I've been wanting to do a "rewards" system of some sort for Jake (4 1/2 yrs old) for quite a while now. I've asked around and have read a lot of good ideas, but none really spoke "Jake" to me.
I was reading through the Sears "Discipline Book" the other day. I've found I don't really like a lot of what the Sears have to say... wish I did... but I just find that I don't. Anyway, in this book I saw a version of this that made a lighbulb go off in my head!
Jake rarely asks for stuff. He's just not like that. Heck, he'll play with random household items and be perfectly happy. When we go to the gym they both like to stop and watch guys playing basketball. He's been trying to dribble lately and asking to shoot hoops! (Swoon, he likes basketball! yay!) The ball he's been trying with is flat, so that makes dribbling really hard... and we don't have a hoop. He actually asked for a basketball & hoop!
I decided to do an outline of connect the dots... each time he's "caught" being good, the gets to connect another set of dots. Once his connect the dots hoop is complete, he'll get a hoop! He's been "caught" sharing with Evan, picking up toys without being asked, feeding the cat & dog, etc...
I used one 8x10 piece of paper, a pencil for dot making, sharpie for the final dot making, scissors and glue.
When I presented him with it, he was very excited. It's been a week now and he only has 2 more dots to go! It's also helped with him wanting to hold a pencil (which is something he has only a low interest in) and in planning ahead for where he wants the pencil to go!
While it's not realistic to get a big toy all the time, it was something we were pondering to get anyway. Plus I think it was a good introduction to a rewards chart. Next I think it'll be something good/chores related with stickers and so many stickers get you a special treat with just Mama or Daddy (like ice cream or something simple).