Family Fun Magazine gave me this idea to encourage kids to practice the piano. They recommend burning a candle for as long as the practice lasts. When the practice is over the candle is blown out and saved for the next time. When the candle burns down to nothing then the little Mozart gets a special treat of some kind.
I ran the idea past Ryker and he loved it. What 9 year old wouldn't want to combine fire and music? We decided to try it for the first time last night. It worked great, but Ryker realized just long how it is going to take to burn that 12 inch taper down to the base. I think he is a little more motivated to practice now.
When trying to light a candle that is sitting on your piano it helps to have matches....somewhere in your house. When you do find a match you still also have to find a box with a striker on the side so that you can light the thing. Barring that, I am here to tell you that it is a bad idea to attempt to light the match by striking it on your 9 year old son's jeans zipper. It tends to make him a little nervous and elicit a lecture from nearby 5 year olds about how dangerous the whole situation is. However, it does inspire a more whole-hearted search for a real match box.
*No children were harmed in the development of this post.