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Effortless and powerful reward program for little ones


Feb 1, 2024
reward jars

This is, by much, the best and most effective reward program for young children that I have accomplished.  I initial wrote this write-up (and shared it) several years in the past, but it is nevertheless my favourite reward program.

As an elementary trainer and mother of 4, I tried using numerous reward units, but this is the one that performs. Here are some non-toy and non-candy rewards that we like, far too.

This put up contains affiliate inbound links to items that I adore!

I had marbles, stickers, charts…  and then I tried out Cotton Balls in our possess dwelling!  This labored fantastic, and I have made use of them for many years. We started it when our young ones ended up all extremely young, and it has never failed us.

We have 4 young ones, and this has worked with all of them. I have not experienced to stray from this effortless reward program and it never fails me.

Target ON THE Favourable.

 It sets a focus on the constructive factors that your children do. That is why I appreciate it so a great deal. Even their buddies have tried using to generate cotton balls to get residence.  haha!

What is the Target of the Reward Method Jars?

Fill up your jar with cotton balls.  Easy enough, correct?

What Reward Do We Give When They Achieve the Objective? 

Their selection (inside of motive) – NOT AN Item or revenue! They have their decision of Performing something fun… type of like the functions that we do on our “one on 1 time” evenings.

Some ideas that our young ones have carried out in the earlier: Bowling with Dad, Movies with Mother, Movie Night time with pizza and popcorn on the screened-in porch with the family, owning a cousin shell out the night, swimming at evening, keeping up late to view a motion picture with mom and dad, etc…

How is it established up?  

  • Each individual of our kids has a jar.  
  • Each and every jar has a rubber band on it, which serves as a “fill line. “
  • The more mature the child, the larger the rubber band (as an more mature kid, it takes additional cotton balls to get to the fill line, which is when the reward transpires.)
  • As they get more mature (every year), the rubber band moves bigger up (with their increased age will come larger anticipations), until close to six many years outdated, when I remove the rubber band totally and they basically have to fill the jar.
Reward System for Kids

You can make them as I did with the rubber band, or you could use chalkboard paint on your jar & attract on the fill line with chalk so that it is simply moveable as they get more mature.

How does it get the job done? 

  • It requires the children about two weeks to a month to fill up the cotton ball jar since it is a particular point and is not presented for each and every small factor that they do.
  • Although at initial, you will want to make it fill up a minor more quickly so that they are in a position to get their initially reward and have an understanding of it.  Once they do this, they will see what they are operating toward.
  • Remind them when that to start with reward comes “This is mainly because you crammed up your cotton balls!  I’m so happy that you did simply because this is so a lot enjoyable!”
  • Occasionally I will use cotton balls as an incentive: “If you ____, you will receive an added cotton ball nowadays.”  (Functions fantastic for this, but I don’t do this way too usually simply because I don’t want it to drop its authentic intent.)
  • I don’t commonly give them out for accomplishing their chores (see age-suitable chore checklist below).
    These cotton balls are specific and occur when they do a thing that was NOT asked of them.  Sometimes, they will check with, “Can I have a cotton ball for that?”  I judge that respond to dependent on the situation.  For the most part, asking for one doesn’t get you 1.     

How Do They Make Cotton Balls? 

  • They receive a person by carrying out some thing good and unforeseen.
  • A handful of examples involve: 
    • If 1 boy or girl spills their foods/drink and the other helps to clean it up (without the need of being requested!)
    • If I require something from downstairs, they offer you to get it for me (without the need of currently being requested)
    • If I catch them undertaking one thing or Stating anything type to each and every other or to another person else.
    • If they support an individual (without staying requested).

It is uncomplicated and powerful. 
It has not allow me down yet.

When they are toward the finish (with about 5 cotton balls to receive in advance of reaching the fill line), they will be Truly seeking really hard!

An instance of what I mean… 

A handful of several years in the past, two of our youngsters experienced less than two cotton balls to go in their jars ahead of they were crammed … they were being performing every thing to generate them: cleansing their room, finding their brother and sister’s pajamas all set, telling every single other how wonderful they have been, featuring compliments to anyone in the family.
It is so enjoyment to view them get the job done in direction of the “finish line.”  It worked, and they went bowling the up coming day.

What Comes about Right after They Have Stuffed the Jar? 

When they have earned their reward, I vacant the cotton balls from their jars and set them in their ziplock bag and back into the drawer in the kitchen right beneath exactly where I keep the jars. 

I continue to keep the jars on my counter, upcoming to my refrigerator.  It’s not the prettiest placement, but it is very a great deal hidden in the corner of the counter closest to the refrigerator, apart from that the little ones can see it each and every time that they are in the kitchen and they are equipped to continue to keep track of it.

Do You Acquire Cotton Balls Absent

  • No… but Certainly.  I pretty Seldom acquire them away.  In all of the many years of accomplishing this, I can only don’t forget at the time or 2 times when they lost a cotton ball. (For example, when their conduct is incredibly uncalled for, like getting rude or conversing back.)This is a major deal, and they are really upset about it. They work extra tough to ‘earn it back’, which can also be accomplished.
  • I want this jar to be for optimistic issues (gratifying), not for a punishment. Getting the cotton balls away would make it a punishment jar, not a reward jar. Continue to keep the concentration on the optimistic.
  • Just take Notice: If you begin getting them absent typically, you are likely to shed the ‘power’ that this has for the reason that it is heading to acquire them too prolonged to get their intention.
  • I really don’t give out funds or toys for accomplishing perfectly and filling their jar. I want it to be a thing particular with “someone” (top quality time) rather of “something.”


  • DO Some thing NICE–>> GET A COTTON BALL.
  • FILL YOUR JAR->> DO Some thing Distinctive WITH An individual Particular (or even have a sleepover at their grandparents’ or cousin’s household).

How do I make the true jars?

In this article are instructions to make these Diy reward Jars (I built mine from Marinara Sauce Jars)

reward jars

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