The Key to Success: An Activity to Motivate Children
The key to success is a perfect activity to motivate children. This exercise is based on the operant conditioning theory, which uses positive reinforcement as the main tool to modify behavior. In other words, it encourages motivation by rewarding desirable behaviors so that they become more frequent.
This activity also allows children to become aware of their progress and make an effort to reach a certain goal.
Importance of motivating children to reach their goals
Motivation is vital in order to make any type of effort. But, what is the meaning of “motivation”? Here are some definitions the Oxford Dictionary gives for “motivate.”
- To be the reason why somebody does something or behaves in a particular way
- To make somebody want to do something, especially something that involves hard work and effort
Hence, it can be said that motivating consists of activating and guiding other people’s behaviors so that they can accomplish their objectives. In this way, children need some encouragement to commit and be motivated. To do so, different strategies and activities can be used. Next, we’ll share some of them with you.
“The key to success” – an activity to motivate children
The key to success is an activity that will allow you to track the children’s behavior in full detail, valuing effort and encouraging motivation. To implement the key-to-success activity, you need to follow the steps below:
- Give the child the drawing of a key as big as a sheet of paper. Here is an image you can download and use:
- At the top, the child should write the objective he or she commits to fulfilling. For example: achieving great qualifications, tidying up the toys, reading every day, etc.
- With an adult’s help, the kid writes in detail and lengthwise the steps to follow to fulfill the established objective.
- The child colors and decorates the key to his or her liking.
- The kid cuts out the key and glues it to cardboard to prevent paper cracking and add firmness.
- Every day, the child’s parents or the adult responsible for them must check if the child has complied with all the written steps. If so, they have to sign the key on the back, seal it, or put a sticker on it, so that each of these actions marks a point earned.
- Next, the number of points — that is, the number of signatures, seals, or stickers— needed to receive a reward is determined. This serves as the main positive reinforcement of the behaviors.
- When the kid has won the necessary points, then they’ve reached their goal and, therefore, they receive the reward. They’ve achieved success!
Considerations for applying the key to success activity
When applying the key to success, it needs to be taken into account that it isn’t just about giving a sole reinforcement when an objective is met. Instead, there need to be social and emotional reinforcements all throughout the process —praises, compliments, hugs, etc.
Therefore, each time the kid displays the desirable behaviors, it’s recommended to congratulate them and highlight their progress. In this way, during the development of the activity, the child will grow more and more motivated to reach the objective, since they’re looking for their parents’ reinforcements and wishes to feel rewarded.
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- Pérez-Ventura, J. (2014). Estrategias y actividades para estimular la motivación en el alumnado. Ventura Educación. Recuperado de: https://vaventura.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/T1012017-Motivaci%C3%B3n.pdf