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Thursday, June 30, 2011

A Wii Little Token

I am the parent of a nine year old boy. He is currently on summer break.

wii token 019

I try to fill his days with trips to museums, tennis lessons, the library, arts and crafts and water sports.

But there is one activity he would rather do above all others: play the Wii.

The first week of summer vacation I gave him free reign to do whatever he wanted. Big mistake. I had to take back the power.

Enter in the Wii Little Token Jar.

I typed up a list of non Wii activities and chores. It included such things as:

Read for 40 minutes

Wash the dog

Fold and put away laundry

and about 30 other tasks or activities.

Each activity completed was worth one token. Each token was worth 30 minutes of play time on the Wii.

No tokens? No Wii.

There was much fussing and crying the first few days. Sweet Boy too.

I quickly realized I had to set a 30 minute timer because I would lose track of time by getting side tracked doing things like…cleaning toilets. Word to the wise: a 9 year old boy can’t be counted on to remember either.

I created the jar with some vintage poker chips someone had given me a few years ago. I filled another jar with antique dominos and nestled the two into an entertainment center vignette.

wii token 028

Sweet boy lines up his earned tokens much like quarters on a pool table. After thirty minutes of play the spent token is placed back in the jar. He is also able to turn in unused tokens for 50 cents each. After three weeks this system is working beautifully.

If you happen to need your own Wii little tokens (aka poker chips) I’ve packaged up some vintage tokens and put them in my Etsy shop.

wii token 005

Game on,


Linking to:

Funky Junk

The DIY Showoff

Today’s Creative Blog


Johanna said...

Hello Laura,
you are a creative Mother. Blessed boy to have a Mom with such great ideas. We had something similar with vouchers for TV-Looking. Worked great.
Thank you for sharing this good idea.
Best greetings, Johanna

Sherry said...

You have great ideas. This is really nice. It sets the rules and then that's it. No tokens, no Wii. Love it. Thanks for sharing at Home Sweet Home and have a great 4th weekend!

Blondie's Journal said...

Very clever, Laura! Love the idea!! The tokens are so cute!


Bringing Pretty Back said...

Laura, What a GREAT idea!!!
I am going to share this great idea with my sister in law - he boys are your sons age!
Have a PRETTY day!

Karena said...

Laura you are just the best. Such a great idea and positive reinforcement!!

I should order for my 11 year old grandaughter Isabella! She is wanting to spend too much time watching TV or playing on the computer, etc

Art by Karena

Linda said...

You are just the greatest - I love how you are! I read your super fun post and I think how I'm really lacking in the creativity department. Also, Sarah pretty much has free reign of all of her electronics - I gave up a long time ago, because she's going to be 16 this year, and that's what all of she and her friends do. But they also play outside, swim in our pool, take walks, go to Band Camp, etc., etc., so the way I figure is that I'm doing okay - she's doing okay because while her electronics take up a LARGE part of her life, so do many other things. Balance. But for a younger kid, like your son, I think this is a most marvelous idea and I'm just sooooo impressed at how you package and deliver your ideas. It's always so clever.

Have a wonderful evening,

Bloggymom said...

What a great idea!! Kiddo and I read your post together. We loved your vintage clip art about screaming.

We have those days too!!

Mildred said...

Hi Laura, What a great idea and so very cute! My John loves to play wii golf and tennis.

Wishes for a wonderful and safe summer. Happy 4th!

Red Rose Alley said...

Hey, you got a new header - very nice. There's just something so special about spending time with a son. Happy 4th of July.
~Sheri at Red Rose Alley

Vicki said...

How clever! I wonder if I could use that idea to keep my husband from playing Spider Solitaire when he's supposed to be writing appraisals? Hmmm...

Rosemary@villabarnes said...

What a smart idea, and such a beautiful way to display the tokens.

Rebecca said...


If I had kiddos at home I would soooo be doing this. I'm passing this along to my SonShine and our SarahGirl. I'm thinkin' they just might need a Wii-Twist of their own!

Thanks for visiting me!


Debby said...

