Keeping our little ones on track can sometimes take a little bit of strategic planning. A positive behavior plan can often be the solution; and with summer coming to an end, it is important to get back into routines that will encourage organization and responsibility. Finding out exactly what motivates them to make good choices, do their chores, or improve a specific behavior is the first step in designing a behavior incentive plan. For us, using a treasure box incentive plan is a huge help!
Treasure Box Incentive Behavior Plan for Home
- treasure box
- stickers or play money
- choice cards and/or
- tangible treasures
I found our treasure box at a home decorating store, but you can certainly repurpose a box found around your home. Decorating it with your child can also be a fun activity that will promote pride and ownership of the treasure box.
I like to keep my plan as simple and positive as possible. If I can slip in a teachable moment, even better!
We decided as a family to limit tangible treasures and focus more on activities that are both cost effective and at the top of our preschooler’s list for fun. For example, a few of our treasure choice cards include activities such as going to the local pond to feed the ducks, a sleepover in Mommy and Daddy’s “big bed,” or baking a favorite treat.
However, I will occasionally buy a small treasure in the checkout line when out and about shopping. (I’m sure you’ve experienced the bombardment of checkout line purchases!)
Implementing Your Incentive Plan
Depending on the age of your preschooler, you may decide to utilize a sticker chart or play money. If your preschooler is ready and eager to learn about money, this could be an excellent opportunity to introduce math vocabulary such as “how much more,” basic monetary values, and simple addition.
Decide what value you want to place on each “treasure.” I chose to make sleeping in our bed ten dollars, whereas the majority of the choice card treasures cost five dollars. I simply wrote the purchase price on the back of the choice card. If my preschooler chooses to save up for a big treasure purchase, I like to take the opportunity to show her how to evenly exchange smaller bills for larger ones.
Finally decide what behaviors will earn money (or stickers) toward treasures. You can choose to give treasure box credit for a variety of things depending on your behavioral goals for your child. However, if there is a specific behavior you are trying to emphasize it might be helpful to just choose that behavior for a while until the behavior becomes a habit.
You might give credit for:
- modeling a desired behavior (going to bed promptly, using a calm voice when frustrated, etc)
- completing chores
- general acts of kindness toward siblings or others
However you choose to implement your plan, be sure that it is something you can easily follow through with. Have fun catching your little one making good choices and find lots of positive praise moments!