Classroom Rewards

Using food - especially candy - to reward students is common in many classrooms.

But offering candies and snacks, even occasionally, can:

  • Give mixed messages about healthy eating to students.
  • Interfere with eating in response to hunger and fullness cues.
  • Cause tooth decay.
  • Contribute to health problems.

Alternative Ways to Reward Students

Motivational Rewards
One-Time Rewards
School-Year Rewards

Motivational Reward Suggestion

Motivate your students through simple handwritten or typed notes you've made up ahead of time (e.g., a smiley face, little drawings, or a 'Thanks for Helping!' message).
Use fun notepaper and hand these notes out throughout the day.

One-Time Rewards Suggestions

  • Extra recess
  • Make a special delivery to the office
  • Get to choose what book to read at story time
  • Sit by a friend
  • Help the teacher in the classroom (e.g. sharpen pencils distribute handouts)
  • Listen to music while working at desk
  • Computer or library time
  • Bonus marks
  • Reduced or no homework

School-Year Reward Suggestions

  1. A Treasure Trunk Filled with Non-Food items:
    • Pick a prize from a treasure trunk
    • Include knick-knacks from home such as:
      • stickers
      • stamps
      • school supplies (notebooks, pens, pencils, erasers)
      • yo-yos
      • hair accessories
      • little photo frames
      • toothbrush
      • toys, figurines, etc.
  2. Classroom Dollar System:
    • Create dollars for students to accumulate over the year
    • Students who accumulate 50 dollars can redeem it for a prize (e.g CDs, movie passes, books, water bottles, etc.)
    • Has the added benefit of promoting math skills
  3. Enter to Win!
  4. Students can enter their name into a weekly draw for prizes such a hacky sacks, Frisbees, balls, or passes to nearby activity centre.
  5. Coupon Book
  6. Create a booklet with a variety of coupons for students to choose such as an extra day extension for an assignment, one free test answer or school supplies.
  7. Field Trips or Class Movies
    Reward students with class time (minutes) for demonstrating a desired behaviour (e.g., not talking during a work period earns five minutes). Students then get to redeem this class time for a preferred activity.

For more information

Health Topics A-Z | Information for Professionals | Information for Workplaces
| School Corner | Employment/Volunteer Opportunities | Clinics, Classes and Events | Resources & Factsheets | Translated Information | About Public Health | Contact Us | Public Health Home Page

Revised: Wednesday November 23 2011

Home | Contact Us | Search
A-Z Topic List | Privacy & Terms of Use

Smaller Text Larger Text

A-Z List | Accessible Info | Careers | Contact Us

Images from Peel Region