Preschool Reward System

I have made it no secret that life with my Olivia has been tough, but wonderful.  She is smart and strong and strong-willed, nearly to a fault.  My parents would say, "There is justice in the world!"  Apparently, I was a strong-willed child as well.  Hmm-f.

My darling child.  Sweet as can be, and then can turn into a vicious little snake.  Stubborn and mean.  I love her more than my heart can hold, and yet there have been many days when I have come to the end of my rope with her.  I'm sure other moms out there can relate, and if your little one isn't there yet, hold on to your butts.

I saw a picture on Pinterest that a teacher friend has re-pinned.  The teacher used colored yarn balls to reward her table groups.  Once the jar was full, the group earned a prize.  It promoted a fun competition among the students, and provided a fun, visual gauge for how close (or far) they were to their prize.

We are members of the Minnesota Children's Museum.  If you're ever in town, I highly recommend it!  They are holding a Saturday breakfast in June with Curious George, himself.  Of course, Liv HAD to go.  I wanted her to, but because she wanted it so badly, I thought it would be a good thing for her to try and earn.

For lack of anything better to call it, the system has been donned "The Puff Ball Jar."  For every good, nice thing she does, she gets a ball.  A naughty act threatens one from being taken away (only once - she called her dad "stupid" in a fit.  She eventually apologized and earned the precious puff to be returned to the jar.)

One basic candle jar from the dollar store and a pack of crafting puffy things from Michaels.  I wish there was a better "tutorial" for it, but sometimes, it's just that simple.

As a testament to its success, I'll give the example of Night #1.  I have given birth to the world's greatest bedtime staler.  Bathroom trips, extra hugs and kisses, sore knees and "just one more thing mom."  Thankfully, once she's asleep, she's ASLEEP - refer to {this post}, it's the falling asleep thing that can take some time.  The first night, I promised her that if she stayed in bed all night, and didn't come out once...and she didn't.  We could hear her talking and reading books to herself, but she stayed quiet, and more importantly, stayed in her room.

Granted, this has not been a magic switch for us.  We still have screaming, strong-willed moments.  But it's worked for a little bit anyways, and I'll take it (as I'm writing this after she's gone down and I hear no little feet scampering around upstairs).  She's already picked her second prize - a tie-dyed dress at the farmer's market.  

Besides, the tickets are bought, so one way or another, we're going.  Not sure we can "scalp" tickets to the Curious George breakfast,  so hopefully she makes it.


♥ Shar said...

How cute!
What a great idea!

Have a happy weekend!

xoxo -Shar

Veronica Lee said...

Love the idea!

Hi! Stopping by from MBC. Great blog!
Have a nice day!

mom FITting it all in said...

Ahh yes I have that bedtime lagger. Talking, bathroom, mom you forgot my hug, I want a high five - geez kids I love you but please!!!

I will have to try this. What kind of prize???

Jess@Coxs Corner said...

I saw your link over at 52 mantels and I'm so glad that I did! What a fabulous idea! I'm definitely going to have to give it a shot!

Alyson @Eisley Rae said...

This is such a cute idea! I'm here from the shop hop at Bonnie's blog. I might have to try this for my strong willed toddler boy! haha

Leslie Harris said...

I love this idea--and it's much nicer (and more visual) for the little ones. I used to hate (yes, right word) my son's kindergarten class system. They got "happy day" tickets when they had "good behavior," and I thought it sent them a confusing message about happiness.

Leslie Harris said...

opps, forget to mention that I found you on the Aloha Friday blog hop today. I'm Leslie @ Gwen Moss blog (the decision that changed my life)

greatgaunts said...

We use a reward system like this at home with the poms in a jar - we nicknamed it the Star Jar. :) Glad I came across your blog via Bear Rabbit Bear! Thanks! -Mrs. G.

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