Paying Preschoolers and Learning About Earning. Have you ever thought about teaching your preschooler about earning money and the value of hard work?
Some families like using a pom pom jar to reward behavior. It is a very simple visual tool. Let’s look at how to use the pom pom jar for earning because maybe your child isn’t ready for “real” money yet. Most children are ready to earn an allowance around age 5 or 6.
Let’s say your child would really like to earn a ride on the carousel at the mall (our mall has a carousel, maybe your mall has a train or something else that requires money). You discuss with your preschooler that they need to earn the ticket to ride, because it is not something we will do every time we go to the mall. They agree to do different “jobs” around the house. They fill the dog’s food bowl, carry in the mail, and pick up their toys. You tell them that they can earn 1 pom pom for every job they complete. When the jar is full – they’ve earned the ride!
This can be used for big ticket items like a toy or small things like a piece of candy. Start out with a small container like a plastic clear cup so they can experience success.
A Few Tips for Paying Preschoolers
- Keep the pom poms hidden or up high so no “bonus” pom poms are added to the jar by little hands.
- Do not subtract from their earnings for poor behavior.
- Record their wish list (on your phone or paper). Each time they ask you for something, tell them they can add it to their list. It let’s them know that you’ve heard them, validated their request, and they can to work for the items on their list.
- Stick a Post-It note directly on the jar that states what your child is working towards. It’s a great motivational tool.
- Make sure they’re working for something that YOU have time for or item that you don’t mind having in your house. For example: If they’re working towards a game of mini-golf and it’s the middle of winter, I’d encourage something else. The same theory applies to a noisy toy that I don’t want in my house.
PomPoms are inexpensive, great for rewards and crafts. Click here for some on Amazon or your local craft store.
Clear plastic cups, a small vase or fish bowl, or jelly jar.
Additional Life Skills Posts:
Life Skills List (free printable to subscribers)