Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Saving, Spending & Sharing

Allowance Joy!

Something we've been struggling with for a while is keeping up with the kids and their chores and being consistent in guiding and rewarding them. I've seen several ideas over the years of containers that can hold money for sharing, spending and saving. And I really liked that idea. But of course I wanted to make something on our own to utilize this idea. I had come across a crochet pattern about crocheting a cover for tin cans (total retro craft from the 70s). I thought that would be a great idea for containers for the kids, but my crochet time is taken up with other projects at the moment. So I remembered another yarn/tin can craft from way back when. And being a true child of the 70s I decided we would re-create some psychadelic yarn craft love!

So here goes:

Supplies for our yarn cans

Glue (I used Aleene's Tacky Glue)
Leftover yarn bits (I used my cheap acrylic leftovers)
Tin cans (I recycled 6 cans of the same size - standard soup size)
Container to hold the cans (Ross made the kids a box that fit all three cans snuggly from some of his wood flooring scraps, but a shoebox would work too and could be painted or decoupaged over)
Key tags
Small safety pins

We picked out our yarn. As you can see, all of us changed our yarn at least once during the wrapping process. But you could do a solid color for each can. Apply glue all over the first few inches of the can (getting between the ribs as best as you can).
Boy she must really be concentrating

Then start the yarn at one of the ends and wrap it around, pushing it tight against the last wrap as you go. This is very sticky job and the glue gets all over the place, but it will dry clear.
Pushing the yarn up as we go

You can change yarn colors as you wish. Just make sure the ends of the yarn get stuck down well.
Hot Rod working on one of his cans

Keep applying more glue to the next few inches as you go up the can. I would not apply glue to the whole can at once because then you'll get REALLY sticky and some of it will dry before you get all the yarn on.
Putting the yarn on my can

Finish as many cans as you need. Then let them dry completely.
Lil' Mermaid with her first finished yarn canHot Rod with a finished yarn can
Lil Mermaid's yarn covered cansHot Rod's yarn covered cans


Of course you can do whatever you want with the cans now that they are decorated. These make great gifts for desks or vases. My can is holding a bunch of colored pencils on my desk. But the kids decided to write on key tags the words "spend", "save", and "share".
Hot Rod working on the tags for his yarn cans

And then they attached them to the yarn on the can by small safety pins.
Hot Rod labeling his yarn cans

Ross made a wooden box that fit their three cans just "so". This way they could keep them in one place on their dressers. The kids tell me they want to paint their boxes as well. A shoebox would work great too! You could paint the shoe box or cover it in patterned paper or decoupage it.

The yarn cans in their wooden holders

How we use the cans: The kids have a chore chart for the week. And on Sunday evenings (although sometimes it's Monday) we review the past week. The kids get their full allowance if they've done good on their chore chart (which also includes some behavior ideals). If they've had some "oops-es" then they get a portion of their allowance. But either way, they decide how to allot the money. Money that is "saved" stays in the can for the month and then we deposit it in the bank. Money that is "spent" can be used during the month on small items (usually craft supplies or movies to rent, etc.) Money to "share" is saved during the month and at the end of the month the kids can decide where they want to donate that money (church offering, a special fundraiser at school, buying food for the FISH pantry, or buying a gift for Toys for Tots, etc.). It has been very nice to see where the kids put their money. So far, they've allotted it pretty equally. Having the cans has made it easier to keep track of their money and it has become more of a special "act" for them to divide it.

Now if we can just keep on task with it. That's the hardest part for us usually - keeping up with our ideas!!


  1. these are sooo happy! love the trio for managing their moolah! great idea!

  2. Ok I don't really have lots of time to read other blogs, but I am lovin yours! However now I have a list of things I would like to do and finding the time to do it..... however with the holiday coming what perfect timing! Thanks our kids needed these!

  3. I love this! I have been struggling with how to have my daughter sort her money (so it does not all get spent on plastic princesses). We will be doing this very soon!

  4. These are fantastic! I've seen this project done with jars and vinyl labels, but I really, REALLY love that you recycled cans and let the kids wrap them with yarn! What a great activity!! I'm sharing this in a post I'm doing about creative chore plans : )
    Jaimee @