Our little family of four has gotten away with not having a video game system for nine years. Sure, we have a few "plug into the tv" games that I bought (for me) a long time ago -- games that I had played back in high school and wanted to get a kick out of again. My son likes those, and also has a Spongebob game that he won from the 'potty training reward basket' a few years back, but beyond that we've managed to avoid a PlayStation or Xbox, etc. My main reason thus far has been that I know they're a big black hole for time, and if I enjoy a game, I'll lose too many hours of my life playing it. Just ask me about my computer game, Pirates. Ugh.
Then along comes the Nintendo Wii. It has the appeal of being a system you can play as a family and NOT be sitting on your kiester the entire time. There's the opportunity to get yourself moving a little, and more importantly, get your kids moving. Beyond that, they've come out with the Wii Fit, and all my friends are raving about it. Put all of these facts together, and you get what we're calling "The Wii Jar."
Because the Wii is so expensive, and because I'm trying not to give my kids every last thing they ask for, I decided this should be a family project. First I spent a few weeks telling the kids about the jar, and how we would save up for it together. Once I had their attention, I grabbed an empty jam jar and wrote "The Wii Jar" on it. I then put in five dollars that I'd been carrying around. Each kid managed to scrounge up some change, and that day we started our savings with about seven dollars. Since then, I've convinced them here and there to add to it, though it's still pretty piddly.
To help get us more motivated, I spent Labor Day cleaning out both of the kids' rooms, and managed to create a nice stock pile of toys, books and clothes for a garage sale. We're planning to have our sale this weekend, and with any luck, will have a nice deposit for the jar. I think we're still a ways away from actually purchasing a Wii, assuming we can find one, but it feels good to have us all working toward something we want -- together. Will it make the kids appreciate it more? I don't really know. But there should be some value in being a part-owner rather than the recipient who doesn't understand the cost. I intend to have them hand the money over to purchase it when the day comes. That'll be a blog moment for sure.