Sweet Ideas

Check back every week for new "Sweet" ideas about behavior management! 

Behavior Reflection Sheet

After a child has been given time to cool down, try taking the time to fill out a "Behavior Reflection Sheet" with them, or have them fill it out themselves if they are able. This gives the child a chance to reflect on what happened and figure out how to handle the situation differently next time. By filling out this sheet together, you can help the child feel heard, forgiven, and accepted again. You can find this idea, along with many other great ideas on the Elementary Chalkboard Blog (link below!)


Question Ball

Looking for a fun way to break the ice and get people talking? Throwing around a question ball is a fun way to do that! Whether you're hanging out with family, working in a classroom, or leading a music therapy session, a question ball can be a great ice-breaker. Prompt members of the game to catch the ball and read and respond to the question that their left thumb lands on. This can also be adapted for individuals learning how to read. Different words can be written on the ball and the individual reads the word that their thumb lands on aloud to the group. 

Photo courtesy of:

Practicing Self-Care

Self-Care is important for everyone, including students, teachers, parents, caregivers, and therapists. How do you define "taking care of yourself?" The following article contains several ideas for how you can take a break and self-care, including exercising, asking for help, or even taking a bath. 


Communicating with Nonverbal Students 

Noodlenook.net published a list of 5 tips for communicating with children who are nonverbal. Their first tip is to get on the child's level. Talk to the child face-to-face with eye contact. Also, keep on talking! Assume competence and understanding and talk to the child about things that are happening around them, what you're doing, and about things that interest them. Give opportunities to make choices about activities or snacks. Promote choice making and new vocabulary with flashcards and picture icons. 

Most importantly, find a mode of communication that works best for the child. Everyone has different strengths, needs, and ways of communicating, so figure out what communication method is best for the child. 

Photo and ideas courtesy of: http://www.noodlenook.net/least-dangerous-assumption/#sthash.yWl8thyM.dpbs

Fun Healthy Snacks

Is eating healthy or trying new foods difficult at home? Try some of these fun and creative snacks that are great to look at and healthy, too! Involve the kids in making the snacks and start a new family tradition. 

Pictures and ideas courtesy of: Caroline Gordon, Babble.com


Tactile Book
If extending length of engagement in books is something you're working on, maybe try using books with tactile sensory stimuli. The link below provides a printable book with letters that can be decorated with various sensory items (ex. F is for feathers, C is for cloth, or S is for sand.) Encourage your child or student to feel each object and identify the letter associated with it. 

Picture and idea courtesy of TeachersPayTeachers.com

Restaurant Busy Bag
Going out to eat with the kids? Set them up for good behavior by bringing some supplies along! Grace Giggles and Naptime, a blog about motherhood and great ideas for raising kids, lists some objects that may be excellent additions to your restaurant "bag-of-tricks." Some of those objects are small toys, markers, card games, and healthy snacks. Check out some more of her ideas by following this link:

Photo and idea courtesy of Grace Giggles and Naptime
Aloe Dough
Make your own dough at home with only 3 ingredients! All you'll need is a mixing bowl, 2 tbsp Aloe, (reportedly Hawaiian Tropic smells the best), 3 tbsp corn starch, slowly mix for a few minutes. Move the dough slowly in your hands, and when it starts to dry, add a bit of water. If the mixture is a bit runny, add a bit more corn starch. When finished, toss and make some more! 

Photo and idea courtesy of Pinterest.com

What I Like About Me!

Ask your child, loved one, client, or student to write a list of things that they like about themselves, their lives, etc. Promoting positive self-esteem and self-image is important in a child's development. This can be a helpful tool to use to remind them to be positive about themselves. When the list is complete, try placing it in a central part of the house or a place that is frequently visited and celebrate his or her strengths and accomplishments. 

Gummy Bear Popsicles

Looking for fresh ideas for behavior rewards this summer? Try making gummy bear popsicles with the kids! All you'll need is a popsicle mold, which you can pick up at most grocery or dollar stores, gummy bears, sprite, and a freezer! Add them all together and you'll have a colorful and unique treat to share. For a healthier option, maybe try using sliced fruit in fruit juice for your popsicles, instead! Talk about a "sweet" idea!

