Saturday, February 23, 2008

Roll of the Die

In 1999 I went to Austria for my cousins wedding. One afternoon my mother and I were wandering in and out of little shops when I stumbled upon a red die, called a Chore Die. At the time I was single with no kids and living alone... but I saw the potential. I snatched it up and back to the states I went.

Ten years later the die sits prominently placed in our family silverware drawer. Each evening we roll it to see who gets to set and clear the dinner table. Each side of the die reads either "ich", "du", or "wir" - translation "I", "You", or "We." While each of the boys have their own set of ongoing chores such as feed the dog, clean your room, or bring in the garbage cans, the chore die takes a small daily task and creates some family fun around it being assigned.

I haven't seen one of these die anywhere in the states, but it sure wouldn't be hard to replicate. For the super industrious you could get a small block of wood, sand and paint it and then write the words on each side. For those of us without access to wood or sanders, how about the cardboard boxes they sell at Michaels for decoupaging? And if neither of those still seem up you alley, then how about a jar filled with slips of paper? The main idea is to create a sense of fun and anticipation around something that might otherwise be dreaded.

Once you have the "Chore-Die-Lense", you quickly see the potential for other uses. It can be used to divvy out the last yummy piece of cake, to decide who selects the pizza topping, the family outing, or a game on game night. In my case today, I will use it to determine who gets to sort the socks. Five people x 2 socks per day x 7 days = 70 socks per week (- 2 or 3 that get lost in dryer abyss). That's a lot of socks. Tune in Monday to discover the lucky winner.

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