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How we deal with… Rewards

Apr 12, 2016

“What gets praised gets repeated.” How do we praise good behaviour in order to encourage repetition?

At Dizzy Ducks our experience tells us that routine, clear rules and boundaries ensures children have a clear understanding of what is expected of them, which in turn leads to positive experiences whilst in the setting.


When we see children displaying exceptionally kind and positive behaviour, or when they have achieved something personal, we celebrate this by presenting them with a ‘Duck of the Day’ certificate.


• We give older children ‘buddy’ titles, giving them responsibilities in the classroom. They can support younger children who aren’t familiar with the routines and rules, or play with them if they are feeling a little sad that day.


• When planning rewards as an incentive for positive behaviour, it’s important to consider the interest of the child, and agree targets together, so that the child understands the targets. They must be achievable.


• Include other adults in targets so they know what to expect from the child and what they are working towards.


• Make the reward special. It doesn’t have to cost money: quality play time with adults is far more rewarding and beneficial to children than expensive gifts. It also has an increased success rate for promoting positive behaviour in the long run! Ideas could include: a bike ride; baking together; making a den under the table; making popcorn for a movie night or enjoying a games night.


Top tips for at home


  • Have clear and realistic expectations.
  • Ignore “negative” behaviour and praise “positive.”
  • Don’t do anything for an easy life e.g. bribe - “stop that and you can have a sweet...”


Case study:


We believe that rewards are individual. Jacob loves Duplo, therefore every time Jacob does something special he is encouraged to add a Duplo brick to his tower. At the end of his day at nursery, when Jacob goes home, he is able to visually see all of the nice things he has done during the day and then gets to play with the Duplo. We scheduled 20 minutes at the end of the day, so that he can really enjoy his time with his Duplo and an adult.


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