Choosing rewards for kids is as important as choosing the behaviors and goals for the reward chart. Involve your child in this process as much as you can, with the understanding that if your child doesn’t like the incentive or reward, then there will be little motivation. Also consider that the more your child is involved in the planning process leading up to the use of the reward chart, then the more “ownership” they will feel, which will give them a greater desire to see it through.
With younger ones you might consider offering them a list of rewards for kids to choose from. Using material rewards is fine, but understand that the use of non-material rewards is just as important, and in fact can be much more of a powerful motivation for our kids. For example an activity with parents can be particularly rewarding for kids (any time spent with parents is much more important to children than we might acknowledge).
The following list of rewards for kids are suggestions only, and is limited only by your imagination. Generally material rewards should be kept small and inexpensive, but there may be times when a child is overcoming such a large hurdle that it may be appropriate to offer larger, more expensive items. Whichever rewards are chosen to use for our kids however, never underestimate how important your time is for your children.
Smaller rewards for kids may be:
- Crayons, paper, pencils, coloring-in books.
- Bag of marbles.
- Small toy such as plastic animals, cars etc.
- Hire a DVD of your child’s choice.
- Special treat in lunchbox.
- Choosing breakfast, dessert etc.
- Special snack after school.
- Visit to the 2 dollar shop.
Special treats at home as rewards:
- Using the telephone.
- Playing dress ups.
- Having a sleepover with a friend.
- Choosing a TV program.
- Making play-dough.
- Making a cake with mum or dad.
- Planting a pot plant.
Special treats outside home:
- Staying with friends or family.
- Trip to the park.
- Going to the movies.
- Riding bike.
- Visit the zoo.
- Go swimming.
- Visit the duckpond.
- Going to the beach.
Special rewards for kids involving parents:
- Making biscuits or a cake.
- Extra bedtime story.
- Doing puzzle/craft activities.
- Extra playtime with mum or dad.
- Watching favorite TV program with mum or dad.
Another creative way of using the reward system or reward plan is to have a lucky-dip consisting of many activities written on small separate pieces of paper which your child randomly picks, or one of many small items, such as small toys, pencils, bouncing balls, marbles, toy soldiers, hair clips, bubbles etc. A lucky-dip is always a sure-fire way to excite kids.
Whatever we offer as rewards for kids it is important that they motivate our kids, engage them, appropriately reflects their efforts, and are deliverable.