“Upgrade” your marble jar with rocks

via www.deathbygreatwall.com

Are you familiar with the idea of using a marble jar as a motivation system for your kids? A marble jar is sort of like a tactile star chart. Each time your kid does the thing you're trying to encourage (anything from chores to positive actions) he gets a marble placed in his jar. Once the jar's full, he gets a reward.

Somehow a marble jar is so much more satisfying than stars or check marks on a chart. The fun of playing with marbles, the "plunk" of a marble earned, the simple beauty of jar full of colorful marbles…it all adds up to a great system.

I'm thinking of bringing the marble jar back to our house — even older kids can benefit from a visual, tactile reminder and reward for their actions.

ANYWAY. Dana has "upgraded" her family's marble jar with rocks. Marbles are great, but big rocks signify special accomplishments, and they add to the beauty of the jar as well (wouldn't that make a nice centerpiece?).

Read the full post for details:  How to Motivate Your Kids Using Rocks (no children were harmed in the writing of this post!)

More: Hacks about star charts and other reward systems


  1. Mimi says

    We did something similar with fake gemstones of varying sizes from the craft store. Some things earned little sparklies and others earned BIG sparklies. Boy, the thrill of earning the biggest sparklie was huge! lol

  2. says

    I LOVE this idea. We do the marble jars at home, and sometimes the kids earn a few extra marbles if they do something really great. But, I really like the idea of the visual here. They can see their big accomplishments, and make a decent dent in the jar!

    Thanks for this post–I’ll definitely be adding this into the mix!

  3. Liss says

    We use pom poms–it’s a Warm Fuzzy Jar. And when it gets full, we go do something fun as a family. Kids get warm fuzzies for doing their daily chores without being reminded and for anything else they do that was helpful.

  4. says

    Liss: WARM FUZZY JAR! How totally wonderful. Any chance you’ve got a snapshot? Would love to “promote” your idea to a front-page hack.

  5. says

    When I searched online, most suggestions involved removing the milk from its sterilized carton. The transfer into an unsterilized container would make the milk or cream spoil faster.

  6. Audrey Gillette says

    THANK YOU!!!! We have been doing this for about 2 weeks and I cannot tell you what a positve change it has made in our household! My kids are being the kind, generous, helpful kids I know them to be. I am generous with the marbles and we have not problem with the stealing, because they get that it is a team effort to get the jar filled up.