Print out these free reward cards to help motivate your kids. Thank you Verizon FiOS for sponsoring this post.
Since my boys were little, we’ve used reward systems. It helps motivate them and who doesn’t like being rewarded? If you think about it, adults are motivated by rewards. For example, you work hard at your job for potential bonuses, increase in pay, or for that big promotion you have your eye on. For kids, it’s the same thing just on a smaller scale.
When my boys were toddlers, we used this system for learning how to use the potty and for staying in bed. Now that they are a bit older (9 and 7), we’ve modified it a bit.
My younger son is the pickiest eater ever! So much for the whole “they need to try it 10 times before they like it” method. That never worked. That forced us to implement a reward system for him. We have a chart and every time he comes to the dinner table without saying YUCK (seriously it doesn’t matter what’s for dinner, this is his favorite word when it’s time to eat) and when he eats all of his dinner, he gets a star on his chart. When he has ten stars, he earns a reward card.
For my older son, we started a reading chart for him. He doesn’t like to read and most of the time when I ask him to read he moans and groans. I’m tired of fighting him on this. His reward system is simple. For every chapter book he reads, he gets a star. When he reads five books, he gets a reward card.
So far – keeping my fingers crossed – it’s working.
To make it fun for them, I’ve created football themed reward cards. Feel free to download your own set!
What I like to do is put the reward cards in a jar and have them close their eyes and pick one. This makes it exciting and if I didn’t do it this way, they would pick the same card every time.
Here’s their options:
Get Out of Time-Out Free: This one we don’t really use anymore as my boys don’t get time-outs. However, there are times when we put them in their rooms for talking back or not listening, so they can use this card for that. As you can imagine, I’m not a big fan of this card and cringe every time they pick this one.
Movie Night of Your Choice: Movie nights are the best but when it comes time to picking out the movie, there is always a fight. This card prevents that from happening. Nothing you can do when one of them slaps down this card. They can either pick a movie from our DVD collection, look through Netflix, or search On Demand, which has lots of movies to choose from.
Trip To Favorite Place/Store: This one burns a hole in their pocket. As soon as they pick this one, off to GameStop we go.
Stay Up Past Bedtime: The amount of extra time changes. Sometimes it’s 10 minutes, sometimes it’s 20 minutes but never exceeds 30 minutes. Also, this one can only be used on weekends, I’m not that crazy!
Extra TV Time: Right now they are obsessed with the show, The Flash, which we have every season sitting on our DVR (thanks to kids who love hitting the DVR button). So when they pick this card out, they like to veg out on the couch and watch episode after episode until I literally turn the TV off on them. While they do this, I usually sit next to them streaming shows onto my iPad. It gives me an excuse to relax a bit.
Extra Bedtime Story: This is my personal favorite. On the nights when we don’t have activities, I still like to read with my boys. It’s really neat because we all take turns reading. I love hearing them read.
Ice Cream Treat: This hands down is my older son’s favorite one. He is an ice-cream junkie. The funny thing is my younger son is not a fan of ice-cream (he’s nuts!) so we’ll let him substitute for a different snack.
Blank Card: This one can be filled in by them (prior to putting into their jar). Once they pick this one out, we replace with a new idea.
I’m amazed at how well these still work. Hey if it’s not broke, don’t fix it! Don’t forget, you can download my reward card printables and see how they work for your kids.
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