Motivational Games and Ideas
The Shoe Race
In my house, everyone left their shoes in the middle of the living room floor. It drove me crazy. I set up a track with cars on it, and any time someone caught someone else leaving their shoes on the floor, they would get to move up a space. Every time they put their shoes away they moved up a space. The whole family got involved in this race and everyone had a lot of fun and started remembering to pick up after themselves.
The Itsy Bitsy Spider
I used this one with my preschooler, who decided he no longer wanted to dress himself each morning. Using a poster board, I cut out a "water spout" and a spider. I used 11 pieces of Velcro on the water spout and also put a piece on the back of the spider. The spider started in the middle of the water spout.
Each morning he dressed himself, the spider moved up one space. If he refused to dress himself, the spider moved down.
Since my son loves to go to the dollar store, at the end of the week, if the spider reached the top of the spout, we went to the dollar store and he could pick out a toy.
The Horse Races
Using construction paper make a race track. Find some plastic horses in your local dollar store or discount store.
This game can be played in one of two ways:
1) Each person gets a horse and a goal. The goal is broken down into steps. For example, if the goal is to hand in homework for a week, then each day is one step toward that goal. When the goal is met, the horse moves up one space. Each person that reaches the finish line by the end of the week wins a prize (remember prizes do not necessarily have to cost money).
2) Your child gets one horse and you get a different horse. Each time (we will use homework again for sake of simplicity) your child hands in his homework, his(her) horse moves up one space. Any day that he(she) doesn't hand it in, your horse moves up.
For an hour or two on a Saturday afternoon, trade places with your child. Let them be the parent, and you be the child. This game is to help both parent and child grow closer by understanding each other a little better.
Before beginning the game, make sure the house is straightened up and then set some rules. The "parent" must keep the house in order, get drinks, and whatever else you would do during the afternoon at home.
You, as the "child" should run around, take all the toys out or behave as your child does. Do not do it maliciously, or say, "see what I have to put up with!" but try to understand their play and their energy level as well as help them to understand yours.
At the end of the game, go out for ice cream together and laugh about it and discuss what both of you learned.
Paper Dolls and Tea Parties
Getting ready for school has always been a chore around our house. To help my young daughter be on time each morning, we made a simple chart with pictures of the different activities she needed to complete: Getting Dressed, Making Up The Bed, Brushing Her Teeth, Eating Breakfast. We also made a cut out of a doll and various clothing parts cut from construction paper.
Each morning, as the chart is completed, she is able to put a piece of clothing on the paper doll. When the doll is completely dressed, we plan and enjoy a tea party together. We have purchased a tea set just for this purpose and it sits in the china cabinet in view of our daughter to remind her throughout the week.
So far this has worked great and we have only had a few mornings where she was not ready on time.