This page gives information on how to successfully use reward charts for toddlers. Reward charts are also sometimes called star charts and they are very helpful for modifying child behavior.
To read more on toddler behavior, click here (opens in a new page).
The principles of using reward charts are the same for all ages. They are:
I think one of the big advantages of rewards charts for toddlers is that progress is documented. It is always good to see how far you have come and reward charts show that progress.
They are also a very visual way for your child to be aware of behaviors you find desirable.
Remember that behavior modification works best when there is positive reinforcement for behaviors you want and undesirable behaviors are ignored - read more.
You can easily make your own reward chart although there are charts available online that you can pay for.
To make your own, get a piece of A4 paper and place it long ways. Starting from the right, divide into 7 columns of 3 cm each and the one on the far left will be about 8cm. Then divide into 5 rows of about 4 cm each. Then put the days and weeks in the chart like the one below. In the space with Week 1, write the goal of the week. Make it clear for your child so you might even want to put a picture of your child doing the activity (sitting on the potty, for example). Let your child choose the stickers that are put in the day space if achieved - let your child put them on. It might just be a star or a pretty pink fairy.
For some goals, you might want to break the day up into morning, afternoon, and evening (rather than the week 1,2 and 3). It's completely up to you but the table below is an example of how reward charts for toddlers might appear.
You can right click the table below and export to Microsoft Excel. You can then fill in the goals or if you want a potty training reward chart, download the second table.
An example of a toilet training chart is shown below (you can export to an Excel file by right-clicking on the table).
You might want to laminate the page so it is more hardy and lasts the distance.
It depends on the child and what you want to achieve. Below are some examples and the steps you could use:
For reward charts to be successful, your toddler needs to understand that the reward is for the desired behavior. Reward charts have been successfully used for potty training toddlers so that could be from about 2 years depending on your child.
Remember the younger your child, the simpler the chart needs to be. By definition then, reward charts for toddlers need to be simple.
Last reviewed 1 June 2011
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