Social Story: The Time Out Box




Toys remain in the Time Out Box until they are earned out with a coupon . Coupons are earned by behavior that is above and beyond the expected.

Until the toys are earned out, however, they are fair game for “whatever mommy wants to do with them.” This phrase provides the perfect excuse for me to give away or throw out the plethora of junk that the kids accumulate. And they never are the wiser.

Plus, the Time Out Box allows the “blame” to be shifted to an object rather than a person. When the kids are fighting over one toy in particular, it will end up in the box. No individual child is in trouble. It usually resolves the issue quickly.

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26 Comments

  1. Oh! I had a friend who did something similar only she made them “buy” the toys out with service. What a great idea, thanks for the reminder (I’d need a MUCH bigger box I think).

  2. Great story – Great Box! We have a similar policy for all abandoned property – If you want to keep it, pick it up and put it away or mom can do what she wants with it!

  3. I like your photos. Do Little People and Incredibles usually play together nicely? And what sort of lego structures would their combined efforts achieve, I wonder ….

    Great idea about a Time Out box for toys. I’ll have to give it a try – it might cause less tears than my current “Oh-look-this-toy-has-not-been-put-away-I-will-have-to-throw-it-out” approach.

  4. Yeah…we are going to have to do something like that around here…

  5. Great idea…unfortunately or fortunately, we don’t have this problem!

    My kids learned the hard way…if they left toys like this on the floor, our dog takes them and chews them under the dining room table….problem solved!!

    They now clean up everything for fear it will be gone forever!

  6. We have a time-out box. We get everything out each morning, saying, “God’s mercies are new everyday.” Yeah – applaud, y’all – except it hasn’t changed the behavior. Coupons are sounding pretty good right about now.

  7. Great idea! I used to put them in a see through box, which caused much groaning and agony. With a box like yours I could have given some away without much fuss.

  8. AWESOME IDEA! There are many toys in my girls room that need a time out right now. I can always count on you for great inspirational ideas.

  9. I wonder if it is too late for me to start this? Great idea. I hope it works for me too!

  10. That’s a great idea! I’m going to get me a time out box!!!

  11. This is a great twist on a classic punishment. Good to keep in mind…

  12. The Social Story cracked me up….I used to be a special ed teacher. I have made social stories from everything to “you don’t go to the bathroom during the spelling test” to “how to act when there is a sub, otherwise known as ‘you don’t know everyting’..”

  13. I love this!!!! I especially like what you did with the speech bubbles and the toys since we’re working on pretend play. I never thought to do that, but I think my son would love it. He’s all into speech bubbles!! lol! Thanks for the inspiration! 😀

  14. we soooo do this here too! when i was a kid, my mom totally donated them, no second chances!!

  15. Great idea, as usual. My son is ASD and your photos told him the story, he got it right away. Thanks for all the help!

  16. Great idea. I’ll have to start one of those.

  17. Oh. My. Goodness. Talk about genius! I’m all over this because barking at my kiddos to pick up the toys 3 times a day is NOT working. I love the accountability this will teach them and the lack of negativity in their responsibilities. Thank you!

    Blessings, Whitney

  18. Ok…I think that it absolutely genius! Right not our only solution to toys not being cleaned up is me picking everything up at the end of the day once the kids are asleep and can’t pull them right back out again. Genius!

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