Summer is HERE. And so are the tantrums, fighting, and proclamations of boredom. I was ready to throw in the beach towel, and we were only one week in!! Something had to be done. After a little creative brainstorming, I decided we needed a rewards system. We've done marbles in a jar, monetary rewards for chores, and other promises of greatness. But this summer I need something motivating and simple. I had been thinking about the fair coming up in August, and it dawned on me: RED TICKETS. I ran to Walmart and came home with a gigantic roll of red tickets. The kids were speechless for the first time in a week. "How do we earn them?" they implored. "I will share with you all of my secrets," I promised, and set about making this system work for us.
First, I gave them each an envelope for ticket storage, and found a big jar for "payments." Then we came up with a mutually agreed-upon system. You want to watch TV? Pay the jar 1 ticket per show. You want to go to a friend's house? 5 tickets. Family movie night or snow cones on mom? 10 tickets. Go to a movie? 50 tickets. Trip to the museum? 100 tickets...and so on. And they have to work for these rewards! 1 ticket for every 10 minutes of reading. Picking up toys, 5 tickets, etc. Some rewards and payments are set in stone (they HAVE to read at least 20 minutes a day, but my 9 year old is now averaging about 70 minutes in order to earn an many tickets as are humanly possible). But I also can use these tickets to keep them in line while, oh, say, having to shop for summer clothes with all three kids in tow. "You keep playing hide and seek in the racks, and that's going to cost you 10 tickets!" Boom. Angels. And if they are extra helpful and go above and beyond, they earn bonus tickets! Helping with little Lena (2) has earned Finn (9) and Maya (7) quite a few tickets to pad their envelopes. We even have a Friday Toy Chest where they can choose a 5 Ticket Toy from a treasure bin (thank you Dollar Store). It's the perfect motivation to keep everyone on track this summer! What's working for YOU? :)
I've whipped up some ticket charts for you to use! You can download them for free HERE.