Photo and idea courtesy of: Makezine.com

DIY Fidget Spinner

Chances are if you have children or if you work with children, you've heard about this new, fun fidget spinner trend. A DIY version of a fidget spinner is easy to make and can help children stay occupied when waiting or provide a distraction from anxiety about new situations or places. All you need is some cardboard, scissors, glue, a pin, a toothpick, and some pennies. To learn more, follow this link for specific instructions.


Photo and idea courtesy of: Redtedart.com

DIY Stress Ball

Making a stress ball can be fun and easy to do with the kids this summer. (Also, they're great tools for parents, teachers, and therapists!) All you need is a balloon, an empty water bottle, about a half a cup of all-purpose flour, a paper cup, and sharpies for decoration. 

First, pour a half a cup of flour into a paper cup. Next, use that paper cup to fill the empty water bottle with flour. Put the balloon over the top of the empty water bottle and flip it over, allowing the flour to fill up the balloon. Next, carefully remove the balloon from the water bottle and tie the end. Use the sharpies to decorate the balloon if desired. 


Idea and photo courtesy of: ParentToolKit.com

Prize Binder

Want to give a reward for good behavior but need to stay on a budget? Instead of using a prize box, try implementing a prize binder! Fill the binder with coupons to do things that the child likes, like going to the park, playing a board game, 15 more minutes on a video game, etc. 

Photo and idea courtesy of:  teacherbitsandbobs.blogspot.com


Working on some spring cleaning at home? Why not involve the kids? Create a checklist for your child so they know exactly what is expected of them when you say "Clean your room." Checklists are a great way set your child up for success in cleaning up after themselves. They can give themselves a little check or X each time they finish a task and see the progress they're making. It also allows them to decide which task they want to do first or last. Check out this clean room idea and several more at:    https://dengarden.com/cleaning/Clobber-the-Clutter-with-Kids .

Image and idea courtesy of Mom Kat

I Spy Bottle

Need to keep the kids occupied during a long car ride this summer? I Spy Bottles are just what you need! Fill a used bottle with rice and various small items like a birthday candle, crayon, ribbon, bead, eraser, etc and make a list of things to find on the outside of the bottle. For kids that cannot read, maybe put images of the objects on the front so they can match objects to pictures. 


Idea and photo courtesy of SheWood.BlogSpot.com

Behavior Race

This is a fun and visually-appealing way to reinforce positive behavior at home, school, or in therapy. All you'll need to make it is:

1) A poster board or thick piece of paper

2) These game board piece shapes: Click here

3) Some fun, colorful paper and pictures to make your board look great!


Idea and photo courtesy of The Teacher Wife

Transitioning Between Activities

Are transitions difficult? This fun behavior strategy might help! Make an "action cup" for your child by writing fun actions like "hop on one foot," "tip toe," "do a silly dance," or "run in slow motion" on popsicle sticks. Whenever you have a transition coming up, pull out the action cup and use the instructed action to move on to the next activity in a fun and engaging way. 


                                                    Idea and Photo courtesy of Jessica Kings

Waiting Activities

Having trouble managing behavior when waiting at the doctor's office or at the BMV? Don't worry! Here is a list of several activities for kids to do that don't require any materials and will keep them occupied during the wait. These activities are iPad-free and involve fun and educational games. Check them out by following the link below!


                                                    Photo courtesy of I Can Teach My Child

Behavior Contract 

Modifying behavior of pre-teens and young adults? A behavior contract may be a great option! On the contract, goals, consequences, and rewards are discussed and agreed upon by the individual and their caregiver or healthcare professional. This contract is great to laminate and keep in a central location like the fridge as a reminder of behavior expectations. Download a behavior contract by clicking the link below or create your own!

Behavior Contract: 


Photo Courtesy of Classroom Freebies Too

Behavior Bracelets

Try out behavior bracelets to positively reinforce on-task and appropriate behavior. The website hyperlinked below has a free pdf available with behavior bracelet cutouts. These bracelets can be used to reward children for following directions the first time, for maintaining calm behavior, for keeping hands to themselves, and more! 

Download Behavior Bracelets here: 


Photo courtesy of Lessons4Now


Calm Down Cards

Make some visuals for your "calm down kit!" These cards are easy to make, low cost, and very effective in reinforcing and generalizing coping skills to different situations and environments. Invite your child or client to select coping mechanisms that would work for them and let them color in the figures!  You can make your own cards or go to the following website to purchase pre-made cards for only $7.99.