Are you looking for ways to reward your child for chores? Reward charts are a great way to keep your child motivated for the task at hand. They also double as a to-do list, where your kids can take pride in reflecting on all the hard work they've accomplished. Here we talk about why reward charts work so well and have included a free template for you to print out and use at home.
How does a reward chart work?
Reward charts are very simple for children to use as they give visible, positive reinforcement. Once you have the chart, your child can look at it to see what they need to do. Then, when they have completed the chore, they get a sticker, a smiley face, or a tick – all positive ways of showing that they’ve done what you asked them to do. Once they get enough ticks on their chart, they get a reward.
Wondering what to reward your kids with, and whether to give your kids money for doing chores? The reward can be anything from a sweet treat to a later bedtime, to money. What’s important is finding a reward that motivates your kids.
How to make a reward chart?
An important thing to remember when making a reward chart is that you want your kid to interact with it. This means making it nice and big so that they can read it easily. A great way to make a reward chart is to print out our free template, and then you and your child can spend time decorating the outside, adding stickers, glitter, or anything else to make your child like it. After all, some kids don’t want to do chores, so encouraging them to get creative and decorate the chart to their personal taste can make chores seem less daunting.
Steps to set up a reward chart
There are a few simple steps to setting up a reward chart that will make the process easy and straightforward:
1. Describe the positive behavior you want to encourage: The first step is to sit down with your child and explain what sort of behavior you would like to see more of. It could be that you want them to tidy their room daily, brush their teeth twice a day, or do their homework as soon as they get home from school. Whatever it is, make sure they are age-appropriate chores for your kids. You also might want to pick a behavior that you want them to work on, like staying calm when they’re angry, or getting dressed quickly in the morning. During this step, it’s important to explain why this behavior is important. For example, if you want them to brush their teeth twice a day, explain it’s important for keeping their teeth healthy.
2. Choose a reward chart: Once you know what behavior you would like to encourage, it’s time to pick a reward chart. Our free printable reward chart is a great option, but you can also find ones online or make your own. The important thing is that the chart is big and easy for your child to see, so they can keep track of their progress. You can add personal touches your child will love, like stickers or glitter, to make the chart more fun. They can even decorate it themselves to associate more positive feelings with it.
3. Choose reward types: Next comes the fun part, the reward. Speak with your child to agree on a reward that will motivate them to do their tasks. This might be more screen time, picking what the family eats for dinner, or a financial reward. In this case, decide how much to pay your child for doing chores. Whatever you choose, make sure it's something that will work as positive reinforcement for your child to keep them on track.
4. Reward positive behavior: When your child tackles their assigned task, make sure to praise them and give them their sticker, tick, or smiley face. Once they’ve collected enough stickers, they get their reward! Make sure to celebrate their achievements along the way to keep them motivated and soon enough doing chores will become a habit.
5. Measure progress with the chart: The chart is also a great way to track your child’s progress over time. See how often they’re doing their tasks and whether they’re struggling with any of them. If you notice this happening, you can sit down with them and talk about what might be getting in the way. Maybe they’re finding the chore too difficult or they don’t understand why it’s important.
6. Stay positive throughout: If your child has a bad day and doesn’t do their task, don’t get angry with them or take away their reward. Just encourage them to try again tomorrow. The goal is to help them build good habits, not to punish them, so make sure your tone and approach stay positive.
With these steps, you'll be able to create an effective reward system for your kids.
Reward chart ideas
Now it’s time to get creative and come up with some fun and unique reward chart ideas. Here are a few of our favorites:
Dot-to-dot reward chart
This is a great option for younger children who are just learning to count. Draw a simple dot-to-dot picture, with each number representing a different task. Once they’ve completed the picture, they get their reward!
A star chart is a classic reward system that’s simple and effective. Write down your child’s task on one side of the chart and give them a star every time they complete it. They can get a reward once they’ve collected a certain number of stars.
Write down each behavior you want to encourage and give your child a sticker or tick every time they do it—until they reach the much-anticipated reward point.
Reward coupon chart
This is a fun option that gives your child a bit more control over their reward. Create a chart with different coupons they can ‘cash in’ for different rewards. For example, one coupon might be for an extra hour of screen time, while another could be for choosing what the family has for dinner.
This is a great option for older children who are starting to learn about money. Create a chart with different values for different chores and add up the points every time they complete a task. Once they’ve reached a certain number of points, they can cash them in for a reward.
Other things to try when reward charts aren’t working
Reward charts are a great way to encourage positive behavior, but they don’t work for everyone. If you find your child isn’t responding to their reward chart, there are a few other things you can try:
- Positive reinforcement: Verbal praise, hugs, and high-fives are all great ways to show your child you’re proud of them. Associating positive emotions with good behavior is a great way to encourage them to keep it up.
- Making it fun: If your child seems to be struggling with tasks, try to make it more fun for them by turning it into a game, adding a competitive element, or letting them choose their own reward.
- Leading by example: If you want your child to develop good habits, make sure you’re setting a good example yourself. Show them how important it is to stay on top of your chores and they’ll be more likely to follow suit.
Chore & allowance app
To encourage good behaviors use an app like GoHenry to set tasks for your child to complete and earn money. This is a great way to teach them the value of work and help them develop good habits. Plus, with a kids' pre-paid debit card, they can easily keep track of their money and spend it safely.
Use a variety of rewards
It’s important to keep things fresh, so make sure you mix up the rewards you offer. This could involve offering different rewards for different tasks, or letting your child choose their own reward from a selection of options. This will keep things interesting and keep your kids stay engaged with the process.
Be more consistent with rewards
If you find your child is struggling to stay motivated, it might be because they’re not seeing the rewards often enough. Make sure you’re consistent and try to offer rewards soon after the task is completed. This will help to reinforce positive behavior and encourage your child to keep up the good work.
A free reward chart template
How can GoHenry help with rewarding?
The GoHenry app lets you set up paid tasks—like a chore list you can use alongside the reward chart. Your kid can look on their GoHenry app and see what tasks you set them. Once they tick off the task, and you confirm it’s done, the money can go straight onto their GoHenry prepaid kids' debit card. You can also set up allowance on repeat with weekly transfers, meaning you can check it off your to-do list for good.