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It feels good to see the excited smiles of students as they receive and reward or prize. School can be tough and challenging, but getting something from the goodie bag or treasure chest allows you to boost their motivation and encourage them to keep going. 

Students feel good when they get rewarded which can have a very positive effect on their overall wellbeing. Unfortunately, being able to do this all the time can be quite costly. 

You don’t have to sacrifice your student incentives to save money. Instead, you just need to find budget-friendly classroom rewards that your students will love. Let’s talk about how to do that. 

Why You Need a Reward System

When students know that they will get a reward if they follow directions and do what is expected of them, then they are more likely to do it. The reward reinforces the behavior — and can increase the likelihood that it will happen again and again. 

Many teachers have found that having a reward system is a great tool for classroom management. It motivates students, improves behavior, and increases class participation. As students get rewarded, this system can boost their self-confidence, too. 

It is not uncommon to find reward systems in any classroom at any grade level. 

There are many different types of reward systems. So, find which one will work best for you and your students. Be sure to base it on the age group you teach and what the kids may find enticing. 

Benefits of Positive Reinforcement

When you use positive reinforcement in your classroom, you are going to see results. Not only will you create a powerful learning environment that encourages growth, but you will also notice that your students have:

  • An increased level of self-esteem
  • Fewer incidents of disruptive behavior
  • Higher rate of engagement during lessons and activities
  • Elevated levels of academic success

Choosing to be that positive influence during the day can leak over into other areas of their lives, as well. And it all starts with a reward for doing what they are supposed to do. 

When To Give Out Prizes and Rewards

When you give out prizes and rewards matters. You see good behavior and you reward it right away. If you wait too long, the connection between the behavior and the reward is going to be lost. 

Below are a few tips to follow when deciding the best time to give out prizes. 

  • Completing challenging tasks. Offering a prize for completing a difficult task or assignment makes it easier to put in the effort and get through it.
  • Before or after tests. A prize can be used as motivation to get through the test or as a reward for completing it. 
  • Following rules. Giving a reward for following the rules and doing what is expected. 

And, again, always give out the prize immediately following the positive behavior. Whether it is a stamp on a card, a ticket, or the actual reward, it should be taken care of without delay. 

Buy in Bulk, Don’t Break the Bank

Teachers are on a limited salary. Most of them have to purchase their own incentives if they want to set up a reward system in their classroom. Over time, this can get very costly. Sadly this can lead to many teachers minimizing the rewards they can give, if any at all. 

One way to reduce costs and ensure that students get the prizes and rewards they deserve is to buy them in bulk. This means getting enough supplies to create your reward system and having prizes to offer —- while paying a lower cost per unit. 

Shopping at your local retail chain is going to lead to an increase in your costs as they charge you a premium. As a result, you will be able to afford fewer prizes while still going over budget. 

15 Classroom Rewards and Prizes Your Students Will Love

Where do you start? What rewards and prizes will your students love? Candy will sugar them up and may create issues within the classroom or with parents. And running to your local store and buying toys will surely leave you broke. So, what can you do? What rewards will entice your students without spending too much? Check out the list below. 

  1. Balloon Animal Erasers. Nearly every child is fascinated with balloon art, with clowns often transforming a balloon into a dog, elephant, or even giraffe. Now they come in eraser form. 
  1. Desk Pets. Desk pets give kids something to care for and work towards. They should also be able to earn accessories and habitats, too, for their pets. There are so many different options to choose from. 
  1. Spinning Pens with Lights. When you have to write, it is always more exciting when you have a cool pen to do it with. 
  1. Earbuds. Kids are always listening to music or watching videos. Gift them a new pair of earbuds in various colors. This is both a practical reward that they can use in the classroom (during computer time), as well as one they will be excited to get. 
  1. Mars Mud Putty. Putty is fun to play with and it is great for focus and concentration, too. Plus, this stuff is just out of this world! 
  1. Spinnerz Balls. These are great to just hold in the hand and spin. They, too, work well as a fidget toy allowing kids greater focus.
  1. Shark Attack Pen. Get your students writing with these cool, must-have pens. 
  1. Snake Eraser Toppers. Imagine having little brightly-colored snakes hanging onto the top of your pencil as you write. Your kids will love them. 
  1. Super Stretch Balls. Because why not? 
  1. Dinosaur Egg Putty. A dinosaur inside an egg? That’s right. This putty has a fossil inside an egg. It's pretty prehistoric — and cool. 
  1. Sticky Foam Toys. Kids can sculpt and create with these little sticky beads. 
  1. SuperHero MopToppers™ Stylus Pens. A super cute, super fun, super stylus. You can even mop up the screen with the microfiber hair. 
  1. Eraser Assortment. Kids are all different and they all like different things. Investing in an eraser assortment will allow them to choose what they want. And kids love erasers. 
  1. Myth Mix Toy Figures. Mermaids, aliens, bigfoot, unicorns, and more —- because some kids don’t want an ordinary desk pet. 
  1. Rainbow Mesh Ball Pens. A mesh ball on top of a pen? Yes, please. Kids love this combination. 

GEDDES Has Your Classroom Rewards and Prizes

At GEDDES, we understand the importance of giving kids incentives. And we have everything you need to keep your supply high and your costs low. Shop online today!