Just as adults like to be rewarded for a job well done, children should be rewarded as well. Despite the fact that many children take an active interest in learning and getting high marks on their own, positive reinforcement is essential to maintain this interest over long periods of time. One aspect of parenting is providing this leadership and motivation through an effective reward system. Still, many parents feel concerned about just giving their children money as a reward for good behavior or grades. Fortunately, there are several creative ways of rewarding children for good grades without handing over cash. Here are 10 creative reward ideas for kids that are small, cheap, and fun!
10 Fun Rewards For Kids
1. Verbal Acknowledgement
Never discount the strength of saying a few kind words. Saying, “Great job on your hard work,” giving a hug, or throwing up a hand for a high five are all great ways to encourage your child’s strengths. Your child should never doubt how capable he or she is, especially when it comes to how you feel about his or her capabilities. In addition, you can hang up the report card or project on the refrigerator for others to see and comment on and so they know you are proud. These are small rewards for kids but ones that really count big time. We all like to feel appreciated.
2. Create A Savings Account
You might not want to hand money over to younger children, but you might consider putting it in a savings account that your child can watch grow. This practice will ensure your child has a good chunk of change saved by the time they graduate to buy a car, pay for college, or rent an apartment for a couple months. Ten dollars here and there really adds up over time!
3. Special Time
If you have several children, consider taking a day to spend a fun day with just the child you want to reward. Take a day trip just an hour away and do something fun. Go to the zoo or spend time at the beach. Quality time is one of the best reward ideas for kids because it deepens your bond and shows them you care.
4. Later Bedtime or Extra Screen Time
As children grow more responsible, many parents choose to increase the privileges they receive. You might increase the time your child gets to spend on the computer, playing video games or watching television by 15 or 30 minutes. You may want to grant an extra 30 minutes to older children before bedtime or a short curfew expansion. This is a great way to acknowledge that your child has been living up to responsibilities and expectations. On the flip side, your child should realize that privileges can be lost if they stop applying themselves to their studies or act irresponsibly.
Books make a great reward for children who love to read. Rewarding good grades with a book encourages further education and they can take pride in owning the book. We normally go to the library for books. However, when they are doing well in school, we take a trip to the bookstore as a reward. The second hand book stores are incredibly reasonable so books make great small rewards for kids.
6. Family Night
If you have a planned family night, allow your child to choose the activity and menu for the night. Some fun ideas include a family game night, movie night, or miniature golf along with a pizza party and ice cream sundaes or s’mores. Celebrating with a family night allows the whole family to be involved in rewarding your child for their hard work. This is one of the fun rewards for kids that they will cherish.
7. Dinner of Their Choice
Whatever they decide to have for dinner, they get, no exceptions. If they only want to eat cake and ice cream, that’s fine. Kids find it enjoyable to break out of the ordinary, every day rules and do the unexpected. Let them have fun with it for one meal. Having cake for dinner one night won’t ruin them and will remind them how special they are. It is a cheap reward for kids that they are sure to love.
8. Give Them a Special Hobby Gift
This has the opportunity to be one of the most meaningful reward ideas for kids. Is there something your child has been wanting or wish they had more of? Acknowledge their hard work with a special gift. Art supplies or other hobby/craft supplies they enjoy will not only reward them but also inspire their creativity. Furthermore, knowing that they’ll get something they really want if they continue to do good, will keep them working hard.
9. Give Them a Week Off
What kid enjoys doing chores? None that I know of! Reward your child for their hard work by giving them a week off from doing any chores. Tell your child that they don’t have to make their bed, pick up their clothes, or any of the other chores they’re usually assigned. Let them off the hook and give them a week off from any extra work around the house. This just may be one of their favorite rewards for kids!
10. Plan a Scavenger Hunt
Reward your child with a special surprise or gift for their hard work, but make them work for it. Create a scavenger hunt where they have to solve puzzles and riddles to find their surprise. They’ll enjoy the search almost as much as the surprise itself.
In addition, make sure you reward your child for even the small achievements like consistently doing their homework without you having to ask them to do so. You may find a reward chart with stickers motivates your child to continue working hard on a day-to-day basis. Kids naturally yearn for parental approval. Show them that you value hard work and education through your words and your actions. Which of these reward ideas for kids do you think your child will enjoy the most?