Easy DIY Prize Chart and Bucket

Prize charts are great for a variety of things. Because getting kids to obey or develop good habits is hard! (Adults too, but sticker charts are a bit more effective with kids…) Whether it’s potty training, bedtime struggles, eating well, or obeying quickly, a reward chart can help a lot.
In the past, I’ve disliked reward charts because I don’t want to reward behavior that should be expected anyway. But for behaviors to be learned, they have to be taught, and a prize chart is a great way to celebrate behaviors as they are learned.

DIY prize chart

Our reward chart is simple:

  1. Get a sticker for something I consider sticker worthy.
  2. 5 stickers fill up a sticker line, then you get a prize. And do a happy dance. 
  3. Start a new line.
  4. Was that easy enough?

DIY prize chart

Things I currently consider sticker worthy:

  • Doing the bedtime routine nicely
  • Going to sleep without whining or coming out repeatedly
  • Playing together without fighting
  • Eating all the food on the plate without whining
  • Sharing a beloved toy
  • Going to quiet time nicely
  • Potty successes for the 2 year old
  • Other things become sticker-worthy on the spot. It’s bribery, and I’m ok with it.
  • As good behaviors become a habit, those things won’t be recognized as needing a sticker anymore and other things will take their place.

Reasons to earn stickers depend on my kid’s age and behavior. Some they earn for the same reasons, some for specific goals related to each child. For example, the 2-year-old gets stickers for potty training successes, where the 4-year-old only gets them for not peeing in bed. 

The first few days we made a big deal out of each sticker-worthy act, mainly as encouragement to improve our bedtime routine. Now it’s more of a background thing that can be brought up when they remember or I want to reward a behavior (or bribe them to to do something).
DIY prize chart

The Prize Bucket

Think cheap so you don’t go broke in the process. We got stickers, buckets, and a variety of little toys and treats to use as prizes. I also found forgotten toys around the house to be revived by the prize bucket. Micah was super excited to find a Nuby Tug Boat in his prize bucket today.

DIY prize chart

This sticker/reward system works great for my 4-year-old. It’s a bit hard for the 2.5-year-old to grasp but she understands that doing things nicely and obeying lead to rewards.

Moms and dads, any other suggestions for great stickers charts?

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