by Jessica Matthews
I have been using a sticker chart with my daughter Ava since just after she turned 2 and we were doing toilet training. It was a success then and I have used it a few times since (she is almost 4.5 now).
Another time we started using it was to get her bed time routine more fluid with less delays and diversions etc (we all know there are normally like 20+ of them!!) and then again to encourage her to want to practice her letter writing. Not that I am forcing her to be a perfect writer and all that jazz but we found at preschool she has been loving puzzles, building, painting and home corner but wasn’t as keen to do her letters. She would do them but not as much as her other favourite activities! When she did them, she did them well and had a good grip but to me it’s more than this. It’s not just about her ability to hold a pencil or do her letters well but it comes down to the time spent sitting at a table as she starts school next year and there will be a lot of table sitting, so I am using my trusted sticker chart to encourage her.
So this is what I do. I get A4 paper, cut it in half and then draw lines to get 10 squares on the page. Each time Ava does something that is sticker worthy she gets a sticker and when she gets to 10 stickers we do something of her choice – it might a trip to the movies, babyccino and cupcake, Barbie doll or a trip to Monkey Mania. It also works well when we are out and she really wants something (small value as I am not the Bank of England) I remind her of how many stickers she has. If it’s 7 or 8 I say we can buy it and keep it until she gets 10 – not only is this something for her to work towards but it also helps with patience and learning to wait.
To further encourage her letter writing, I also get her to draw the appropriate number beside the sticker. That way it further emphasises where she is at in the journey to the magic 10 and encourages more writing. Normally its 1 per page of letters from her book or a page of words from preschool, but if she has done something amazing I get excited and hand out like 3 (yes I am like Oprah giving everyone cars!!). Now it needs to be special, for example, the other day at school she wrote a letter to me saying: “My mummy is the best” complete with a drawing. You can’t go past that (It took all my restraint not to give out like 50).
I buy the books of stickers (which have like 100-200 stickers each) for $2-3 so then we have a box of them and Ava can select which one she would like (again another choice as I believe in giving kids choices). As she gets her stickers I ask her what she would like to do/get when we get to 10 stickers so then I can chat to her about this and encourage her so she gets there sooner. When she gets to 10 she is so proud and happy with herself and it fills me with such satisfaction that she has worked to get there and knows that we need to work to get what we want, we need to listen to others, we need to ask for help and that self-satisfaction and pride is a wonderful feeling.
There are lots of templates on Google if you’d like something else verses handmade. Here’s a simple black and white one you could print. Credit: Pinterest.
Kids are amazing and teaching them is one of the best joys in life! Do you do sticker charts? Let us know how you’re going with your sticker journey!