DIY behavior/reward chart

Jun 22

the first official day of summer may have occurred earlier this week, but we have been out of school since the week before memorial day. so our summer officially started one month ago. the first week out of school was good; rest, relaxation, pool time, games, a flexible schedule, and time in general to do whatever the kids suggested. but we are slooooooowly creeping into the territory of sibling arguments, fighting, yelling, and general bad behaviors and choices.
we are noticing bad behavior choices in particular from our seven year old – the oldest child in the house. being home with two younger siblings can be tough. i get that. especially when most of his week during the school year was spent at school…not at home with a five and two year old to cramp his style. it’s a tough and shocking adjustment. with all three of them home most of the day together, our seven year old is beginning to show behaviors that can be improved upon. and that is putting it
nicely πŸ˜‰
what are we struggling with?
*communicating nicely (to his siblings and parents),
*listening and following directions (within the first 2 to a zillion times we ask)
*have patience with his 2 year old sister who just asked him for the 1 bazillionth time to play doll house with her or include her in a game he and his brother are playing,
*some aggression issues – wrestling, pushing, and “being a boy”,
*and making good choices in general when it comes to household rules, manners, etc.
anyone else there yet this summer?
my husband and i spoke about this topic and decided we would try a behavior chart. although, in order to keep this on a positive note, we have decided to name our chart a “reward chart”. when a child hears reward as opposed to behavior, i think that automatically makes it more fun and interesting to them.
here is the chart i created a couple nights ago….

it was a simple, easy and inexpensive chart to create without anything fancy (like laminating!). (i have nothing against laminating – don’t get me wrong. i just like to keep it simple and easy.). Β if any of you are looking for a way to improve or re-enforce good, positive behaviors this summer, i hope this little chart will help you!

here are the few items i needed for the chart….

1. a large poster board (on sale for $.38 at the market)
2. a ruler
3. a measuring tape
4. scissors
5. command adhesive strips with velcro ($3.00 at michael’s with a coupon)
6. themed foam stickers ($1.50 at michael’s)
7. pencil
8. marker

i started by cutting my board in half. it was 28″ long on one side, so i cut the board down to 14″ on one side…


this was good because if i screwed up the first one (totally likely for me!), at least i had a back up :-).

i measured out the board and created 6 lines across….

using my word program, i created a simple title for the chart…

cut out the words with a scrapbook cutter…

and glued them onto the board along the top…

our seven year old is very athletic, so i chose a set of sports-themed foam sticker for his chart…

i added a few fun stickers to the top next to the title…

then, i finished up the lines on the chart…

the larger column on the far right is where the “behaviors that need to be worked on” will be placed. following that column are 7 additional columns for each day of the week.

we have not filled in the behavior column yet because we will work directly with our son this weekend to create that section. together. we think that’s only fair :-). we’d like him to have a sense of ownership and accountability. if we do this together, the likelihood of him following through is higher. Β 

next, i pulled out the command strips. i attached the velcro sides together and cut each strip into 3 smaller squares…


one side of the velcro was adhered to the board…

while the other side was adhered to the foam stickers…


using a small plastic drawer organizer, i collected all of the foam pieces into one tidy place…

and i found a great place to hang the board – our fridge in the kitchen. you’ll notice the container of stickers is on top of the fridge….
this is just a great place to hang it because we spend a lot of time in this area of the house. having it here will be a constant reminder to him that we are always working hard to keep our behaviors and choices in check. πŸ™‚
don’t worry – when we have company over, the chart will be hidden away.

our plan is to review the chart at some point mid-day and then again at the end of the day. this is the time he can place stickers in sections he has completed…like making his bed or doing other small chores to be helpful. i’ll report back on this one!

as far as rewards?

what is important is knowing and figuring out what motivates your child. what is their currency?

for our child it is alllll about attention and special time spent alone with mommy and/or daddy. buying him something won’t get us anywhere. he is happy to have that toy or candy or treat in the moment, but the bad behavior quickly returns. therefore, everything on our reward list is something that doesn’t cost us a cent – but will mean the world to him.

here is the list we have come up with so far:

*3 hours at the pool alone with mommy and/or daddy. his siblings will be at home or doing another activity.

*special movie night with mommy and/or daddy with popcorn and a treat. again, no siblings involved.

*a night of sleep in mommy and daddy’s room with one of us. he’ll likely choose sleeping with daddy because that means they can watch baseball together before bed.

*help mommy bake a cake, cupcakes or cookies. he loves to cook and bake.

*have a friend over to swim and spend the night.

those 5 rewards alone are enough to make this guys head pop off – total heaven to him! and thus, a highly motivating factor with the chart.

i will report back next week with an updated version of the board, showing the behaviors we chose to work on and where the reward slips will be displayed. and i’ll let you know how the chart is working out for us! πŸ˜‰

anyone else have a “behavior” chart at home? how has this worked for you in the past? this is our first experience with a chart so i am anxious to try it.

have a great weekend!

comments +

  1. Nadia says:

    Very nice Sam, did you sketch a rough draft before you drew the lines on the poster board or did you just wing it?

    • ooooohhh – totally winged that one! no prep work with a pencil. if you notice, i took a lot of the photos at night after the kids were in bed. i was toast and just wanted to get the poster board put together. lol!!!

      and if you look closely, you can tell i winged it. yikes – i am not an artist that's for sure! heheheee!!!


  2. I really enjoy your blog and have nominated your for two awards. Do not feel obligated to participate but if you choose to check out the post here πŸ™‚

  3. Shannon says:

    I was just having sister issues with my little ones. Big sister is 6 and little one is 2. I think I may make a good big sister chart for my 6 year old. She has officially banned her little sister from the play room and has a "no babies allowed" taped up all over the door. A chart might be just the thing! Thanks! Looking forward to hearing how this pans out for you too!

    • oh great! i'm so glad this might help you!

      i will definitely be back with an update about this chart – including the behaviors we chose to work on. we are hopeful this is going to work. so far so good! πŸ™‚


  4. I am trying to do something similar for my 4 and 2 year old! Both are spoiled rotten, and have a hard time "listening and following rules". I think this is a spectacular idea! Thank you for the inspiration!

    And you have a new follower! Love the blog!

    • hi!

      thank you so much for stopping by! i hope this idea will work for you. it's a work in progress around here…but definitely working more than not working πŸ™‚

      thanks for following and i'm going to check out your blog too!

      sam πŸ™‚

  5. MimiK says:

    Too bad it won't work with my 18 year old!!!!

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