You’ve probably heard of positive reinforcement. It’s the idea of rewarding or praising the behaviors you want your kids to have, which in turn decreases the number of unwanted behaviors.

But did you know this?

Every kid is different. (Shocker, right?) What works for one kid may not always work for the next.

Working as a pediatric occupational therapist in a former life, I had to get quite creative to come up with reward ideas that motivated all different types of kids of different ages with different personalities. Sometimes these rewards are “things” (stickers or small prizes) and sometimes they are things they get to do.

Over time, I’ve compiled a list of these rewards, seen below. Hopefully you can put a few of these into practice and see which ones work for your family! These can be tweaked as needed to fit your needs. Once you figure out what motivates your child, then you will hopefully be able to use these rewards to reinforce those wanted behaviors! And without further ado, the list!

Reward Ideas For Kids:

  1. 10 minutes (or 5 or 15 or whatever works for your family) of extra screen time
  2. Add one item to the grocery list (maybe a favorite cereal or certain type of drink)
  3. 30 minutes of one-on-one time with mom or dad
  4. Stay up 15 minutes (or however long works for you) past bedtime
  5. Pick a movie to watch
  6. Cool stickers
  7. Get out of one chore
  8. Have a picnic lunch (indoors or outdoors)
  9. Pick what food to have for one meal of the day
  10. Choose a board game to play
  11. One extra bedtime story/song/whatever else your bedtime routine entails
  12. Go on a date night with mom or dad
  13. Pieces of candy
  14. Trip to the park
  15. Money!
  16. Sleepover at grandma’s
  17. Pick a restaurant for dinner
  18. Pizza night
  19. A new book
  20. Get ice cream
  21. Have a dance party
  22. Watch a favorite TV show
  23. Bouncy ball
  24. Playdate with a friend
  25. Go bowling
  26. Gum
  27. Trip to play place (Chuck E Cheese, Little Monkey Bizness, etc.)
  28. Make a fun craft together
  29. Living room camp out
  30. Dollar store toy
  31. Make the rules for a day (or hour, or whatever works for your family)
  32. New outfit or shoes
  33. Bubbles
  34. Bake cookies
  35. Small Lego set
  36. Visit child’s favorite store (toy store or comic shop, etc.)
  37. Stop for hot chocolate
  38. Build a fort
  39. Fun socks
  40. Mini golf
  41. Extra treat in lunchbox for school
  42. Special pen or pencil
  43. Pajama day all day
  44. Different snack foods than usual
  45. Help cook a meal
  46. Bubble bath/bath bomb
  47. Go to the zoo
  48. Kid’s choice!
  49. Swimming
  50. Eat dinner backwards (start with dessert!)