Mum's brilliant self-isolation parenting hack gets kids to match 600 odd socks

As we go into lockdown to slow the spread of coronavirus, people are having to get creative to fill the hours inside.

One mum came up with a genius way to keep herself and her kids entertained – and get the house looking a little tidier.

Mendy McNulty, 38, had been worn down by her 11-year-old identical twins Joseph and Jack, and their brothers Hudson, eight, and Andrew, seven, asking to play on their gaming consoles all day long.

After a week of self-isolation, the mum came up with a game of her own: emptying her towering pile of odd socks and allowing each child a minute on their consoles for each pair they matched up.

The boys stepped up to the task with impressive speed, sorting the socks into different colours then tag-teaming the matching process, earning 300 minutes – five hours – of gaming.

Mendy, from Nashville, Tennessee, shared the idea on Facebook, where it received more than 100,000 shares, reactions and comments.

The mum, who works in disability services, said: ‘It kept them busy for about two or three hours.

‘They paired over 300 pairs of socks so that’s 300 minutes of time on consoles. It’s a little embarrassing because we have so many socks.

‘I have four boys so it’s a busy house. I don’t like them to be on electronics too much and at the moment they’re wanting to be on them constantly.

‘At first I offered them money but they don’t even want it. They wanted more time on electronics. I guess it’s because they can’t go spend it right now.

‘I was thinking of different jobs they could do to earn time then I saw this huge bin.

‘I hate dealing with the socks. That’s the worst job for me.

‘I don’t ever match them – I just wash and throw them in there. Then I say to the kids “okay guys, go find some socks”.’

As her sons are all different sizes, along with her husband Joe, Mendy often finds the washing basket is full of nondescript white socks.

So tackling the pile was a great way to while away the hours during lockdown.

Mendy still has a smaller bag of odd socks left, but hasn’t bit hard enough by the toilet roll shortage yet to make use of them for loo trips.

‘In this time, we’re running out of things for them to do,’ said the mum. ‘It’s difficult to get them off [the games]

‘I literally just gave them the bin and said “figure it out”, but they were negotiating how to spread the task really well.

‘Four boys fight all the time – but they had a little system going and there were no fights.

‘They’re all just slightly different sizes. You have 100 white socks that are just a bit different. Then there’s their dad too.

‘There’s still a bag of socks that haven’t quite found their home. We’ve talked about what to do with those and said ‘let’s hold on to them’.

‘Some people have said do crafts with them or use them as toilet paper – though I don’t know about that. We are having the [toilet roll] shortage over here too.

‘The reaction has been mad. People have made memes out of it.

‘The comments were hilarious and valid questions like “why do you have so many socks?”‘

Do you have a story to share of how you’re spending your time in lockdown? Get in touch by emailing [email protected] or commenting below.

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