Imagine a world where children were happy to engage themselves and engage in learning activities while at the same time learning math. A place where kids compete in a friendly way by reading athletic activities, creative sports and books.
Sounds great, right?
I have always heard that necessity is the mother of invention and that is really true of this adventure point of view. Ever had one of those moments of motherhood where every baby needed something at the same time, someone just had a smooth squeeze everywhere and the baby needed a diaper change?
I had one of those moments and I realized that for my seriousness and level of children’s activities I needed to create a summer plan that did not involve watching TV every day.
We restore the system every summer or after a break. It works to bring the natural creative and competitive aspects of my children to work for the good of all! Holds!
What are the adventure points?
We already have a “Mother’s Anxious Jar” that works really well but it helps a lot when they are already angry. I wanted to find a way to encourage them to look for activities without anger at first.
In short, this is an easy place to do creative or athletic activities that encourage movement and creative play while watching TV. It has amazingly reduced fights and battles in our home.
The idea of ”adventure points” came from my children’s hiking boots, which they call “adventure boats” because they use them for hiking, castle building and other outdoor adventures. Wear
How Adventure Points Work
I sat down with a piece of paper and thought of activities that I want my kids to do this summer and assign a one point price to each. The kids helped me with the brainstorm and we came up with a great list of activities they enjoy (excluding screens or snacks). Things like:
- Riding Bike (30 minutes) = 10 points
- Pull = 2 points each
- Push-ups = every single point
- Swimming = (30 minutes) = 10 points
- Drawing (30 minutes) = 5 points
- Meal preparation for the family = 20 points
- Reading a book = 5 tips
- Reading a chapter book = 20 tips
- Fortressing = 20 points per hour
- Folding origami (30 minutes) = 10 points (Great lesson in this book)
- Create a paper airplane (30 minutes) = 10 points (they love this book ideas)
- Draw with sidewalk chalk (30 minutes) = 10 points
- Read to one sibling (30 minutes) = 25 points each
- Climb a tree = 5 points per tree
- Tasks (not on the to-do list) = 10 points
- Play Monopoly = 15 points
- Scrabble = Play 15 points
- Play Battleship = 10 points
- Play chess = 10 points
- Play Uno = 5 points
- Play Battle (Card Games) = 10 points
- Play apples to apples = 10 points
- Hopscotch = 2 points to play
- Jump rope = 3 points
- Grassland (30 minutes) = 10 points
- Waffle Ball = Play 15 points game
- Water the plants = 5 points
- Run 5 times = 10 points around the yard
- Get on the trampoline for 10 minutes = 3 points
- Do one puzzle = 20 points
- 25 cartwheels = 10 points
- Write a letter to friends or family and send = 10 tips
- Siblings = kill for 10 points
- Lagos (30 minutes) = Play 10 points
- Unexpected and Type = 50 points Get caught with a bonus
- Roller Blade (30 minutes) = 10 points out
- Listen to a History Podcast = 10 Tips
- View TED Talk (from this list) = 10 points
- View / View Lessons from Adams or Great Courses = 15 points
I thought of about 50 activities that were worth the points and assigned values to each one. Then, I made a list of fun family activities that would be good goals for milestone points. After dinner 100 points will yield a healthy dessert, while 1000 points will be great reward for a particular activity, new art supply, or contribution to something they want. (Hint: use the things you plan to do anyway! This is just a fun way for kids to earn).
I have also found that children are excited to be helpful around the house when I offer “bonus points” for working beyond my usual responsibilities.
After a few days of using this system, I decided to create two separate lists for older children (5+) and younger children (4 and younger) as older children were left behind. Had (which can be) and do a lot of pull ups!).
How to Implement Adventure Points
If you want to try out this system (and I would recommend it!), Here are some tips to get you started:
1. Decide on activities that work in your home / yard
List the activities you want your children to do and, if necessary, remove them by age. Evaluate how much each activity benefits the point system you want to use and assign a point value to each one. Use my list as a start!
2. Decide on rewards
Chances are, while points are a great motivator, your kids simply won’t be happy to earn points, which doesn’t matter. Decide what tips will allow children to do or earn money and make a list for children. We try to focus on activities and experiences rather than things so that our rewards are activities, but physical rewards can be great too, especially if they help children stay active or develop life skills.
Some ideas on material rewards that encourage learning:
3. Track the points
I felt that the system would not encourage the free creative time that I was hoping if I had to contact children in an activity to earn points each time. I decided to use the Honor System (which has worked really well so far) and each kid has to get a small spiral notebook to track points. That way, kids track their tips every day, and I avoid running just once a day.
I also made a chart to help you track activity points. You can download a copy for yourself here.
4. Enjoy your kids learning and playing!
I was really hoping that I would free up some time by preventing “I get bored” and “can we watch a movie” from making “Adventure Points”. He definitely has and I am definitely grateful for that.
I have found that more than free time, I enjoy watching my kids’ creativity grow and older children play more easily with younger children because they have more structure for activities. And there are ideas (and because there is a purpose in mind). Plus, keeping an eye on points is promoting math and unpredictable math for young children as I keep asking questions like “243 plus 15 equals 258 ?!” 2
Your turn! What are some fun ways to encourage creativity and activity during your free time at home?