Today was the first day off for summer vacation. We woke up early in our house because that’s what we do even on the weekends. I went about my morning farm chores, and started cleaning up the house. Around 9 am I realized that kids were sacked out on the couch playing video games on the computer…ummm, nope, that’s not going to work for the summer. I have some outings and projects planned for us to do all together. but I needed a way to help them keep themselves productivity entertained while I get things done around the house. It will be a really long summer if I need to constantly keep them busy in order to not have couch potatoes.I remembered reading a really cool article on wellnessmama.com about Adventure Points.
Basically, what it is is a points system that assigns points to activities and chores. The kids earn points based on what they choose to do in a day and can then trade in the points for rewards. It keeps the kids motivated to stay busy and also gets them to help out with chores around the house. It was a win-win idea in my book. Figured we would give it whirl and see how he kids liked it.
I started by having both my kids make a list of activities they could do around the house. The list included things like drawing, reading, bike riding, crafts, lego building, etc. We them combined the two kid’s lists to make a master list of activities and assigned each one a points value. So for 30 minutes of bike riding they could earn 5 points. I then added some chores the kids could do around the house and farm, like dusting, weeding the garden and cleaning out the horse stall. Chores get slightly more points then fun activities, to motivate the kids to want to do them. Here is our list so far. We keep adding to it as we think of new things:
clean chicken coop
clean horse stall
read for 15 minutes
practice math facts
watch an educational video
creative writing for 15 minutes
write a book review
Ride bikes for 30 min
build a fort
slip and slide
build a fairy house
play with toy boats
make up a new game
artist trading cards
Your list will depend on the ages of your kids and the activities you have available in your house. you might want to make a younger kid list and an older kids list , if you have a diverse age range in your family.
I then made a list of rewards that the kids could “spend ” their points on. Some were small items such as a special dessert for 50 points , a prize box item for 100 points. Others were larger ticket items that the kids would need to save up for. A trip to the movies 800 points and a movie theater trip 1000 points.
The idea of the kids earning and spending gave me another twist to the adventure points system. Instead of points , I decided to use money values. This way it added some math skills. I turned the points into money. I used small amounts from 5 cents to 25 cents. The point was not have them actually earning a large amount of money but to allow them to practice the skill of counting and keeping track of their money, like a checking account for kids.The rewards were :
Special Dessert: 50 cents
Prize Box: $1.00
1 item from the 5 below store: $5.00
Mini golf: $10.00
Ice Cream shop: $3.00
I gave the kids each a mason jar with their name on it and then as they earned the money it went into their jar. When they want to spend the money on a prize, they were responsible for counting out the correct amount. I also made balance sheets , so the kids could keep track of ho much money they have. That way if they are saving for a bigger ticket item on the reward list, they could see how much more they would need. Here’s what the tracking sheet looks like.
The plan is working great so far. The kids are excited about the adventure points “game” and are having fun earning points. So far today Sean has weeded the garden (10cents) , rode his bike for 30 minutes (5 cents), watched a Science video (10 cents) practiced karate for 30 minutes (10 cents) and read a book for 15 minutes (10 cents). Not bad considering it is only 11am. I would say so far so good! We will see if it continues to motivate them as the summer rolls by.
Here are the kiddos making their own lunch. (10 points)