For 8 days, I used the famous General Store while I was babysitting two girls, ages 7 and 12.
First of all, despite their age difference, both girls were very excited to use the store. The very first day, I told them about it and explained how it works. When I arrived the next morning with my big box full of surprises, they were very, very eager to analyze everything inside! My girlfriends watched the store's surprises for a good 15 minutes! I had simply placed small toys and books that I had at home.
The two girls quickly understood the concept and did as much action as possible by asking me all the time, "If I do this, can I have a block?" which made me laugh. Of course, I didn't always give them blocks for everything they asked me to do! I gave about 3 blocks a day for the first 4 days of the first week. They knew very well that if they were going to carry their dishes in the sink after their lunch, they were entitled to a block. Later, when it came time for dinner, one of them helped me prepare it and the other to pick it up after eating. This allowed them to have one more block each. Finally, they would receive a block at the end of the day if it had gone well. I also sometimes gave bonuses of several blocks, for example at the end of the week or after an outdoor activity.
Initially, the youngest 7-year-old immediately wanted to spend her blocks. She was looking forward to having five to get her surprise. The oldest 12-year-old decided to save all her blocks and only spend them at the end of the 8 days. She was mostly interested in a surprise costing 20 blocks! Finally, the two girls ended the week with at least two surprises each and they were very happy to have used the general store, just like me! What a handy tool for a babysitter!
P.S.: The youngest 7-year-old loved to wear her Belles Combines jersey! In fact, it found itself as a small activity to learn by heart all the words ending in "oux"!
Clara Duchesne - 16 years old