What a great idea. I like that you put some in your shop. I am so glad that the Wii wasn't around when my kids were little.
Thanks for visiting. Looks like you'll have a fun summer as well. Love your banner.

Craftymoose Crafts said...

What a terrific idea! Glad you have both (hopefully) stopped crying!

Karen said...

That is brilliant! and so beautifully displayed. Parenting can really make you put on your creative hat. That's good for the kids and good for us too.

Ann@A Sentimental Life said...

what a cute idea. And I have been waiting for the 1st of the month to see what your header would be, I love it!!!!!

Jeanna said...

These are to cute! I now how it is video games all day, yuck! Great idea.

Jeanna. @.

laxsupermom said...

Love this idea! Our boys have been using the pool quite a bit, so I haven't had to pry them away from the XBox, but I'll keep this in mind for when the weather turns. Thanks for sharing.

Charm Bracelet Diva said...

Wow, I am so doing this, for my 9 year old daughter and 7 year old son! We told them that they had to "earn" Wii privileges this summer, but hadn't really done anything about it yet...Brilliant!


Robin said...

A very clever idea....

April said...

Oh MY. You are AWESOME. Ahem. Regaining composure. Dear Laura, ONLY YOU could take behavior modification, make it effective, AND make it lovely to LOOK AT.
You have, once again, inspired me. I'm sure the D-4 kids will be MAD. :)
Happy 4th!

Julie Tucker-Wolek said...

SUCH an AWESOME idea! LOVE it! :):):):):):):):):):):):):):):)

Debbie said...

This is wonderful! I love how you thought up the cute little name to go along with it, and then you marketed it. You really rock!

Now, could you create something similar with a cutesy name for a grown up kid who needs behavior modification in regard to spending too much time in front of the Casey Anthony trial?

Not that I know anyone like that or anything...

Sarah at Finishing Touch Interiors said...

What a fabulous idea my 11 year old son is the same he either has his head stuck in a dsi or hes on the wii, I dont mind some much when hes playing wii sports as hes jumping around but it frustrates me i was out doors playing in the fresh air at his age. I find getting him outside harder & harder the older he gets said...

Brilliant! These would work for all family members -- husbands trying to get their wives out of blog-land; parents getting teens off of face book; etc.

Your Friend,

outjunking said...

Just to cute and smart. Little boys and the game systems. I tell my grown sons if I had it to do over there would have never been a game system brought in my house.

Mila Said said...

Very smart! you're a brilliant mom :D

CalypsoInTheCountry said...

You are a genius! What an incredibly cute idea! My kids (7 & 5) are addicted to the Wii and I have to keep coming up with creative ways to distract them from it.

Jen said...

What a great idea! While I have forbid video gaming systems in our home (for this very reason), when kids bring them over for sleep-overs the world stops moving. I am definitely sharing this idea with my girlfriends going through this right now!


CalypsoInTheCountry said...

I just wanted you to know that I mentioned your blog/post in my post today. You have such a cute idea and it really tied in to what I was writing about!

Janet said...

oh my, this is genius. I have a 12 year old boy that I am having the same problem with. Off to make some tokens. Thanks! ;)

Lorena said...

How clever!!! a great idea!!!!

Hines-Sight said...

This post is awesome. I know all about the token system. Loved your wii tokens. So cute!

Susan (My Place to Yours) said...

Hang in there, Laura! I sooooo remember those days when parental creativity had to stretch beyond belief so we could all make it happily through summer vacation. (I totally identify with the "I have to scream now" pic!) Your Wii Little Tokens are a perfect solution! Your son may look back on them with mixed feelings (as I do the weekly reports on "any Encyclopedia article I wanted to read" my own Mother made me do -- 40 years ago), but when he's a "wii" bit older, he'll know you were just being a good parent; a VERY GOOD PARENT at that!

Only Cute Things said...

Hi Laura! whata alovely post!

great pics!


Maija said...


Randi~Dukes and Duchesses said...

Great idea ... and I love the Wii Little Token title!

Tanya said...

You are so smart. However, I would have to use them for a certain computer game that my son loves to the point of distraction. I'm going to have to get some of those tokens!