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Mum buys vending machine and gets kids to pay for their own snacks



The vending machine filled with snacks (Picture: Sarah Balsdon)

With kids at home, you’ve probably noticed that they seem to never stop snacking.

But sick of her kids eating her out of house, Sarah Balsdon came up with a plan.

Sarah, a nurse from Northumberland, picked up a second hand vending machine for £100 and filled it with all chocolate, sweets and crisps.

She decided that the kids could earn money for the machine by doing chores or completing school work, in an attempt to help them understand the value of money and to make them think before they reach for a treat.

If they really are hungry, rather than just looking for some sugar, they can have a healthy snack for free.

She picked it up for £100 (Picture: Sarah Balsdon)

Sarah has two daughters, age eight and nine, and two sons, age five and two.

Posting on her Instagram @nobodywantstobabysit, she said: ‘Lets see if they can sneak sweets and treats now! So sick of the arguments about unhealthy snacks (esp with lockdown) so I have bought a vending machine!

‘If they want sweets they can do things (chores, school work etc) to earn money for them. The kids are very excited about this but not as excited as me!’

She says she has been looking for a machine for a while but usually they cost over £500 but she managed to pick this second-hand one up for £100 on Facebook marketplace when a shop was closing down.

She then went to B&M to fill it with treats.

Sarah with her kids and husband (Picture: Sarah Balsdon)

She added: ‘I’m not unreasonable. I’ve put them in at cost price hahahaha.’

And to make it fair, the kids made Sarah and her husband put their own favourites in too so they have to pay up if they want anything unhealthy too.

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Other parents loved the idea when she shared it on Facebook too.

One said: ‘Oh my god I love this so much! I want to have a go.. when lockdown lifts I’m coming round with a pocket full of change.’

Another added: ‘I want to do this. Can you imagine the boys face..’

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These hilarious pictures show all the mayhem kids have been causing during lockdown



The face of guilt (Picture: Instagram/@an_average_perfectionist)

The main people thriving during this whole lockdown thing seem to be mischievous children, who are getting into all sorts while stuck at home.

And although we adults end up being stuck with clean-up duty, we can’t help but laugh at the ridiculousness that ensues when little ones get a cheeky glint in their eye.

A survey by kitchen towel brand Regina recently found that childhood antics had increased during lockdown, with 44% of parents surveyed saying their kid had tipped food all over themselves and 33% of parents having had to clean up a felt-tip drawing on the sofa.

Next on the list of top messes British children had been making include clothes covered in mud, make-up smeared everywhere, living room walls given the pen drawing treatment, and glitter.

Now we remember the infamous YouTube baby that covered himself in peanut butter, but it appears that our children have more expensive taste, with over a quarter of them covering themselves head to toe in face creams or other high-priced lotions.

Why eat it when you can make an abstract painting with it? (Picture: Instagram/@creative_mumofive)

Parents have been sharing some photos of their messy menaces, with everything from porridge to paint being smeared everywhere.

While the aftermaths of each scene is likely to be a nightmare to clean up, we just know that it’s hard to stay mad when they look so hilarious.

Probably better than hitting the actual beach right now (PIcture: Instagram/@dorsetdunkerley)

And despite the fact four out of five parents say that when their child is being quiet, they have a sense of dread, 61% said that when facing a mess, they are more likely to laugh than cry.

93% of parents say they would rather have messy but happy kids over bored yet clean children. As the old saying goes, ‘a dirty child is a happy child’ and ‘there’s no point crying over spilled milk’.

Mini Shrek and Fiona look very pleased with themselves after getting into the green paint (Picture: Instagram/@jadeewiddickk)

Psychologist Emma Kenny who was involved in the survey said, ‘The findings demonstrate that whilst every parent wishes that their child came with a stain-free guarantee – and in spite of spending nine hours every week tidying up after them – they still feel that messy play is an imperative part of childhood.

‘Many studies have shown that a happy child thrives in their environment through creative expression. Young children do this through messy play as it is firstly fun, and secondly a fantastic way to change the environment around you.

Don’t paint the canvas, become the canvas (Picture: Instagram/@lyndseyw_mumoffive)

‘Whilst parents can often find cleaning up after their children frustrating, and a little exhausting, they also understand how important a sense of freedom is for their little ones.

‘Children see the world as a large playground and that is what makes the fleeting years of childhood so special. Mud pies, mucky clothes and faces covered in dirt are commonplace for happy kids.

The relief at seeing the sofa is unscathed (Picture: Instagram/@tairasfamilyofficial)

‘Whilst this is understandably annoying for parents trying to keep a lovely home, it is symbolic of a happy child, who feels safe enough to be creatively free to express themselves.’

 ‘This study shows that cleaning up can be stressful, but creative and messy play is actually good for our kids,’ says Rosa Carpanini from Regina Blitz who commissioned the research.

Do you have pictures of your little one causing havoc that you’d like to share?

Send them in at

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