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Behavior Coin Chart System

I found a great motivational behavior chart system over at Life Sprinkled With Glitter earlier this year.  I took it and adapted to fit my own family’s needs. I thought it would be nice to share with other parents out there and find out what you are doing too.

This is the system we have been using with our 4 year old. Every day she starts with 3 “coins.” As she makes good choices she can earn coins. If she makes poor choices she will lose a coin. At the end of the day we record how many coins she has on the chart. If she loses a coin she can earn it back by making good choices. However, if she loses all of her coins she can not earn them back and she will have a major consequence for the rest of the day. At the end of the week we count up all of the coins she has earned and she will get a reward based on the amount she has earned.

The language we use is KEY. We always tell her she has a choice and that she can make a good choice or a poor choice. When we ask her that she ALWAYS says she wants to make a good choice. We explain what a good choice and bad/poor choice would be in that particular situation. We give her one warning and tell her if she makes a bad choice then she will have to lose a coin. She LOVES her coins and is devastated if she has to lose a coin so she immediately changes her actions. It only took one day for her to lose a coin and now she ALWAYS chooses to make a good choice. I’m not claiming that she is an angel by any means, I’m just saying when we tell her what the choices are she usually makes a good choice.

I used what I had in my house to make these. I used blank DVDs for the coin base. I personally wanted them to be big so the coins would be a BIG deal to her. I let her pick out what pictures she wanted on them. I thought she would want a mixture of characters but she ended up choosing all Strawberry Shortcake characters. We might change them up as she grows out of them because if she doesn’t like them anymore then they lose their value.

I printed out characters and glued them on to the DVDs. Then I cut up some card stock I had to match the coins. I had a bunch of baseball card inserts from my coupon binder that were empty. I ran my finger in between the seem between two pockets of two cards to make one big pocket for the coin to fit into. This only used 2 baseball card sheets. I cut each pocket out and taped them onto a big piece of construction paper. I put the colored card stock in each slot and the matching coin in the pocket with the paper.

When she starts the day we have 3 coins facing out and 3 coins turned backwards so they are blank. As she earns or loses them we turn them accordingly.

I went to www.goalforit.com and made this custom chart for her. You can have them be for chores etc but I just put numbers to record how many coins she earned that day.


This is a made up example of what the chart might look like filled up at the end of the week. I put the chart in a sheet protector and color on it with a dry erase marker to save paper. I could put a new one in every week and actually mark on it if I wanted a record.

What motivational or behavioral systems do you have in place in your home?  Do you find that charts work for your kids?

5 Responses to “Behavior Coin Chart System”

  1. Colleen says:

    I love how you adapted it and made the chart system your own!!! This is great and I’m so happy it is working!!! Now I will have to get on with writing a post so people can come over here and read how it’s going for you!!!! Thanks for posting! I will come back to let you know when I have a post up…. it might b a few days ! =)

    • Cari says:

      Colleen, it really all started with your Coin idea. If we didn’t have those coins it wouldn’t be the same. I was going to make a chart like yours where she had to earn 10 days of 6 coins but I decided I’d like to have something I can reuse. I also thought that having a record for the week of how many coins she’s earned each day would be a great way for us to help motivate her. I love to tell her that she’s already earned X number of coins today and would love it if she could earn more than she did yesterday or something to that effect.

      Right now we’ve been giving her coins for specific tasks she has to complete. Since she started preschool we give her a coin if she earned a stamp for good behavior at school for the day. She’s had some difficulty with getting out of the car in the carpool line at school. She only likes one particular teacher to get her out, so we’ve given her an incentive of con when she gets out of the car without any trouble.

      We’re actually thinking of starting the day off with only 2 coins now to help push her to want to continue to make good choices and go above and beyond. I love it when she does something sweet for her little sister without being told to and watching her reaction when she earns a coin.

      I look forward to reading your post and answering any questions that your readers might have.

  2. Kate M says:

    “At the end of the week we count up all of the coins she has earned and she will get a reward based on the amount she has earned.”

    So, do you have rewards picked out ahead of time for different amounts? Examples?

    Love what you did with the idea…

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