When I was a kid, my aunt was a “room mom” at school. A “room mom”, if you aren’t familiar with the term, is a volunteer who helps the teachers, plans celebrations, and communicates with parents in the classroom. She’s always been extremely talented at coming up with creative ideas, seemingly no matter what the subject was. One thing that stands out to me from my second-grade year was the behavioral reward system for kids she thought up and implemented. It was called “Eureka”.
Eureka is such a great behavioral reward system, it’s perfect to use in your classroom or even at home with your children! This was well before Pinterest was a thing, but it’s such a simple and yet motivating behavior reward system for kids, I knew I had to share it!
What is the Eureka Behavior Reward System?
The idea behind Eureka was really, really simple. Each student had a piece of paper with the word “eureka” taped to the corner of their desk. The goal of this behavioral game was to try to keep the word “eureka” intact. Breaking a rule, disobedience, or disruption would result in a letter being crossed out from the student’s Eureka paper. At the end of the week, students would receive one “gold nugget” for each letter that wasn’t crossed out. The gold nuggets could be saved up for prizes, ice cream, or other treats. The game resets at the beginning of each week.
Because of the variety of cost in gold nuggets of the prizes and rewards, students had the potential to purchase a prize each week or, if they have the self-control, save their gold nuggets and get something larger over the course of several weeks or months. I remember that the class really liked the game and we were determined to win those shiny pieces of “gold”. It became pretty competitive.
You can also modify the theme to your specific tastes. Don’t want an old west gold rush theme? Spray paint the pebbles with glow-in-the-dark spray paint instead (or purchase glow-in-the-dark glass gems from your local craft store) and you have alien space rocks or superhero power pellets! Use your imagination because there are tons of amazing variations you can come up with!
Why Implement a Behavior Reward System for Kids?
Sure, implementing a behavior reward system will take you a little bit of time, but we all respond well to positive reinforcement, right? I’ve witnessed the power of behavior reward systems, both in my own classroom growing up and with my own children as a parent. Anything that motivates kids to try their hardest is a win in my book!
Eureka Behavior Reward System For Kids Instructions and Printables
To make your own eureka reward game, you’ll need the following:
- small pebbles or stones
- gold spray paint (or glow-in-the-dark)
- the eureka chart provided below or one that you make yourself
If you want to save some time, you can purchase fake gold nuggets or glowing gems from your local craft store. Below is a printable chart you can use for your children or if you’re a teacher, your classroom. I hope your children enjoy it as much as I did!
It’s definitely been a good motivated for our own children. They love the gold nuggets!