Fun By Natasha: Bucket List Rewards

By Jackie Saulmon Ramirez | May 7, 2014

Parents never cease to amaze me with their ingenuity and drive to bring up their children to be happy and productive adults. Natasha shared her method for choosing and earning reward activities that she and her child work toward.

Fun By Natasha: Bucket List Rewards

Anticipation spreads happiness and longing throughout the year!

This activity will work best for age six and up and encourages goal setting and planning by the child. The Bucket List will help with growing patience, self-esteem, ability to work independently and problem-solving skills. Anticipation is not reserved only for the holidays; having something positive for children to look forward to is a key to ongoing happiness.

Have your child help you come up with 4 to 6 activities the child wants to do most for a Bucket List for the upcoming year, as a sort of reward that you share. The list could be anything the child wants to do that you approve of and can afford. Write “Bucket List” on a sheet of paper and write what each activity will be. You can also glue pictures from a magazine to represent the activity on construction paper. Attach the Bucket List to the refrigerator as a daily visual incentive. Assign a point value to each item on the Bucket List. Example: National Park Trip = 1,000 points, Hot Air Balloon Ride = 1,500 points, Glass Blowing Trip = 800 points, and Whale Watching Trip = 2,000 points.

Be sure not to assign a value too low or too high. Too few points and rewards will be earned too quickly, costing too much; too much and children can become discouraged. Until you get accustomed to this Bucket List activity, try for two or three items and then adjust the numbers to suit your needs, and especially your pocketbook.

*You can also use items as rewards that you purchase for your child or to share as a family. Example: Scrabble Turntable Game = 1,000 points, Computer Game = 500 points or Camping Tent 3,000.

Next, create a chart of possible chores, positive behaviors or good deeds or kindnesses to be done by the child. Now assign a point value to each chore, positive behavior, and so on. Attach the chart to the refrigerator under the Bucket List.

As the child completes a chore or behavior, the parent checks it off or gives a star on completion. The child can see the points add up and do math to see how many more points are needed for the Bucket List activity to take place or to earn the item. Did I mention math practice?

Natasha lets her child choose which Bucket List activity to do first, then they choose one together, then she chooses which reward they do next on their Bucket List. Now tell me, what could be better than that? It’s going to be a wonderful year!


Copyright © 2014 Jackie Saulmon Ramirez. All Rights Reserved.

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About Jackie Saulmon Ramirez

Jackie has volunteered for more than twenty years for children and family issues. Currently she writes for parents in the "Reminder" and "Parent Rap" Facebook page. If you are interested in receiving the "Reminder," send her a message.
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