How to Organize and Use Classroom Reward Coupons in Kindergarten


I learned how to do magic in the classroom. Magic? Yes magic – classroom management magic!

I learned how to use things that my students were already excited about as rewards and incentives for my classroom. This simple tip came in the form of adding reward coupons to my classroom management plan.

classroom reward coupons

Here is how I used reward coupons and organized them in my kindergarten classroom.

First off, let me say that I’ve had great success with them and it was so simple to insert reward coupons into my pre-existing classroom management system.

There are tons of reward coupons out there, honestly. But I found these Reward Coupons a while back and stuck with them. I liked their size, color and variety. I totally did not use all of the options. That would be ridiculous.

You certainly can find a few, if not a lot, that’ll work for you and your class.

In fact, I’ve done some work for you and found free reward coupons for you to use with your kindergarten class.

Earning reward coupons

Let me share how my students earned their reward coupons.

As part of our end of the day routine, students mark their daily folders with a color marker that shows their choices for the day. We used the color card system in our kindergarten classroom.

So my students would color their day green, yellow, orange or red.

When students had colored 5 green days in their folder they would get a stamp in their folder showing the days had been counted and they had indeed earned and could pick out a reward coupon.

classroom reward coupons - how to earn them

Now comes the magic part – choice.

Just like I offer choice during our literacy centers – choice plays a big part in motivation and making students love this type of classroom management reward system. And, well, I love how easy it was to use.

Kinders LOVE being able to choose what is special to them and they think the whole world notices when they get to wear flip flops or use the computer.

Really, it is brilliant because it is a FREE reward (for me to give) that they earned for themselves that fits seamlessly into our day with no disruption and lots of motivation.

How to Organize and Use Classroom Reward Coupons in Kindergarten - stuffed animal
Stuffed animals were a popular reward coupon choice

How did they earn their next reward coupon? Well, after their stamp they’d start counting again to five – starting on the next green day they earned.

Reward coupon system in kindergarten

Now that they get one – how did I actually manage the whole system of getting the coupons, keeping track of them and keeping it from becoming an ordeal.

Let me share.

How to Organize and Use Classroom Reward Coupons in Kindergarten - no shoes
No shoes? No big deal with your reward coupon

And if you’re new here let me tell you that I like to work smart. So I wanted to create a system my students could eventually manage almost independently.

Here’s what we did.

I printed the coupons I wanted and laminated them. I stored them in a binder which I’ll explain below.

Students who earned one, pick out a single coupon from the binder.

How to Organize and Use Classroom Reward Coupons in Kindergarten - crown royalty coupon
Crowns make an easy reward incentive

They write their name on the back of the coupon with a vis-a-vis marker.

This kind of marker won’t smudge nor could someone else easily swipe it and put their own name on it (like with a dry erase marker). These markers were only available in the classroom next to the reward binder.

And this is where I was involved. Generally, I had students show me their folder before I let them grab the vis-avis marker or just after they picked their coupon… whenever I noticed they were hovering by the binder.

They kept their reward coupon in their cubbie until they were ready to turn it in. I had little library card pockets stuck to the inside of their cubbies for this purpose.

How to Organize and Use Classroom Reward Coupons in Kindergarten - clasroom photographer
Students can earn tech time if they complete their morning work early

They could also take them home to show their parents and prove to them they could bring in the matching item.

When they went to turn in their coupons they simply showed me (proving they could indeed have their shoes off) or turned it into me or my mailbox after showing me.

How to Organize and Use Classroom Reward Coupons in Kindergarten - sit in teacher's chair
Student sitting in the teacher’s chair as a reward

Later in the day, all of the coupons would get a quick rinse in the sink by a kinder with that classroom job. They would return them to the correct spots in the binder.

My role was the checker in the different stages, but they did all of the real work that went into this system. I’m a big fan of teaching responsibility.

Which reward coupons should I use?

Here is a list of coupons that my students loved and picked regularly.

  • music (bring in a CD that we would listen to during writing time)
  • teachers chair (sit at my teacher space whenever I wasn’t teaching groups)
  • silly slippers (wear slippers all day)
  • stinky feet (wear socks + no shoes all day – except for outside the classroom of course)
  • fluffy friend (bring a stuffed animal to school)
  • eraser (get a new one)
  • pencil (get a new one)
  • job swap (change classroom jobs with someone else for a day)
  • friendly lunch (pick a friend to sit by you at lunch)
  • cool cat in the hat (wear hat in classroom)
  • royalty (wore a foam crown)
  • “say cheese” classroom photographer (take pics of others/classroom learning throughout the day with our classroom camera)
  • extra computer time (could use computer after completed morning work)
  • still sleepy? (wear pj’s to school)

The one coupon that could “cost” something was the “pick a prize” coupon. I had a treat box already stuffed with little trinkets, candies and stickers (from the previous year’s reward system) that worked well to supply the prizes.

