An essential component of a good classroom management plan is reinforcing positive behaviors.
One way to do that is by implementing fun rewards for students that celebrate their wins.
While teachers would love for students to be intrinsically motivated all the time, psychology proves that external motivation can be more powerful.
That’s where classroom incentives come in.
Gifting prizes to students encourages consistency with behavior, procedures, and routines.
Here you will find a list of fun rewards for students, and many of them cost nothing.
These individual reward ideas for the classroom are great for all ages.
Fun Rewards for Students
1. Administrator Shout Out
Request that the school’s administrator drop by the classroom to personally congratulate the student on a job well done.
2. Bring a Stuffed Animal to School
For the day, allow the student to bring a stuffed animal.
3. Choose a Classroom Job
Allow the student to choose whichever classroom helper job he’d like to perform.
He will complete this particular job for a day or week in lieu of his regular classroom helper task, working alongside the student who is currently appointed to fulfill that job duty.
4. Extra Tech Time
Coordinate with the technology instructor to set aside a few extra slots in the computer lab.
Compile a varied list of appropriate online games and websites students may explore.
5. Sit With a Friend
For a class period, the student is permitted to complete a class assignment while sitting next to a friend.
6. Invite a Parent to Read to Class
For those students who get excited when their parents come to visit the class, why not invite the student’s parent(s) in for a period to read aloud to the class?
7. Cheer and Clap
Recognize students with one of these fun classroom claps and cheers.
8. Music While Working
Allow the student to work while listening to his/her favorite age-appropriate musical artists.
9. Knock Knock Jokes
Add a bit of humor to your individual classroom reward ideas by encouraging students to share their funniest knock-knock jokes.
10. Go Shoeless
During teaching and learning time, the student is allowed to take off her shoes.
11. King or Queen for the Day
Collect a few paper crowns from Burger King, or create your own. The student wears the crown all day.
Additionally, he receives royal treatments such as being first in line or sitting wherever he wants during work time.
12. Lunch Bunch
What makes this prize different from the other fun rewards for students is that this one consists of a small, exclusive group of 3 to 4 deserving students who eat lunch with the teacher for one lunch period.
13. Lunch in the Classroom
The student has the opportunity to eat lunch in the classroom with a friend.
Alternatively, they can have lunch with you and a friend while enjoying a special snack.
14. Positive Phone Call Home
During your planning period or after school, make a quick phone call to the student’s parent/guardian sharing a kind message or positive observation.
15. Read/Work in School Library
For your brilliant bookworms, this prize is a heavenly treat.
16. Reciprocal Teaching
Have the student show off his expertise. For one class period, he teaches the class a targeted reading or math skill/strategy.
17. Seat Swap
Two learners swap desk locations for an entire school day.
Seat swap could also be a student choosing to sit on the carpet, in a beanbag, or in a special chair all day.
18. Sit In a Chair During Carpet Time
Make the student feel special by allowing her to sit in a chair during floor time.
19. Prize Box
Fill a box with inexpensive trinkets. This will become the class prize box. As a fun reward, the student may choose one item from it.
20. Sit Next to a Friend at Lunch
The student chooses a friend, from his class or another, to sit next to during lunch period.
21. Star Student of the Week
Choose a “star” student of the week, and place her photo on a special, beautifully-decorated bulletin board (preferably in the hallway for all to see).
22. Teacher’s Desk
For one class period, the student has the privilege of working at the teacher’s desk or in the teacher’s chair.
23. Text to Parent/Guardian
Send a nice text message to the student’s parent or guardian.
24. Write In Pen for the Day
Writing in pen is a special treat and one of the most exciting fun rewards for students in elementary settings.
To make this prize even sweeter, include helpful content on the bookmarks such as reader response questions or positive affirmations for students.
26. Brag Tags
With brag tags, students get to positively brag about their good behavior without even saying a word.
Placed on a lanyard or necklace, students collect congratulatory-themed tags throughout the school year as they exhibit expected behaviors.
Decorative bracelets, appropriate for boys and girls, make fun rewards for students. Oriental Trading Company offers a wide variety from which to choose.
28. Caught Being Good Ticket
A type of reward coupon, Caught Being Good is a ticket given without warning to a student when the teacher notices her demonstrating a desired behavior.
29. Fancy Pencil
Students love writing with pencils that come in crazy designs.
The more sparingly teachers give this prize as one of their fun rewards for students, the more special it becomes.
30. Gold Medal or Trophy
Purchase a small plastic gold medal or trophy. The deserving student has the honor of taking it home for a day or a week.
31. “I Won” Balloon
Purchase one inflated helium balloon with the phrase “I Won” written on it. Present it to a deserving student.
The words “I Won” will prompt others in the school community to ask the student about what he has won.
At that moment, the student has the opportunity to share what good thing he did to deserve recognition.
32. Reward Cards (with Hole Punches)
Each student receives a reward card. As the teacher observes a desired behavior, the teacher punches a hole in her card.
On the tenth hole punch, the student receives whichever reward is designated on the card.
Keep a healthy stash of themed or seasonal stickers in the prize box.
34. Themed Pencils
Add a little pizzazz to writer’s workshop with seasonal and themed pencils. Fun pencil toppers work just as well.
Oriental Trading Company offers a generous selection of inexpensive prizes that can serve as fun rewards for students. Store the items in a prize box or bin.
36. Chew Bubblegum
Allow the student to chew bubble gum while working.
37. Dress Up Day
Everyone dresses as a character from a favorite book.
Or select one book, and students choose one of the characters from it to dress as for the day.
38. Lunch With the Teacher
Eat in the cafeteria with the student. Or choose a spot in an outdoor eating area.
39. Read Aloud
The student chooses a favorite book to read aloud to the class during a designated time, preferably reader’s workshop.
40. Pop Rocks™
Students go nuts over these “explosive” candies. Watch them enjoy the sizzle and pop of these fun edibles.
41. Reward Coupons
Whenever the teacher observes great behavior, she distributes or allows the student to choose a cool reward coupon.
42. Yummy Jar
Take a medium-sized mason jar, and fill it with small treats such as Gummy Life Savers, Dum Dums, Now and Laters, bubblegum, etc.
Students choose one treat from the jar as a reward.
43. Tether Ball with the Teacher
If the school has tether ball equipment on its playground, use it as one of your fun rewards.
What makes this high-energy prize so much fun is that the honored student plays a round or two against the teacher.
44. Show & Tell
The student shares with the class a special treasure or souvenir.
Virtual Fun Rewards for Students
The following virtual rewards for students make great prizes for those learning online.
45. No Homework Pass
Students have the opportunity to skip the day’s homework assignment.
46. Brain Breaks
Though these mental rests are normally part of daily instruction, grab a few of the more popular ones to use as fun rewards for students.
See fun online brain-break ideas.
47. Half Homework Pass
The student completes either the odd or even-numbered problems from the homework assignment.
A genuine, heart-felt compliment can mean the world to a student.
49. Certificate Rewards
Hand out a certificate of recognition award to a student whenever the moment is well-deserved.
50. Extra Credit Coupons
Offer extra credit coupons towards homework, quizzes, writing assignments, etc. Designate a set point value for each extra credit coupon (e.g. an extra 5 or 10 points).
51. Kind Note Home
Send an email to parents with a celebratory message about the student.
52. Wild Card
Students choose any one of the fun rewards for students!
Final Thoughts On Fun Rewards for Students
Recognize the efforts, progress, and wins of learners using ideas from this list of fun rewards for students.
You’re sure to find a prize to fit every preference and situation.
If you liked these fun reward ideas, you might like… student reward coupons for classroom use.