It can be great to reward children. To show them that you are proud of them, that their behaviour is impressing you or just to show how much you love them. However, rewards often come in the form of gifts or cash and this can be expensive. Not all parents can afford to do this all of the time and therefore it can be a good idea to have a think about whether there are ways that you can treat them without having to spend any money.
A Trip to the Park – Younger children are likely to really enjoy going to the park but it is not always easy to find time to take them. Therefore, treating them to this can be a really lovely thing to do for them. If the park is local, you will be able to walk there and not spend any money, but a short drive may not be that expensive anyway. To make it really special you could stay all day or meet others there to make it a celebration.
Picnic in the Garden – A picnic can be a great way to have some fun and a reward without paying out anything as you can use food you already have for lunches. You could have it in your garden, yard or even on a balcony if you have one. Younger children may just enjoy having one in the house, perhaps in a play tent, on a blanket or together with their toys. You could always go somewhere local if it is good weather, if there is a bench or somewhere you can sit to eat.
Local Nature Walk – If you are lucky enough to live in an area near to the countryside then you could go on a nature walk. Children may just be happy to enjoy the walk or you might like to task them with finding different things in the walk such as certain flowers, insects, birds etc. If they enjoy nature then this will be a real treat for them.
Have Friends / Family Over to Play – Children that enjoy playing with others might enjoy having friends or family over to play with them as a treat. You could ask them who they might like to have over and they are likely to have lots of fun as a result.
Do Baking / Cooking Together – Doing something together can be great fun for a younger child, particularly if you do not often have lots of time to spare to be with them. Baking and cooking can be a good way to spend time doing something practical together. They will learn valuable skills and will also have fun as well, hopefully. Making something they really like will help them to enjoy it even more.
Play a Game with Them – Sometimes just playing a game with a child will be a reward for them. They are likely to have a favourite game, whether that is a board game, card game or computer game and they may really enjoy it if you play it together with them.
Pyjama Day – Sometimes being able to stay at home in pyjamas and just play with whatever they like, can be a really great treat for children. Some prefer to be able to stay home with their toys and devices and not even bother to get dressed. It is worth asking them whether this would be a fun treat for them.
Extra Computer Time – Most children enjoy playing on computers and often parents will limit the time that they can be on them. This means that by giving them a bit of extra time, they will get a really good treat.
A Bubble Bath – For some children having a bubbly bath can be a huge treat. Running lots of water with a big pile of bubbles can be lots of fun for them. They might like to play for a while in the water and providing them with some toys to have in there with them can make it even more of a treat.
Staying up Late – Kids often like to stay up late and this could be a way to reward them. It can be especially good if there is something happening or perhaps a TV program that they would like to watch that is happening after their normal bedtime. You do need to be careful though as if you struggle to get them to bed on time normally this will reinforce that sleeping is punishment and staying up is a reward and could lead to unhealthy behaviour in the future. Maybe telling them that an early night or a lie-in is a treat might be better.