not know when he has slept or have any concept of time.  He would close his eyes, pretend to sleep, and then insist that he took a nap and now Quiet Time is over.

::headdesk::

So, finally, I made him this incredibly simple but highly effective red light/green light!  We turn it around to red at the beginning of Quiet Time, and we go in and turn it to green when Quiet Time is over.  If he wakes up and finds the sign is green - he can come out.

This took me 5 minutes!  And he was so excited about it that he asked me to make him one for the outside of his door that he got to control. 

Supplies:
1) a piece of white card stock - it only has to be blank on one side...I actually used scrap paper!
2) a piece of green construction paper (again...I used scrap paper - just need enough to cut a "green light" circle)
3) a piece of red construction paper (scrap paper! Just need enough to cut a "red light" circle)
4) a glue stick
5) a pair of scissors
6) a binder clip or a paper clip (paper clip makes it possible for a younger child to change the sign themselves - which was the aim for the sign on the outside of Bean's door...but definitely not the one on the inside!)
7) some sort of adhesive to put the whole thing on the wall (I used one of these poster strips from 3M)

Process:
1) Place the red and green construction papers on top of each other and cut a circle out of both at the same time.
2) Glue them together with the glue stick.
3) Cut the white card stock into a square so that the red/green circle fits nicely on top of it.
4) Affix the card stock to the wall.
5) Clip the circle to the card stock using the binder or paper clip.  The color facing out indicates "stop" or "go."

Done!  We have been using this for 6 months.  Because Bean has been interested in words, he asked me to write "STOP" and "GO" on the appropriate sides.  That is the only change I've made, aside from the location of the binder clip.

These days, the clip is on the bottom, but this thing has lasted 6 months!

Red on one side, green on the other.
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