Creative reward ideas? (m)

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-08-2005
Creative reward ideas? (m)
Fri, 01-13-2006 - 3:53pm
my 6yo (1st gr) dd's class take a pretest (spelling) on tuesdays & if they get them all correct, they do not have to take the TEST on fridays. i'm happy to say that dd has only had to take 1 test on a friday so far! well, we reward her every wk for passing her tuesday pretest and it's starting to add up! we usually let her choose a toy at the store, or an ice cream treat. i'd like to be able to give her a dollar or 2 each time & have her save up for something in particular, but money burns a hole in her pocket! any other ideas? thanks
Avatar for lilysmomi
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-01-2003
Fri, 01-13-2006 - 6:48pm

Those monetary rewards really add up, don't they? Our solution to this is to let DD pick an activity or outing that she would like to do with DH and I. We have often spent the afternoon kite flying, sledding, visiting the Science Center, etc. DD loves being the one to choose an activity to share with the family, and she loves having our undivided attention. Her favorite thing in the winter is a "winter picnic". We all wrap up in our warm gear and have hot chocolate and cookies outside on a blanket. We must look a sight, but DD loves it!

Hope that helps!

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-31-2004
Fri, 01-13-2006 - 11:16pm

I LOVE the winter picnic idea!!! We are definitely going to try that if it ever stops raining...

I don't have much to say about the rewards, except just be careful with what reward you choose. :) My son had such a hard time transitioning into Kindergarten last year. He hated to read and he REALLY hated the sight word lists. At one point he crumpled them up and threw them at me! (So glad that phase is over!) In desperation, I told him that every time he passed his sight word list at school, I would take him to Krispy Kreme for a donut! Can you believe that? What an idiot I was! We were going to Krispy Kreme... like... twice a week at one point. The upside is that I now can no longer look at a donut without gagging.... :)

So this year I decided no more! I can't keep coming up with bigger and better rewards. A friend of mine whose children are older then mine was telling me about their rewards - an X-Box game for every A, pony lessons for their third grader, a cell phone for their highschooler... sheesh! At what point do they get to understand the reward for a job well done is... a job well done!

We have the same spelling scenario that you do. They get the list on Monday, take the pre-test on Wednesday and the final test on Friday. If they get 100 percent on the test on Wednesday, then they do not have to take the test on Friday. I thought that not having to take the test on Friday was enough of a reward. I guess that they get extra computer time while the other kids have to take the test. Also the kids who score 100 percent on their tests get a special mention in the weekly class newsletter. I thought that was enough, so I haven't offered anything extra.

For really big tests, like the quarterly test that DS scored a 95 percent on, our whole family went out to a dinner of his choice to celebrate. So we DID reward that. And I also let DS pick out a modest toy after school ended last year to reward him for all of his hard work for the entire year and for doing such a good job in school. (He had gotten a lot better by the end of the school year! Whew!)

So, I guess for this year, I am only rewarding the big stuff. :) If you want to reward the little stuff, you might try getting one of those cool M&M dispensers. They are like a gum ball machine, only you don't need money. Keep it filled with M&Ms and let her help herself on days when she did well in spelling. If I remember correctly, they are kind of fun, because the M&Ms go down this long, twirly tube before they pop out in your anxiously awaiting little hand! :) Maybe she could get one M&M for every word she spelled correctly. Of course, I don't know how many words are on your lists - we have twenty each week, so that would be quite a handful!

Take care,

Susan (the accidental novelist)

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-04-2003
Sat, 01-14-2006 - 12:12pm

I'm going to agree with Susan here, to watch out where rewards for every little thing may take you. Especially for something like a pretest--that's just what you know already; she hasn't even put in any particular effort, right? I feel pretty strongly that rewards, if used, should be only for things that take work, and the rewards should be pretty small. The pride should come from the achievement itself and doing your best, not the external reward. That said, DS (who has ADHD) does "earn" half an hour of computer time on the days he gets a perfect behavior report from his teacher. (This happens no more than once or twice a week.)


iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Fri, 01-20-2006 - 6:23pm

I agree. =)

I will say that the only time I will really "reward" Tre with something is if I've noticed, for example, he has a week of all 100%'s; I will take himm to eh library to look at the science book he really wanted, or maybe go to Barns and Noble to read together. I try to do time-oriented rewards rather than concrete ones.

Other than that, he gets a HUGE smile and a LOT of kisses....from the entire family, along with a mentioning of it at the dinner table to make him realize

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