(tot school tuesday) good behavior rock jar

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I introduced the good behavior (or rather, good choices) rock jar last week and it has been working really well for my 2 1/2 year old, who is just starting to understand delayed gratification. I allowed Logan to decorate his own rocks and every time he makes a good choice, he gets a rock to put in his jar. We are starting with a small behavior jar at first, to keep him engaged and excited about it. The prize once he fills his jar is a trip to the dollar store, where he gets to pick out 1 thing (usually stickers). We decided not to make this a punishment jar, so we do not take rocks out of his jar for misbehavior as I don’t feel like a bad choice necessarily wipes out a previous good choice.

I have found that this jar is a great reminder to give my child constant positive reinforcement throughout the day, which in turn has cut down on the amount of time I need to discipline him. One of my online friends asked if I thought if something like a rock jar encourages people pleasing, basically only doing things to please other people. She brings up a good point. Too little people pleasing and you are creating a narcissist, too much and you are creating a doormat. This parenting job is tough. I believe that you can still teach boundaries and self-worth at the same time as doing something like a rock jar. I also think it depends on the child. Logan is a fiercely strong-willed child with excellent boundaries for a 2 year old, the rock jar method is perfect for this type of child. This is also a method that we will continue to evaluate and see if it fits in with our parenting philosophy and family values. For now, it’s working and my favorite parenting advice is “just do what works”.

Activity: Behavior Rock Jar




Q Tips or Sponge Brush

2 Jars


Allow your child to paint his rocks using tempera paint and Q Tips or a sponge brush. Allow rocks to dry before placing them inside of a jar. Explain to your child that he will receive a rock in his jar for good choices. Encourage your child with positive reinforcement and when he makes a good choice, reward him with a rock. Set a prize for when the jar is full, such as an ice cream date or a set of stickers. You may have to explain the concept a few times.


Tot School Tuesday Co-host: Kara of Mine for the Making (visit her blog for preschool aged activities)

Link up your Tot School Tuesday activities here! Tot School Tuesday is all about teaching your child something in a fun and playful way. Blog along with me every Tuesday and link up your ideas here. They can be original ideas or something you saw online (just make sure to give credit to the person who came up with the idea).

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4 Responses

  1. I think the rock jar reward idea is great and I really like the fact that a reward is never sacrificed because of the child making a bad choice and totally agree that a good deed should not be canceled out by a bad one.

    1. Thanks for stopping by Anna! I definitely didn’t want to turn the rock jar into a negative punishment thing. More than anything, the jar has served as a good reminder for ME to give him more positive reinforcement.

  2. Thank you for hosting “Tot School Tuesday”! 🙂 I love the good choices behavior rocks. Keep us updated as to how he’s doing with them. Love how you got him so involved in the process. 🙂

    1. Thanks Mary! Logan had a blast painting his rocks. So far we’re really liking this system, but I’ll keep you posted!

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Hi, I'm Vanessa!

Welcome to See Vanessa Craft! I’m Vanessa, an MSSW and mom of two in Arizona, and I’m happy you’re here to get inspired with me. It’s my mission in life to spread creativity through crafts, recipes, travel and more in order to live a life well lived.