Last year's reading incentive plan worked really well, and I would have done it again this year except that we are trying to sell our house and I can't have stuff all over the walls while people are coming through. Instead, I came up with an incentive that will be easy to take down for showings, can move easily with us to our new house, and I think is still fun and motivating, and probably more complicated than it needs to be, because I like to do that to myself.
First, I made coupons on the computer for various prizes. Prizes this year include money, ice cream, new books, prizes from the prize basket, movie days, and play dates. I made 20 coupons for each child, then cut them up and put them in an envelope labeled with the child's name. That way I can make sure each child receives all the same things by the end of summer reading.
Next I pulled out my balloons, counted out 6 for each child, and assigned each child a couple of colors. Maren's balloons are red and pink, Joshua's are yellow and green, and Christopher's are blue and orange. I then took 6 coupons out from the envelopes for each child, folded them up, stuck one inside each balloon and blew it up. I used pretty small balloons.
I made 18 X shaped slits in a piece of poster board and stuck the end of the balloon through the holes. I put the poster board up on the wall with tape, as well as a piece of paper for each child to write the names of their books on.
When the kids have finished an approved book, they get to pop one of their balloons and see what prize they won. I'll then replace the balloon with another one of their color using an extra coupon from their envelope.
Maren was very excited to start reading today. I told her she needed to be all done with morning chores before she could start a book, so last night she made a schedule for herself so that she'd be able to start as soon as possible. It went something like:
1. wake up, make bed, be dressed by 6:55 (she didn't quite make this deadline)
2. practice violin until 7:30
3. eat breakfast until 8
4. leisure time until take J to camp (this part was my favorite)
5. practice piano until 9
6. READ!!! (she had more exclamation points, but I'll spare you)