Magnetic Moves

Using Rewards

Our activity and routine charts include several fun star reward tiles which offer parents an opportunity to acknowledge good behaviour

Why do we reward

We all like to be recognised for the things we do well and children are no exception. Children like to please others and to be recognised for their good behaviour or attempts to do a task. Giving positive feedback in the form of a reward is a way of showing children that what they have done has been noticed and appreciated. It is a way of encouraging them to do it again as well as promoting their self esteem and confidence.

What can we reward?

Rewards don’t have to be for the achievement of a new task. Consider rewarding your child for being good at doing what they always do. If getting dressed always goes smoothly in your home, let your child know that you see all the good work they put into this activity by rewarding them with a star. Reward children for trying, not just achieving. Some tasks are difficult for little kids to do consistently and some days are going to be better than others. Let your child know that you see how hard they are trying. Reward children for working towards and achieving a goal. Tying shoelaces, eating with a knife and fork, playing well for the whole of playgroup time, sitting quietly while mum is on the phone…

These can all be things that a child works towards. They may not get them right the first couple of times, but it is certainly time for celebration when they do. Reward children for incidental behaviour. There will be activities in your day which do not register on your Magnetic Moves chart.Using good manners, speaking clearly, making a kind gesture, sharing or general good behaviour are all things which may occur throughout the course of a day. These are things which children may not be looking to be acknowledged for, so it is an extra boost to them when they are rewarded.

How can we reward?

The very act of moving an activity tile to the “done” side of their Magnetic Moves chart is a reward in itself for younger children. Additionally, My Busy Day magnetic chart offers four reward stars for younger children. There are several different ways to offer these stars to children throughout any day. Here are some suggestions:

  • One star for the completion, achievement of, or attempt at, a specific activity
  • One star for good general behaviour in the morning
  • One star for good general behaviour in the afternoon
  • One star for good behaviour during a specific outing or play date
  • Work towards four stars in one day or four stars over a few days
  • Choose one activity for which a reward star may be offered (eg good behaviour in the car) and work towards four stars over two or four days (depending on the age of your child).
  • You may choose to have a larger reward once all four stars have been acquired.

Remember to tell you child what it is that they have done well. Praise and positive words are just as important.

“You’ve done a great job” “I’m really proud of you”

“I like how you got dressed so quickly”

“It won’t be long until you’re doing this all by yourself”

“We’ll have to tell dad about how clever you are”

“Wow, you’re amazing” “I love you” “Bravo”

“Good job” “You’re a good friend” “Great listening”

For young kids non-tangible rewards are highly valued. These might include:

  • Swinging up in a parent’s arms for an “aeroplane ride”.
  • Special reading or cuddle time
  • Being able to call a special relative on the phone
  • Playing a favourite game
  • Watching a favourite movie or TV show together
  • Choosing their favourite dish for dinner

Older children (Primary School Age)

For school age children, “My Busy School Week” magnetic chart offers five reward stars. These can be used as one for each day of the school week or may be used in a similar manner to the suggestions for “My Busy Day” magnetic chart.


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