Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Magical Poker Chips

I have found a chore currency and good-behavior incentive all rolled into one: Poker Chips.

I started out last year with the super cheap ones that are white, red, and blue. (found them at Walmart by the playing cards and games) Now that I have five kids at home full time I got the heavier, more expensive set that has five different colored chips. Each of my at-home kids has a color for their school stuff. (more about that later) The kids have opportunities to earn a chip for things like getting their chores done properly and on time, getting their school work done without fussing, and so on. Pretty much any time I need to dangle a carrot or want to give a reward, I use the chips.

Later on the chips can be used a currency to buy goodies from our Treasure Box. The Treasure Box is only open on Saturday, and contains snacks, candy, little toys, or fun things like Little Dover Books of temporary tattoos. Basically, when I see something cheap that I know they will like, I purchase it and add it to the box.

I have set up the prices in the box to roughly have one chip equal something that costs me 25 cents. I will admit that I put higher chip prices on items that I want them to get less of (candy) and lower prices on items I would rather have them pick (not candy). The Treasure Box is ever-evolving, and they are always surprised by the things I have added to it through the week.

So far I have had pretty good success with using the chips for:
-getting chores done
-getting schoolwork done
-being a good worker when we go to the food pantry to work each week
-going to bed without any nonsense ***** (Glory! Glory! This is worth gold chips!)

Try it and see how it works for you.

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