4 Ways to Use Rewards and Prizes to Encourage Your Preschoolers

The preschool classroom is a lively, bustling place. It’s filled with 4- and 5-year-olds trying to navigate the world around them and being met with a multitude of positive and negative behaviors.

Teachers strive to create a safe, respectful environment for both teachers and students. For this reason, it’s important to promote positive behaviors in the classroom.

One of the most effective strategies for doing this is to reward children for appropriate behavior. A reward system can be as simple or elaborate as you want it to be. But when implemented properly, rewards can help children understand what behaviors are expected of them and encourage them to behave appropriately.


How to Encourage Preschoolers in the Classroom

The first rule of preschool: Kids want to get stuff. And not the typical "gimme-a-cookie" bargaining that parents and kids do. You can't beat a cool prize as a motivator for good behavior.

Positive reinforcement works. If you have a kid who really loves dinosaurs, then a dinosaur-related reward means more than a generic trinket. That's why prizes can be a great way to reward kids who are doing well in their classes and encourage them to keep up the excellent work.

To keep your preschoolers motivated, try keeping an appealing variety of prizes on hand in the classroom and brainstorm fun ways for kids to earn them.


4 Ways to Use Rewards and Prizes to Encourage Your Preschoolers

Teachers and parents often offer children rewards like stickers, extra playtime, or a small toy to encourage good behavior. But are these incentives actually helping kids learn positive behaviors?

According to a recent study by researchers at the University of Chicago, the answer is yes.

The study found that preschoolers were more likely to engage in prosocial behaviors—actions intended to benefit other people or their communities—when they knew they’d be rewarded for it. They were also more likely to repeat those behaviors after the rewards ended.


Here are some ideas on how kids can earn rewards in class:

  1. Give students stickers and allow them to put them on a chart or poster displayed in class for jobs well done. Let each child choose a prize from the treasure box when they’ve earned enough stickers.

  2. Allow students to earn stars for good behavior. When they’ve earned enough stars, give them a prize.

  3. Use fun punch cards. Each time a child is recognized for doing something well, they earn a hole punch on their card. When the card is full, they get to pick a prize from the prize box.

  4. Give out raffle tickets to children who meet expectations. Then draw names at the end of the day or week for prizes.


Rewards, Prizes, and Incentives Preschoolers Will Love

Who doesn’t love Dr. Seuss? Check out our selection of officially licensed Dr. Seuss school supplies.

Some of our most popular Dr. Seuss school supplies include fidget putty, colorful 3D character pens, felt fine tip markers, and crayon erasers.

Our Treasure Chest Box is perfect for storing a variety of Geddes goodies for your preschool class. Kids will love picking their own prizes!

Our novelty toys are a fun fit for all the interests of your preschoolers. We have all kinds of prizes and rewards your students will love at GEDDES.