The Runaway Shirt is an adorable and heartwarming story book. It made my Momma heart so very happy when I read it for this review!
Chores & Little Ones
It’s difficult getting chores done with little ones running around at our feet, but it isn’t impossible. I’m pretty sure every Momma has had that moment, or a hundred of them, where they thought of how fast it would be to get something done if their little one would just go play for 10 minutes! Even as an Auntie, I had those moments and babysitting them was rare!
The Runaway Shirt is an adorable reminder for us to take in those moments and enjoy them. All too soon, they will be a thing of the past. All of those little things that caused you to think ‘I’ll never miss this…’ will be long gone and you’ll wish to have them back, if only for a little while. From a Mommy whose lost, I can say with everything in, please take in those moments. Take a deep breathe and appreciate them. Words can never express how much we wanted to have them and how, even years later, we still long for them.
Make A Game Out of Every Chore
In The Runaway Shirt, Mommy is trying to fold clothes but her little one decides to put one on so she’s ‘folds’ him up and the game is set. It’s so sweet and I can imagine in my mind playing such games with little ones.
In awe of that, I decided to come up with and share some game ideas to keep your sanity, share your love and still get your work done. Since the book talked about laundry, I’ll start with it.
Doing Laundry: Teaching Patience & Self Confidence
Children are absolutely thrilled to put clothes in the washer or dryer. If they can reach it, lay a sock on the side of the washer so that you can put the big stuff in. One at a time, they can add the sock or other small item to the dryer while you toss in the big stuff (and bundles of it!). When you are all done, lift them and ask them to check and see if there is anything left? Then have them close the dryer door.
If your little one is old enough to walk (well), send them to put away pieces of clothing individually. As you are folding a piece they can put away, talk to them about how they have to wait for you and be patient, what being patient means, and give them specific praise for doing their best (i.e. It is wonderful how you are sitting nicely while I fold, you are doing a great job. Thank you for waiting patiently!). I realize some we may not want to get wrinkled, so for those bring extra hangers where you are folding. Each time you put something on the hanger, express that you’ve gotten to many hangers, and have them put the hanger away (i.e. oh my, I have gotten an extra hanger, do you think you could put the hanger away and I’ll put this shirt away when we’re all done?). They’ll feel like they are a huge help, building positive self confidence, and you’ll be able to fold a few garments every time they take one away.
Cleaning the Floors: Paying Attention and Following Directions
Nothing more fun than sweeping, mopping and vacuuming right? ha! My little grandson was terrified of the vacuum there for a while. Never a good idea to play chase them with anything like that! Anyway, when cleaning the floors you can (quire dramatically) tell them you need them to help you find dirty spots. Encourage them to look carefully so they won’t miss anything. When they find something, be grateful and jump to that spot. Be careful though, if you encourage them when there isn’t a spot you may inadvertently teach them it’s okay to tell stories and nobody wants that!
You can also have them go check the other rooms, each time they come back ask if they checked a different specific area (i.e. ‘Did you remember to check by the toy box?’ Then, ‘Can you go and make sure please?’). Tell them it’s their job to make sure all the big stuff is out of the way, they can pick up toys or random larger items. Each time you point out a specific item, make sure you mention the color or shape, even if they don’t know them yet. Those neurons are forming new pathways!
Cleaning the Kitchen: Counting & Following Directions
When you are trying to clean the kitchen, that’s probably (for me anyway) the worst time to be bothered. Poor little ones, there’s only so much they can really do in the kitchen! One thing they can do is toss things into the sink or on top of the the counter, depending on age and ability, I recommend spoons and plastic cups!
As you are washing, you can send them into the other rooms (one at a time for obvious reason) to check for dirty dishes. When putting away dishes, they can put things away on lower shelves or, if you are like me and really want to do that super fast, you can tell them you need them to keep count so you don’t run out of *whatever it is you are putting away at the moment*.
Every game will teach manners, as long as you are practicing them (to a Berenstain Bears Forget Their Manners extent!). The
exaggeration enthusiasm encourages children to imitate them at a much faster pace! Correcting yourself, pointing out what you did wrong, is also beneficial for them. They learn that not only is it okay to make mistakes, but also how to correct those mistakes!
Back to the Book
The Runaway Shirt was written by Kathy MacMillan and illustrated by Julia Castano. I absolutely loved the very touching intro, which I will not share for fear of spoiling it. I cannot express how sweet it was, and it’s written for you!
This book is as simple and touching as it’s description. It states: ‘A mother and child transform the chore of laundry into an afternoon of laughter and imagination.’ It is so simple and well worded that you just can’t help but picture yourself in the story with your own little one or grandbaby or niece or nephew. It’s super sweet!
The Runaway Shirt is published by Famillius Books and emphasizes working and playing together! For other fantastic children’s books, please check out our Books & Films Page!