Incentive systems and learning opportunities

April 20, 2020

Incentivize desired behaviors

Particularly at the moment, with life being so different for all of us, it’s super helpful to teach parents how to use incentives well. They are so valuable when it comes to channelling the desired behavior in a child who may be presenting even more challenging behaviors than normal. Incentives can be used very effectively for the following:

- Keeping to a schedule
- Encouraging the completion of an activity
- To promote certain behaviors.

Keep incentives simple and specific and keep reinforcing.
Use rewards - either small prizes like candy, a pencil etc or privileges such as extra TV time to motivate.

Learning Opportunities are Everywhere

Just because the usual trips out may not be possible right now (eg to play centers), there are still many learning opportunities available within the home.

Daily routines such as getting dressed, mealtimes, cleaning up, independent/semi-independent play and looking at books are all adaptable learning opportunities. Parents can use them to teach important skills, including: time management, team work and general problem solving. Encourage them to break down tasks with their child to suit their comprehension levels and ability. Look at the child’s strengths and go with those. Some kids may be more into music and dance or some kind of physical activity. Others may be more oriented towards craft activities or household chores. Either way, you can help parents devize a schedule with specific steps.

Activity Ideas
Here is a list of ideas for activities that may provide inspiration:

- Build to model visuals
- Blocks, Lego, K’nex, Lincoln logs, Color forms,
- Puzzles- simple to hard
- Audiobooks
- Games: Rush hour, Castle Logix, Chocolate fix, Rubik's race
- Knitting/ crocheting/ lanyard
- Food prep
- Card games- Uno, Solitaire
- Color/paint by number/ fun sheets
- Word searches and crossword puzzles
- Sorting activities
- Simple Woodworking

As care providers we can support parents in so many ways – even remotely/via Telehealth

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Author: Richard