I'm always looking for new ways to help keep my kids motivated to get things done. We've used chore charts for a long time, and we still do because they work really well. But I wanted something a little more. We've done fuzzy jars that you fill up with fuzzy balls when you do good things and then once it's full you get a prize of some sort. At the kids school, the teachers give out "Hawk High Fives" which is just a piece of paper that kids will get when they're on task or going above and beyond etc and my kids seem to respond well with that so we thought we'd try something similar at home.
Scott created these, "Smith Star" cards that Jane and I colored and laminated.
When the kids are on task or doing something above and beyond I will write their name on a star with a dry erase marker, along with what they did like, "Service" or "on task" or "responsible" etc, and give it to them. They keep them in an envelope and once they get 20 they can turn them in for a "Bedtime Pass" which is something we've given to them for Christmas stocking stuffers and Easter basket fillers over the past couple of years that they love. They can turn in their bed time pass when there is not school the next day, and stay up later with mom and dad and watch a movie that they choose from either Redbox or the library and we'll make popcorn. They love it and I love that it's very inexpensive and we get to have some extra one-on-one time together.
When we were visiting our friends in Utah, Maren had a chore jar (or something like it) and I loved the idea so we've made something similar. This jar/mug is full of popsicle sticks that each have a chore written on them. If a child is causing problems or isn't listening we'll ask them to go pull a chore from the jar and complete it because well, we think they need something more to do with their time that is productive. It helps them get back on track.
So here they are, our new chores and reward system strategies(we keep this on the kitchen counter for easy access since we basically live in there):
And our old and tried and true chore chart which we keep on the fridge:
I was shocked and amazed when on day 2 of using these, our son came straight in from school, at a quick snack, cleaned up, jumped on the piano and practiced for 30 minutes and then went straight to the kitchen table to do his homework! He got a star for sure, and then because he finished up so quick he had time to go outside and play before dad got home and we had dinner. If only this happened every day....I'm hoping it will happen a lot more often with some of our new reward systems in place. I'll try and remember to post an update next month.