With Christmas, Epiphany, and Valentine’s day out of the way, I was running out of excuses to buy toys for Toddler Boy. There just weren’t any reasons to lay down money on big toys until at least Easter, and even that’s not a reason for most parents. I was also still struggling with getting him to clean things up, brushing his own teeth, and getting dressed by himself. That’s when I decided to start the sticker chart.
And it works! Toddler Boy has been wanting as Pop Up Pals Amusement Park for about a month now, which is a pretty expensive toy, and so I figured that a month of sticker earning would be a good measure for him to earn it. So we used a ruler, markers, and construction paper to make the sticker chart, and as we made it, I explained to him that every time he does something good, he gets to put a sticker on the chart, and every time he does something bad, I take one away. I also explained that once he earns enough sticker to fill up one row, he gets to go to the toy store and choose a toy.
Right after we made the sticker chart, we took a trip to the store and picked out special stickers! Toddler Boy picked out some Spongebob stickers for himself (The were no Blue’s Clues), and he picked out some Hello Kitty stickers for Baby Girl.
This system also works as a teaching tool of teaching a young toddler the concept of working for what he wants. He helps cleans his room to earn stickers, which earn him a toy. Later on this transcends into the allowance system, which later in life hopefully helps to develop good working skills. Hopefully!
Toddler Boy loves it, too. When I tell him he’ll get a sticker if he puts on his whole outfit in the morning, he hurries up and gets dressed, and is so proud of himself thereafter. If he knows he’s gonna lose a sticker for acting up in church, it encourages him to cool down. Of course, Toddler Boy is only human, so sometimes, he just isn’t having it and he indeed loses a sticker. And when we come home, I explain to him that because he didn’t cooperate in church, I am taking off a sticker. He gets upset about it, but hopefully he will learn the ends to the mean, and his behavior will improve.
I sometimes use this as a two-step method. If he doesn’t stop jumping on the bed after I’ve told him repeatedly to stop, I’ll put him in the corner. If he still acts up, he also loses a sticker. And to him, that is the end of the world.
The cleaning up routine has improved 100 percent since starting the sticker chart. I still have to tell him a couple times to clean certain things and walk him through different steps of the clean up process (For example, Leggos go in the red bin, and blocks go in the green bin, etc.), but he is getting better every day because of it, and definitely learning organization. And just this weekend, he earned enough stickers to get the toy he wanted! It took about a month because he would earn some and then lose them all in the same day (A looooong day).
We made a sticker chart for Baby Girl too, just for fun, but she still doesn’t quit get it yet (She’s not yet two). And, even though it’s fun to make the sticker chart together, I’ve attached a JPEG of a sticker chart I made quickly that you can use!