So, I didn’t really have to buy anything additional to supply this box.

How to Organize and Use Classroom Reward Coupons in Kindergarten - wear a crown
Students wear a crown for the day with the royalty reward coupon

But I included it because there were some kids who desperately needed the physical and tangible reward to carry out with them that very same day they earned it. For those extrinsically motivated kiddos – this option is a must!

And I will say – that I’m okay with admitting I’m lazy with which coupons I picked.

I didn’t pick any reward coupons that would be extra work for me.

Nope – no eating with the teacher, nothing that I feel would be distracting or add something to our day (like show n’ tell).

How to Organize and Use Classroom Reward Coupons in Kindergarten - students take pics as reward
Student photographers capture learning moments throughout the day

There are plenty of options without choosing something like that to put in the reward coupon binder {wink}

And I only picked coupons that had pictures that made sense. I needed the visual support for my early readers and non-readers so I didn’t have to explain every coupon to them every time they wanted to pick one out.

How to organize reward coupons

Let me share how I stored and organized my reward coupons.

It’s nothing fancy – but it worked.

I had a binder with see-through slash pockets. You can find these (affiliate) binder pockets in most office supply stores.

Ahhh – but now these (affiliate) divider pockets are also available at the dollar tree! You know I love that.

How to Organize and Use Classroom Reward Coupons in Kindergarten

I made an enlarged version of one coupon on a single piece of paper (higher up on the page). I taped this paper to the back of the pocket to act as the label so coupons would get returned easily to the correct pocket.

This paper also made it quick for students to flip through and find the coupon they wanted.

Those pages were made using the “snipping tool” on my Windows computer when I had the rewards coupon PDF open. I copied/pasted that image into a blank document. (It’s kinda like taking a screen shot but just of the area you select on your screen) Super easy!

Then I added a handful of laminated reward coupons into each matching pocket.

My plan was to print them in color so I wanted to be able to reuse them. They held up all year long with this system.

How to Organize and Use Classroom Reward Coupons in Kindergarten - organize in a binder
Reward coupon binder stored next to my teacher mailbox

I stored the binder near my teacher space and our end of the day materials.

Free reward coupons for kindergarten

Here is a list of free reward coupons (well, at least all free at the time of writing this) that I think are fitting for kindergarten. You will see some overlap between these collections.

But if you can stand that they don’t all “match” – you’ll have plenty to fill up your own binder.

How to Organize and Use Classroom Reward Coupons in Kindergarten - bring in stuffed animal
Students take their stuffed animal around the classroom as long as it is not a distraction

Which reminds me – I also found a free reward coupon binder cover (and here’s a polka dot cover) for you to get your binder started.

Our school wide Positive Behavior Incentive System acronym was “ROAR” so I used this free Behavior to Roar About binder cover.

All of these include pictures to help your early readers and non-readers be able to pick their own independently too.

  • Rewards Coupons Freebie (lose the shoes, lunch bunch, VIP, tech time, fuzzy friend)
  • Picture Rewards Coupons (lunch with teacher, cookie, no shoes, iPad, candy, pen, teacher’s chair, stuffed animal, bubbles at recess, drink in class)
  • Little Achievers Rewards (sit with buddy, no homework, no shoes, 5 mins. recess, fancy pen, stuffed animal, listen to music, wear a hat, lunch with teacher, show n’ tell, 5 bonus points)
  • Black and White Reward Coupons (VIP seating, desk buddy, teacher tools, lunch buddy, tech time, no shoes)
  • 16 Free Reward Coupons (wear a hat, no shoes, sit with friend, no homework, stuffed animal, tech time, show n’ tell, 5 bonus points, fancy pen, teacher’s desk, lunch bunch, skip the line, awesome note to parents, treat time, treasure box, skip morning work)
  • Reward Student Behavior (lunch in classroom, tech time, no shoes, teacher’s helper, switch jobs, move seat, pick brain break)
  • Student Reward Passes (homework pass, morning work pass, tech time, shoes off, wear a hat, line leader, pick seat, lunch with friend, lunch with teacher, use a pen)

Let’s wrap it up

There you have how we added reward coupons to our classroom management system in kindergarten and how I organized it all.

You may not run your classroom management exactly like I do but most likely can fit these types of rewards into your system too.

Are you looking to make your end of the day more calm? Check out How to Manage an End of Day Routine in Kindergarten.

How to Manage an End of Day Routine

If you like what I do here on KindergartenWorks, then be sure to subscribe today. I look forward to sharing ideas with you weekly.

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How to Organize and Use Classroom Reward Coupons in Kindergarten - easy system

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  1. Did they have to have 5 green days or just show that they had colored in 5 days regardless of what color they were on?

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