Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Works for me Wednesday: The Capture Monster

Are you tired of your kids leaving their stuff everywhere? Enter the Capture Monster!
I used to spend precious kids-are-in-bed time picking up toys, books, dress-up clothes, etc. that my children had strewn about the house during the day. I just couldn't relax or get anything else done with kid-stuff everywhere. I would pile it all on the stairs so it could go back up into the kid-world it had come from and thus I'd reclaim some order to the downstairs.

Then we got the idea for the “Capture Monster”. He is like the anti-Santa. He visits at night once the kids are in bed and takes away toys that have been left downstairs. The toys go in a bin in Mommy's closet. Unlike Christmas morning the kids don't wake up and come running to see what toys were brought, but they come running to find out what toys were captured!

To free treasures from Capture Monster Prison, the kids can pay $1 per item in bail or on a morning after the capture monster doesn't capture anything (all toys were put away), the kids get to choose one item to come out of prison.

Now that the Capture Monster visits us regularly, the kids are much better at cleaning up their things before bed. The great thing, too, is that I think they really know Mommy is the Capture Monster, but somehow they like the excitement of the monster and they don't get mad or whine to me about the toys that are captured. They even have fun talking about the Capture Monster during the day. “Is the Capture Monster coming tonight? Does the Capture Monster get coloring books? Does the Capture Monster get mad if he doesn't find anything?” and on the dialogue goes. Think of it as building your kids' imagination skills while getting them to clean up their stuff!

Find more Works For Me Wednesday Tips at Rocks in my Dryer.


  1. That is fantastic! We've tried the "butler box", something akin to that, but it never worked very well. Thanks for the great idea. :)

  2. LOVE this idea! I am SO going to do this starting with my 3 year old now. I don't think he'd have a dollar to get things out, but we'll think of something to make up for it. This is really awesome! I love the monster portion and that they don't whine! Great!
    Thanks for sharing!

  3. Cute! I could make a lot of money that way! :-)

  4. Two fabulous Works for Me Wednesday posts in a row! I think you may be a disciplinary genius. Thank you very much for this tip. I've done something similar but not consistently. I love the monster spin you put on it, and then idea that they can bail toys out on days that everything was put away. Thanks!

    P.S. Your website seems to work well in a Firefox browser, but not in Opera. In Opera, the choose profile box is blank, so it won't let me post at all. I don't know if there is a way to fix this?

  5. How fun! I may have the Capture Monster visit my kids (even though they're 7,9, and 11). Thank you for such a cute idea.

  6. O.K. This is the best idea I've seen in forever! Thank you SO much! I will definitely be adopting a Capture Monster...and a big greedy one at that!

    Would you mind if I link to your post on my site? My friends, I'm sure, would love to come see what you do!!

  7. I really like this idea! Especially them getting to choose a toy the day AFTER they had picked everything up the night before! Wonderful idea, thank you for sharing!

    I enjoyed your privilege chart post as well, I'm thinking of adding it to something we already have.

  8. Thanks so much for your comments, and yes, feel free to link to any of my posts on your site! That is why I love the blog world -- it's all about sharing!

  9. Oh, and if you think I may be a disciplinary genius, I pray you never meet my children in real life, because then you will know the truth!

  10. Thanks for stopping by my blog, I clicked over and found a great idea here! This is very cute...I will definitely try it! Thanks for the scavenger hunt idea as well.:) That is one we haven't tried. My oldest will love it!

  11. I've been trying this for quite sometime and frankly, it's not working for me. :( I love your anti-Santa comment cause that is pretty much what it is around here. Maybe what's not working for me/us is that once the toys are gone, they are gone. The kids don't ask about them again. Speaking of, I've got two big bags that I guess I could donate to charity....


I'd love to hear what you think!