With a 6 and 4 year old at home all Summer, I knew that it was time to implement an incentive plan that we could all participate in and have fun with! Both Ella and Andrew have started to show some “undesirable” behavior lately – talking back, whining, leaving toys laying around, whining and more whining – so I knew that things had to change or I may lose my mind AND my temper.
What’s great about their ages is that they love to help out around the house and they love to get lots of positive praises by words and more tangible rewards. When I started thinking about how to go about making charts and giving rewards, I found myself overwhelmed and confused. Thankfully, two ladies at my Mom’s Group gave a presentation on this very subject the last day of group before Summer break. They had a ton of great ideas! So, I took what they taught me, along with some awesome Pinterest inspiration and formed a plan…..
First we started with a simple Chore Chart that I found at Sutton Grace. I love that this one is a little modern and is editable. You can’t save it to your computer, but you can personalize it each week. I came up with some easy chores such as: brush your teeth, make your bed and get dressed. Along with some harder chores that would require some help or a little more effort – wipe down sinks, empty bathroom trash, and vacuum floors. Each time my child does a chore, they get a sticker on their chart to show that it’s completed. Easy peasy. I keep the same easier chores there each week, but change up the harder ones occasionally to keep them interested and challenged. Of course, Ella has a little harder chores than Andrew since she is older. There are a ton of blogs that can give you some great idea for age appropriate chores. Check out my Pinterest board for some ideas!
Next, we created Pom Pom incentive jars, which I let the kids decorate themselves. The concept behind these jars are simple – do a chore, get a pom. Do something nice and get caught displaying good behavior, get another pom. We do this until we fill our jars, which is 25 poms. After that…that get to chose a prize out of the treasure box. They LOVE this! It’s something that is attainable in a short amount of time (about 2-3 days) and they can’t wait to see what mom has added this week to the box! Now, they can also lose a pom for displaying that less than desirable behavior I mentioned above. When starting the incentive jars, I gave more warnings than removing poms, but now they pretty much know what is expected and lose and gain poms more freely.
For the treasure box, I picked up this $3 plastic box from Target and used some stickers to personalize it. The rewards inside are $1 or less items – crayons, stickers, candy, notebooks, and small toys.
After we mastered the chore chart and pom incentive jars, I added in one more step – A Job Jar and a Fun Jar!
The job jar is filled with popsicle sticks with various chores on them – fold laundry, wipe baseboards, organize books, etc… The kids have the choice to grab a “job” out of the jar at anytime and gain a pom pom for doing so – that way they can fill up their jars and get a reward quicker. They love it AND I love getting a little more help with stuff I hate doing! haha!
The Fun Jar is filled with lots of fun stuff to do when their behavior is good! They can pick a stick – go fishing with dad, campfire and smores (both of which we’ve done) date with mom, trip to dollar store, book from Barnes and Noble, etc…. They can pick a stick at the beginning of the week and if by the weekend they have been good all week and have great chore charts and poms, we do the activity! This has been fun for us all! It’s great to work towards a fun activity that we probably would have done anyway…but this way they are “earning” it!
I hope that you’ve found some great ideas to implement into your family from our family! Start simple and add in more components when you are comfortable. Do what works for your family and use the internet to help you! There’s a ton of ideas and inspiration out there!
UPDATE – I’ve posted a list of the jobs/fun items we have in each jar WITH printables to make your life easier!