Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Morning Stickers

This is the latest project in our house:

Allow me to explain.

Most of you know how I feel about mornings.  Well, I finally got tired of barking at the kids all morning while they sauntered about and the veins in my head threatened to explode.  

So I decided to try sticker charts for the boys to motivate them.

I used Microsoft PowerPoint to create each boy's chart.  I used Google to find the images.  Here's what they look like:

Nolan can read the time on a regular (non-digital) clock, and Griffin knows to look at the minute hand.  I put the digital time next to each clock to help Griffin associate the time with what the clock looks like.

Nolan gets dressed first thing when he wakes up, so I don't have getting dressed on his chart.  Griffin gets dressed last so he doesn't get breakfast or toothpaste on his clothes.

So Griffin's time goals are to finish breakfast by 7:30, have his teeth brushed by 7:45, and be dressed by 8:00.  I also require that finishing breakfast means he has taken care of his cereal bowl, thrown away his Pop Tart wrapper (please don't judge me for giving my kid Pop Tarts for breakfast), and put his cup back in the fridge.  When he gets dressed, he has to put his pajamas down the laundry chute in order to consider this task complete.

Nolan's time goals are to be done with breakfast by 7:45, have his teeth brushed by 8:00, and get dressed somewhere in the midst of all that.

As long as the boys get breakfast done on time, they can easily meet the other time goals.  Then they are both fully ready by 8:00, and we get shoes on and bags packed at 8:15.  This gives them time to play, watch tv, or play video games for a few minutes before we start the school day.

There are six sticker slots on each chart because we include Sundays.  We usually give them later time goals on Sunday mornings because we don't have to leave for church until 8:35ish.  But the whole motivation of the sticker keeps them moving, which is necessary on crazy Sunday mornings.

I have tons of stickers on hand already, but you can pick some up at Walmart or any dollar store.  

I went to Staples and swooned over looked at the Martha Stewart home office collection.  I bought the small wall pocket in white.  I even used this coupon for 30% off.  Coupon expires 5/12/12.

I used the push pins (included with the pocket) to hang the pocket on the door to our basement, which is sorta in our kitchen.  This is a great place for the stickers, and the boys can reach them to put up their own stickers.  The sticker charts are just held up with clear tape, and they are easily removed when one is full and it's time to print and hang a new chart.

When a sticker chart is filled with stickers, the boys get to choose a prize from our treasure chest.  

A month or two ago, Oriental Trading had a coupon code for free shipping with no minimum purchase amount, so I bought the Religious Treasure Chest Assortment.

This serves as the prize treasure chest.  I will occasionally add new toys to it, but for now the boys are excited about mini flashlights and kazoos.  Refilling the toy chest will give me an excuse to peruse the Dollar Spot at Target. :)

I know it may seem like I do a lot of sticker charts in my house, but they really seem to work.  The kids get a short-term reward (the sticker) and the anticipation of the long-term reward (in this case, a toy from the chest) keeps them from realizing how lame stickers are.

I'm planning on maintaining some sort of sticker chart during the summer.  Perhaps the goals will be reading time for Nolan and working through preschool workbooks for Griffin.  Or maybe we'll tackle the next behavior that makes my veins want to burst.


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