How children respond to reward systems

2 min read

Do you remember the days when your dad would offer you £1 to wash his car? What about being allowed to play outside, but only if you’d finished all your greens?

Motivating children through rewards isn’t anything new, but in the age of technology, how we go about setting these rewards can look different than it used to. Mobiles and tablets now play a bigger role than ever in children’s lives, and it’s important to make sure we’re getting the most out of technology for the benefit of our kids.

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Whilst as parents and teachers we see the motivation of using DoodleMaths as being the improvement of maths ability and the bettering of a child’s future, we have to remember that a child’s personal goals may be a little bit more short term than that! For instance, they may not be thinking ahead to their fulfilling career as an engineer or a professor, but what they will be thinking is how to earn enough DoodleStars to buy their pet the latest accessory. This encourages them to complete their tasks daily, and motivates them to engage with the app.

Our friends over at Screen Time also understand the benefits of rewards for children. Using their app, a parent can decide on tasks that their child needs to complete, and what they will receive when these tasks are done. So let’s say that it’s practically impossible to see the floor in little Timmy’s room thanks to his afternoon of playing with every single toy he owns (we’ve all been there!). As Timmy’s parent, we can set a Screen Time task, ‘Clean your room’, with the reward being 15 mins of tablet time. Not only can we as parents see him complete this in real-time with the handy notifications, but the app also tracks which apps are on the tablet, making it extremely simple to stop them from being used at the touch of a button or the end of a timer.

Both apps work alongside parent/teacher needs in a way that helps the child stay motivated, and take ownership of what needs to be done in order to gain a reward.


Article by DoodleMaths

Doodle empowers learners to achieve confidence in maths and English. Our intelligent technology creates individual work programmes which are motivational, affordable and convenient to use.