My kids love stickers. And they love sticking stickers. So every time we’re in a craft store, I pick them each up a new $1 pack of stickers. We use them for art projects and also for sticker charts. We have become quite the sticker chart fanatics!!
Luke has a sight word sticker chart where he earns a sticker for each new sight word he learns.
Lilah has sticker charts for learning her colors, numbers, and alphabet letters.
The kids are so excited about just getting to stick stickers that they don’t even care too much about there being a bigger reward at the end. The simple process of sticking a sticker is a mini-reward in itself! We have started a treasure box with tangible and intangible prizes they may choose from when a sticker chart is complete; I’ll be posting about it soon!
Recently, I read this great post by PlayDrMom called, “Promoting Positive Behavior: Reinforcement Strategies for Parents” where she mentions using sticker charts for behavior and I was immediately taken back to my teaching days. Instead of only using sticker charts for academic purposes, I could also be employing them to help with behaviors!!! Thanks for the reminder, Dr. Laura Hutchison!!
I immediately sat down and came up with a few different sticker charts to help with various behavioral issues we’re currently facing. I made some with 10 spots and some with 20, thinking that the first time we worked through a behavior chart, we’d start with 10 spots and after that sheet was completed, we’d start a new one with 20 spots to reinforce mastery of the objective. Looking back, from now on I think I’ll start with a 5-spot chart, and then progress to a 10 and a 20 as necessary just so the kids can get faster gratification for their efforts at the start to keep them motivated.
For our first behavior sticker charts, I decided to do one bathroom/hygiene goal and one positive behavior improvement goal for each child.
Lilah’s potty training goal is to “stay dry” overnight. She had pretty much mastered this, but after our recent two week trip where we put her in pull-ups overnight since the beds she slept in didn’t have mattress covers, she has relapsed a bit. To help her feel more successful, I also include staying dry during nap time as a sticker worthy-event.
Luke’s potty learning goal is to “go” standing up. Since we started out teaching him to go sitting down, he has been reluctant to go standing up, so this chart is helping to encourage him to make the transition. We made this a 20-spot chart to start with since he has so many opportunities in a day to earn stickers.
Future bathroom/hygiene goals will likely focus on things like remembering to wash hands after pottying without being reminded, remembering to flush, and having my hair washed (Luke) or my hair fixed (Lilah) without any whining or tears.
For a positive behavior improvement goal, both kids are working on “listening the first time.” We have had a big issue lately with the kids saying, “No!” or “Wait a minute!” or “I don’t want to do that!” or “Can’t I do this first?” every time we make a request. While we don’t have an issue with an occasional respectful response when we ask the kids to do something, the majority of the time we expect that the children should do what they’re asked without us having to ask repeatedly or nag. So, to earn a sticker on this chart, the kids just have to do whatever they’re asked without any complaining, whining, huffing, or backtalk, and it has to be done immediately after they’ve been asked. After we make it to 10 on this chart, we’ll repeat this same goal on a chart with 20 spaces. If we still need more practice, we may do a few additional charts on this topic.
Other topics I have in mind for our behavior improvement focus are “Remembering to say Please” and “Remembering to say Thank You” and “Showing Honoring Behavior” since we’re reading the book Say Goodbye to Whining, Complaining, and Bad Attitudes…in You and Your Kids! and we’ve been working with the kids on being more honoring. Once I feel the kids have improved a lot on our current goal, we’ll move on to one of these other topics, but I have a feeling we’ll be revisiting the listening goal often.
For organization of our sticker charts, we started by having all of them clipped on our magnetic board, but they were taking up a lot of space, so I moved them to a clipboard; that didn’t work out so great because flipping through all the different pages became a hassle. Our latest organization solution was to put up a cork board in our kitchen at a height that works well for the kids, where all their charts are pinned up for easy viewing. I have the stickers clipped to the side of the fridge so I can grab them easily when they need to be handed out.
We’ve only spent a few days using our newest sticker charts, but I have seen some behavior improvements already! Hooray!! While they are nothing to write home about, if you would like some simple pre-made sticker charts, I’ve included a few FREE printable ones here. The first page is 5-spot charts, the second page is 10-spot charts, and the last page is 20-spot charts.
They are just blank charts, so you can write in whatever heading, title, or goal you like, and I put as many as would fit on each sheet, so you’ll get several charts out of one sheet of paper; just cut them apart, add your child’s name and the goal of the chart, and get to work. You could use stickers to fill in each space, or use do-a-dot-markers, bingo daubers, crayons or markers to color them, or even a fingerprint using a washable ink pad!
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