Motivate and Track Your Child’s Good Behavior with a Star Chart Tracker Sheet
I’d heard from other moms that using a star chart was helpful for motivating kids to do chores as well as potty train.
I also read a blog post in which a mother said that the one thing she wished she had been better at was getting her kids to do chores and be more responsible. She said if she could go back, she would try using more reward techniques to help them.
Thus, when my daughter turned 2, I started using star charts.
My Mom’s Star Chart
Growing up, my mom would track our good behavior on a chart that she hung in the living room. She would check off a box whenever we completed our chores. At the end of the month, all the kids who had filled up their charts got to go to McDonald’s for lunch.
I thought it was such a great idea and was excited for the chart!
Unfortunately, my mom only did one month before giving up on it. She ended up taking us all to McDonald’s even though some of us hadn’t completed our charts.
I wished she had continued with the chart and when I asked her why she stopped she said it was too hard to manage.
I didn’t understand what she meant but now, as a Sunday school teacher and a mom, I understand the challenges.
For example, in Sunday School, I feel bad when some of the students don’t get a reward while others do. Because of this, I would give all the students a small reward, but the students who achieved the highest points would get an extra reward.
For example, all the students would get recess if the whole class behaved well, but the top two students got to be captains of any games we played.
Using the Star Chart With a Toddler
With my daughter, when I started using a star chart, I struggled with getting her to understand what the purpose was.
She was only 2 years old at the time, so, I wasn’t surprised that she didn’t get it right away.
But even as she neared 3 years old, she wasn’t very motivated by the star chart.
To help her understand better, I decided to give her a series of stars in quick succession and reward her right away.
For example, I told her that all she needed was 5 stars to get a reward. Then I told her 5 things she could do right away to get the stars. These were: use the potty, put away your toys, take your sippy cup to the sink, sing the alphabet, and count to 25.
Once she got the 5 stars, I gave her a reward.
Increasing the Amount of Stars Needed for a Reward
I did the series of 5 stars in quick succession for a few days in a row. Once she started getting it, I changed the point of reward to 10 stars.
Every few days, I would raise the reward point until we reached 20 stars.
I tried not to go too long before giving her a reward because I didn’t want the reward point to seem so far away that she forgot about it. I also didn’t want her to feel like she was never going to reach it. That would certainly demotivate her.
At the same time, I didn’t want the reward point to be too fast that she was getting rewarded every day. This is because I wanted her to get a sense of working toward the reward.
Currently, a reward point at 20 stars is just the right amount for her. She completes the chart anywhere from 3 days to 2 weeks, depending on how much we focus on using it.
Tasks and Rewards for a Toddler
The best part though is that the chart works to motivate her to do things that at times have been a struggle, such as:
- Going to the potty by herself
- Washing her hands
- Brushing her teeth
- Saying her prayers
- Getting dressed by herself
- Putting away toys
- Making the bed
- Bringing dishes to the sink
- Letting me brush her hair
- Laying down for a nap or bedtime
- Complete a reading lesson
It’s also helpful when I need a little extra help such as grabbing diapers or a sippy cup for her younger brother.
We’ll also give her a star if we catch her doing something good like being nice to her brother or helping grandma.
In just the last few days, she has started to do many of these things without the use of stars.
But, as she matures, I hope to continue to use the chart to motivate her to do new chores. For example, when she’s old enough, she can help with cooking, doing the dishes, mopping, etc.
As for rewards, these are what have been effective in motivating her:
- Activity packs
- Sheet of stickers
- Small puzzles
- Surprise toys
- Small craft kits
I usually get the activity packs and puzzles from the dollar store. I pick up the other small toys and crafts when I see sales.
Makeshift Charts and Surprise Eggs
We had to move twice in the first half of the year and as a result, I lost track of my official star charts. Instead, my husband and I started tracking stars for my daughter on random pieces of scrap paper.
We just created a grid and made a circle at the point where she would get a reward.
She came up with the idea that the circle was a surprise egg and said that when she reached the egg then she could collect the prize.
We stuck the chart up on our whiteboard calendar so she could see it easily and be reminded about it.
A New Chart with a Little Woodland Creature
Now that we’re settling into the new house, I created a simple star chart to mimic what worked so well for us.
I added a few small extras to the chart such as a woodland animal, a space for a name, start date, end date, and a reward checkbox.
The start and end dates help me to know how long we are taking to complete the chart. This helps me to adjust the point of reward.
The reward checkbox is in case I find a completed chart and can’t remember if we’ve already given the reward.
I didn’t add the surprise egg circle. Instead, we still draw a circle wherever we want the reward point to be.
This printable is for printing on 8.5″ x 11″ paper and will print 4 charts per sheet of paper.
I like to print the charts on both sides of the paper so that, once cut, I can use each piece of paper twice.
You can download this printable file for free in my Free Resource Library if you are a subscriber. If you aren’t, sign up below and I will email you a link to download the card as well as the password to my library. You may download the card, save, and print as often as you like.