Category Archives: Getting Fun Done

Getting Fun Done (GFD): The Toilet Paper Game- How To Get Your Kids To Help

When I was a kid we had a tradition of eating formal family meals for Saturday lunch in the dining room. My mother wanted to get the kids to help clear the table after a meal. Her solution, we play a game similar to 20 questions. A person goes to the kitchen with something from the table (a water pitcher for example) and puts it away (or on the counter at least). Before the person returned the people at the table would pick a secret word. When the person returned, he would pick a person to give him a clue or ask someone a question. We would keep going around the table until he (or she) correctly guessed the secret word. This would continue until we cleared the table.

This isn’t the most efficient way to clear a table of course. It took a while to clear of the table while playing but we weren’t really cleaning the table we were having fun playing the game. Often we played even after the table was all clear. This is one of the lasting memories of fun from my childhood.

So how do you get your kids to help? Make it fun. Make it a game.

Now when I want to get my kids to help clear the table (when there is time) and have some fun we also play this game. It works well when they have friends over also.

So how did the game become known as “The Toilet Paper Game”? Let’s just say once the secret word was “toilet paper” and lots of laughs ensued.

It’s appropriate to post this today on my mother’s birthday as she’s always been creative getting us kids to be more productive and having fun. Happy Birthday Mom!

Getting Fun Done (GFD): Teaching Corporate (er Family) Values

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Released to Public: Apollo 15 on the Moon (NASA)Corporate Values are taught by actions of leadership and stories that are passed down and around the company. Think of the pirate flag that flew over the Macintosh building when the software was being written. Isn’t that a precursor to “Think different“? Same with the “Don’t Be Evil” slogan that google used to inspire it in it’s fight against Microsoft. But how are family values taught? The same way, through stories. Because kids love stories It’s actually easier to teach family values and lessons through stories than teaching corporate values.

Where can you find appropriate stories?

  • Many classic children’s books teach good values. E.g. “The Three Bears” teaches don’t go into stranger’s houses. (Feel free to use “David in Diamondonia” which left a mark for me.)
  • Open your bible and you’ll see stories and lessons abound (any religion will have them). E.g. Abraham’s visit from the three angels and how he treated guests.
  • My personal favorite- make up your own story.

Making up your own story

The main advantage of making up your own story is that it can be tailored to the exact scenario you want. Kids are very forgiving so you can make up your own story it doesn’t have to be perfect. Make it interesting by throwing in facts that your kids can relate to such as the age of the characters being the same as your kids or the place that the story takes place is one that your kids are familiar with.

Reinforcing lessons

After the story ask your kids some questions to lead them to realize what the lesson was. Have them generate more lessons. Ask them what they would have done.

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Getting Fun Done(GFD): The Art of Stress Free Fun (and Productivity) For Kids

The internet is loaded with content on how you can be more productive and get more  done. David Allen’s Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity has become a virtual bible on how to achieving more in this crazy world. But if you try these techniques with your kids you’ll only end up pulling your hair out. There’s no such thing as being efficient or “processing” inboxes with kids.

Kids just want to know “when can we have fun”. I’m inaugurating a weekly series where I attempt to take the productivity tips us adults are using to achieve more and translating it to a fun, easy to use, more fun system to help kids succeed. I hope that this will in turn simplify adoption of productivity techniques that can help us all have more fun and maybe put our kids at a productive advantage in this crazy world we live in. With luck even adults who aren’t into all the fancy concepts that we productivity aficionados take for granted will be able to take something out of it.

Upcoming Articles include:

PS It’s only appropriate that I’m publishing this on my father’s birthday- who fights the world’s stresses and doesn’t let it stress me. Happy Birthday Tatty!