How to Motivate Kids with Point Cards {Free Printable}

If you’ve been reading my blog very long, you know that I have lots of ideas about how to motivate kids.  One of my favorites is using point cards.  What’s a point card, you ask?  Read on! I’ll tell you all about them and link you to 12 months of free point cards — including a new design for back-to-school!  Point cards are great for teachers and parents.

How to Motivate Kids with Point Cards {A Year of Free Designs from} #printable #motivatekids

How to Motivate Kids with Point Cards

What’s a Point Card, and How Do I Use It?

So, what is a point card?  It’s a cute printable with spaces for the kids to check off specific tasks.  Sometimes I use them for the kids to keep track of completed jobs, sometimes I use them to keep track of when the kids have done something good, and usually I use them for both!  It’s been forever since I posted a new point card, so I’m sharing a new one in honor of back-to-school!

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Motivating with Point Cards at School

I’ve been using point cards since I started teaching school (way back in 1995).  Yep, I’m old.  Our school had a system for positive reinforcement.  We taped point cards (usually worth 100 points) to each child’s desk.  When we caught them being good or completing tasks correctly, we awarded them points and they (or we) marked them on the point cards.  Every so often, we had a class store, and the kids used their points to buy prizes.  (Or some teachers put filled point cards in raffles.) The system was very effective, and I often use it when I substitute teach. (The 20 or 25-point cards fill too quickly for day-to-day teaching, but they are perfect for subbing.)

If you are a teacher and using these at school, you might start with a low-value card so that the kids can fill one up quickly, and then move to 100-point cards once the kids understand how they work. This would be especially important in kindergarten when the kids need to feel success as soon as possible!

How to Motivate Kids with Point Cards {New design for Back-to-School!} #printable
Motivating with Point Cards at Home

I use point cards a bit differently at home, and they work great!  Here’s my system: We put the point cards on the fridge or clip them to the clipboards hanging inside the kids’ lockers in our kitchen.  As the kids do their daily jobs, they mark off points on the cards.  For us, one point equals a nickle, so the 20-point cards can be exchanged for a dollar, and the 100-point card can be exchanged for $5.

As my oldest started getting responsible and doing more work for higher pay, 20-point cards didn’t work as well for her.  Now I have several designs that are worth 100 points.  (If you need more, ask me in the comments.  Most of the designs I posted are only worth 20 or 25 points, but I have “holier” versions of many of the cards.)

My kids don’t only get points for doing jobs.  If they do something I think is great, I invite them to mark off a point of two on their card.  I have a little one who has a hard time obeying immediately.  When she does what she’s asked immediately, I thank her for doing it right away and give her an extra point.  The same goes for any goal the kids are working on.  If I notice they are sticking to their goal, I give them extra points.

So, ready to try it?  I’m linking you to a year’s worth of free point cards!  Just click on the link below each image, and you’ll be magically transported to the posts where I originally shared each design. From there, click on the download links.  Enjoy!

How to Motivate Kids with Point Cards {Penguin} #printable 1 Year of Free Point Cards for Motivating Kids {Dino Stole My Heart} #printable #valentinesday

January {Penguin} Point Card Freebie | February Point Card Feebie {Dino Stole My Heart}

1 Year of Free Point Cards for Motivating Kids {St. Patrick's Day} #printable 1 Year of Free Point Cards for Motivating Kids {Turtle} #printable

March {Feeling Lucky} Point Card Freebie | April {Turtle} Point Card Freebie

How to Motivate Kids with Point Cards {Butterfly} #printable 1 Year of Free Point Cards for Motivating Kids {Snail & Dino} #printable

May {Butterfly}Point Card Feebie | June/July Point Cards for Kids {Snail & Dino}

How to Motivate Kids with Point Cards {100-point Snail} #printable

August {100-point Snail} Motivational Point Card for Kids

How to Motivate Kids with Point Cards {New design for Back-to-School!} #printable

September {Apple & Worm} Motivational Point Cards for Kids (Click the button below to download)

Click to download Back-to-School Motivational Point Cards

Monstrously Fun Point Cards for Kids {} #printable Monstrously Fun Bookmarks Free Printable {}

Monstrously Fun Motivation Point Cards {Free monster bookmarks at the same link}

How to Motivate Kids with Point Cards {Turkey Design coming in November} #printable 1 Year of Free Point Cards for Motivating Kids {Christmas Theme} #printable

Thanksgiving Turkey 50-point Card | Christmas 50-Point Motivational Point Card Freebie

Why so many designs?

That answer is pretty easy.  Kids get bored quickly.  I find that when I change up the design of the point card, the kids get re-energized about the whole system.  Kids whose attention was dwindling are suddenly excited about counting points again.

In addition to changing up the design, you can also change up how you mark the cards.  Try stickers, marker stamps, highlighters, and fancy pens or markers.

Whatever you choose to do, the key is consistency. Don’t forget about the point cards, or the kids will, too.  We didn’t use them all summer, and I suspect (fingers crossed) that when I bring out the new design on Monday, my little one that has completely forgotten how to follow instructions (who shall remain nameless) will shape back up.  (Please, please, please! I can’t take it anymore!)

What’s your best system for motivating kids? I’d love to hear about it in the comments.

Thanks for stopping by today.  I hope you’ll be back soon!

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  1. Adorable!! What a great idea. My kids need this at home too!

  2. We used these a couple of times and they worked great for our 6 year old – I have to get back to doing them again!
    Pinned and am sharing on my FB page this week :)

  3. Oh my goodness- just stumbled on these from Pinterest! Thank you so much. I have been looking for a bunch of designs to motivate my kids this next year. I would love to have more of your 100 spot cards too if you don’t mind sending them to me.

Comments make me happy!