Years ago I created a thing of beauty. It's more beautiful in concept than reality. In reality it's just a plain cardboard box. Nothing special to look at. It sits in the shelf in our garage and it looks just like every other box on a shelf in the garage.
The objects inside are not beautiful either. It's the motivation that those objects provide that is a thing of beauty. I call it, The Goody Box.
The Goody Box is filled with little toys, Pez candy dispensers, items found at consignment or yard sales, puzzles, etc. Nothing fancy or expensive.
It began as potty training motivation. The Eldest was into Thomas trains back then, so I created a train track on a chart. Every time he went he got a sticker. Every fifth track had a star on it. When he got to a star, he got a prize out of The Goody Box. Worked like a charm, for him at least. His brother is not motivated like that, but that's a whole 'nother discussion.
After a few years it morphed, no longer used as potty training motivation, but for incentive to do chores. This has been a truly wonderful invention and one that I'm quite proud of. We use it for any chores that are not on their normal chores list. The normal chores are done in order to attain a small weekly allowance. These chores are not negotiable and are the same from week to week. The Goody Box chores are outside of the normal realm of chores.
Today after school both boys suddenly came to me begging for extra chores to do. The operational word in that sentence is begging. The Youngest dusted for me (at least every where that he could reach.) The Eldest asked to clean the toilets. "Heck yeah!", I said, "Get to it". What Mom in her right mind wouldn't say that?
The Youngest chose a Toy Story Slinky Dog Pez for his collection. The Eldest picked a Bionicle that I had bought at a children's consignment sale. Both items cost me a dollar each.
The Goody Box, truly an item of beauty in my home.