Toddler Behaviour Rewards
That Can Actually Work

This page gives some ideas for toddler behaviour rewards that are easy to put in place - what's more, most are completely free.

These are straight forward, but the trick is to be ready.

So have a read and remember at least one of them to use in the future.

3 Things To Remember About Toddler Behaviour Rewards

  1. Praise and Attention are the best rewards.
  2. At this age, rewards must be immediate.
  3. Most should be rewards that you are happy to repeat on a daily basis.

So what are the best toddler incentives for good behaviour ?

Praise And Attention

It's sometimes easy to forget how important adult attention is to a toddler. Praise and positive attention are the most effective rewards to give a young child.

Make sure your praise is specific so she understands exactly what she's done right.

Of course, positive attention should not just be a reward. However, there are ways to turn this attention into an extra special reward for good behaviour:

  • Read a story or paint/draw a picture together.
  • A good tickle or bundle - depending on how physical you like to get with your child.
  • A short song, dance or game that you know he enjoys.


These toddler behaviour rewards will make your little one feel special and grown up, a huge motivator in itself:

  • If you have a digital camera to hand, take a photo of them which you can show to them and any significant adult later on.
  • Say "Mummy is HAPPY!" and draw a big smiley face on a piece of paper, which you can put on the living room door.
  • An excited phone call to Daddy/Mummy/Gran to say how your child tidied his toys or ate all his dinner can work wonders.

Reward Charts And Stickers

These behaviour rewards are most effective when used to encourage a specific behaviour or introduce a change in routine, such as stopping bedtime milk.

This is because stickers and reward charts will lose their novelty after a while if over-used.

I used stickers while potty training my son. He had no interest in a reward chart and preferred to cover his toys with the stickers!

Helping Out

Young children love to help us with seemingly the dullest tasks because it makes them feel grown up to imitate us.

Try any of these, depending on how big the reward is:

  • Housework - sweeping up while you vacuum, wiping a table, putting laundry in the washing machine etc.
  • Cooking - making cakes, washing vegetables.
  • Gardening - carrying hedge or grass clippings, watering plants etc.

Make a big deal of what a big boy/big girl your child is and how well they do the task.

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