Sometimes it can feel like a losing battle to ask children to do their chores or demonstrate good behavior. Parents can feel frustrated if their child doesn’t improve their behavior despite multiple requests to do so. A reward chart could be the solution you’ve been looking for.

Reward charts are an easy way to motivate children to complete tasks and behave well, using a positive reinforcement system. They are simple to create and use, letting children know that they will be rewarded for their efforts. Rewards can come in all shapes and sizes too, from fun stickers to larger gifts.

As a teacher, I’ve used a similar system as part of my classroom management system, and students have always responded well to a reward chart. It helps to motivate and encourage students to always do their best and show good behavior in class, and I’m certain that parents will benefit from using a reward chart regularly.

You can download our free printable reward charts to begin encouraging your children to do their chores and demonstrate good behavior in a fun and engaging way.

Reward Charts

What is a Reward Chart?

A reward chart for kids is a chart used to motivate children and encourage positive behavior, through the use of rewards. Positive reinforcement can be a highly useful tool to ensure that kids are following through with tasks. Children typically respond well to praise and a reward chart clearly shows that completing a task will be met with a reward.

Reward charts follow a simple design structure. The days of the week are positioned at the top as columns, with the different tasks listed horizontally. Children can tick the corresponding box when they have successfully completed a task or improved their behavior, which helps you to record how their behavior is progressing. Many reward charts will have a box at the end highlighting what the reward is, but some charts don’t contain this. The beauty of a reward chart is how easy it is to customize, and you can tailor our printable reward chart to suit your children and their interests.

Reward Chart Templates

Benefits of a Reward Chart

A rewards chart, when used regularly, offers a whole host of benefits, not only for your child but also for you as a parent, too.

  • Positive Reinforcement to Encourage Positive Behavior
    A rewards chart uses positive reinforcement to encourage kids to behave well and complete tasks. This is a traditional method used by parents and teachers to improve behavior. And it works.
    Reward charts give kids something to work towards. If a child knows that if they don’t clean their room they won’t receive a reward, for example, then they can begin to improve this behavior. Having an achievable goal is a simple way to keep kids motivated and encourages positive behavior.
    Reward charts can motivate kids to designate time to complete tasks, too, helping to improve their time management skills. It also ensures that kids are praised for their hard work and effort, which is a great way to build a strong relationship with your child.
    However, it is important to reward kids as soon as they complete a task, to help reinforce the positive consequences of their actions. The reward chart should not be used as a way to punish kids, either. If a child does not complete a task, they don’t need to be severely punished for it. Instead, you can gently remind them of the reward chart to help encourage them in the future.
  • Reward Charts Improve Kids’ Skills and Self-Esteem
    Having designated tasks for your child to complete is a great way to improve their skills at a young age. Tasks such as doing homework encourage self-discipline while making their bed in the morning encourages them to look after their space independently. For younger children, all kinds of household chores can improve gross and fine motor skills, too.
    Achieving rewards for their hard work can also improve kids’ self-esteem. Instead of being punished or continually told to complete tasks, children will develop a better sense of self by building their independence and being praised for their efforts. This will encourage them to continue working hard later in life.
    It is important to note that children should not be ‘over-praised’ and given extravagant gifts for small tasks, as this can only make them have high expectations when they’re older and in the workplace, for example. However, a small reward can go a long way when encouraging your kids to demonstrate good behavior.
  • Reward Charts are Visual and Interactive
    One of the benefits of using a reward chart for kids is how interactive it is. It is designed to be interacted with and is used as a visual reminder of tasks that a child has to complete. When kids see something visually like this, it can encourage them to ‘tick it off’ and get things done. Even as an adult, I find there’s a real joy in ticking things off of my to-do list, and a rewards chart works in the same motivating fashion.
    You can also easily download, edit and customize the reward chart to look visually appealing for your child. For example, if your child loves superheroes, you can use a reward chart template and edit it to include images of superheroes they like. This will help your child to be motivated and further engage with the reward chart.
  • Rewards are fun!
    Who doesn’t love getting a reward? Whether it’s cool stickers or ice cream, rewards are just plain fun, and the prospect of a prize like this is usually enough to entice kids to complete their chores or achieve their behavior goal.

What to Include on a Reward Chart for Kids

Our free printable reward charts include different layouts for you to use. Whilst each reward chart template is customizable, there are some key features that should be included so you can make the most of this useful tool and ensure that your child’s behavior improves.

