Saturday, May 8, 2010

Reading Incentive: KidsCash

Try KidsCash to get your kid reading.

If you’re looking for an incentive to get your kid to read, you may want to take a look at KidsCash.

I saw this product on Breakfast Television, and I think it could be applied really well to help encourage kids to read.

You reward your child for reading by giving him "KidsCash," printed kid-friendly coupons that look like money. You can dole out the KidsCash for each book read, or each page he reads, or for reading for a certain amount of time.

Here’s the twist: your child then spends the KidsCash to do something he really wants to do, like video-game time or TV time. Or he spends it on a toy, switching out with you for real money which he then takes to the toy store.

The KidsCash website has lots of ideas, including reward charts.

KidsCash comes in six different colours—they recommend a different colour for each child in the family—and it sells for $25 (plus tax and shipping) for a box of 250 coupons.

Related posts:
Using real money.
Create a reading reward chart.

So, I sent the KidsCash people an e-mail, asking them if I could see some samples of the cash or post a .jpg, but I haven't heard back from them. I got tired of waiting and thought I'd post this anyway--I think I've got the idea. Meanwhile, my friendly little e-mail is probably sitting in their JunkMail box and they have no idea I've even e-mailed them. Another potential friendship scuppered by technology!
UPDATE: The nice people at KidsCash did get my message and they e-mailed me the above image of their coupon. Friendship has triumphed over technology! A happy ending.


Tidy Books said...

I am not entirely sure I like this idea, as it implies that reading is a chore, and that commitment to it is rewarded to things that children really want to do. Potentially dangerous, IMHO.

Joyce Grant said...

Thanks for your comments, Tidy Books - always thoughtful and appreciated.

And I know what you mean - and I agree wholeheartedly that parents' approach to books should be that books are treasures - joyful - and not a chore.

With that in mind, I've written many posts about how to reinforce the "books as treasure" concept.

However, there are some kids out there who really, really don't like reading. To them, it's already a chore. These kids don't read one book in a whole year! And, understandably, those parents are at their wits' end.

And for those kids (and only their parents know who they are) a bit o' bribery may be the Hail Mary play they need.

There's probably no one, "right" answer for any family, for any child. I do think that you kind of have to try anything and everything until you find what's right for your child.

Here's a great success story about a girl whose parents had tried everything to get her to read - and nothing worked until... they paid her. Now, the girl reads for pleasure (she doesn't get paid any more - it was a one-time thing) and she is quite a good reader.

Ian @ Tidy Books said...

Thanks for your considered response Joyce. And you are spot on, it is down to each individual situation. I have used bribery for other things to a positive end, such as eating for example. And I am sure others do too, say for those children who aren't active enough. Certainly food for thought (which was not the pun it has turned out to be), and something I am sure to post about in the future.