Nearly all kids love stuffed animals. Many children collect them and keep them as companions on their bed or in their toy room. They can nurture a child's imagination and help the child feel a greater sense of creative freedom. Start a new tradition with your kids that can also help encourage them to do their best in school each week. Create a weekly treasure chest tradition! This tradition allows your child to pick a single stuffed animal from the "treasure chest" at the end of the week if they have met all the criteria that you establish at the start of the week. Here's how you can start this fun tradition for your kids.
Set Up the Treasure Chest
The set-up is easy! You simply choose a toy chest in the shape of a treasure chest, then place it somewhere out of the way. This part's flexible, and your treasure chest doesn't technically have to look like a pirate's treasure chest. Any toy chest can substitute for this and still be called a "treasure chest."
Next, fill it with stuffed toys. These will be future prizes for your child after a week well done. You can fill it up with new things over time as you wish, so the initial stock of toys can be small. There should be at least a handful of different stuffed animals, though, so your child can pick one that they want and be daydreaming of the one they want the following week.
Introduce the Tradition to Your Kids
Introduce the tradition to your kids at the very start of a new week. Let them know that there will be a fun new weekly tradition in your house, then explain that they will need to be good in order to enjoy this new celebration each week. Let them know exactly what will be expected of them if they want to pick a stuffed toy from the "treasure chest."
Some things that you may require your children to do include completing a short list of chores, getting a good progress report from their teacher, completing all homework without being asked, not fighting with a sibling, or not getting in trouble for misbehavior. You can customize the requirements to meet the needs of your child and the areas where they need improvement. Once you establish the rules, it's important that you stick to them and don't allow a naughty child to pick from the "treasure chest." This tradition should be a reward for a job well done.
Make Each Friday Afternoon a Celebration
After your child comes home on Friday afternoon, you can review whether they have completed their tasks for the week. If they have met the criteria, you may clap and shower them with positive praise. That part of the tradition can be as important to a child as the gift itself. Then, let each child go one at a time to pick a stuffed animal from the treasure chest. You can rotate who goes first.
Finally, keep in mind that you should never underestimate the power of positive reinforcement. Rewards children for a job well done can teach them a great work ethic, and giving them a weekly gift for succeeding at goals that they set can help build great self-esteem. They can know they earned the toy, and that will help them enjoy it that much more. Your children may even pass down the weekly treasure chest tradition to their own kids someday!