  • Features of a Reward Chart for Kids
    Boxes with tasks for your child to complete. Each task should be as specific as possible to remove any confusion, such as ‘brush your teeth twice a day, in the morning and at night,’ instead of just ‘brush your teeth.’ Kids can tick the box when they have completed the task.
    Days of the week or times of the day. Depending on if you are using a weekly or daily reward chart, there should be columns representing the days of the week or different times of the day.
  • Additional Features to Include in a Rewards Chart
    Fun images and colors. This will make the reward chart more visually appealing for kids.
    A reward box. This will be at the end of each row and can include the reward for completing that task. It may say ‘stickers’ or ‘candy,’ depending on how difficult the task is.
  • What behaviors should you include?
    If your child struggles to complete chores without being constantly reminded, then this part of the rewards chart requires no explanation.
    However, it is important to remember that tasks should be age-appropriate and specific to ensure maximum results. This also ensures that children can achieve their behavior goals and not lose motivation.
    Behaviors or chores could include:
    Make my bed after waking up
    Brush my teeth twice a day, in the morning and at night
    Keep my room clean every day
    Put my toys away after playing
    If there is a specific behavior that you want to focus on, such as getting your child to stop swearing, then this could also be listed on the reward chart in a positive way, such as ‘Speak nicely to others and use kind words.’
  • What rewards should you give?
    There are a variety of factors that will help you to decide what kind of reward to give to your child, such as their age, ability, and the difficulty of the task.
    Rewards can also be short-term or long-term rewards. For example, a short-term reward would be given to the child as soon as they complete a task, whilst a long-term reward will be awarded after a period of completing a specific task or behavior for a longer period, such as a whole month. For long-term rewards, the rewards should be bigger to reward your child for their consistent hard work.
  • Short-Term Rewards
    For short-term rewards, stickers or stars are always a successful choice, and children love having cool stickers. Stickers related to their interests are a bonus, and children can collect stickers as their behavior improves.
    I have used stickers and gold stars in the classroom for years to praise good behavior, and students are always pleased to receive stickers or stars. It’s a small gesture that can really go a long way.
    Candy or ice cream is also a good option, as it’s affordable and reminds kids that these foods are a special treat.
  • Long-Term Rewards
    If the task was particularly hard for your child, such as doing their homework every night for a whole month, then you could offer a long-term reward. An example of this would be going to the movies, going out for dinner, getting new toys, or a video game. Whilst this does require more of your extra time, long-term rewards are beneficial in seeing long-term progress when it comes to your child’s behavior.
    Remember not to make the rewards too extravagant. Not only does this suggest to your child that they will be highly rewarded with treats on a constant basis, but it will also become an expensive chore for you as a parent to be finding luxurious gifts all the time.

Reward Charts For Kids

How to Create a Reward Chart for Kids

You can easily print one of our kids’ reward charts to begin completing your reward chart for your child. However, if you choose to make a reward chart yourself, I’ve outlined the process for you.

You can make a rewards chart using an online tool, such as Google Slides or Microsoft PowerPoint, or simply using paper and pen.

  1. Create the structure for your reward chart. Add the task boxes in rows, and the days of the week or times of the day in columns as a foundation for your reward chart. From there, you can begin filling in the information.
  2. Choose the chores or behavior you want your child to complete and add them to the task boxes. Remember to keep behaviors or chores as specific as possible.
  3. Choose rewards carefully. Rewards will depend on whether the task or behavior is to be completed over the short term or long term. Stickers and stars work great for the short term, but consider whether this will work as a long-term reward. It’s also essential to not promise rewards that you can’t actually give, as this will only create a negative perception of you in your child’s mind, as being untrustworthy and unreliable.
  4. Customize the reward chart. Using color and images effectively can help to brighten the chart and even make it seem like a game for kids. This works particularly well for younger children. You can use images related to your child’s interests as an effective way to encourage helpful behavior. Depending on how artistic you are, you could draw or print images to add to the reward chart.
  5. Stick the reward chart in a suitable place. This should be somewhere that your child frequently sees, such as on their bedroom door or on the fridge.

Reward Chart Examples

Encourage Positive Behaviors and Download a Free Reward Chart Printable for Kids

There are many different approaches that parents take when it comes to promoting good behavior, and a rewards chart is definitely worth trying if your child is lacking in motivation.

Reward charts work by reinforcing positive behavior, and whilst intrinsic motivation is great for getting children to work hard, a rewards chart is a fun and helpful way to keep your child engaged and on track with their behavior progress. Purchasing a pack of stickers and stars is a great place to start giving rewards and using the reward chart regularly. You can download a free printable reward chart for kids to help ease the stress of behavior management.

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Tagged:ChartsKidsRewardReward Charts
TemplateLab August 23rd, 2023
Eleanor Griffiths
Eleanor Griffiths