The reward system guiding our summer

I promised in episode 99 of the podcast, How to set up your summer for success with kids, that I would give you all the details of our summer reward system.


A few things to keep in mind:

  • Our reward system is designed with our kids.

  • It’s not set in stone, it’s okay to adjust as you go!

  • The kids are home most of the summer and I work from home.

  • My goal is to set clear expectations and to do as much thinking up front so ongoing decisions are limited.

Our awards system is made up of 3 components:

  1. Tickets: Tickets can be earned for performing certain tasks, in our house this is educational tasks, but this could include chores etc.

  2. Tallies: You start with a certain amount of tallies each morning and if you break house rules you lose them throughout the day. E.g. no physically hurting each other, rude language etc. This system is inspired by the Lazy Genius podcast episode #112 - Grasping for Summer Routine.

  3. Surprise bin: Is a bin of items for purchase with tickets. These are low cost items, and ideally help keep them busy/active E.g. craft supplies, water balloons, sidewalk chalk etc.

Now that you know the different components, here are the details of how the reward system works:

  • Educational tasks are worth a certain number of tickets

  • You start with 7 tallies for house rules each day, if you lose all of them then you lose a ticket. You can only lose up to 1 ticket a day.

  • Tickets – lost daily tally count = dollars for surprise bin. E.g., 5 tickets – 1 day tally = 4 dollars for surprise bin at the end of the week

  • At the end of the week, you add up your tickets (subtract tally days lost) and you can purchase items in the surprise bin.

  • 1 ticket = 1 dollar. Some items are one dollar and others are more. The price is marked on items.

  • If you don’t have tickets and loose tallies at the end of the week a different consequence will be applied.

An example of what our weekly print out looks like:



I hope this reward system helps you survive summer with your kids. Feel free to make it yours and adjust for your own family’s needs and desired outcomes.


Let me know in the comments, what questions do you have, what would you change, if you use a different system tell me about it. I would love to hear about it.


For more tips on how we survive summer listen to episodes 99 of the podcast, How to set up your summer for success with kids.


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