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Reward Ideas (3 - 5 Year Olds)

Using a point system is a great way to motivate your preschooler or kindergartener to develop good habits. Finding the right reward to motivate your child is an important part of implementing a successful reward program. You want the reward to be meaningful enough to be attractive, but you do not want the reward to be out of proportion for the behavior.

Keep these three principles in mind when selecting rewards:

  1. Keep the reward proportioned to the behavior.
  2. Spending time with a parent, or family member is often better than any monetary reward you can create.
  3. Introduce the reward during a quiet time and not when the child is using the unwanted behavior. The reward should be associated as a reward for good behavior and not as a “bribe” to stop bad behavior.

Following are some of the most popular rewards in use by Kid Pointz members. You can easily add these rewards to your online points system by launching the points system. Under Rewards, select the Reward Ideas tab which corresponds to the age of your child. Click on the green Add button to the right, determine the number of points to assign the reward, and then assign the reward to one of more kids.

Toys

  • Sticker
  • Prize from the Prize Bag
  • Small Toy / Stuffed Animal

Entertainment

  • Play Board Game
  • Pick a Movie for Family Movie Night
  • Go to the Movie Theater
  • Rent/Download a Movie
  • Play a Video Game
  • Play Date
  • Putt Putt
  • Visit an Arcade / Fun Center

Food

  • Favorite Dessert
  • Snack
  • Choose a Restaurant
  • Select Favorite Meal for Dinner
  • Go Out for Ice Cream / Yogurt
  • Bake Cookies with Mom
  • Popcorn night

Privileges

  • Stay Up a Little Later
  • Extra TV Time
  • Extra Computer Time
  • Extra Bedtime Story

Family

  • Time with Grandma / Grandpa
  • Alone time with a Parent
  • Camping
  • Sleep in Parents Room
  • Sleepover with Relative (cousin, grandparent, etc.)

Other

  • Pet (Goldfish, Dog, Cat, Guinea Pig)
  • Clothing
  • Sports Outing
  • New Lunchbox
  • $ Amt in Piggy Bank
  • Go to the Pool / Beach

When to Introduce Rewards:

Rewards are a great incentive for your child. Introducing the reward to your child properly is just as important as the reward itself. You want to make sure the reward is clearly associated with good behavior and not as a “bribe” to avoid a particular behavior (e.g. a temper tantrum).

The wrong time to introduce a reward is in the eat of the moment. If little Sally is having a temper tantrum, you would not, for example, want to say, “If you stop this tantrum, we’ll go out for ice cream.” This associates the reward with the bad behavior.

A better way to introduce a reward is when there is calm. Describe the behavior and ask your child for suggestions on how they can improve upon it. Set out the reward plan (je.g. each time you use your words when you are upset, you get a point, and if you get 3 points this week, we’ll go for ice cream.)

Raise the Bar:

Set the expectation with your child that the reward plan you put in place will change over time. As your child develops the good habits you are encouraging with the reward, start to raise the bar. For example, if you are encouraging him to brush his teeth on his own each morning, he may get a point each time he does it. But after a few weeks, you may wish to raise the bar and award points for your child brushing his teeth without being asked, or brushing his teeth three days in a row.

Family Meetings:

Hold weekly family meetings to discuss how the point system is working for your child(ren). You’ll be surprised how interested they will be in suggesting new behaviors they wish to work on, or new chores they want to take on in turn for points / rewards. Talk about what may motivate your child and set rewards accordingly.

Ask Kid Pointz:

We are avid users of the points system ourselves, so please give us your feedback and tell us what rewards and rules work for you and your family. Or, if you have any questions or need suggestions, be sure to ask. You may reach us at [email protected]