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But not for me, for the children. When they woke up on Monday morning, this is what they saw.

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Inside the envelopes, one for each boy, was a mathematical puzzle (suited to their ages). When they’d solved all three, the numbers combined together to reveal the code for the lock.

Inside the box is a white book, an exercise book, pens and a digital camera. The white book contains a list of challenges to be completed before the end of the holidays. Each challenge has a monetary value that’s going towards the fund for a new games console – either X-Box 360 or PS3. They’ve had a Wii for years and it’s just starting to show its age – you can’t buy new games any more either.

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Some of the challenges are pure fun. As I type this, the boys are working together to build the Lego Army. Every Lego Minifigure that’s properly assembled earns them 10p. Doesn’t sound much but our house is totally overrun with the little people! Others are more homework like – for example hand writing practice, which is much needed by all three. Others are like super I-spy – collect evidence that you’ve seen things in categories, like mammals or birds. Or that you’ve visited places built in different time periods. There are bonuses for things like not arguing all day as well. Oh, and at some point I’ll drive them to a shop and let them plan, buy and cook us an evening meal. There’s also a calendar for coloured stickers so we can track their progress.

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So, I’ll keep updating this throughout the summer, especially as a lot of the challenges have photographs as part of them.